You’ve been staring at your computer screen constantly for the past twelve months and, chances are, even if you didn’t know what Zoom was last March, you definitely know what it is now. Your eyes are tired and you’re sick of muddy audio. Razer wants to fix that with their newest release – Anzu Smart Glasses.
What Is It?
Like Bose Frames and Amazon Echo Frames, Razer Anzu is a Poindexter-chic pair of black framed eyeglasses with 16mm speakers and an omnidirectional mic built into each arm. They ship with 35% blue-blocking lenses installed that can be swapped out with an included pair of polarized sunglass lenses.
Razer Anzu comes in two sizes, S/M and L, and in two styles, rectangular and round. There are no additional colors other than black (yet).
How Does It Work?
Razer Anzu is a refreshingly simple product. Pair it via Bluetooth with your device, then whenever you unfold the glasses, it automatically connects. That’s it. There’s no 16-million colors to cycle through or profiles to load (or Synapse app to deal with). Watching the pairing in action, it happens quite quickly and is relatively seamless.
There’s an action button on both arms that you can use to answer calls, play music, and activate your voice assistant. What’s even better is that you can use the mobile app to map different functions to either button. Though you’ll need to manually switch Anzu back to your laptop when you have your next video conference – the Anzu can’t pair with multiple devices simultaneously.
Audio is handled via true-wireless speakers in either arm. Razer’s brought its 60ms low-latency audio to the Anzu, ensuring that there won’t be a lag between what you see and what you hear. There’s no wire connecting the arms inside the frame, making the Razer Anzu frame a bit more flexible than the Bose or Echo frames.
The omnidirectional mic and open-ear design works well to give you a more natural conference experience. Rather than the “trapped in a bubble” feeling you get with earbuds or headphones, taking a conference call with the Anzu is more like having a conversation. You get the benefit of having the call on speaker, but you don’t have to blast the volume since the speakers are right next to your ears.
The frames are IPX4 water resistant (splash proof, essentially) and are charged via a two-pronged magnetic cable (the downside of being truly wireless is that both sides have to be charged independently). You should get around 5 hours of battery life from each charge and Anzu shuts off automatically when you fold the frames. Standby life on the battery is 14 days.
The 35% blue-blocking lenses will be fantastic for everyone that’s staring at their screen all day and Razer assures me that the frames are built to withstand multiple swaps between them and the included polarized 99% UV-blocking sunglasses. For those of you that need prescription lenses, Razer has teamed up with Lensabl to offer a 15% discount.
Should I Get It?
At $199, Razer Anzu is $50 less than its competitors, has true wireless capabilities, blue-blocking lenses, and extra sunglass lenses included. Really, the only possible reason not to get the Anzu instead of one of its competitors is style. Razer has gone for a very neutral frame with its first offering, avoiding colors altogether. And the arms, while at least shapely, are still a bit bulkier than other smart glasses.
Performance-wise and overall value-wise, Razer has the other guys beat. They’re the low cost leader in this burgeoning market (not something that I can say about Razer often). I think Razer Anzu is going to define what comes next. Personally, I hope that this foray into wearables is successful so that the possibility of that incredible face mask becomes more of a possibility.
You can get Razer Anzu at Best Buy or directly from the Razer website starting today.