By now, your coworkers have likely gotten used to a giant pair of headphones sandwiching your face or perhaps little, white AirPods sticking out of your ears. Now, computer peripheral maker Razer has introduced a pair of connected glasses with built-in headphones designed for working at home.
The $199 Anzu Smart Glasses come in both square and round frame shapes, with small and large sizes of each. Regardless of what size you choose, each temple (or arm) comes equipped with a 16mm audio driver inside that funnels sound toward your ear without isolating you from your surroundings. That’s not ideal for perfect sound quality, but it’s useful in an office situation (if we ever get back to that) or for work-from-home folks who are also trying to keep tabs on kids or particularly rambunctious pets.
Don’t let the “smart” in the name mislead you, though. There’s no display involved, so if you’re expecting a screen like the one Google Glass or some other augmented reality glasses have, you won’t find it here.
The glasses connect to an Android or iOS device using Bluetooth 5.1, on which Razer has implemented its own proprietary low-latency tech to prevent distracting lag or out-of-sync video calls. Each temple has its own independent battery built-in and they offer five hours of use before they need to go back on the juice. Leave the Anzu glasses dormant and they’ll hold a charge for up to two weeks. Then, when you pick them up and open them, they’ll immediately turn on and connect to your device.
A built-in, multi-directional microphone picks up a wearer’s voice, so the Anzu glasses can handle all the audio tasks you’d expect a typical pair of Bluetooth headphones to perform. Touch controls on the side of the arms allow users to perform typical tasks like adjusting volume, picking up calls, skipping tracks, and summoning a phone’s built-in smart assistant.
The lenses claim to block 99 percent of UV light (both UVA and UVB) and also block 35 percent of blue light coming through. The science is still somewhat undecided about whether or not cutting blue light will help reduce things like eye strain, but cutting the amount of blue spectrum that hits your eyeballs at night can play a part in reducing larger sleep issues.
For those with a prescription, Razer offers a 15-percent discount to users who choose Lensabl for adding RX lenses to the frames.
While Razer clearly expects work-from-home to be a common use case for the Anzu, the glasses are also IPX4 rated against moisture, which means it’s not out of the question to wear them while working out. They weigh just 1.7 ounces and Razer sells optional sunglass lenses to pop in for $29.
At $199, the Anzu glasses certainly aren’t cheap, especially if you’re going to go the extra distance to put prescription lenses in them. Given that they check in at the same price point, they inevitably draw some comparison to the original Bose Frames. The Bose glasses, however, are specifically designed as sunglasses rather than typical specs. The Razer glasses also offer five hours of battery life compared to the 3.5 hours offered by the original Bose Frames.
Compared to the new $250 Bose Frames, the Anzu have slightly less battery life (5.5 hours for the Bose) but offer slightly stronger water resistance at roughly the same weight.
Amazon also charges $250 for its second-gen Echo Frames, which offer two speakers in each temple instead of one, as well as two beam-forming microphones instead of a single multi-directional unit. Predictably, Amazon’s glasses also offer much tighter integration with Alexa. That comes at the cost of shorter battery life.
Razer’s Anzu glasses are available for order now through the Razer site.