Fauna Audio Glasses Review: Clever and Stylish Solution for Eyeglasses+Headphones

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The Lowdown

In the end, I really liked the Fauna Audio Glasses, even if they feel slightly underdone with the limited lenses by default. They’re not cheap, but they’re stylish and sound good; they fit a very specific niche of outdoors+sunglasses+music. The only issue I see is that if you’re aiming for the sunglasses market, it’s better to start with a darker tint than to tell people they should pay extra to get to the same point as any good outdoor sunglasses would offer.

Overall
4.5

Pros

  • Good sound quality
  • Doesn’t scream “tech sunglasses”
  • Case charges via easily found USB-C cable
  • Case is rugged
  • Entire package and build quality feels very premium
  • Hinges protect the charger connections
  • Splash-proof
  • Come with clear instructions and support for optometrists if you need to replace the lenses
  • Very clever touch interface to keep the entire thing button free

Cons

  • Fauna Audio Glasses can get pricey once you add in the extra cost of prescription lenses of your own
  • Default lenses are not polarized
  • Default lens tint is a little too light
Fauna Audio Glasses Review: Clever and Stylish Solution for Eyeglasses+Headphones Listen to this article

Smartglasses have been a bit of a solution in search of a problem. It seems somewhat obvious that there’s this untapped space on people’s faces that could be filled with technology, but it’s been hard to figure out what, if anything, is enhanced by people needing to utter the phrase “hold up, I gotta go charge my glasses.” Eyeglasses+headphones are a natural fit, but early attempts were bulky, ugly, and expensive. Fauna Audio Glasses are affordable, attractive, and don’t scream, “hello, I have giant speaker-glasses.” Are eyeglasses really improved by the addition of headphones? Read on to find out!

Fauna Audio Glasses

First of all, Fauna did an amazing job making these incredibly simple to set up and use. One of the big friction points in any “combo” device is proprietary chargers, which get solved elegantly here with a phone case that doubles as a charger when the glasses are inside. The case itself charges via USB-C, so there’s no proprietary charger to track and no need to stress — just keep the case charged, and the case keeps the glasses charged.

The case itself is very sturdy, with a nice tight hinge that keeps it closed but can be opened one-handed if needed. It also feels tough enough that you could toss this in a bag and not worry about damage to either the case or the glasses inside.

Here’s the quick start video from Fauna of the audio glasses:

Fauna Audio Glasses themselves don’t scream “headphones in the stems” either. There are no buttons, which means someone looking at you would never guess these glasses can make calls and play music. They’re remarkably thin, considering the amount of tech crammed into the body. The frames contain four microspeakers, two microphones, Bluetooth 5.0, and IP52 water and dust resistance. Fauna Audio Glasses are rated to be safe for rain and splashes, so you’re fine to wear them during a run on a rainy day but maybe not out on a boat trip (or if you do, it’s at your own risk!).

The lack of buttons or an open charge port help with both the stealthy look and the sense that these would be fine if caught in the rain, and the charging connectors are covered when the glasses are unfolded, so there aren’t any obvious weak spots where being out in the elements could cause a problem. Fauna also did an amazing job integrating touch connections into the stems so that you can tap, double-tap, and slide to work the glasses quickly.

Fauna says the audio on their glasses can last for 4 hours of continuous music playing, about 20 hours on standby, and a fully charged case has about 4 full charge cycles for the glasses, all of which translates to you not running out of music unless you’re using these to run a literal marathon.

Fauna Audio Glasses

Microspeakers don’t sound like a positive, but the Fauna Audio Glasses sound impressive. I’m used to AfterShokz, which uses vibration, so by comparison, the Fauna sounded much cleaner — like I had music playing in the room, not right on top of my ears. Despite that, no one near me could hear music playing when I would put on the Fauna and play music unless they were right on top of me.

I had my (brutally honest) 7-year-old test it, and he was genuinely shocked when he put his head against mine and heard music coming from the glasses. Up until he invaded my personal space, he couldn’t hear a thing. Despite that, I could hear the music perfectly and maintain a conversation with him. These would absolutely be a good choice for an outdoor activity where you wanted music but needed to keep your ears open to stay alert to your surroundings.

Fauna Audio Glasses

The other big feature that makes Fauna stand out is that these are regular frames, meaning you can take them to an optometrist and have prescription lenses (or any customized lenses) installed. Fauna includes a diagram and instructions for the optometrist, indicating what they are and that they are not the same as a regular eyeglasses frame.

Fauna Audio Glasses cost around $300 (the pricing is in Euros, so currency exchanges may fluctuate), so even when you add in the cost of prescription lenses, it’s about the same as high-end prescription sunglasses. Plus, you can choose the tint, whether you want polarization, and other tweaks to make the glasses as comfortable a visual experience as possible.

Fauna Audio Glasses

My biggest issue with the Fauna Audio Glasses is the default lenses. They are Carl Zeiss lenses, and they are very clear and nice. But the sunglass tinting is light, and they are not polarized, which feels like a missed opportunity given that these are aimed toward outdoor activity. A darker tint and polarization would make these a must-own, and while you can add your own lenses, that’s an added expense and hassle. Even if the default lenses offered an upgrade to a darker tint and polarization at a higher cost, it would be more cost-effective than buying the Fauna Audio Glasses and then taking them to a 3rd-party for further upgrades.

I also had a minor issue with the Fauna Audio Glasses when trying to connect from within the case. They’re designed to connect to the phone automatically when you open the case, but I’ve had it get bumped on my desk in the case, making them decide to connect randomly. It seems to be a specific issue with them being bumped and probably not fully seated in the case. Still, it left me scrambling while on a call to swing the connection back to my headset, and I’ve been cautious about making sure they’re fully seated in the case after use.

Fauna Audio Glasses

In the end, I really liked the Fauna Audio Glasses, even if they feel slightly underdone with the limited lenses by default. They’re not cheap, but they’re stylish and sound good; they fit a very specific niche of outdoors+sunglasses+music. The only issue I see is that if you’re aiming for the sunglasses market, it’s better to start with a darker tint than to tell people they should pay extra to get to the same point as any good outdoor sunglasses would offer.

A compromise would be for Fauna to have an option to buy the frames without any lenses but at a slightly lower price, so people to work with a local optometrist to provide their own lenses.

Fauna Audio Glasses

Overall, though, the fact that Fauna Audio Glasses are stylish sunglasses that provide enjoyable sound while leaving your ears open and they come in at $300 is very impressive. As I said, I have some complaints about the lens tint, but that’s personal preference, and even that is something the user can change.

It’s hard to predict the cost of replacing the lenses in the Fauna Audio Glasses, as it depends on prescription, lens style, insurance, and the service you choose, but it appears the average starts at around $50. Let’s assume with any tinting and coating, and the lenses run around $100, so you’d be at about $400 all-in.

Fauna Audio Glasses

Fauna Audio Glasses cater to a specific niche for sure, but there’s a market here, and they did a great job of making it as straight-out-of-the-box useful as possible. And in the end, it’s still cheaper than this technology was even a few years ago, and a lot more stylish!

If Fauna sounds good to you, check out their various styles and see what strikes your fancy!

Fauna Audio Glasses sell for €249 in either blue-light filtering models or sunglasses models; you can purchase them directly from the manufacturer.

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

What I Liked: Good sound quality; Doesn’t scream “tech sunglasses”; Case charges via easily found USB-C cable; Case is rugged; Entire package and build quality feels very premium; Hinges protect the charger connections; Splash-proof; Come with clear instructions and support for optometrists if you need to replace the lenses; Very clever touch interface to keep the entire thing button free

What Needs Improvement: Fauna Audio Glasses can get pricey once you add in the extra cost of prescription lenses of your own; Default lenses are not polarized; Default lens tint is a little too light

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About the Author

Zek
Zek has been a gadget fiend for a long time, going back to their first PDA (a Palm M100). They quickly went from researching what PDA to buy to following tech news closely and keeping up with the latest and greatest stuff. They love writing about ebooks because they combine their two favorite activities; reading anything and everything, and talking about fun new tech toys. What could be better?