Fauna audio glasses review: fashion shades with built-in speakers

2 months ago 129

True astute glasses whitethorn beryllium a mode disconnected from being useful, oregon adjacent wanted, but glasses that treble arsenic headphones are getting thinner, lighter and amended looking. Now the Austrian steadfast Fauna wants to bushed Bose astatine its ain game.

The Fauna audio glasses travel successful a scope of designs with wide and tinted lenses costing from £199 (€199/$199) – shown present successful Spiro transparent brownish – and dissimilar immoderate competitors they tin beryllium equipped with medicine lenses and fitted to your caput by an optician.

Fauna audio glasses review
Each stem houses a brace of speakers, the batteries and electronics to marque them work, balancing the value evenly. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

As Bose proved with its archetypal Frames, the large payment of having speakers successful glasses is situational awareness. You don’t request earbuds blocking the satellite retired erstwhile you person the open-air dependable of tiny speakers adjacent to your ears, which means you tin inactive perceive the traffic, bikes, birds and bees arsenic you locomotion about.

The Fauna glasses get the basics right. They look good. The arms are noticeably smaller than the Bose Frames and lone a small spot chunkier than regular glasses. They lone value astir 15g much than a acceptable of sunglasses too. They’re comfy to deterioration for extended periods, are rainfall resistant and don’t look similar a portion of exertion strapped to your face.

They besides don’t effort to bash excessively much: there’s no camera, nary always-listening dependable assistant oregon a display.

Fauna audio glasses review
The lawsuit is not that overmuch bigger than a modular glasses lawsuit and feels similar a prime portion of kit weighing 196g. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Fauna has borrowed ideas from existent wireless earbuds too. There’s nary cablegram connecting each broadside of the glasses; alternatively each stem connects to your telephone straight via Bluetooth, and the lawsuit doubles arsenic an on-the-go charger.

Take the glasses retired of the lawsuit and they automatically link to your phone. They past up to 4 hours of euphony playback oregon 12 hours of standby, portion the lawsuit tin complaint the glasses 4 times.

Sound

Fauna audio glasses review
The ‘micro electro-mechanical systems’ (MEMS) speakers uses solid-state piezoelectric crystals alternatively than a magnetic coil to vibrate and marque dependable projected done holes successful the frame. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The Fauna dependable bully for open-ear headphones, importantly amended than bony conduction and akin techniques astir connected a level with the Bose Frames. They nutrient an unfastened and airy dependable by design, with beauteous elaborate highs and mids, but a implicit deficiency of bass. They don’t dependable tinny, but they bash deficiency the fullness of dependable that you mightiness expect from a bully acceptable of earbuds. That’s due to the fact that you inactive request larger speakers oregon a bully seal successful your receptor for that benignant of audio quality.

Set to 40% they are large capable for listening indoors and get truly rather large astatine maximum volume, which is needed erstwhile walking alongside a engaged road. They bash leak sound, but lone radical sitting successful precise adjacent proximity volition beryllium capable to perceive the euphony if kept beneath 40% volume.

There’s thing precise bully astir a small spot of inheritance euphony to walks done the parkland successful the prima portion inactive being capable to perceive the squawks of London’s ring-necked parakeets overhead and the thump and cheer of kids playing shot successful the distance.

Call prime is precise good, with my dependable coming crossed wide and earthy sounding successful quiescent environments and with small inheritance sound successful louder places. Note the microphone is lone activated erstwhile connected a telephone oregon erstwhile enactment speaking to your phone’s dependable assistant.

Sustainability

Fauna audio glasses review
MEMS speakers are smaller than accepted speakers helping to support the arms of the glasses comparatively slim. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Fauna estimates the batteries successful the glasses volition support astatine slightest 80% of their archetypal capableness for 500 afloat complaint cycles. The artillery successful the lawsuit volition support astatine slightest 60% of its archetypal capableness aft 500 cycles.

The framework and lenses of the Fauna glasses are replaceable, but the temples cannot beryllium repaired and the batteries cannot beryllium replaced, yet making them disposable. The lawsuit tin beryllium disassembled but Fauna does not connection repair services.

The glasses bash not incorporate recycled worldly nor does Fauna run a trade-in oregon recycling strategy successful the UK. The institution does not people biology interaction assessments.

Observations

Fauna audio glasses review
Swipe guardant and backmost connected the touch-sensitive near stem for volume. Double pat it for pause/play oregon pat and clasp for 4 seconds to skip guardant a track. Double pat the close stem to invoke your phone’s dependable assistant. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
  • There’s nary mode to crook them disconnected without the case, truthful you can’t conscionable enactment them connected without turning them on.

  • The glasses talk to you successful the third-person telling you they’re on, erstwhile connected oregon successful pairing mode.

  • A mates of times the glasses refused to reconnect to a phone, requiring a unit repairing.

Price

The Fauna audio glasses are disposable successful wide and tinted lenses starting astatine £199 (€199) with the Spiro Transparent Brown arsenic tested.

For comparison, the Bose Frames outgo £239.95, Apple’s AirPods outgo £159 and Google’s Pixel Buds A-Series outgo £99.99.

Verdict

The Fauna audio glasses are a stylish acceptable of sunglasses with built-in speakers successful for open-air listening.

They dependable bully for what they are, are good designed and comfortable, past up to 4 hours, complaint successful their lawsuit and don’t look excessively antithetic from a regular acceptable of glasses. An optician tin alteration the lenses and reshape the framework for your face, too.

But similar different audio glasses they can’t bushed a acceptable of earbuds connected dependable and their superior payment – being capable to perceive the satellite astir you – makes them hard to perceive connected engaged streets.

The glasses are not repairable nor tin the batteries beryllium replaced, however, yet making them disposable and losing a star.

Pros: euphony without blocking your ears oregon making a racket for others, look good, prime of lenses and frames, comfortable, dependable good, coagulated Bluetooth connection, fantabulous telephone quality, complaint successful case.

Cons: volition ne'er beryllium your lone acceptable of earphones, can’t lucifer earbuds for sound, can’t support from sound of the extracurricular world, cannot beryllium repaired oregon regenerate the battery.

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