I know, I know. Another pair of open-ear audio smart glasses? Were the Bose Frames, Echo Frames, and JLab JBuds not enough? Nope. Not according to Razer, which just announced its Razer Anzu Smart Glasses.
Well, at least the company chose a more interesting name than Frames.
The Anzu are basically like every other audio smart glasses, albeit Razer’s trying to differentiate them from the crowd by adding a work-from-home angle. The lenses filter 35% of blue light to protect your eyes from your screens, and yes, that’s how you’re supposed to know they’re productive. Well, that and the fact that it features Razer’s 60-millisecond low-latency audio tech. This is purportedly better for video conference calls because there’ll be less lag, and therefore people’s mouths will more or less match up to what they’re saying.
I liked the original Bose Frames. They were stylish sunglasses that featured audio-based augmented reality, which actually seemed like a clever workaround for the technological challenges of smart glasses. But alas, Bose AR wasn’t meant to be. Last summer, the company shuttered that division and as a result, Bose Frames...Read more
In all fairness though, there is some neat tech in the Anzu. Namely, unlike other audio smart glasses, there isn’t a wire that runs through the hinges and the front of the glasses. That enables the hinges to be more flexible than you’d typically find in smart glasses. Each arm is its own truly wireless speaker, and features 16mm, custom-tuned drivers. (This also means that each arm needs to be individually charged, though the Anzu’s proprietary charger design seems to take care of that.) The glasses also feature touch controls, voice assistant compatibility, IPX4 water resistance in case you get caught in the rain, and more than five hours of battery life. Also, Razer says if you fold the glasses, that will automatically put the pair in standby mode, which extends battery life to up to 14 days.
Design-wise, the Anzu comes in two shapes: rectangular and round. Both are fairly nondescript but should be suitable for everyday wear. Unfortunately, the arms are still pretty chunky, as they have to house both the battery and audio components. While the blue-light lenses come pre-installed, they can be swapped out for broad-spectrum UV Polarised lenses, which thankfully come with the glasses. As in, you don’t have to purchase them separately. Hurrah! You can get the glasses in two sizes, small/medium and large. And, for those of us with low-bridge noses, Razer says the Anzu will fit without slipping off your face.
If you were hoping for some of Razer’s signature RGB pizzazz, however, I regret to inform you the only lights on the Anzu are some LED battery indicators. It would appear that Razer doesn’t believe the ability to make your glasses flash in 16 million colours is ideal for working from home.
The Anzu will cost $US200 ($256), which is fairly steep but also not the most expensive we’ve seen in this category. The Bose Frames and Echo Frames, for instance, both cost $US250 ($321). However, that cost might go up a bit if you need prescription lenses. For those of us with terrible eyesight, Razer is partnering with Lensabl so you can get the pre-installed lenses swapped out for prescription ones with a 15% discount. You can get the Anzu at any Razer store, razerstore.com, and at Best Buy in the U.S. and Canada.