Conclusion first: It suits me very well! If there are people with the same needs as me, I absolutely recommend it.
It is said that these glasses are already in their third generation. However, I didn’t even consider the previous generation because the temples were too thick and looked silly. Plus, they were some kind of branded collaboration edition that cost over 2,000 RMB. But this time, the design has become much lighter, and the price has dropped significantly, so I decided to get them.
Whether they are smart or not is not my concern. For me, I bought them mainly to see if they could replace my earphones, even if they are just glasses integrated with Bluetooth earphones.
I have always been looking for the most convenient and unobtrusive way to listen to music. The most recommended option is, of course, AirPods. They are comfortable to wear and suit most people. However, I still feel that they are not suitable for me for the following reasons:
Firstly, whether they are semi-in-ear or in-ear style, wearing them for a long time makes my ears feel stuffy, hot, and itchy. The secretion of earwax also increases rapidly.
They block out external sounds, which can be a safety hazard.
I have undergone open surgery for chronic otitis media in my right ear, so the ear canal is slightly larger than that of an average person. Sometimes the earphones don’t fit properly.
They are not convenient to carry around. Putting the charging case in my pocket or having a bulge on my thigh looks extremely unattractive. I have already minimized the things I carry, like my wallet and car keys. Adding another item like that is just unbearable.
The most important inconvenience is the inconvenience of taking them out. Every time I want to watch a video on my phone, I have to take it out of my pocket, connect the Bluetooth, and put them on. It’s quite cumbersome, and if I wear them for a long time when I don’t need to, they become uncomfortable, so I take them off again. This makes them easy to drop or misplace.
Sometimes, even if I’m not listening to anything, having earbuds hanging from my ears gives the impression that I’m not showing enough respect to the person I’m talking to. How can I have earphones in my ears while having a conversation with you?
For all these reasons, AirPods and other similar options are simply inconvenient for me. Of course, for those who prefer using speakers, these problems don’t exist.
So, later on, I started using neckband-style earphones, like the Huawei Freelace. I hang them around my neck when I’m not wearing them, and when I need them, I just separate them, and they automatically connect via Bluetooth. But this approach also has some problems:
Having earphones hanging around my neck, although lightweight and designed delicately, still adds another wearable device. Every time I finish taking a shower, I have to put on glasses, a smartwatch, and earphones, and it feels like a lot of things.
In formal occasions, I still have some concerns. When presenting plans to the government or clients, having earphones hanging around my neck doesn’t look very professional. It gives a more sporty and casual impression. I’m worried that some people might think I’m not respectful enough.
The safety issue is still not resolved.
The discomfort of having the ear canal sealed off remains.
It’s still not convenient enough. Although I have eliminated the step of taking them out of my pocket or the case, there are still three actions to perform: separating them, wearing the left side, and wearing the right side. They can’t be done in one go.
And when I take them off when not in use, I have to align them properly to get them to magnetically attach to each other.
Sometimes, when I’m carrying things or my jacket rubs against them, the earphones separate and automatically connect to Bluetooth without my knowledge. Then when I pick up my phone, I can’t hear any sound, and I realize that it’s because they are still connected via Bluetooth. So, I have to wear the earphones or switch to the speakers, which delays my activities when I receive a phone call.
After separating, there is a delay of about two to three seconds, and I can only start hearing the sound from the earphones after hearing the “connected” prompt. By that time, the video might have played for a few seconds already, so I have to rewind it, which is a bit inconvenient.
So, later on, I also looked into wearable speakers and bone conduction headphones, but as additional devices, they can never be as naturally worn on the body as glasses.
Huawei’s idea of integrating earphones and glasses together is really convenient. Although I know they are not the first to do this, the seamless experience is truly impressive. All my previous earphones are now just sitting idle.
The sound is not transmitted through bone conduction. Instead, there are speakers built into the temples of the glasses. However, there are some speakers that are responsible for outputting frequencies to counteract leakage and protect privacy. In my testing, I found that the volume was audible at a normal level, but at half a meter away, the content was completely inaudible. Only in a very quiet indoor environment could I faintly hear the sound coming from the glasses. I had my wife and child try them as well, and there were no privacy issues with the volume they could hear, even at a meter away indoors.
- Sound quality:
If you have high expectations for sound quality, it’s better to give up. Since I had low expectations and just wanted to hear something like bone conduction, I found the actual sound quality to be acceptable. Of course, the bass and low tones are not impressive, but it’s better than nothing and not as impactful as in-ear headphones. So, if you’re someone who enjoys heavy bass, you may want to give up. On the other hand, considering that I’ve been staying up late and listening to headphones for many years, my hearing has already deteriorated significantly according to my last hearing test at the hospital. It’s better to listen less, even if the experience is not as enjoyable. The high tones are not explosive, but they don’t have the exaggerated vibration that bone conduction produces when turned up too loud.
Perhaps to save power, the speaker power is limited. Indoors, there is no problem at all, but outdoors, you may need to increase the volume a bit. In very noisy places like a cafeteria, if the incoming call volume is low, you may need to turn it up to the maximum. I haven’t tried it in extremely noisy environments like the subway. When the volume is set to 90%, there is a sudden change in sound quality. The high tones become more prominent, while the mid and low tones weaken. This might be to make the sound clearer, but at this point, sound quality is completely compromised. I hope the next generation can increase the volume a bit while maintaining weight, size, and battery life.
Although the temples are thicker than regular glasses, the total weight is only a little over 30 grams, and they feel similar to regular glasses when worn. Due to the thicker temples, there is a sense of fullness and stability on both sides of the ears when putting them on. Many popular eyewear brands now have thick temples for branding purposes, so I don’t see this as a problem at all. However, it’s important to note that the temples cannot be folded, so they don’t wrap around the back of the ears. They mainly rely on the thickness and clamping force to stay in place. They won’t fall off when looking down, but if you sweat a lot while running, they might be prone to slipping. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to engage in intense exercise and sweat profusely in the past two weeks. I only jumped rope for a few minutes, and it didn’t affect their stability. As for the size, I’m not sure if they would fit everyone. I have a relatively large head, and surprisingly, they fit well. I was a bit worried because physical stores didn’t have any samples (it’s confusing that all the physical stores only carry the second generation). I’m not sure if they would be suitable for people with smaller heads.
- Gesture control:
It feels somewhat intelligent, but still a bit cumbersome. Sliding the right temple adjusts the volume, while sliding the left temple changes to the next or previous track. Double-tapping answers or starts playback, and long-pressing hangs up. I didn’t use it much because I felt that the double-tap accuracy was not very good, perhaps due to the small touch area. Pinching the left temple allows for translation or activating song recognition. Overall, since I usually have my phone with me, I don’t use these gestures frequently, so there is a learning curve involved.
- Voice prompts:
If you’re busy with other things and find it inconvenient to take out your phone, this feature is quite handy. However, after a few days, I turned off this function. Firstly, if there is frequent message exchange, having it read out continuously becomes annoying. Secondly, if the volume is set too high during the reading, it affects your ability to hear the surrounding sounds. If someone happens to speak to you, I don’t know how to pause the voice prompts. Moreover, you can’t simply unplug them like with headphones, so do you have to take off the glasses?
The front frame of this generation can be replaced. It can be easily removed and replaced with a different color or material by simply pushing it down. It means that if you want to try a fresh look after wearing the same style for a long time, you can buy another color or material on the official website for a few hundred yuan. However, it seems that it must be the same shape, for example, round frames can only be paired with round frames, and square frames with square frames.
It is sweat and rain resistant but cannot be submerged.
- Battery life:
On the first day, I used them extensively, continuously listening to music and making calls, and the battery level dropped rapidly. By the time I went to bed in the evening, it was almost empty. In the following days, with normal usage, there was still more than half of the battery left when I finished work in the evening. Staying up late until one or two in the morning, it would generally drop to less than 20%. I have to charge them every day, but since I take them off when I sleep, I don’t need to charge them deliberately like a smartwatch. I put them on with a full charge in the morning, and it feels like a small ritual, saying “Good morning.”
The charging speed is fast. It only takes a few minutes to get an hour of usage, and it takes a couple of hours for a full charge. However, the method is not simple enough. You need a dedicated cable that connects to both temple frames. When traveling, you have to bring this cable, which costs 199 yuan on JD.com. It would be better if they could be directly connected via USB Type-C or wirelessly charged on the back of a smartphone like a smartwatch.
- Multiple devices:
They can simultaneously connect to two devices. I tried connecting them to both a phone and a tablet (both Huawei), and they worked together. You can choose which device’s sound to play by tapping the glasses icon on the respective device.
This is something that remains to be seen over time. I am most worried about the nose pads breaking. I have had this happen with several pairs of glasses before. However, the nose pads of these glasses are integrated with the frame, not welded, so theoretically, they should be more sturdy. Otherwise, if they break, the entire frame becomes useless.
They cost 1,599 yuan, and I also bought Zeiss lenses for over 700 yuan (previous generic lenses were unsatisfactory). Altogether, it cost over 2,300 yuan. Is it cheap? Definitely not cheap. Jins glasses with lenses priced at a few hundred yuan would be enough. Although we all know that the cost of glasses is only a few tens of yuan, when we see the wall full of brands like CUCCI, Prada, Ray-Ban, Amani, Balong, all priced at one or two thousand yuan without any digital functions, then it doesn’t seem expensive.
They can detect when you lower your head to pay attention to your cervical spine. I don’t have any issues with my cervical spine, so I don’t pay much attention to this feature. Some people really like this function because they find it more intuitive after the data is visualized. According to the statistics, I spend 36% of my day with my head lowered. Of course, it’s not entirely accurate. It’s like a balance indicator, considering activities like push-ups or squatting on the toilet as instances of lowered head posture or increased pressure on the cervical spine. In any case, Huawei is consistently focusing on health, understanding that health is always a basic necessity unaffected by economic conditions.
- Usage scenarios:
When tutoring my child with homework, I can open a video without distracting their attention with sound. I also don’t have to take off my glasses to hear them when they call me while wearing headphones.
During meetings, although I can look at my phone, I’m reluctant to wear headphones and look at my phone at the same time. But now it’s not a problem, I can watch videos and listen to sound without any issues.
While driving, I can directly answer calls without affecting my ability to hear the road conditions.
There are many other occasions that I won’t go into detail about, but overall, I deeply appreciate the convenience.
Also, not many people are buying them at the moment. It’s still somewhat of a lifestyle product, and at least no one around me uses them. Whenever I answer a call and others see that I’m not putting my phone to my ear or wearing any headphones while talking, they tend to give me a few more glances. When they ask, they find out that it’s the glasses producing the sound. They all say it’s interesting.
Overall, it depends on personal usage scenarios. What I find most impressive is that it eliminates the need to carry additional headphones and the hassle of constantly putting them on and taking them off. It can provide sound to you seamlessly at any moment, and that’s the biggest improvement. For someone like me who hates playing audio out loud and is a heavy user of Bilibili, I am no longer accustomed to needing separate headphone devices when I want to listen to something on my phone. When I open a video, the sound should be present by my ear. With the increasing prevalence of myopia among high school students (80% of them), more and more people are wearing glasses. Therefore, integrating glasses with audio functionality is the best solution. It’s similar to smart home devices where pressing a switch is actually just one action, whether it’s voice-controlled or motion-activated, it ultimately saves us one action. Is it worth going through so much trouble for just one action? At least some people think it’s worth it.