Frends is (another) new brand of headphones. And, if it’s a new brand of headphones, it means one of two things – someone famous is attached, or it has an “angle.”
No celebrities here, so you can bet Frends has an angle. It turns out the people behind Frends came to the startling revelation that no one was making headphones for women. That startled me, too, because I could have sworn headphones for women were already being made. I’m pretty sure they’re called headphones.
Not to start full-on beating the battle drums – Frends’ collection, which currently contains two styles of on-ear headphones and two styles of in-ear headphones, definitely have their charms. They’re all available in gold or silver, and were made with input from both audio professionals and jewelry professionals. That’s why you won’t find any plastic on these – only precious metals and leather for the headbands. The design goes for a simple and elegant aesthetic, and succeeds. They’re lovely to look at, and the use of solid, quality materials instead of plastic isn’t something all that many other companies are doing. It’s hard to tell what the audio is like without giving them a listen, but we do know the on-ears feature 40 mm drivers, while the in-ears feature 13 mm drivers.
So yeah, some women will definitely want to rock these headphones. They warrant the title of jewelry every bit as much as the title of electronics. Frends headphones would be great if the marketing wasn’t totally insufferable. Greatest hits include “No one was creating women’s headphones,” “We will laugh that women once wore men’s headphones,” and “Changing the relationship between women and electronics.” Really? I get that you need to say a lot of dramatic things to try to get people to buy your stuff, but seriously? Also, headphones as women’s fashion accessory has been done before, with way less pretentiousness.
The on-ear Taylor series is available for about $200, with the smaller Layla series coming in at $150. The in-ear Ella and Ella B styles come in at $100 each (the former looks like the old style of Apple earbuds at its core, the latter is made for silicone eartips). All of those have fabric cords with in-line three-button microphones with volume and phone control, as well. If you can get past the marketing smarm, and you love the gold and silver look, Frends headphones really do look like wonderful fashion accessories. If you’re female and don’t care much for gold and silver, I guess you’re just out of luck when it comes to headphones. You’ll have to keep using icky men’s headphones. Try not to get cooties.
There’s also a men’s line, but it’s just denim headphones. But I don’t like denim. Thanks for that existential headphone dilemma, guys. I guess that’s what Frends are for.