Oakley Thump 1.0
- Quality sound, excellent and comfortable earphones, drag and drop files from PC
- Expensive, low storage, buttons awkward and difficult to press, no playback options
The Thump has surprisingly good sound and a real 'wow' factor. But the price is ridiculously high and we just can't justify spending so much on such a low storage MP3 player.
Price$ 599.00 (AUD)
The Oakley Thump is basically two products combined into one: sunglasses and a small, flash-based 256MB MP3 player. The result of the fusion is a MP3 player with quality sound that is recommended for those who spend a lot of time outdoors and don't want the hassle of carrying around another device.
Surprisingly, the best feature of the Thump was its excellent sound quality. We weren't expecting much in terms of MP3 playback, but Oakley has clearly provided a quality MP3 player and excellent earphones as well. The earphones are adjustable in just about every aspect-you can rotate them, extend them and raise them to ensure they fit into any set of ears. If you spend time adjusting them to suit your ears, they are very comfortable and best of all, there are no wires to get in the way.
Unfortunately there are no playback options, like repeat or shuffle. There are only five buttons on the unit: Previous Track, Power/Play/Pause and Next Track on the right-hand side, and Volume Up and Volume Down on the left. We found the buttons required a fairly stern press to activate and not all of our presses registered on the device.
The buttons are made out of rubber and we feel that they would have been more efficient had they been plastic like the rest of the unit. There is also a red LED light directly underneath the Power button, and this flashes different signals during charging and when it is connected to a PC for file transfers. Oakley has included equalisation settings, which you cycle through by pressing the two volume buttons simultaneously, but there is no way to tell what they are or how many there are with no screen present.
The lenses on the Thump are UV Polarised and they can be flipped up, so you can still listen to music while indoors or where there is a low level of light. While this sounds like a handy feature, it is simply not recommended--either for style or function. For those who use reading glasses, attempting to fit the Thump over the top is an uncomfortable hassle.
The all-plastic frame on the Thump is a concern given the price tag. In fairness, this keeps the glasses on the light side, at only 52 grams, but for the asking price, you could expect more than plastic. The unit we reviewed was matte black, but the Thump is available in other colours including rootbeer, white camo and tortoise. Colour choices depend on whether you choose the 128MB or 256MB model (the model we reviewed was 256MB).
Transferring files from your PC to the Thump is easy: simply plug in the USB cable and the device will appear as a removable drive. Then it's just a matter of dragging and dropping your music files onto the unit. The Thump supports MP3, WAV and DRM-protected WMA files, which means you can play music purchased from online stores (after a firmware update).
Battery life on the Thump is below average, with the unit lasting about 6 hours during testing. The battery is a built-in lithium-ion model that charges via USB when connected to your PC.
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