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May
03

Gadget Review: Oakley Thump Pro

Oakley Thump ProI’ve thought about buying a pair of Oakley Thumps for a couple of years now but have talked myself out of it because they were too:

  1. Expensive
  2. Heavy
  3. Short on memory
  4. Likely to be used while cycling

The new Thump Pro version takes care of a few of these objections.  Enough of them, in fact, to compel me to pull the trigger on trading a swipe of my credit card for a pair.  I’ve had them for a couple of weeks now and I like them a lot.

Capacity is up to 1GB which, while not huge, is enough to cover the need for tunes during whatever sport you’re up to.  They’re also a bit lighter.  In fact, they feel pretty comfortable, even wearing them while bouncing around on a bike.  They do not feel like a pair of regular sunglasses, though.  You feel the additional heft and size almost always.  It’s just not obtrusive.  Oh yeah, they’re still not cheap.  You could buy a truckload of 1GB MP3 players for the price of these things.

So why buy them?  In my case, corded headphones can be a bit tough to manage on a bike.  More than once, I’ve dropped an earbud which immediately threaded it’s cord through my spokes or crank.  It’s amazing how fast small electronics components can be eaten by pointy objects spinning at 100 RPM or so.  And yes, I know that it’s dangerous to ride a road bike while listening to music and blocking out the sound of traffic around you (thus my fourth objection, above).  You’re not my mother.

There are two nice features that I really like about the Thump Pros:

  1. There is zero complexity to managing songs and playlists on the device.  Once plugged in (through mini USB as God intended all devices like this to use), the device looks like a disk drive to the operating system.  Just copy the files you want over to the device.  No special software no fancy syncing, just drag and drop.  If you want a playlist, create a directory.  Couldn’t be easier.  If you want to use music management software, that’ll probably work too (I used J. River Media Center and it worked great), but it’s not required.
  2. The earbud things are connected to the glasses with one swing arm and two almost-universal joints giving the user the ability to position them almost anywhere in space.  If you’re ears are like Dumbo’s or Spock’s, they’ll fit.  I like the flexibility because it makes them easy to quickly move out of the way when you’re trying to here the Peterbuilt coming up quickly on your tail and because they help keep the glasses firmly planted on your head when you push the earbuds closer to your brain.

Having lost most of my hearing at concerts in the 70s and 80s, the volume isn’t quite as high as I’d like, but it’s more than reasonable.  So far, I’m likin’ ’em.  My long rides have been more fun and the Doobie Brothers are even helping me ride a little faster.

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 May 3rd, 2007  
 Will  
 Gadgets  
   
 9 Comments

9 Responses to Gadget Review: Oakley Thump Pro

  1. Hey,
    Be sure to check out the “Overdrive” Feature. Essentially this feature allows you to instantly call up your favorite song when you are about to hit that big hill and need that extra motivation to power you up it.

    To do it just create a directory on the THUMP Pro labeled, “Overdrive”. Drag-n-Drop your favorite Doobie Brothers song (or any other song you might want) into that new folder. Then when you are about to hit that hill just reach up and press the “Play/Pause” and “Fast Forward” buttons at the same time.

    It’s an awesome feature. That’s my favorite part about it.

  2. Hey,
    Be sure to check out the “Overdrive” Feature. Essentially this feature allows you to instantly call up your favorite song when you are about to hit that big hill and need that extra motivation to power you up it.

    To do it just create a directory on the THUMP Pro labeled, “Overdrive”. Drag-n-Drop your favorite Doobie Brothers song (or any other song you might want) into that new folder. Then when you are about to hit that hill just reach up and press the “Play/Pause” and “Fast Forward” buttons at the same time.

    It’s an awesome feature. That’s my favorite part about it.

  3. LOL, this one got me will. I’ve experienced both the cognitive dissonance associated with breaking my own “rule” about headphones on the bike. I’ve also been there, off my bike, looking dumbfounded into the cassette at the sheared, greasy/white headphone cord packed in the teeth.

  4. LOL, this one got me will. I’ve experienced both the cognitive dissonance associated with breaking my own “rule” about headphones on the bike. I’ve also been there, off my bike, looking dumbfounded into the cassette at the sheared, greasy/white headphone cord packed in the teeth.

  5. I’m finding that I still can hear *most* of the traffic around with the Thumps on, although certainly not all of fit. During the first few rides I found my neck was bothering me a few hours after getting off the bike. I assume it’s because I’m looking behind me more.

    It sure is nice to have music on rides when/where I’m by myself, though . . .

  6. I’m finding that I still can hear *most* of the traffic around with the Thumps on, although certainly not all of fit. During the first few rides I found my neck was bothering me a few hours after getting off the bike. I assume it’s because I’m looking behind me more.

    It sure is nice to have music on rides when/where I’m by myself, though . . .

  7. This is the first time I commented here and I must say that you give genuine, and quality information for other bloggers! Good job.
    p.s. You have a very good template . Where did you find it?

  8. This is the first time I commented here and I must say that you give genuine, and quality information for other bloggers! Good job.
    p.s. You have a very good template . Where did you find it?

  9. I might buy the Thump because my ears can’t hold the normal earphones. It slipps out because my ears so..I think this eyeglasses with mp3 player installed into it would be prerry neat. The downside would be the storage justl like you said. Is there any way for it to be expanded?

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