JLab Audio's JBuds Frames are touted as a conversion kit to turn any pair of spectacles into smart glasses
Smart glasses are now undeniably rising as a trend, even though the steadily growing pool of OEMs in this emerging market do probably intend for them to be full augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR) headsets condensed into the form of a typical pair of glasses, rather than those often merely augmented with cameras, mics, speakers or a combination of all three as they tend to be now.
Even so, the type that just adds audio to glasses may be compelling enough at this stage. On the other hand, they tend to come in a limited range of styles that might not suit everybody, might need adjusting with prescriptions and, above all, are often very expensive at this point. However, JLab Audio has come up with what might be a solution to all of these problems: the JBuds Frames.
They apply this idea JLab has hit on of simply mounting custom-made speakers onto the frames of your existing spectacles or sunglasses for an instant personal wireless audio solution. On that note, the OEM asserts that the 16mm drivers found in each Frame targets the user's ears alone so as not to disturb anyone else in the vicinity with leaking audio.
In fact, its volume is projected to drop to a perceived 30% at a 6-foot distance from a JBuds Frames user. For them, the smart-glass conversion kit is rated for a maximum output of 120±3dB with a 20 – 20 kHz frequency response in the AAC or SBC codices. The pair of frame-speakers might support playback for up to 8 hours between charges, which they do via proprietary contacts at the other end of a USB type A cable.
Therefore, the OEM asserts that the Frames last longer on their 120mAh batteries than alternatives from Bose or Razer. The Bluetooth 5.1 accessories also have a mic for calls or smart assistant activation, which, as JLab claims, is not always-on and is under the user's control at all time. This can be done via a physical button found on the top of each Frame.
Therefore, this seems an ideal solution for consumers who have thought about audio glasses and wished they looked much more like their own existing pair. On the other hand, the Frames are arguably a little bulky and noticeable (prominent branding and all), and could slide around on their mounting hooks depending on how thin the ear-hooks of the glasses in question are.
Then again, JLab also provides 1 rubber sleeve per hook that might ensure the Frames stay in place during use or user activity. Those who would like to make their beloved glasses smart in this way can do so for US$50. The JBuds Frames are available at this price from its own website or from retailers such as Best Buy from now.