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Fanny Wang On-Ear Wang Review

Pros

  • Good sound quality
  • Sturdy construction
  • Stylish design

Cons

  • Fairly expensive
  • Better sounding, cheaper alternatives

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £149.95
  • Duo jack for sharing music
  • Stylish, durable construction


There’s no way on Earth we’re going to let this one slide by
unnoticed so, please, get your chuckles out of the way: yes, these headphones
are really from a company called Fanny Wang, and are assuredly called the
On-Ear Wang Headphones. Got it out of your system? Good, because while the name
might be a bit of a joke (whether on us or them we’re unsure) the On-Ear Wang
headphones definitely aren’t.

Fanny Wang


Those familiar with the Monster Beats range of headphones (reviews coming soon)
will notice a striking familiarity between the On-Ear Wangs and the Monster
Beats Solos, and that’s no co-incidence. The Wangs are, to put it mildly,
somewhat inspired by the Beats, launched with the same claim of bringing
quality audio to the fashion headphone market. However, despite the aesthetic
similarities the Wangs aren’t that much alike the Beats, and are redesigned both
internal and externally to produce a significantly different product.


The outer casing is made from solid plastic, and feels very
durable, but the glossy, wavy finish is perhaps not as classy-looking as the
matt coating on the Beats. Contrarily, the headband is a little better than
that of the Beats, its larger surface area distributing weight over your head
more. The choice of red, white or black means that if you are looking at the
Wangs as a fashion accessory, you’ll be able to match them to your outfit -
always an important consideration, we find.


Also ‘inspired’ by the Beats is the earcups’ mounting
mechanism, which rocks in a ball and socket-like arrangement, giving good adjustability.The metal ratcheting mechanism for adjusting the headband isn’t our preferred
option – we’d rather see a self-adjusting system such as that of the Philips
The Stretch
or AKG Q701 headphones (among others). The Wangs’ headband sports
hinges, which allow them to fold into a more compact space for transport. These
lock into place securely, and their metal construction feels strong enough not to break in normal use. A soft bag is provided for transporting the Wangs about, although we started using a more childishly amusing word for the
Wangs’ protective sheath.


We like the use of a removable cable, especially this thick
and durable-feeling one, as quite frequently they can break well before your
headphones, and it’s obviously much cheaper to buy a new stretch of wire than a
new pair of £160 headphones. One interesting quirk of the supplied cable is its
Duo Jack, which provides a headphone jack about a third of the way from the 3.5mm
connector, letting you share your music with another person (or more, if you
chain a few of these – we hooked up six sets to one iPod nano without any blindingly obvious loss of quality). Having spent our fair share of time on busses ‘enjoying’
music blasted out of some ruffian’s mobile phone it’s an addition we can’t
encourage the proliferation of enough


For all the outward design flair, it’s the internal design
of the On-Ear Wangs that really impresses. Where the outside is fairly similar
to the Beats Solos, the titanium-coated drivers in the Wangs are different,
and the results are almost night and day. Where the Beats can provide a good level of
detail and clarity that gets hidden underneath a glutinous layer of bass, the
Wangs offer a full and rich bass response, but one that doesn’t mask the rest
of the frequency range.




That said, the Wangs are still fairly bassy headphones,
which work best with music where a noticeable low-end bias is a benefit not a
distraction. Throw on a bit of Kanye, for example, and the full basslines won’t
overwhelm his vocals, and Outkast’s utterly sublime Hey Ya sounded great. Obadiah
Parker’s acoustic cover of that same song, however, wasn’t such an entertaining
experience – it’s a rendition best appreciated though a flatter set of
headphones (say, the AKG Q701’s if you can afford them).




Similarly a play through of Foo Fighters latest album,
Wasting Light, showed some of the Wangs strengths, especially on the incredibly
heavy track, White Limo, on which Dave Grohl’s voice thunders out with almost
intimidating force. Here a low-end emphasis arguably gives the track more power
and presence – although we’d question whether that’s needed.




We’re not quite convinced that the Wangs are the saviours of
the fashion headphones industry – they’re still a little too expensive for our
tastes (better value than the competition isn’t the same as good value) and you
can get better sound from cheaper, perhaps less stylish, alternatives brands
such as Grado, Sennheiser, AKG and Beyerdynamic, to name but a few. However,
they look pretty sharp, and they’re significantly better-sounding than many fashionistas so if you are
after a fashion headphone, they’re almost certainly your best bet.




Verdict




Compared to rival fashion headphones such as the Skullcandy
Aviators
and Beats, which have put the fashion well ahead of the headphone, the
Fanny Wang On-Ear Wang headphones are a refreshing change. Stylishly designed,
and well made, but also with good sound quality; the only issue is the price -
it’s a little too high for our tastes.

Trusted Score


Score in detail

  • Value 6
  • Design & Features 8
  • Sound Quality 8

Features

Type On Ear (Supra-aural)
Noise Cancelling No
Microphone No
Inline Volume No
Number of Drivers (Times) 1x
Modular Cabling No
Remote Control No
Frequency Range 10Hz - 20,000Hz

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