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I thought I'd try something unique this time round, and chose the MP3 sunglasses from NU-a good companion on my daily bike commute, I thought. Here's about my month with the shades… nothing earth-shattering, but interesting nevertheless.
Opened up the nice black pouch the glasses came in. The pouch has an inner lining to protect them from damage. My first reaction-"sleek!" I was expecting to see something like Oakley Thump, the first sunglass-MP3 player combo; these are much better-looking. The package includes an additional pair of brown lenses and the USB cable. I would have loved to see ear buds included, though.
The controls, as well as the LED indicators, are located on the right stalk of the glasses. While the earphones on the Oakley Thumps are attached to a small stalk, NU does it with small coiled wires-good; adds that extra bit of flexibility. Unlike most clones, the Dark Shadow has good build quality-it doesn't feel cheap.
There's definitely the cool factor-"Hey, look at me with my shades, and I've got the music on as well!"
Got down to putting some music on the player before leaving for office. Connected the device to my PC; it was instantly detected. With USB 2.0 in action, file transfer didn't take much time. I was off in no time.
When I got on my bike, though, I was in for a rude shock; with the sunglasses on, the helmet simply refused to slide down, and with the helmet on, I wasn't able to position the earphones properly. The only way out seemed to be to not wear the helmet! If you own a Ninja helmet from Studds, you won't face such a problem. Or, you can wear your helmet loose.
A great thing about these glasses is that they are polarised, and cut off glare from oncoming vehicles. As far as the music quality is concerned, I think it's decent; the bass isn't punchy enough, though. The volume is high enough to reduce disturbance from the surrounding noise-now if only the headphones were noise-cancelling!
To be realistic, an FM tuner would have been a welcome addition.
The model I've been using has 256 MB of memory-not quite large enough to store my entire collection (!), but good enough for the daily commute. Models with up to 1 GB are available, though.
The battery is an internal lithium-ion, and though I don't require it, I found that it lasts eight hours. It can be charged via the USB port or the optional power adaptor, which can be purchased separately.
Thus far, I've been using the thing on a regular basis, and it's working out good to cut down on the boredom of travelling. But here's the downside to the whole concept: at office, using it as an MP3 player fails miserably-sitting in front of a PC wearing sunglasses looks terribly funny!
Just for the heck of it, I changed the dark black lens to the brown one. Interchanging them is a simple matter of pulling them out, but it needs to be done carefully-else you could break the plastic lens. The brown lens looks much better with the dark frame.
Overall, I think the NU Dark Shadow sunglasses MP3 player is a nice product. The thing is, realistically, you can only use it outdoors-and only in the daytime. Imagine lying in bed with sunglasses on-what would your mom think if she saw you?