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MP3 Players

Oakley Split Thump: MP3-enabled shades are back. Again.

Trendy shade-maker Oakley has uncloaked its new Split Thump sunglasses. Like previous Thump models, they have an MP3 player built into their stylish frames, but will anyone care?

Oakley's new Split Thump sunglasses may look like a normal pair of Oakley shades, but like previous Thumps, these come with an MP3 player built in. The idea behind the design is that a lack of wires means easier exercise. True, as long as you only ever exercise outdoors and in the sun. Using these in an indoor gym will make you look like a pretentious cretin. Wearing them outside when there's no sun will also make you look like a pretentious cretin.

Still, support for MP3, protected and unprotected WMA, AAC and WAV is pretty decent, and eight hours of battery life is about what we'd expect.

The new Thump model comes in 512MB, 1GB and 2GB versions with earphones built into the frames. They're not too bad to look at but is there really any need to go to these lengths in the name of convenience? iPod shuffles are popular choices for gym-goers and workout obsessives, and companies like Shure fit modular earphone cables into their designs to cater for such people.

We don't have high hopes for the Thump since its usefulness may be confined to times gone by. But, if you think there actually is a use for them, or if you're a bit of a poser and want to shed your shuffle and wear shades indoors, you'll be able to pick these up for between $249 (£119) and $399 (£191) when they're released "soon" (Oakley's wording, not ours). -Nate Lanxon