Friday, November 16, 2012

Sanpei Optics G.I.Y.A. Sunglasses Preview/Review

Two weeks ago, Sanpei Optics announced the availability of their G.I.Y.A. and I.M.I.O. sunglasses. These aren't your typical sunglasses, though. These glasses feature removable earbuds built into the glasses. They sent me a pre-production G.I.Y.A. to check out. Since this is not the final product, please remember that this sample is not an exact copy of the final product. Read on to find out if they are practical to use!

The G.I.Y.A's lenses are polarized and UV protective. They have slight greenish tint.
Stylish and sporty would be two apt ways to describe the G.I.Y.A. I would say that it looks more masculine than feminine.

These sunglasses are adjustable in two ways. First, you can adjust the length of the temple bar. Second, a hinge in the middle of the temple bar swivels to be straight when worn as regular sunglasses and to be angled down when worn with earbuds. When adjusting the temple bar and swivel to wear with earbuds for the first time, it’s a trial and error process to get the right fit.

Build Quality
The pre-production sample I received doesn't seem to be overly sturdy. The “skeleton” of these sunglasses feels more flexible than I would like it to be. However, the people at Sanpei optics told me that the final product will be of higher quality.

Sound Quality
The sound quality is exactly what I expected it to be: average. They sound noticeably “warm” and have little bass. Honestly, they sound like something you could pick up at Walmart for $20. If you decide you would prefer to use Apple earphones, they are also compatible with the GIYA.

I think a majority of people who buy the GIYA will be use these mainly for exercise. They probably will not be bothered by the sound quality while exercising!

When worn as regular sunglasses, the earbud holders on the temple bars pinch my skin. When the earbuds are in place, wearing the sunglasses is more comfortable.

Having earbuds built into sunglasses means that the earbuds won’t fall out. Ever. This makes them great for exercise.

While it has some build quality issues that will hopefully be fixed in the final version, the G.I.Y.A. sunglasses is a decent product. I’m not sold on the concept of sunglasses with built-in earbuds, however. Aside from keeping the earbuds in place, I don’t see a major benefit of the sunglasses/earbuds combo.

Product Info

Price:Starting at $90 for sunglasses and earbuds combo
Manufacturer:Sanpei Optics
    Sporty and stylish, keeps earbuds in place  
  • Trial and error adjustments, uncomfortable as regular sunglasses 

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