Oakley Thump 2 Hands-on

This image was lost some time after publication.
This image was lost some time after publication.

I had just finished my third slice of pumpkin pie when the FedEx man came to my door bearing gifts. "What is this malevolent fortune," I asked, "What evil could be ensconced in such a non-assuming box?" I tore it open and gasped, a bolus of turkey and cranberry rising in my gullet.

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It was the Thump 2, the offspring of the much-maligned Thump which, as we all know, went great with a bottle of Cobra and a mullet. What fiend dare intrude upon my post-Thanksgiving torpor with a pair of potentially NASCAR-inducing sunglasses?

Much to my surprise, however, the retching stopped. I have seen quite a few bad ideas in my day, and the Thump 2s are actually acceptable at first glance. They made me look kind of badass, you know?

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UPDATE - Live test.

I'm all for any improvement on the standard workout combo of HD/flash-based player and wired headset. I've tried the Plantronics Pulsar 590 and a few other wireless headsets and some of the nicer built-in flash players, but I've always gone back to the Shuffle/earbuds combo.

This image was lost some time after publication.
This image was lost some time after publication.
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The package itself is pretty clean: a nice big box, foam inset with the CD glued to the top of the box, a little manual, and a handy carrying bag. The styling was quite a bit more techie and less bio-techie than the original Thump, which was a relief, and the install process was a one-click affair, as expected.

This image was lost some time after publication.
This image was lost some time after publication.
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Mac compatibility kind of started me off properly, making me quite happy. A twee Thump icon appeared in iTunes and I did a little jig. Unfortunately, the player didn't accept songs from the ITMS without significant DRM strippage, but it's nice to know I have the option.

This image was lost some time after publication.
This image was lost some time after publication.
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I'm going to give these a go later today in the 22-degree cold of the streets of Brooklyn, but until then, please stare at my slowly burgeoning double chin.

UPDATE - Just got back from a run and I can honestly say I forgot I had these on, which is good news. Sure, I looked like a rock hard super freak ninja, but the audio was excellent and the sunglasses were... well... sunglasses. The thing loaded very slowly via USB but once I got it going, it was very intuitive and the big rubber buttons were easy to find. I'll give it a few more tries, but if you like the shades, then the MP3 player is a nice bonus. Otherwise, maybe stick with the MP3 player/headset combo.

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Product Page [Oakley]

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