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Sunglasses MP3 Player
Portable Audio/Video Players | First Looks
Sun 15 Jan 2006



One For The Outdoor

 


Circuitry and controls are located on the right stork.


Lenses can be flipped up when not needed.


A single USB jack for charging and data transfer.

If the once specialized gadgets such as mobile phones and compact digital cameras can now boast MP3 playback functionality, so too can the humble sunglasses be equipped with the same audio playback capability. Given the pervasiveness of portable audio players, the arrival of such sunglasses is frankly not shocking. However, given that most pioneering attempts at new products with multiple functions have been disappointing so far, instilling strong product confidence for the Sunglasses MP3 player is not going to be an easy task. We got a pair for trial, so read on to find out our impressions on it.

Blocks 100% of all UVA, UVB, UVC and Harmful Blue Light

For a lifestyle product, the packaging is regrettably disappointing to say the least, as it's certainly not going to help raise the aesthetic appeal of the product. However, once the unflattering packaging was factored out, the encouraging qualities of the Sunglasses MP3 player soon shone through, starting with none other than the pair of lenses. Unlike your regular cheap flee market variants that are merely darkened plastics that decrease the intensity of every object by the same degree, the Sunglasses MP3 player sports polarized lenses that function to eliminate glare effectively while protecting the eyes and retinas from the damaging ultraviolet rays of the sun. Also contributing to the comfort of the Sunglasses MP3 player are the wraparound design, the lightweight frame and the head hugging storks, which are just right for a snug fit; neither too tight nor too loose. The result is a pair of sunglasses that can be worn confidently for hours on the trot, which means one less concern for the more active folks.

Not All That Different

Thanks to the miniature components required for MP3 playback, integrating music capability onto the frame did not require engineers to compromise on the functionality, styling and weight of the Sunglasses MP3 player.

While not much could be done to the pair of earphones sticking out like a sore thumb that break the smooth, continuous contours expected of sports sunglasses, we still commend the design team for an admirable job in housing the battery, circuit board and wiring into the frame to achieve MP3 playback without the sunglasses looking like an unsightly pair of safety goggles.

As Easy As Drag and Drop

No additional drivers or software are needed to upload tracks onto the built-in flash memory, which basically works like a standard thumb drive in storing data and music files via a simple drag and drop process in the Windows interface. From the list of files loaded, MP3, WMA and WAV files are automatically filtered out for playback, regardless if they were stored in individual folders or the root directory.

Three weatherproof rubber buttons and a tiny LED indicator on the right stork provide all the operational controls of the Sunglasses MP3 player, ranging from powering on/off the unit to track navigation. Since the LED indicator is the only visual element around, it is crucial that users learn about the flashing patterns of the LED through the user manual to interpret the status of the player at any given instance.

Closing Thoughts

Audio quality was a surprise package, sounding better than originally expected in clarity and response, even if reproduction on the whole was a little on the bright side. So there you have it, the Sunglasses MP3 player has proven that it can hold its own as a pair of sunglasses and as a respectable digital audio player too. Sports lovers, beach goers and the likes could certainly do with a pair - if only it was priced more affordable than the US$328 commanded by the 512MB version.

Product Specifications
  • Supports MP3, WAV & WMA audio formats
  • USB 2.0 Interface
  • Built-in 3.7V, 150mAh Lithium Ion Battery
  • Recharging Time: 3 Hours
  • Battery Life: 6 hours
  • Earphone Output Power: 5mW
  • Signal-to-noise Ratio: 87.2dB
  • Earphone Impedance: 2 x 16 ohms
  • Dimensions: 172 x 160 x 40mm (D x W x H)
  • Weight: 52g