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Oakley’s MP3 Sunglasses Get Upgrades

Oakley’s latest generation of MP3 sunglasses features removable speakers, boosts memory capacity to 2GB, extends battery life to eight hours and comes in a new design that includes larger control buttons integrated into the company’s O icon on each side of the frame.

The Split Thump is smaller than its predecessors and is Oakley’s first product compatible with iTunes software.

The new Split Thump features an “active lifestyle-inspired” design that contrasts with the “sports-inspired design” of the Thump Pro sunglasses, the only other MP3-playing sunglass in the currently Oakley line. The new model is available in three capacities: 512MB at $249, 1GB at $299 and 2GB at $399. They were scheduled to be in stores Nov. 26, joining the Pro model in 1GB, 512MB or 256MB versions at prices from $249 to $349.

The new model sunglasses are available in a variety of frame and lens colors.

Oakley, the supplier and retailer of outdoor apparel and accessories, also improved on the new model’s sweat-resistant design and added an “overdrive” feature that lets wearers access a favorite song with one touch if the song is placed into an “overdrive” folder when they transfer music from a PC via USB 2.0 cable.

Like before, the drop-down speakers are fully adjustable for precise in-ear positioning, but now they’re also removable to make them wearable throughout the day, not just when listening to music. The Square O icons on both sides of the frame double as control buttons, with the icon on the controlling volume. The icon on the right controls play, fast-forward, next song, rewind, previous song and pause. Simultaneously pressing fast forward and rewind activates shuffle mode.

They’re compatible with such PC music-management software as iTunes, Windows Media Player, WinAMP and others, making it unnecessary to load Thump-specific software.

Like before, the sunglasses play MP3, unprotected AAC, protected and unprotected WMA, WAV and Audible files. They aren’t compatible with subscription-based WMA downloads.

An 18-bit Sigma Delta digital-to-analog converter) delivers a signal-to-noise ratio greater than 87dB.

As sunglasses, they offer UVA and UVB filtering and optional Iridium lens coating to cut glare.

The supplier and retailer of outdoor apparel and accessories sells its MP3 sunglasses through electronics, sporting goods and sunglass specialty stores and through owned-and-operated Oakley O and Oakley Vault stores, which sell the company’s full range of products.

The company’s first MP3 sunglasses were shipped in 2004.