If you were alive and on the internet in the late 2018/early 2019, you might have seen a variation of the airpods meme, where impending danger is approaching someone, but they can’t hear our warning cries, for they have airpods in.
Sadly it’s also true that there are a lot of people walking or cycling on the streets who have no awareness of their surroundings because they do, in fact, have some manner of headphones blasting their favourite tunes at maximum volume. The University of Maryland researchers have found 116 cases of headphone-related accidents between the years 2004-2011, and 70% of those accidents resulted in death.
Lucky for us, technology is ever-evolving with the well-being of humans in mind and from 2016 onward, bone conduction has made its appearance on the market. Unlike headphones, which transmit sound through the air, bone conduction sends it through your skull into your inner ear – that’s also how you hear your own voice and why it sounds so different when you hear a recording of yourself. Using bone conduction technology to listen to music or have conversation over the phone leaves your ears open so you can also be aware of your surroundings
Lucyd Loud Bone Conduction Glasses
Lucyd LOUD will provide you with just that – a bluetooth connecting pair of glasses that allow you to talk to Siri, listen to your favourite music and take phone calls on the go while leaving your ears completely free.
PS! I have also given an overview of various different bone conduction glasses available in one of my earlier posts.
As always, for this article and Lucyd Loud specifically, a little TL;DR of the pros and cons of the product can be found at the end of the article for you lazybones (ha, get it?) out there.
Now, as stated above, Lucyd LOUD are smart glasses meant specifically to cater to all your audio needs. They are compatible with both Android and Apple phones through bluetooth connectivity.
Before I dive into the pros and cons of LOUD, I’ll get the pricing out of the way. The basic frames with no prescription currently go for $99, a fairly cheap price considering how steep smart glasses can be. Of course, if you need prescription lenses, you can order your LOUDs with them.
Those of you who like being out and about in the sun a lot can order tinted lenses and they even have blue-light filtering lenses for those of us who spend a lot of time behind a screen. There are a lot of options to choose for on the Lucyd LOUD website. Of course, all the additional lenses you buy are going to add to the cost of your glasses, but compared to how much some designer frames can cost the price still remains relatively cheap.
Mind that you can’t change the glasses once you receive your frames, so if you’re ordering sunglasses in a country that only has three summer months, you might end up looking silly when trying to listen to music in December. Similarly, I could list this as a negative for people whose eyesight has the chance of worsening overtime, since to match your prescription, you’ll need to order a whole new pair of LOUDs. In that sense, they’re very much a one-trick-pony.
I feel it pertinent to mention that the Lucyd LOUDs are still in beta and are going to be developed further. Currently the frames are definitely more bulky than your average pair of sunglasses and they only have features pertaining to audio. It’s probably not unreasonable to expect the prices for these things to go up after they’re out of beta and have some more features to them, so if you’re interested in trying bone conduction glasses for cheap, I suggest you grab them while you can.
Anyway, onto the …
Positive Things About Lucid Loud Glasses
Alright, so we’ve already gone over the safety aspect of the glasses – yes they leave your ears open to detect all of your surrounding dangers. I’ve also touched upon the pretty good price that you can nab them for, but you must be thinking: “Author! Surely, there’s more!”
Yeah, of course there is, otherwise I wouldn’t bother with this section.
So, one of the more praised features comes from the main page of the glasses themselves. Namely, you can try them on before you buy them – all online. If your device has a camera, you can use their AR try-it-on feature to see how the specs look on your face. Nobody wants to end up with an awkward looking pair of glasses.
Lucyd also wants to put your mind at ease with allowing you to return your glasses within two weeks, no questions asked and they’ll give you a full refund. If bone conduction isn’t for you and you still prefer your earbuds or maybe the frames themselves are giving you doubt, you can rest safely knowing that you can just sent them back and you’ll get the money you paid for them.
In reference to the microphone in them, LOUDs are pretty good for phone call and contacting Siri, or whoever it is you have on your phone. Feedback shows that Siri understands what is said to her just fine through the glasses.
Your LOUDs will come with a nifty and high-quality case that folds small when you don’t have anything stored in it, but is durable and will protect your glasses nicely when they’re inside it.
I’ll file this next one under the pros, but it’s in actuality more of a neutral quality that you should be aware of. Your glasses will need two hours to charge (via micro-USB) and then they will have a battery life of eight hours, which is nothing to scoff at. I own a pair of wireless JBL headphones, and their battery life is 10 hours with much more space in them to house the needed technology.
CONS of Lucyd Loud
Now, from my last point, I can smoothly slide on over into the negatives section.
So, I told you that the battery life lasts for 8 hours, right? Well, they don’t exactly turn off when you take them off, nor is there a way to. Your battery is going to be draining weather you use them or not, so if you get your LOUDs as prescription glasses, then don’t throw away your normal pair as you’ll probably need to be charging your LOUDs a LOT.
I’ll file the micro-USB charging method under a con as well, as many have learned to expect wireless charging from things like smart glasses these days, but again, this could be bound to change after the beta.
Some customers have also reported the frames for being too snug on their face, inducing headaches. Of course, Lucyd does word the bulk of the frames as something that they’re looking to fix after the beta, but currently, as a large-headed person, I would stray away.
Now, what about the sound?
Well, here reviews are mixed. Some say that the glasses aren’t loud enough and some that they’re sufficient when it comes to playing music, but that Siri is too silent instead. However almost everyone has reported that when listening to music at full volume, the people around you will hear what you’re listening to. If you’re like me and have questionable tastes in music, or risque playlists, then you’re better off keeping the volume down. At max volume, you can also feel the glasses vibrate a little on your nose. This might not be a con for all, I suppose.
+ Wide variety of glasses to choose from
+ Good microphone quality
+ Connects to several devices through bluetooth
+ Come with a sturdy case for the glasses
+ Allow you to hear your surroundings and listen to music at the same time
+ Good price
+/- 8 hours of battery life
– Snug on the face, reported to cause headaches
– No changeable lenses
– Others can hear your music when you listen to it at loud volumes
– No wireless charging (micro-USB)
– Take two hours to charge
If you have the free money and are interested in bone conduction technology, then I’d say getting a pair of LOUDs isn’t the worst idea. You can always send them back if any of the cons affect you too much, and maybe try again once they’re out of beta.
If you do order them while they’re still in beta, make sure you give your feedback to the development team! I’m sure they’d be happy to know what they need to still work on and what their customers like.
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