The likelihood of water mixing with oil is very improbable because of the chemical composition of both of these liquids; Equate that same theory with the infamous internationally renown Oakley eye wear giant and one of the top telecommunication icons, Motorola teaming up and perhaps you’re left scratching your head.
However, in as far as technology is concerned, these two companies have managed to blend high end eye wear with hands free bluetooth wireless technology, with the O ROKR PRO sunglasses ($249). Oakley eye wear is widely known for it’s exacting durability and craftsmanship and sets the standard by which all other sporting and leisure eye wear companies emulate (think professional cyclist Lance Armstrong and more than a few professional baseball players that have several pair of Oakley’s in their collection).
Admittedly so, I was somewhat initially skeptical as to whether such a feat could be successfully accomplished in meshing the aforementioned technologies together but my suspicions were somewhat laid to rest, after feasting my eyes on my test pair of O ROKR PRO’s. These sleek looking
blue tooth wireless sun glasses had me chomping at the bit to take them through it’s phases! Alas, no more wires to compete with while working out or on the go!
Weighing 49 grams, the O ROKR PRO supports a Hands free- Headset experience; meaning that it’s compatible with MP3 players and cell phones that have these features (please first check the specifications on your devices to verify this). For iPod users, seeking to wirelessly stream their music to the O ROKR PRO, you’ll have to purchase an adapter ($49).
Other specifications include Bluetooth 2.0, backward compatible with 1.2, a music response of 20 Hz, a Telephony Frequency Response of 300 Hz, 5 hours of battery life when fully charged, an integrated rechargeable Li-Ion Polymer, over 100 hours of Standby Time, a Radio Frequency of 2.4 GHz, GFSK and a built-in USB (Mini-B) cable connection. The O ROKR PRO’s are available in Polished Black/Grey and White. For this review, I used my Blackberry 8300 and my Best Buy Insignia bluetooth enabled mp3 player.
My unit came with a wall charger that included two international wall adapters, a hard copy of a Quick start guide, a USB AC wall charger as well as a User Guide CD which proved to be a tad more comprehensive and a soft storage pouch.
The O ROKR Pro is constructed out of sturdy durable polished and shatter proof plastic (per Oakley) and the lenses can be changed to accommodate other Oakley lenses or one can have these babies fitted with prescription lenses. A pair of retractable speakers adorn the left and right bottom stem of the glasses, and 3 function buttons (per right and left side) align the top stem of the the glasses. The rechargeable USB battery compartment is located on the right under belly of the glasses and is cleverly hidden by a rubber cover.
After fully charging the O ROKR PRO at the suggested 3 hours (Motorola claims a fast charge can be achieved at 80% capacity in 1.5 hours), I was ready to roll! My Insignia Blue tooth player as well as my blue tooth enabled Blackberry 8300 were able to easily discover the O ROKR PRO within seconds! Turning on the O ROKR PRO is achieved by pushing down the call button which is the second button located to the left (on top of the glasses), and an indicator light located on the lower right side turns from amber to green. Hence, letting one know that the glasses are on. Pressing down on the same button continuously turns the glasses off (you’ll hear a series of 3 short beeps).
Using my mp3 player with the O ROKR PRO, wasn’t bad once I became familiar with the control buttons on the glasses. To the right of the glasses the first button is the fast forward/next song button, the second button is the play/pause button and the third button is the fast backward/previous song button (got that?). On the left side the first button on the top is the volume up button, the second button is the call/on-off button and the third button is the volume down control button.
Listening to music on the O ROKR PRO, proved to be a rather pleasant experience. Even at the maximum volume level, the music was crisp and never distorted and I could still hear most environmental sounds around me and the response time was immediate when using the fast forward or fast backward and play pause buttons (no lag time). And while I was not expecting a cornucopia of a mighty sound explosion, I think the over-all quality of the way music sounds on the O ROKR PRO is acceptable at best.
My cell phone calls via the headset of the O ROKR PRO, were on par with other blue tooth units that I’ve reviewed and used. Nothing spectacular stood out. The over-all sound quality of the calls was pretty good and using the answer call button button on the O ROKR PRO was dead-on. If anything, because of the positioning of the control buttons on the O ROKR PRO, I was concerned that the buttons would stick, but that never happened, even after I repeatedly pressed on the buttons after about two weeks of daily use.
After using the O ROKR PRO’s in extreme sunlight and the rigors of a few gym workouts, I was expecting the frame and the electronics within the O ROKR PRO to wreak havoc. However, to my chagrin and ultimate delight, I was pleasantly surprised that the O ROKR PRO worked without nary a problem each time I used it with my mp3 player or blackberry!
I should point out that Motorola and Oakley suggest that the O ROKR PRO is not to be used in severe weather conditions such a thunderstorm and that safety precautions should be taken when using O ROKR PRO in an outside environment.
All in all, my overall experience in using the O ROKR PRO, is a pleasant one. However, the price could be a little overwhelming to some with its rather exorbitant price tag ($249) but we must not forget this is an item marketed towards those with bigger wallets. Even so, the fact that the optional iPod adapter is not included as a free accessory (I mean, there are quite a few iPod users out there) is a little cheap! Oakley/Motorola does offer though two slightly less expensive bluetooth enabled eye wear; The O ROKR (starting at $199), and the RAZRWIRE (which starts at $125). However, lastly, if price is the least of your concerns, and you want quality eye wear coupled with bluetooth technology, then a pair of Oakley’s will fit you just fine!
Good sound quality with music and phone calls, durable and sturdy craftsmanship, button controls work without encountering problems, detachable lens and can be accommodated to fit prescription lens. The standby and charge time exceeded what was listed in the documentation. Efficient and excellent product manual that included a hard copy of the Quick Start Guide.
A little tougher to market to the average consumer with its high price tag. No free iPod adapter if you do shell out the bucks.