The 8 Best Smart Glasses of 2022

Our top smart glasses pick are the Ray-Ban Stories.

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Smart glasses are set to be the next big thing in technology, but for now, they're an interesting experiment that puts cameras and headphones into what look like normal sunglasses.

Lifewire's Pick

If you want to play around with taking pictures and video and listening to audio (and you're ok with Facebook's involvement), our top pick is Ray-Ban Stories.

Some can even work as basic augmented reality devices, projecting a computer screen into the corner of your eye. If you want a glimpse of the future, the pricey Vuzix Blade offer a taste of augmented reality - but we'd recommend you wait for that particular feature to become more mainstream.

Here are our pick for the best smart glasses on the market today

Best Overall: Ray-Ban Stories

Ray-Ban Stories


What We Like
  • Classic Ray-Ban design

  • Relatively simple to use

What We Don't Like
  • You need a Facebook account

Developed with Facebook, Stories are unique in that they look like normal sunglasses. Which is no surprise given they were developed by Ray-Ban, but even so - they don't scream 'nerd' when you put them on, which is a good thing.

In fact, they are available in three different, Ray-Ban styles—Meteor, Round, and Wayfarer, in five colors (glossy black, blue, brown, olive, or matte black) and six types of lenses (brown gradient, clear, dark blue, dark gray, green, or photochromatic green). Prescription lenses are also available, so it's fair to say Ray-Ban have most people covered.

They double as bluetooth headphones, and you use an app to upload video and pictures taken with them. Unsurprisingly, you need a Facebook account to do that.

To take a picture, there's a capture button on the right arm, and a touch-sensitive surface ogives you call, playback, and volume controls.

Despite the obvious privacy worries, these are probably the most fully featured smart glasses out there, and while there is no augmented reality display, Facebook has been open it its plan to make one in the near future.

Best For AR features: Vuzix Blade Upgraded Smart Glasses

Vuzix Blade

Courtesy of Vuzix

What We Like
  • AR features

  • 8MP camera

  • Available with prescription lenses

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Clunky aesthetic

This newly upgraded version of the Vuzix Blade offers tons of advanced features in a surprisingly compact set of glasses. Its augmented reality (AR) capabilities put the Blade at the top of our list, along with its integrated speakers, noise-canceling microphones, and a surprisingly good camera. 

The Blade features a full-color display on the right lens that overlay digital graphics onto the real world. The transparent display allows you to see both at once, with head motion tracking that responds to your movement for an immersive augmented reality experience. It’s powered by its own processor and Android OS - the same system found in Android phones. You also can pair the Blade with your smartphone, using the companion app, to further customize its functionality and receive phone notifications right on your glasses. 

These glasses also have some great hardware features, the most notable being a built-in 8MP camera that can record HD video. Noise-canceling microphones also allow you to take calls and use the voice control features. These also have full UV protection, and are available with prescription lenses for an additional cost.

Best Budget: TechKen Sunglasses

TechKen Sunglasses

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Bluetooth compatible

  • Built-in earbuds

  • Microphone for phone calls

What We Don't Like
  • No other smart features

  • Inexpensive build

Super high-tech features often come with a high price tag, so if you’re looking for something more affordable, you may want to check out these futuristic-looking sunglasses from TechKen. They have built-in Bluetooth headphones that extend down from the arms of the glasses, making them a great option for exercising and other outdoor activities. While regular wireless earbuds can run the risk of falling out, these are attached directly to the sunglasses, so you can keep the music playing without fear of losing an expensive earbud. 

The headphone parts of the glasses are adjustable and can be moved forward and back for a comfortable fit. They also have a built-in microphone, so you can effortlessly take calls when the glasses are connected to your phone. Button controls on the frame allow you to adjust the volume, play and pause music, and answer calls. 

Best for Music: Bose Frames

Bose Smart Glasses

Yoona Wagener

What We Like
  • Stylish design options

  • Good sound quality

  • Some AR features available

What We Don't Like
  • No volume controls

  • Poor noise isolation

The Bose Frames are another entry in the combined sunglasses-and-headphones category, and they boast the best audio quality of any of the devices on this list. They also look the most like regular sunglasses. If style is a top priority, Bose offers five different audio sunglasses designs: the rectangular Alto, the round Rondo, the sporty Tempo, the square Tenor, and the cat-eyed Soprano. Choosing your look is half the fun.

The Frames have the speakers built into arms and tucked right behind the wearer’s ears. Even though there is no in-ear headphone, the design of the glasses prevents the sound from leaking to the people around you. This lets you enjoy your music while remaining fully aware of your surroundings (and without disturbing your neighbors). Our reviewer who tested these glasses noted that the audio does have the wonderful warm quality that the Bose brand is known for. The only downside: it can get drowned out by the noise in your environment. So if you’re commuting or planning to listen somewhere loud, you might find your music hard to hear. 

The Bose Frames also come with the Bose AR platform, which is still in its early stages but shows some promise for interesting AR audio experiences. The glasses already have built in gyroscopes and motion tracking that makes them well-suited to augmented reality app integration.

Tested by Lifewire

We spent time with the Rondo style, and while there are refined touches, there’s a somewhat fragile feel to the frames. Though each of the arms has mini speakers strategically placed inside them, there’s no substantial weight to the sunglasses. This is a plus for comfortable wear, but we also found that the frames walked a fine line of feeling and looking a little cheap. While they’re not at all bulky or hefty in the hands, we did notice that wearing them for over an hour did start to feel heavy on the face. We experienced some discomfort particularly in the nose bridge area where the frames pressed into the skin. We also wore these on a short 1-mile jog and noticed a bit of slipping and sliding halfway through the run. In terms of overall lens quality, we appreciated how rugged they were. They picked up smudges, but scratching was a non-issue. We found the placement of the single button, on the right arm just near the temple, to be intuitive and easy to interact with. Even though there is no ear tip or bone conduction technology, we were impressed with how crisp, warm, and close the listening experience was. Keep in mind audio quality isn’t as great when there’s a lot of background noise, however. We paired the Bose Frames to an iPhone 6 and noticed that only nine apps were available to us. We tested a travel-related app called NAVIGuide that provides step-by-step voice directions. This worked well and saved us from having to repeatedly look at our phone for directions. Yoona Wagener, Product Tester

Bose Frames

Lifewire / Yoona Wagener 

Best for Audio: Flows Bandwidth

Flows Bandwith
What We Like
  • Stylish design options

  • Good sound quality

  • Bone conduction speakers

What We Don't Like
  • No other smart features

If you mainly want to listen to music with your smart glasses, the Flows are a stylish mid-range option that look like regular sunglasses and have all the perks of a pair of Bluetooth headphones. They have an open-ear design that uses tiny bone conduction speakers on the arms of the glasses. They channel audio directly to your inner ear, so you can hear your music and also hear your surroundings. Like other audio sunglasses on the market, the Flows also have a built-in microphone, so you can answer calls when your smartphone is connected. The Bluetooth 5.0 technology makes for a steadier and stronger connection, as well.

These glasses are available in two styles: the round Taylor’s and the more-rectangular Bruno’s. Choose from three different lens colors for an extra cost. Both styles have a five-hour battery life and can fully charge in one to two hours.

Best for Video: Snap Spectacles 3

Snap Spectacles 3

Lifewire / Andy Zahn

What We Like
  • Unique design

  • 3D photography

  • High-fidelity audio recording

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • 3D photos are fun. but not easy to view

For a pair of smart glasses made by a social media company, Snapchat’s Snap Spectacles 3 are as fun and fashionable as you’d expect. They’re also surprisingly high-tech. Featuring two HD cameras and four microphones, these glasses are capable of capturing 3D photos and 60 fps video with high-fidelity audio. The lenses are situated on the two top corners of the frames. When they snap simultaneous photos from these slightly different angles, the images are combined to create a striking three-dimensional effect. The Spectacles connect to your phone via Bluetooth, so you can instantly upload your media to the Snapchat app or anywhere else. Snapchat offers a suite of fun AR filters that integrate seamlessly with Spectacles video for another layer of interesting effects. 

The Spectacles come with a charging case and can quick-charge to 50% in just 15 minutes. Their eye-catching design is available in two colors: black and a muted rose gold tone.

Best for Focus: Smith Lowdown Focus

Smith Lowdown Glasses

Andy Zahn

What We Like
  • Comfortable frames

  • Intuitive app design

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Niche functionality

  • Reported charging issues

Can smart glasses help you relax and focus your mind? That’s the premise behind the Smith Lowdown Focus. These smart glasses pair with headphones and an app to use your brain activity level and breath to help retrain your mind to slow down and improve concentration. Although it sounds pretty wild, the glasses are a great new tool when it comes to practicing mindfulness.

Regular sessions can help users be more focused, manage anxiety, and block out distractions. Brain-sensing technology, which works via sensors in the frame’s earpieces, provides real-time feedback on your brain’s activity level, helping the user know when they need focus to beat stress or complete complex tasks. While this method of mindfulness might not suit everyone, it’s an evidence-based system that has helped many. The frames, themselves, are unobtrusive and aren’t likely to attract notice.

If you’re struggling with mental focus, consider giving the Lowdown Focus a try, if they’re within your budget.

Best Digital Assistant Integration: Amazon Echo Frames

Amazon Echo Frames


What We Like
  • Alexa voice control

  • Automatic volume adjustments

  • Microphone can be turned off

What We Don't Like
  • Middling battery life

The new Amazon Echo Frames bring the convenience of Alexa to your glasses. Just connect them to your smartphone via Bluetooth and get all-day access to your virtual assistant. Say “Alexa,” and the built-in microphones will immediately start listening. Ask it questions, queue up your favorite music and podcasts, and get notifications from your phone directly in your ear. Like other smart glasses on this list, the Echo Frames use an open-ear audio design with tiny speakers embedded in the frames. You can hear what’s coming out of them, but the people around you can’t. 

If notifications in your ear sounds like too much, these glasses have the option for “VIP filtering” that only alerts you to notifications from a specific list of people (and the rest wait for you on your phone). You also can turn off Alexa with the touch of a button if you don’t want the ambient microphone on all the time. It can be a bit of a drain on the battery. Amazon claims you can get about two hours of playback and Alexa interaction if the glasses are on for a full 14-hour day, or four straight hours of playback if you’re listening to music. The main takeaway here: these are designed as an Alexa device, rather than a set of headphones. 

The Echo Frames are available in three colors: all black, black with a blue edge, and tortoiseshell print.

Best Glasses Attachment: JLab Audio JBuds Frames Wireless Audio

JLab Audio JBuds Frames

Image Source / JLab Audio

What We Like
  • Attaches to your existing glasses

  • Affordable

  • Built-in playback controls

What We Don't Like
  • A bit bulky

If you have prescription frames or a go-to pair of sunglasses you could never replace, the JLab Audio JBuds Frames attach to any glasses frames for instant wireless sound. They also include a microphone for phone calls. The open audio design plays music that only you can hear , while leaving your ears open and uncovered—a great option for those who want to stay aware of their surroundings or who find traditional headphones uncomfortable to wear. Use both attachments for a more immersive audio experience, or switch to just one.

The design is a little bit bulky, but the JBuds Frames make up for it with over eight hours of playback per charge. It also uses the latest Bluetooth 5.1 technology to pair to your smartphone with a stable, lag-free connection.

Final Verdict

For the most advanced smart-glasses experience, we recommend the Vuzix Blade Upgraded, which features a see-through display on the lens with augmented-reality capabilities. Otherwise, Ray-Ban Stories will give you a great, fun experience if you just want to take pictures and video along with taking calls.

  • What are smart glasses used for?

    Many smart glasses are fitted with cameras and microphones that allow for high-quality point-of-view video, which can be an invaluable training tool in many industries. Glasses with displays on the lenses allow digital information to overlay the real world, augmenting real-world activity with directions or other helpful information right in front of the wearer’s eyes. Many of the less-expensive models on this list are fun gadgets that let you listen to music or get phone notifications from a stylish pair of sunglasses.

  • What is open-ear audio?

    Many smart glasses use open-ear audio technology, meaning they deliver sound to your ears without blocking or covering them like traditional headphones. This can be achieved through strategically placed speakers that rest right next to the ear canal rather than in it, making the sound audible to you but not to the people next to you. Some also use bone conduction, which sends the audio vibrations directly to the inner ear through the bones in your skull.

  • How much do smart glasses cost?

    The price of smart glasses can vary widely. A basic pair of smart glasses that only provides Bluetooth audio shouldn't cost more than the standard pair of Bluetooth headphones or wireless earbuds.

About Our Trusted Experts

Emmeline Kaser is a former editor of Lifewire’s product round-ups and reviews. She has several years of experience researching and writing about consumer tech.

Mark Prigg is a VP at Lifewire and has over 25 years experience reviewing consumer tech at newspapers and magazines, including the Daily Mail, London Evening Standard, Wired and The Sunday Times.

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