Anton D. Nagy contributed to this review of Razer Anzu.
It seems like I’ve become the resident smart eyewear reviewer here on Pocketnow, but I’m fine with that – because the category just keeps growing. The latest is from a company that may be uniquely equipped to develop its own type of lifestyle product technology. So let’s put it on! These glasses on my face are from Razer and are the Anzu Smart Audio glasses. This is our Razer Anzu review.
Leave it on, leave it on
While the most popular of the smart glasses categories are usually sunglasses, Razer chose to target the everyday WFH user who could play games on the side. The lenses of the Razer Anzu in the two different shapes, both of which come in different sizes, can be replaced with shaded glass, but are originally designed with blue light blockers to ensure more comfortable screen life. In my case, of course, I had my rectangular Anzu glasses shipped to a service called Lensabl to put in prescription lenses with similar coatings that reduce glare and add blue light filters. It took me a while to finish my glasses, but I’m glad I finished them because they have become my everyday glasses.
That’s because Razer made the right decisions to make this pair an easily accessible and easy-to-carry frame. Compared to other smart glasses with thick frames that match the thick temples, the Anzu keeps its frames a little thinner so they blend in much better with the overall look. A direct look at me wouldn’t reveal the technician hidden in my arms until, of course, I look more to the side. Razer kept things minimal and so their glasses fit together just enough.
There are a few other ways that Razer has taken to make these glasses easy to wear – the weight of the glasses is less than any other pair I’ve used, and there are rubber pieces on the ends of the arms that the Goggles give hold. Stay open. I added a couple of pads to the nose piece for added safety, but even without them the glasses won’t slide off as easily as others.
And the final reason these glasses are easy to wear all the time is because we found the battery life to be impressive during our Razer Anzu review. 5 hours is what Razer claims, which sounds decent in terms of wireless audio, but it’s actually pretty good in terms of glasses. The battery divides the function between the two arms as they work like wireless earbuds and therefore need to be charged separately. It might seem strange for you to charge your glasses every night, but plugging them in before bed is easy – it’s just that the Y-cable is a new little layer on top.
Simple but too simple?
To ensure the technology doesn’t compromise comfort, Razer made many of the right considerations. The same applies to the control experience, which takes place via touch-sensitive areas on the temples. A small bump can be felt and this is where the push and hold is intentional – you can play / pause, skip tracks and activate your voice assistant. That’s about as much control and extra functionality as you get in typical true wireless earbuds, and that’s fine – because it keeps things from getting too complicated.
But there comes a point where it just morphs into “slightly constrained” – you can already see this in the Anzu app, where you can customize the buttons and then get some sound EQ options – all of which really don’t change sounds like a lot. That’s it.
And after all the praise you have given me from Razer for your design choices, I have to admit that the design may not seduce many of you who want your one-of-a-kind glasses to look one of a kind too. It’s all black no matter which version of the glasses you get, and even then it’s all shiny plastic. Still, I have no doubts about the build quality of the Razer Anzu. In fact, these glasses have the IPX4 protection rating, so that they work perfectly even under sweaty conditions in the gym. But like other smart glasses, it doesn’t matter what they can do if you don’t like the look as they won’t make it on your face at all.
A smartphone speaker on your face
This could be a shame as audio glasses are quite fun and practical to be honest. It’s important to remember that sound quality will never be as good as something you put over or in your ears – but then again, it doesn’t try to be. The drivers boom out of the speakers facing down towards your ears, allowing personal audio to strike a balance between the speaker in your phone and the earbud burrowing into your ear. The sound is loud enough and decent enough to work for certain content genres. I’ve found that they work best with spoken word content like podcasts and audiobooks. So when I’m on the go and want audio in the background, it’s always ready. To that end, video and voice calls during our Razer Anzu review period were great because when someone calls, it’s just a matter of recording and speaking naturally – the sound that comes to me is good for conversation and the microphones in the temples are doing this good job of capturing my voice for anyone on the other line. And in all scenarios, keep your environmental awareness as this is as open as an open headphone can.
The best way to look at, or better hear, the Razer Anzu is to compare it to your smartphone speaker. You won’t get booming bass because the drivers aren’t in your ears, but it will be loud enough to enjoy the usual content you might have from your speakers anyway. This is why the focus on games makes sense because if you are like me and often play Wild Rift or other mobile phone games without headphones, now audio doesn’t have to bother anyone anymore and it’s just for me. Think of all the content that you could consume the same way and the Razer Anzu only makes it more personal and accessible as the glasses are already on your head and ready to play. When the battery is charged, of course.
Granted, the smartphone speaker analogy also has its drawbacks: Razer is nowhere near the Bose offerings when it comes to creating a sound bubble that makes the Bose Frames a compelling example of audio glasses. And so the Razer Anzu has a problem with sound leaks that can make it clear to anyone that you’re hearing something. You’ve seen me use glasses in the gym in the past, but in this environment the already loud noisy environment drowns out the leak just enough that no one noticed I was listening to the Bill Burr podcast while lifting. But there is still something to consider if it is important to you to let your sound penetrate other people’s listening room. It’s better than a smartphone, but it doesn’t get rid of it entirely.
Carve the new category
Since I had to go through the thought process of choosing new glasses with a slight visual impairment, I came to the conclusion that technology and fashion do not usually mix with each other, but they should be viewed side by side Another. The Razer Anzu costs $ 199 alone, which seems a bit steep for anyone who doesn’t even need a blue light filter and already has a pair of truly wireless earbuds. But then prescription lenses can cost an additional $ 100. All in all, that’s the price for high-quality premium fashion glasses. We could get to a point where putting audio technology into the temples of RayBans, for example, doesn’t drive the price up too much, but right now the give and take of technology and materials is evident. It’s something we often see in gadgets – you choose the technique or you choose the look.
To wrap up our Razer Anzu review, I can understand why many of you are still wondering why the technology is in this new category of wearables in the first place, unless you think the Razer Anzu will suit your style. It’s fun, practical, and darn easy for the first time – but it’s still such a niche that I may be the only person you know who uses it every day.