Review: Myvu Shades made for iPod Edition

I’ve really been looking forward to trying out the Myvu Shades made for iPod edition.  I’ve always had some techno-lust for wearable computing, and I love the idea of being able to enjoy watching the old Dungeons and Dragons cartoons without people making fun of me.  Keep on reading for my thoughts.

At first glance, this feels like a lot of cables for such a seemingly simple product.  The glasses themselves have cables coming down from the back of each arm which terminate in a connector block.  About midway along these cables are a pair of magnetized clips, which helps prevent these cables from getting too much in your way.  You plug the connector block from these cables into a little dongle, which has a four-way rocker and a button.  This is the power brick for the glasses, as well as the on/off button.  Into this dongle you plug in the cable that ultimately connects to your iPod.  (You can also get other cables to connect to other media sources.)

As you can see in the photo above, there are two teeny little displays alongside your nose.  When powered on, the display image is just a shade below the center of your vision.  This is nice, in that it allows you to view the real world around you without too much effort.  This is not so nice in that you need to intentionally focus downward to watch Bobby save Uni from the evil Venger yet again.

The image quality itself is extremely nice: bright colors with few, if any, motion artifacts. The earbuds produce fine audio quality, although they felt a little big to me.  It’s no small investment of time to get these shades out, connected, and positioned though, so it’s not something you’ll do while waiting in line at Starbuck’s.

Bottom Line

I found it extremely uncomfortable to focus my vision down on the image.  Truth be told, I’d rather look at an iPod display screen: at least there I can place the device in a comfortable position. At $199, I can’t see these flying off the shelf.  If you regularly commute by train or plane, it might be a worthwhile investment, if you have the cash to burn.

We’ve reviewed other Myvu products here and here and none of the other models have been quite as problematic as this one. Try before you buy is our advice.