I’m sitting here 30,000 feet above ground level, listening to remixes of old songs while tapping away at my computer. While the roar of the engines might not be silenced by the pair of Fanny Wang Earbuds pressed into my ears, nor is the sound blasting through their speakers anything to write about, they are comfortable and I haven’t even thought of removing them for the duration of the flight.
Fanny Wang Earbuds are a bit different when compared to the rest of Fanny Wang’s products, most of which are large, over the ear headphones. Did they do well by adding some diversity to their line of products or should they have stuck to their original formula? Overall, I’d have to say it’s a small step in the right direction, but the journey ahead is still monumental.
When I received my earbuds in the mail I ran back to my room and quickly unwrapped the box, eager to try the product. The box was larger than what most earbuds come packaged in, but not by much. Each box of Wangbuds resembles the earbuds held within, so since I got a red pair, the box I received was almost entirely red as well, with the exception of the white font (and a few minor things). The front features a close up of the earbud’s housing, the product name, a bit of “outstanding information” and lastly the FannyWang logo on the lower left corner. Overall, a really simple front face for the box. The backs and sides of the box have information regarding the earbuds, such as specifics like cord length, or merely brief descriptions about the product within.
INSIDE THE BOX
After sliding off the red casing and flipping open the magnetic top I was confronted with the headphones, neatly nestled into the black plastic casing. Lifting the plastic off revealed the included extras, which were three additional earbud tips, a storage bag, and the instructions for how to change the earbud tips.
The Wangbuds came with a set of “default” tips, and with the addition of the three extra ones in the box you have a nice degree of customization over how the earbuds fit into your ears. Each set of tips is a different size, marked by tiny letters on the silicone’s surface. There are large, medium, small, and super small, which is without the other sizes’ “earlocks”.
The design is smooth, clean and even rather sleek. I’d probably describe it as something with a rather modern feel, and the extra large buds are made in such a way that they don’t look overly awkward when worn. Even so, they do stick out more than other sets of earbuds, and the thick red wire can look somewhat out of place, especially since it’s most always curled up in some annoying way.
The design of the earbuds, at first, was very off putting. It was strange, to say the least, and there was no way I would’ve managed to wear them correctly on my first try. I looked through the few manuals and slips of paper included in hopes of finding some sort of instructions or tips for wearing the earbuds. Finding none I sat there and just repeatedly tried and failed for a few good minutes before realizing, what I believe is, the right way to fit them into my ear. There was also no labeling on the earbuds as to what was left or right, which threw me off initially, but I quickly realized the side with the controls on it was left, leaving the other bud to be right.
With that hurdle out of the way I was able to look at the rest of the earbuds, and there were a couple of things that worried me. The buttons on the left wire, might have looked good with the color and design scheme, but appeared flimsy or easily broken in some way. The play/pause button stood out, a glossy red plastic surrounded by the volume controls’ matte red. Merely looking at it I could already see myself trying to press pause on a song, only to raise the volume to NASA Rocket Launch levels. The other off putting feature were the earbud covers, four variations of which were included. Besides looking strange and being difficult to put on, it also seemed as if they would easily slip off the earbuds while, for example, taking the earbuds out of my pocket.
My suspicions unfortunately proved to be rather sound after extensive testing of the earbuds. The controls did end up breaking, with only the play and raise volume buttons working. Even then, the play button is finicky and will occasionally, when pressed, merely raise the volume more! Additionally, the earbud covers do end up getting loose and slipping off the earbuds. In fact, I’ve had a few occasions where instead of yanking the earbuds off my ears I pulled the earbuds off the covers, leaving the plastic casings lodged in my ears while the earbuds themselves flew out of my ears.
Well what about the sound quality? Right off the bat, I could tell the bass sounded pretty good, especially in comparison to the rather average headphones I normally use for my laptop. However, there was something bugging me about the sound quality, it seemed rather “distant” and muffled, as if I was listening to music playing in another room. I eventually came to the conclusion that this is because of the fact that the Fanny Wangbuds don’t rest in your ear canal, but right outside of it. This, while doesn’t help in giving the earbuds great sound quality, does provide great comfort, which I believe is the focus and strong point of the Fanny Wangbuds.
These earbuds are comfortable, really comfortable. I have worn them for hours on end without any breaks because it simply doesn’t hurt to. All other earbuds I’ve owned quickly grow to hurt and irritate my ears, but the Fanny Wangbuds don’t. That is their biggest appeal to me, and merely for that fact I wear them on a rather daily basis, especially during long sessions of music listening.
So while Fanny Wangbuds may not have the best sound quality or design, they are comfortable. If you’re interested in buying a pair, I highly suggest that you do so because you find most other earbuds irritating you and want a pair that won’t yet you don’t feel like moving to over the ear headphones. However, with a price tag of $70 I am quick to dissuade most from considering these earbuds, since you won’t find much else outstanding in a pair of Fanny Wangbuds.