Huawei has put speakers in sunglasses that look good and still work. How do they sound? With a price tag of $499, Santa probably won’t be able to buy them.
Huawei worked with Gentle Monster, a luxury sunglasses brand from South Korea, on its first pair of smart glasses, which will be released in 2019. After a year, they are back with the Huawei Eyewear II follow-up. Eyewear II sunglasses come in two shapes, Lang and Myma, but only one color.
The Myma is better for women because its lenses are bigger and rounder, while the Lang is squarer and more suited to men. I’m reviewing the Lang model, which fits well on my head but is too big for my fiancee’s face.
Huawei says that they have made the arms more flexible, made the curves bigger, and moved the weight of the glasses farther back to make them more comfortable. I haven’t had any problems wearing the glasses for hours at a time, but that could depend on the shape of each person’s face.
With an IP54 protection rating, the frames can stand up to dust and handle a splash of water. The lenses, on the other hand, are Zeiss Category 3. They reduce sun glare by more than 80% in English and protect well against UV rays. Just don’t wear them at night while driving. Myma is best for women because its lenses are bigger and rounder.
What Does The Box Contain?
Huawei Eyewear II comes in a big, new case with a zipper that can also be used to charge the glasses. Since there’s no battery inside the case, you can’t charge the glasses without it, and you can’t charge the glasses without the case. You have to use USB-C to charge the case.
A switch on the support allows you to sync with both Apple and Android phones, but each needs a different app: Eyewear in Apple’s app store and AI Life on Android. I had no trouble using the glasses with either the iPhone 12 or the Google Pixel 5, and you will need to update the glasses’ software before using the touch controls on the frame.
Doesn’t It Work?
Yes, but not nearly as well as I’d expect for $499 sunglasses. When the touch controls stopped working twice while I was using my iPhone, I had to uninstall the app and download it again from scratch. When they work, the touch controls are magical. You can easily pause, play, skip, answer calls, change the volume, and even talk to Siri and Google Assistant.
Huawei has done a great job of hiding the tech that makes this possible in such thin arms. Eyewear II can talk when you place them on or take them off so that they turn on or off. This doesn’t always work, though. I often took off my glasses in the middle of a song, expecting the music to stop, but it kept going. Huawei Eyewear II comes in a big, new case with a zipper that can also be used to charge the glasses.
How Do You Think They Sound?
The first time you hear music through Huawei’s Eyewear II, it feels like someone is pulling a cool trick. After years of using headphones, our brains are set up to expect to feel something in our ear canals or for the sound to change as we move closer or farther from a speaker. Sound follows you on Eyewear II.
What seems strange at first soon fades into the background. I was amazed by the fine sound, even though I didn’t think it would be possible on a pair of sunglasses. Because of how they are made, the $499 Eyewear II headphones don’t have as much bass as headphones that cost half. However, the lyrics and music are clear and loud enough.
Everyone can hear what you’re listening to when your headphones aren’t in your ears. From the other side of my living room, I could easily tell what songs were playing at full volume, just like when someone plays music on their phone. Some people might not mind that with music, but what about calls? I’m happy that Huawei’s noise-canceling technology makes phone calls sound great.
Unless you press your ear against the glasses, it’s almost impossible to hear the person on the other end of the line. Even though there’s no microphone close to your mouth, the person wearing Eyewear always had a clear voice during my tests. Everyone can hear what you’re listening to when your headphones aren’t in your ears.
Huawei’s Eyewear II sunglasses are comfortable and stylish, even though they are big. The arms are thin, but they pack in a lot of technology. They aren’t great headphones because they have average noise quality and touch controls that don’t always work.
The $499 glasses are remarkable when they work well but are not very useful. Eyewear II’s best feature is taking calls on the go, but the low-latency audio doesn’t mean much when the UV lenses darken screens for gaming.
The fact that there is no battery in the charging case makes it less portable, but five hours of music is enough. Standard Gentle Monster sunglasses cost more than $300 (plus shipping) to order in Australia. While their collaboration with Huawei is exciting, the Eyewear II doesn’t have the polish to match the style.