Take a minute to recall the glory of the early 2000s — frosted tips, terrible fashion, and the advent of MP3 players to replace your beloved Walkman. The Oakley THUMP was the first audio player built into a pair of clunky, rechargeable sunglasses that were, in typical Y2K fashion, not cute at all. But if you had your hopes up for audio compatible eyewear, the dream isn't dead yet.
Zungle Panther is a pair of sunglasses that step up the game significantly with built-in bone conduction speakers that transmit sound waves to your skull with vibrations.
For one, the sunglasses actually look like something you'd want to wear. They have a stylish frame, similar to the Ray-Ban Wayfarer, and come in five different colors with replaceable UV400 lenses. Even with the added speakers and battery, they are surprisingly lightweight at 1.5 ounces. Charging time is expected to be less than an hour with a micro USB port.
Plus, the Panther's tiny embedded bone conduction speakers are a bit of a tech marvel (and also super metal, though they aren't sponsored by Dog the Bounty Hunter). The Panther's speakers are located at the ends of each leg of the frame, and sit snugly behind your ear, where sound can best be transmitted to the skull and still received by your eardrums.
According to their Indiegogo page, the bone conduction system boasts sound quality comparable to regular earphones but while still allowing you to hear external sound, a feature that might appeal to runners or bikers who want to play tunes but also keep their ears open.
Since they are Bluetooth compatible, you can listen to any music app you regularly use on your smartphone and make and receive phone calls on the go. Expected to ship in February of 2017, you can preorder the Zungle Panther now for $120 each on their Indiegogo page.