Audio wearable brand, Fauna, has finally launched its audio glasses. The new speaker-powered spectacles will take on the likes of the Bose Frames in a move that once again brings the worlds of high fashion and high tech ever closer together.
We first heard of Fauna back at IFA 2019. I tried a very early prototype back then and was pleasantly surprised with both the design and sound quality. Unlike Bose, Fauna appeared to have created audio eyewear that was actually comfortable to wear and fashionable. Now, two years later, the final product is ready for a market launch.
These are the first audio glasses without large, chunky temples. They actually look and work like real glasses too, protecting the wearer’s eyes from the sun or blue light. The standard lenses provided can also easily be exchanged for prescription lenses by an optician due to the frames being made of natural acetate which can be heated and fitted by a professional. In theory, at least, you could use these as your daily glasses.
Two versions of the Fauna eyewear are available, a Spiro Transparent Brown pair of sunglasses and the Memor Havana glasses with blue light filter lenses. Both models are compatible with iPhone 5 or later and Android 6.0 or later and use Bluetooth 5.0 with a range of up to 10 metres.
Talk to me about sound quality
When I tried these back in 2019, the version I tested was still a very early prototype. It would not have been fair to judge the sound quality completely based on that experience, but I left the Berlin trade show optimistic about what Fauna was working on.
The audio module in each temple and each module includes a patented MEMS micro speaker, an electrodynamic speaker, a touch-pad, associated electronics and a battery. Two microphones are also integrated into the right temple with beam-forming and echo cancelling. The frequency bandwidth is from 250 Hz to 20 kHz.
Fauna says its Audio Glasses are unique and pioneering on the market due to the audio technology and sound direction, claiming that the sound travels directly to the users’ ear without major leakage. The idea is that you will not disturb colleagues or others nearby, and no one else will be able to hear any music, a podcast, or your private phone call. In addition, wearers will always be able to perceive the surroundings and hear what goes on around as the ear canal is not obstructed making them safe to use when outside and crossing roads.
The Memor Havana model includes replaceable Zeiss DuraVision BlueProtect lenses which reduce blue light exposure from computers and phones which is proven to affect the circadian rhythm and cause poor sleep before bed. The Spiro model includes replaceable Carl Zeiss Vision sun lenses, protecting eyes from UVA and UVB rays. Both models are (IP52) water and dust resistant and come with a two-year warranty.
Battery life and charging
The battery for both versions provides up to 20 hours standby and more than five hours of music, voice assistant, or phone calls, according to Fauna. There's a 100 mAh battery in the glasses and a 1,300 mAh battery in the charging case, providing an additional five chargers. Charging time is two hours for a full charge.
What's really interesting about the charging case, however, is the way the glasses connect to the charger. The connectors are hidden in the hinge of the glasses, meaning there's no cable to connect as we've seen on other audio eyewear models. These charge the same way true-wireless headphones do, and that's cool.
The Fauna Audio Glasses charging case connects via Bluetooth with a smartphone or PC; a specific app is not required. The glasses are controlled by touching and swiping on the temples. The glasses remain lightweight despite all the electronics inside, with both versions weighing 50 grams.
Price and availability
Both versions of the Faun glasses will be available to purchase from wearfauna.com or Selfridges online for an RRP of £249 and $299. The Bose Frames Alto, launched at $199, a full $100 cheaper than the Fauna glasses.
We'll be checking out a full review unit soon, so stay tuned to NextPit for our impressions.