Nobody has done a better job than Dr. Dre at marketing headphones. The brand has enjoyed massive success not because they make a solid product, but because they’re selling a lifestyle. Now, Fanny Wang (not Vera Wang) has similar aspirations. Before we go into details, check our post on the best over-ear headphones.
Last week they sent me a pair of their 1001 headphones, which are an on-ear affair. They come in black, red, pink and white. And yes, they look very similar to Dr. Dre’s Beats. But to be fair, the company’s website even states that “Fanny Wang Headphone Co. takes the trend started by ‘Beats by Dr. Dre’ to the next level in terms of fashion, sound, and price.” With that said, other top headphones strive for the same recognition with their own unique designs, as you’ll see in our reviews of the California Loredo on-ear headphones, and the Harman Kardon beautiful sound CL on-ear headphones.
So the last thing they’re doing is pretending that their headcans are an absolutely original product. The same can’t be said for Gigabyte FLY on-ear headphones, but who’s really looking that hard? After all, the biggest form of flattery is imitation, and face it, this sort of thing happens in all sorts of consumers products, so it wasn’t difficult for me to overlook.
Related: Have a look at the Cowin E7 Pro review
Fanny Wang patent pending Duo Jack – click to enlarge
Included with 1001 is a rubber-like cord that can’t and won’t tangle if your life depended on it. While some might consider it a bit gimmicky, the Duo Jack is a handy feature, allowing you to share your audio with anyone with a pair of earbuds sitting next to you. And much to my surprise, this is actually a ‘patent-pending’ feature. Not even the top-end Sennheiser headphones have this feature!
Two hinges on each can allow the headphones to fold up and fit in the included felt pouch. It most certainly makes them more portable and while the pouch is a nice addition, it’s white and will surely soak up dirt like a sponge after a few months of use. Hopefully, they’ll see fit to swap it out for a black version in the future. The hinges seem sturdy and click into place when folding and unfolding. At first, I was unplugging the included cord from the headphones, but eventually, I just left it intact and wrapped it around the headphones. This made inserting the Wangs into the pouch a more streamlined process since I didn’t have to stuff the cord inside.
Related: If you are still not impressed, read the Ferrari By Logic3 Scuderia P200 Classic Black Over-Ear Headphones review
Perhaps it’s my ears, but I found the Wangs uncomfortable after 60 minutes of use. Enlarging the adjustable band partially alleviated this problem, but by the very design of my ears and these headphones, there was no other solution, with the exception of removing them for a few minutes. So if you’re built like me, you might want to consider their 2001s since those fit around the ears and don’t rest directly on top.
But, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that this isn’t the first pair of headphones to bother me. So I can’t chalk it all up to the design, but the padding is a consideration nonetheless, and Fanny’s isn’t the softest or most supple. Nevertheless, the 1001s were slightly more comfortable once I adjusted the headphones to the largest head size. Keep in mind, though, that I have a small head, so those of you who have a big dome, might want to try these on before you buy because chances are comfort will be questionable.
Inside these cans are 40mm drivers. So yes, they produce significant bass and for the most part output rich sound. As always I performed my tests with a wide variety of music, ranging from pop, to classical, to hip-hip, to flamenco guitar to some 80s tunes. Awesome sound? Yes, with one exception: with select music they struck me as a tad bright. Nonetheless, from a timbre, and range perspective, these headphones are nothing short of sonic awesomeness; no distortion with the full spectrum of sound delivered without loss in audio quality at any amplitude.
Headphones – scratch that – audio is as subjective as food. What tastes like blissful orgasmic nirvana to one person, might be overpriced bland crap to another; it just depends on your palette and your willingness to pay for it. Nevertheless, Fanny Wang’s 1001s are well built, look relatively cool (even though they take a many a design cue from Dre), and boast sonic abilities that keep them on par with, if not above the competition.
Bottom line: The 1001s are not the most comfortable headphones, but they sound great, you’ll just need to be able to deal with the $169.95 price tag and the Beats by Dr. Dre-like look.
A few retailers on Amazon sell them for $149, $20 below their MSRP.