If we've learned anything from Beats by Dre, it's that adding a little bit of style to an audio product goes a long way. The people will pay for it. But is there room for more than one purveyor of premium, fashionista cans? Fanny Wang intends to find out.
What Is It?
A $300 pair of active, noise-canceling headphones.
Who's it For?
Frequent travelers who need big, comfortable, noise-canceling headphones. Oh, and anyone who'd buy expensive headphones just because they look cool.
Giant over-the-ear headphones that weigh nearly a pound. The leather earpads are luxuriously plush.
The AAA-battery-powered noise-canceling makes the entire world inaudible, even when there's no music playing. A three-way switch on the right earcup toggles the noise-canceling and the thumping bass boost.
The Best Part
Lovely sound. Much better than expected.
$300 is a lot to pay for an item made mostly of plastic.
This Is Weird...
Fanny Wang, the fabled designer of this product, doesn't exist. It's a made-up name, chosen for its stylish Asian sound. It's so exotic, er, and weirdly suggestive! Do you want butt, genitals, and headphones? I LOVE ALL OF THOSE THINGS.
• In case it isn't obvious, these headphones are trying to be Beats. That's not necessarily a bad thing, except that the price tag is also identical.
• Fanny Wang is a funny, hokey name. Fanny Wang.
• These headphones have great detail, resolution, and imaging. When you flip the switch to bass boost they're about as good on the low-end as any comparably-priced headphones we've heard. When listening to female vocals over guitar with noise-canceling on, the headphones still sound full and satisfying, but you'll hear slight interference and some high-end distortion caused by the active electronics.
• The plastic headband snapped during a stress test twisting the cans back and forth.
• The headphones are comfortable enough to wear all day.
• Given how big the Fanny Wang 3001s are on your head, they fold up into a relatively small package to fit in the carrying case. Still, these are being billed as travel headphones, and they're pretty bulky to throw in a bag every day.
Should You Buy It?
If you're looking to buy headphones for aesthetic reasons, you're probably already considering Beats. Deciding between those and the 3001s is a matter of taste. In terms of sound quality, the Fanny Wang 3001s are really pretty nice. But for $50 more, you can get truly spectacular noise-canceling cans: the AKG K495 NCs.