Product review - TriSpecs Stereo Bluetooth sunglasses
This product review is going to give you a closer look at the TriSpecs Bluetooth sunglasses.
Bluetooth added to sunglasses is nothing new, but past attempts at making Bluetooth enabled sunglasses usually resulted in something that looked more like a Star Trek prop than a fashion item.
The TriSpecs sunglasses actually look like a normal pair of sunglasses, and the optics are Sola, one of the top of the range glasses made by Carl Zeiss. Of course, since the arms house the electronics, you can easily tell them from "normal" sunglasses.
The Bluetooth portion of the TriSpecs supports handsfree communication as well as stereo Bluetooth. The specs have buttons to control your music and for controlling your call.
To turn the TriSpecs on, you simply pull on the headphone cords, turning them off involves pressing on a small "cord retract button" and pressing the stop button. All controls are accompanied by voice prompts, and the buttons are very easy to locate.
Bluetooth performance is actually very good - stereo audio sounds great, and call quality is very impressive. TriSpecs incorporated some nifty noise canceling technology in the phone portion of their product. By using dual microphones, callers on the other end will barely notice you are on a Bluetooth headset.
Using the TriSpecs with your device is simple - most mobile phones on the market support regular handsfree Bluetooth, and most advanced smartphones add support for Stereo Bluetooth. If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch , you'll be able to upgrade to Stereo Bluetooth later this year. Owners of an iPod can add Bluetooth to their player with a $50 adapter. When you pick up an incoming call, the headphones can pause the music on your device, and resume playing when you hang up.
TriSpecs are available with 2 different versions of earpieces - normal and in-ear noise isolating. The version I tested was equipped with the noise isolating earpieces, which were most certainly on par with most premium noise isolating earbuds out there.
Charging the headphones is done using MicroUSB, which is quickly becoming the standard charging plug for many major phone makers. Nokia, Motorola and RIM (Blackberry) have already made the switch to MicroUSB.
There is of course one major issue with Bluetooth enabled sunglasses (in fact - all Bluetooth headsets suffer from this) - you run the risk of looking like a bit of a dork. Sunglasses are a pretty personal thing, they are after all a fashion item.
I've never been very fashion conscious, and always stuck with the more basic Ray Ban sunglasses, but I've got to say that the TriSpecs actually look pretty damn good. The inclusion of the Carl Zeiss lenses make for a very effective pair of glasses. The sunglasses feel very sturdy and sit nice and tight on your head. Of course, for every one person that thinks they look "cool", there will be one person who wouldn't be caught dead wearing them.
The product is available in six different colors - black, white, blue, red, silver and gold. The black and white glasses are $199.95, all other colors are $224.99. Once you settle on a color, you can select even more tweaks - including accents, lens color and the earpiece version. A pair of black metallic TriSpecs with the in-ear noise isolating headphones retails for $244.98. Shipping is just under $10.
All in all I'm quite impressed with the TriSpecs. The Bluetooth portion functions very well, and the addition of in-ear noise isolating headphones is a real treat.
In the "minor complaints" department - I would have preferred to see the specs come with a hard case instead of a microfiber pouch.
Other than that, if you find yourself outdoors a lot, and could use a good quality pair of sunglasses with integrated Bluetooth, these are very much worth the investment. Just don't blame me if people start laughing at you, and remember - turning the volume up will block out their laughter.
And finally, Since I have a face more suited for radio, I've added a photo showing the TriSpecs on someone with a face much more suitable for product reviews - Sofia Milos (of CSI:Miami and The Sopranos):
Filed under: Gadling Gear Review