Fanny Wang Series 3000 Build Quality
The Fanny Wang Series 3000 headphones seem very sturdy. Constructed out of rigid plastic, the outside covering has a velvet-like feel that is very nice to the touch. The hinges that allow the headphones to fold up into a more compact package is large and robust looking. The cans themselves float freely in their housing so that they can adjust to the particulars of your head shape.
The action on the band as you adjust the headphones is mostly smooth with the normal tell-tale clicks as you pull it out. When fully extended, there is a louder click and it does take a bit more effort to reverse. On the left can, there is a removable plate that covers the battery compartment. The cover is secured by a short strip of fabric so that it doesn't fall off when you remove it and roll under the seat in front of you (a thoughtful inclusion).
Fanny Wang decided to send me the blue and white headphones for review. They also offer a black and white set and a white and grey one. One thing that I didn't like about the fit and finish of the Series 3000 headphones was the quality of the plastic. On the main body of the headphones it wasn't noticeable but on the control and splitter on the cable, you could see through parts of the plastic. It reminded me of those cheap headsets they pass out on planes and, initially, really turned me off to the Series 3000.
The removable cable itself takes the "stiff is better" approach to fighting tangles. The cable is thick and bulky and resists being tied in knots. It is one of the better cables I've experienced. It maintains the two-tone look of the rest of the headphones with a blue and white casing. The only issue I had with it is that the two ends look exactly the same. While I'm not advocating a proprietary end on one side, some sort of physical indication of which side was which would have been convenient. After one inattentive moment on my part, I can confirm that it only works in one direction.
Lastly, I have to address the case. Advertised as "Rigid Foam", I found the case to be the one glaring mistake in this Fanny Wang offering. The Series 3000 headphones were designed with the traveler in mind. The case is barely more protective than a cloth sack. There is a carabiner on the top connected by a small strap. Presumably this is so you can hook the Series 3000 to your luggage. In my opinion, if you want to risk damage by crushing when you set your carry-on down or theft by someone giving it a good pull, go right ahead and use the carabiner. The case is far too flimsy for serious (or even casual) protection, the material too weak to keep someone from pulling the strap free, and the overall design a bit of a mess. While you can fold up the Series 3000 to fit inside, I could never quite get them to fit correctly and always felt like I had to push them in while zipping. Not a comforting thought when you are dealing with a $300 product.
Confused about what AV Gear to buy or how to set it up? Join our Exclusive Audioholics E-Book Membership Program!