Let’s be honest: MP3-playing sunglasses are never going to catch on in a big way until they look just like a normal pair of sunglasses. Who wants a pair of bulky, strange-looking shades that will scream GEEK at anyone encountering you on the beach.
Oakley’s new Split Thump sunnies are getting closer to that point, with integrated controls and detachable earpieces reducing the embarrassment factor. However, they’re pretty expensive: in the US, you’ll have to pay $249 for a 512MB pair, rising to $399 for a 2GB model.
Honestly? I’d still rather have a normal pair of sunglasses, and maybe buy a waterproof casing for my iPod. But compared to the first attempts at MP3-shades, the Split Thumps are a step in the right direction. Even if the name could do with a bit of a rethink.