The Fauna Audio Glasses are stylish, comfortable to wear and come with one of the nicest charging cases I’ve ever seen. If all you want is a pair of glasses that allow you to listen to podcasts then you’ll be set, but the device falls short where audio quality is concerned.
- Very stylish
- Comfortable to wear
- Great option for podcasts
- Sub-par audio quality
- Finnicky touch controls
- Persistent pairing issues
- UKRRP: £249
- USARRP: $299
- EuropeRRP: €249
- CanadaRRP: CA$
- AustraliaRRP: AU$
Maintain spatial awareness while listening to music
Available as sunglasses or with blue-light filters
Water- and dust-resistant with an IP52 rating
Fauna has attempted to bridge the gap between tech and fashion with its new range of audio glasses, primed to deliver discreet music and podcast playback in a stylish package.
Until the pandemic, I would never have considered picking up a product like the Fauna Audio Glasses. Having to deal with a daily London commute, I was a firm believer in noise cancellation, which is the reason the likes of the Sony WH-1000XM4 have always held an appeal. These days, however, it’s a different story. In needing to keep an ear out for the doorbell while also being available for occasional chit-chat with my fiancée, I’ve all but left noise cancellation behind.
Instead, I’ve been testing out the Fauna Audio Glasses – which, I’ll admit, have proven incredibly useful for listening to music and podcasts without taking away an awareness of my surroundings. There’s more to discuss beyond the glasses fitting an immediate use-case, so here’s my final verdict on whether they’re a good option for most people.
- Come with blue-light filter lenses, or as a pair of sunglasses
- Comfortable to wear for long periods of time
- The included charging case sets a new bar in style
Full disclosure, I do not wear glasses. If you do, I’m sure you’ll have more specific tastes about the type of frames you prefer. However, approaching the Fauna Audio Glasses from an outsider’s perspective, they’re a stylish accessory.
There are four types of Fauna glasses available (two for men, two for women): Spiro Transparent Brown, Fabula Crystal Brown, Memor Havana and Levia Black. The first two options are sunglasses, while the remaining two utilise blue-light filter lenses. For the purpose of this review, I was sent the Memor Havana option with blue-light filters, which became a handy pair to wear while working at my laptop.
After getting over the initial shock of having glasses on my face, I did come to enjoy wearing the Memor Havana glasses while out and about. With this design specifically, it’s hard not to image Clark Kent wearing them to hide his ‘super’ identity, since the rims do a great job of highlighting your facial features, without being overbearing.
The sections at the temples are chunkier than you’d find on a typical pair of glasses, but this is because they’re housing the speakers that deliver audio. Still, I never found the glasses to be uncomfortable, and unlike a pair of over-ear headphones, I could wear them for long periods of time without fatigue.
Circling back to the design, the Fauna glasses are packaged with a charging case that looks absolutely brilliant. The case is dark-green and inside is a white enclave with a USB-C port and four LED indicators for battery life info. This case is one of the nicest I’ve seen, and the small orange Fauna tag on the side completes the aesthetic effortlessly.
- The Fauna App lets you set audio reminders
- Pairing can be a nightmare
- Finnicky touch controls
As the name implies, the Fauna Audio Glasses aren’t concerned with anything hi-tech in the world of AR; their aim is to give people a means of listening to songs or podcasts on the go, while retaining spatial awareness. There are some smart features in the accompanying Fauna app, however.
Via the Fauna app, you can set up audio reminders known as Whistles, all with the intent of establishing healthier habits. These Whistles can remind you to drink water or fix your posture, and each comes with a distinguishable tone.
The Whistles are a great idea, particularly since they go beyond the typical use-case you’d expect from this type of product. I only wish there were more of them, or even the ability to have specific audio cues for various phone notifications. Luckily, Fauna implores its users to share new ideas with the company, so the opportunity to send your own suggestions is only ever a few taps away.
In keeping with the stylish design, there are no buttons on the Fauna Audio Glasses. Instead, you’ll find touch controls on the outer side of the frame at the temples. The inputs themselves feel intuitive – double-tap for playback, slide forward and backward on the left temple for volume control – but they don’t always react as you’d hope.
Throughout testing, changing the volume was a breeze, but trying to get music to play/pause typically took around three or four attempts for the instruction to register. For whatever reason, I had more luck summoning my smart assistant when double-tapping on the right temple. What really hampered the experience, however, was a multitude of pairing issues.
Upon initial setup, the Fauna glasses wouldn’t pair fully with my phone, instead offering to pair either just the right or left speaker. A hard reset bypassed this issue, but it resurfaced twice more through testing, which was a huge annoyance as the instructions on performing a hard reset aren’t particularly easy to find.
The Fauna Audio Glasses also provide control over your calls, with two microphones on the device that let you place and answer calls on the go. Mic quality is fine, although I found that playback on a voice note was a tad too quiet for my liking.
The glasses come with an IP52 rating, so they can withstand some ingress of dust as well as water spray or droplets – but don’t expect them to survive a trip into a body of water.
Fauna claims that the Audio Glasses offer about four hours of battery life, and with real-world testing that appears to sell the glasses short. At medium to low volumes, I switched between music and podcast playback for roughly six hours before the battery required a charge.
Given the amount of real estate the Fauna glasses have to work with, I was disappointed that battery life couldn’t quite top some of the longer-lasting true wireless earbuds such as the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1.
- Songs with multiple layers come across poorly
- Highs are easy to pick up, but basslines are almost indiscernible
- Handles podcasts without issue
Having grown accustomed to over-ear headphones and true wireless earbuds, I was sceptical about the audio quality of something that doesn’t make direct contact with your ears, but the Fauna glasses do just enough right to avoid being a write-off.
Don’t get me wrong, you certainly won’t be hearing your favourite tracks at their best – the Fauna lack any discernible bass, and hectic tracks such as Rise Against’s The Violence almost become lost in their own sound. Luckily, high notes come through with just enough clarity that you can still enjoy playback without feeling too hampered.
Since the Fauna glasses do a good job of projecting vocals, I’d more easily recommend them as a device solely for listening to podcasts. Being able to work at my laptop, listening to a discussion as the blue-light filters kept harmful light at bay, the Fauna glasses came into their own.