You can’t fault Oakley for perseverence. A couple of years ago, Tech Digest awarded the firm the coveted ‘Chav Gadget of 2005’ award for its Thump MP3 sunglasses. But since then, Oakley has been refining the design, to the point where its new Thump Pro pair look like something Bono might wear. Look, that is progress, honest.
The glasses, which come in 1GB, 512MB and 256MB versions, have the digital player built into the frame, so there’s no dangling wires to get in your way. A single charge gives you six hours of music (enough for even the most freakishly-fit fitness-freak), and support for MP3, AAC, WMA and Audible file formats.
The Thump Pros’ speakers are fully adjustable too, so you can position them to fit your ears, while the frame is apparently sweat-resistant too, to stop your expensive shades slipping off into the gutter.
Plus, there’s all the high-definition optics and UV-filtering you’d expect from a pair of Oakley shades, along with a rimless design that doesn’t block your downward view – apparently important when running or cycling.
Best of all, the Thump Pros measure less than an empty CD case, so they won’t weigh you down while trotting/pedalling along. Okay, so they’re pricey – the 512MB version has just gone on sale at Advanced MP3 Players for £274 – but at least they don’t look embarrassing.