Forget the Google Glass! Snapchat Shows reserved for a few aficionados! With Fauna Audio, connected glasses do without a camera and focus only on sound. Like the Bose Frames launched in 2019, these new Bluetooth binoculars are an alternative to earphones and headphones. Sold 249 euros (or 30 euros less than their rivals), what are they really worth? And above all, under what conditions to use them? 20 Minutes tested them.
Indoor and outdoor: four pairs for all uses
Fauna Audio are available in four models, some of which are unisex. Two are with translucent lenses and DuraVision blue light filter. This is an advantage over Bose’s Frames range, which only consists of sunglasses.
Two other pairs of Fauna Audio are with tinted lenses, thus acting as sunglasses. The glasses of the Austrian manufacturer are stamped Carl Zeiss. Fauna specifies that it is possible to replace it at an optician’s with corrective lenses. Interesting for people with presbyopia who need correction to work on a screen.
Fauna Audio can be easily connected via Bluetooth to an iOS or Android smartphone or tablet, but also to a PC or Mac computer, as we have verified. Pleasant to wear and rather light (50 g, like the Bose Frames), you can therefore, depending on the model chosen, use them indoors or outdoors. They incorporate four speakers and two microphones.
Their temples much thinner compared to those of competing glasses, have touch controls. It is thus possible one or two flicks to play / pause on your music, to answer / end a phone call, but also to raise / lower the listening volume.
But not to change the song, which requires taking your smartphone out of your pocket if necessary. In our tests, however, these commands were adopted quickly.
Practical and discreet at work and in the street
Good point: we particularly appreciated the great freedom of movement offered by these glasses. At work, in front of our screen, they allowed us to participate in visios, without depriving us of classic conversations with those around us. Entourage which assures not to have heard what we heard. Impossible, therefore, for the office neighbor to spy on a conversation. In open space or teleworking, these glasses are a good alternative to a headset or headphones. But they don’t isolate. Beware of concentration!
In the street, Fauna Audio finds real legitimacy. The model with tinted lenses that we tested (the Spiro Transparent Brown) offers effective protection against the persistent sun of these first days of autumn. On foot or by bike, the glasses allowed us to listen to the radio and our podcasts with sufficient comfort, to make calls (our correspondents assured us they could hear us very well).
Better: a double tap triggering the personal assistant of the smartphone, we took advantage of this function to make calls in the middle of the street, or to dictate text messages on the platform of a station without having to take the terminal out of our pocket.
Music listening and sports use: could do better
A feeling of frustration nevertheless dominates listening to music, far below that provided by conventional headphones, but we suspected it. Do not expect to substitute glasses for your earphones or headphones. If the sound is clear enough to be heard, it remains quite high-pitched despite the presence in each branch of a woofer. Counterpart: a constant feeling of security on our bike or when walking, especially when crossing a street.
What about sports use? Although water resistant (IP52 standard), Fauna Audio are clearly not designed for sports use. Too bad compared to Bose Tempo Frames (photo), designed for this purpose, but whose frames are excessively wide.
Last detail: autonomy. With a storage box that serves as a recharge (as with True Wireless headphones), the autonomy of Fauna Audio reaches 4 hours.
This is less than the 5:30 hours of Frames, but much more practical, the box provided guarantees five recharges without going through an electrical outlet. While the Bose box does not integrate a battery and requires, to recharge the Frames, to use a USB cable each time.