Zungle Sunglasses Review
Zungle is a sunglass manufacturer that has created a lineup of unique sunglasses that come with built-in bone conduction speakers that deliver sound waves into your skull through vibrations. Here’s our review.
What Is Zungle?
Zungle is a sunglass manufacturer that recently released a product called the Zungle Panther. Those sunglasses come with bone conduction speakers. These unique speakers deliver sound into your skull through vibrations. You can clearly hear music when wearing the sunglasses – even though there’s absolutely nothing in your ears.
The Zungle Panther sunglasses were recently launched on Kickstarter, where they’ve already surpassed their $50,000 funding goal many times over. To date, the company has reached a total of over $400,000 in funding and they still have 23 days to go. They reached their $300,000 funding target in just 6 days.
The Panther sunglasses connect to your phone via Bluetooth, at which point you can play music or answer calls through the sunglasses just like you would with any Bluetooth device.
At first glance, the Panther sunglasses look just like a normal pair of sunglasses. They may be a little thicker than ordinary sunglasses, but not in an overly noticeable way.
In a promotional video produced by Zungle, people on the street were told to put on the sunglasses, then their reactions were filmed as they heard music – despite the fact that there were no headphones or earbuds in their ears. The looks of shock and amazement tell you everything you need to know about the technology. You can watch the video here.
This noise delivery system isn’t some wizardly or space technology (although it is very cool). It’s the same technology Google uses on Google Glass.
The sunglasses are priced at around $100 for one pair. Zungle is expected to ship the sunglasses out beginning in November 2016.
How Do the Zungle Panther Sunglasses Work?
The Zungle Panther sunglasses look like ordinary sunglasses, but they hide all of their connective technology inside.
Inside the frames of the sunglasses are a microphone and Bluetooth receiver. You wear the sunglasses, connect your phone via Bluetooth, and then can communicate with your friends or listen to music without whipping out your phone.
Meanwhile, the sound from the sunglasses is delivered into your ear using bone conduction speakers hidden within each end of the frame.
Other key parts of the sunglasses include a “jog dial”, which is a small dial button placed on the right leg of the sunglasses. You can use this dial button to control all the key features of the sunglasses.
There’s also a hidden USB port which is located at the end of the “leg” of the sunglasses. You know how when you fold up sunglasses, you expose a new face of the sunglasses on the tip of the leg near the lens? Zungle hid a USB port in there. That’s clever.
Meanwhile, the other leg of the sunglasses features a battery. That battery stretches down the length of the device. Zungle claims you can enjoy 4 hours of music playback with maximum sound output after just one hour of charging.
The sunglasses are also waterproof.
How Do Bone Conduction Speakers Work?
Bone conduction speakers may seem like wizardry, but they’re actually a relatively straightforward technology. They’re also not nearly as modern as you think. In fact, the first person to discover bone conduction was Mozart, who used bone conduction technology in the 18th century. Mozart, the famously deaf composer, found he could hear music through his jawbone by biting a rod attached to his piano.
Today, bone conduction speakers create “ear-free listening” by delivering vibrations directly into the bones in your ears.
You see, when you listen to ordinary sounds, your ears convert those sounds into vibrations, which are transferred into your brain via vibrations in your inner ear. Bone conduction speakers basically skip this step by delivering vibrations directly to your inner ear.
The end result is that you can still hear everything around you – but you can also listen to music or talk on the phone.
Audio Bone headphones does a better writeup of the technology behind bone conduction speakers here, but that’s the main idea behind it.
Zungle Panther Pricing
The Panther sunglasses are currently only available on Kickstarter, where you can order pairs today to get them by November 2016. Sunglasses start at $89, although all the $89 packages have sold out. Here’s how pricing works out:
- Super Earlybird Pack (1 Pair in Any Color): $89
- Earlybird Pack (1 Pair in Any Color): $99
- Basic Pack (1 Pair in Any Color): $109
- Double Pack (2 Pairs in Any Colors): $198
- Triple Pack (3 Pairs in Any Colors): $285
- Penta Pack (5 Pairs in Any Colors): $450
- Deca Pack (10 Pairs in Any Colors): $850
- Mega Pack (100 Pairs in Any Colors): $8,000
On Kickstarter, the Super Earlybird and Earlybird packages have both sold out already.
Zungle claims the final retail price will be $150. The sunglasses can be shipped anywhere in the world.
One neat thing about the Zungle Panther sunglasses is that you can also replace your lenses with Oakley Frogskin lenses. So if you have some of those lying around, or if you want to customize your Zungle look, then you can do that using your Oakley Frogskins.
Ultimately, Zungle Panther sunglasses promise to help you “wear the beats” using nifty bone conduction technology in Bluetooth-enabled sunglasses. The stylish sunglasses have already created a buzz online and blew past their Kickstarter funding targets in days. You should hear more about the sunglasses in the very near future – like when the sunglasses start shipping out to Kickstarter backers in November 2016.