Fanny Wang 3001 Noise-Canceling Headphones Review: Phat Sound, Phony Fashion

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.

Design

Giant over-the-ear headphones that weigh nearly a pound. The leather earpads are luxuriously plush.

Using It

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.

Tragic Flaw

$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.

Test Notes

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.

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Fanny Wang 3001

• Price: $300
• Battery: Two AAA batteries
• Drivers: 50mm
• Weight: 13.5 ounces
Gizrank: 3