Oakley Thump review: Oakley Thump

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CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars Good
  • Overall: 6.7
  • Design: 6.0
  • Features: 7.0
  • Performance: 7.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Great sound; excellent earpiece design; USB 2.0; plays DRM-protected WMAs; rechargeable battery; they're sunglasses!

The Bad Stiff and awkward controls; shockingly expensive; cheap plastic feel; so-so battery life.

The Bottom Line If you can afford it, the Thump is just about the coolest thing you can put over your eyes and ears.

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Oakley Thump

We've seen audio players built into headphones and we've seen audio players built into pendants . The Oakley Thump is the first audio player we've seen that's built into sunglasses--and we hope it's not the last. Though it's priced like a high-end iPod and designed more for function than fashion, we can't help loving these shades, which feature UV protection and impact resistance. You will, too, especially if you enjoy spending time outdoors.

The very idea behind the Thump's design is ingenious, but the execution is mixed. For starters, we were pleased to find that we could wear them over regular eyeglasses, though obviously it felt a little weird. With or without glasses, the Thump fits snugly enough that you can exercise without fear of them bouncing around or flying off your head. Plus, there isn't a cord to get in the way.

The earbuds are highly adjustable and are able to raise, rotate, and extend to fit just about any set of ears. Although they're not padded, we found them to be much more comfortable than most earbuds because they don't have to be mashed into your ears to stay put. We also liked the flip-up lenses, which make the Thump more suitable for indoor use (and make the wearer look even sillier).

On the other hand, the Thump's frame has a decidedly plastic feel to it--a concession, no doubt, to the need to make them as light as possible (and at 1.8 ounces, they're reasonably light), but still a disappointment given the high price tag. Thankfully, Oakley offers colors other than the boring matte black, including Rootbeer, Tortoise, and White Camo. Color choices vary depending on whether you choose the 128MB or 256MB model; the latter has the bonus of polarized lenses.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Nov 1, 2004
  • Color light gray
  • Supported Digital Audio Standards WMA
  • Installed Size 256 MB
  • Sound Output Mode stereo
  • Type sunglasses with digital player
  • Run Time (Up To) 6 hour(s)
  • Capacity 256 MB