Noise, the homegrown wearable brand has made its mark in the market, and is one of the first choices for buyers in India looking for a wearable in the earbuds or smartwatch space. Noise is known for its value-for-money wearables, and competes with several other brands from India and abroad.
Now, Noise has expanded its wearables lineup with a new initiative Noise Labs that will bring new-age smart gadgets for users in India. The first product from Noise Labs, the Noise i1 smart glasses, marks the homegrown brand’s entry into the smart eyewear category. The Noise i1 were launched back in June at a price of Rs 5,999 in India and are available for purchase on the Noise website (gonoise.com). The Noise i1 smart glasses are a made in India, and have been launched in a single black colour option. Noise gives replaceable lenses – one clear lens, and one with black shade and if you have an eyesight issue, you can also put your prescribed lens on the Noise i1.
The concept behind these glasses is simple – it is a homegrown rendition of the Bose Frames that offer the ability to listen to music and take calls straight from the eyewear. Now I used the Noise i1 for some time and replaced my usual pair of sunglasses with this “smart glass” to see if it is any useful and if something like this can actually replace sunglasses in the daily life. Here are my thoughts:
Design wise, the Noise i1 come with a Wayfarer design and shape, with giant temples that also hold the speakers, mic, battery, touch controls, connectors, and more. On your face, the Noise i1 look like any other pair of wayfarer sunglasses, if you’re looking from the front. The side profile is also pretty normal, unless you look at the pair really closely and notice the bulk on the temples. In terms of looks, it is pretty decent and I was able to wear it in public without any eyeballs coming my way. Nothing unusual.
However, the weight of the Noise i1 is nicely managed, but wearing it for longer hours, you feel the weight and bulk on your ears, which is not what people want in the everyday eyewear. I didn’t wear the sunglasses for more than an hour at once, and while it was never uncomfortable for me, it felt like wearing Noise i1 for longer periods of time will make my ears hurt. However, the weight is still well-managed and the Noise i1 weigh almost as much as your usual pair of Ray Bans (maybe even less). The bulky temples are the only thing that may give people doubts, otherwise its a pretty normal and safe design from Noise.
FEATURES AND USABILITY
Coming to features and usability, the Noise i1 has speakers on the bottom of both temples. The smart glasses can be connected with your phone via Bluetooth, and there are mics on the inside of the temples for you to take calls without having to pull out your phone. The touch controls are marked by a simple dot on each left and right temples, and there are bunch of controls to use the touch panels. To play/ pause music or answer/ hang up calls, users can double-tap the touch panel, to skip song, touch and hold the right temple, touch and hold left temple for previous song, and so on.
The speakers on the Noise i1 offer a rather average audio experience, if you compare it with TWS earbuds or any other audio product out there. However, for a sunglasses frame, the audio quality turned out to be quite decent, according to me. Ofcourse, in a noisy environment you won’t hear much, since the speakers are placed on the frame’s temples, but in a closed or quiet environment, you can actually hear details in your music. You can feel the bass and the mid/lows on the Noise i1 speakers, which is pretty good. The quality can be argued for, but the details are there. However, for the purpose of listening music, this is not a very good device, since the audio is not going in your ears directly and if you are in a public transport like a metro or a bus, or even a flight, people sitting next to you will be able to hear the music, so its not exactly the best device to listen to music.
For taking calls, the Noise i1 make much more sense. We are wearing sunglasses almost all the time if we are outdoors in a sunny environment. Being able to take calls straight from those sunglasses without having to take out your phone is an idea almost everyone can get behind. But what about the quality? Well, the mic on the Noise i1 is good enough to allow you to take calls. Again, this works best when there is less disturbance, but the mic is decent and I was able to talk properly without much issues with this mic. Further, tapping your eyewear to take calls and speaking without having any other device on you is a pretty cool thing to do.
The Noise i1 are the first-of-a-kind smart eyewear product from Noise. For a first-attempt, Noise has done a decent job in bringing a complete product, and it does what it is made for. The design is great and one of the best things about this is that you can wear these glasses anywhere and you won’t look out of place (something we have witnessed with similar products in the past). In terms of usability, the Noise i1 may not be the best product for either listening to music or taking calls, but of course, being able to answer calls straight from your sunglasses definitely feels super cool.