Oakley’s Thump MP3 sunglasses, now available in 256MB and 512MB versions, ably serve the dual purpose of keeping sun out of your eyes while putting music into your ears. Check out this photo.

They do have a sort of Riddick-like appeal. But are they cool enough to justify spending $400-500 on an undersized MP3 player and a pair of sunglasses?



Well, uh, the built-in MP3 player does provide good sound. Its ear phones, mounted on a very adjustable piston and hinge system, can be positioned just over your ears so that you get the close-in sound of an earbud without the annoying feeling of plastic in your ear. It’s easy to load MP3s from your computer—just connect the glasses and drag the files to the Thump folder like you were copying to an external drive. Windows users can even transfer purchased WMA tracks to the device, though you’ll need Windows Media 10.



The Oakleys come in a range of styles, and include many standard Oakley features, such as XYZ optics, which allows for contoured lenses without distortion; Plutonite lens material that blocks 100% of all UVA, UVB, UVC and harmful blue light; and impressive shock resistance. Two models with 256MB capacity also have polarized lenses, including the “Red Camo Lil Jon” signature version—at $550, they’re the most expensive model.



Okay, so you can’t imagine spending $550, or even $400, on high-tech sunglasses, especially ones you can’t wear in many situations and, also especially, ones that you suspect make you look dorky. How about $200? That’s the lowest priced pair of the cheaper iZon Digital sunglasses (available at izonstore.com), which lack Oakley’s reputation for eyewear but nevertheless have a decent-sounding integrated MP3 player that’s just as easy to load up on your PC. Instead of adjustable ear phones, the iZon has standard earbuds dangling from short wires, but at a distance the two pairs of sunglasses are practically indistinguishable.



If $200 still sounds pricey, I’m with you. They’re fun, but they’re also funny, and by that I mean funny looking. The woefully unhip won’t be getting any cred for these, but Oakley and iZon sure hope they try.



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