With headphone jacks disappearing from all of our favorite devices, it looks like Bluetooth headphones are now the future for phones. Carrying around dongles isn’t our idea of convenient.
Unfortunately, a big inconvenience of using Bluetooth headphones is keeping them charged. You always have to keep an eye on battery level (thankfully this will be easier in Oreo, as a Bluetooth battery level indicator is now in AOSP) and make sure to remember to charge them when they’re dying.
Rather than leaving the headphones lying on your desk or side table to charge, the Twelve South Fermata stand is made to both showcase your headphones and charge them. It has an optional hook on the rear for earphones as well!
Ports: microUSB in, full USB out
Included: 2 meter microUSB cable, 2A wall adapter
Dimensions: 250 x 138 x 138mm, 0.8 lbs
Where to buy: Twelve South
The whole point of owning a headphone stand is to protect and showcase your headphones. You don’t want them lying around getting scratched and beat up. Plus many headphones are beautiful and deserve to be seen. Stands keep your headphones safe, close by, and add a nice touch to your desk.
The stand is built very well, and though it comes disassembled, it’s very easy to assemble (easier than cheaper stands). Everything but the very top part is made out of aluminum, while the top is plastic covered in very soft (but unpadded) leather to protect the headband. The plastic under the top feels a tad cheap, but you’ll never have to touch it. While the design is fantastic, I do wish the leather had some more padding to protect the padding inside the headphones. It looks premium and beautiful, and it’s stable thanks to the wide and weighted base.
The base is very well rubberized and has two USB ports underneath. One is the microUSB input and the other is a full size USB port for charging another device. You can hook up a smartphone charger to it or a smartphone charging stand if you’re fancy. You can also use the stand for charging gaming headphones and your console controller. You’ll find space underneath to wind the included 2 meter cable to your desired length so it doesn’t look messy, as well as rubber channels to hold the cables securely. These details are so well thought out and well designed.
Included is a hook that can be slid onto the stand to hold your Bluetooth earphones (the kind with wires connecting them). It’s a nice touch to hold multiple kinds of earphones and headphones.
On the back is a short microUSB cable coated in rubber that slots into the stand and almost disappears when not in use. You can just pull it out, hook up your headphones to charge, and push it back into its slot when you’re done. The microUSB design limits what orientation your headphones can hang, and unfortunately it faces the charging indicator on the Master & Dynamic MW60 headphones towards the back. This could easily be solved with a reversible microUSB tip, which would have been an absolutely amazing addition. If your headphones are USB Type-C, you can use an adapter, though it will have to be removed to stow away the cable.
At $79.99, the Twelve South Fermata is a very pricey stand. You can get other headphone stands for under $20 on Amazon. However, there are so many things that make the Fermata stand out. Cheaper stands are wobbly and arguably look significantly worse. My $17 stand is definitely wobbly and can easily be assembled crooked. It also doesn’t charge anything. After comparing it to cheaper stands, I can confidently say that the Fermata is worth the money.
If you use pricey wireless headphones, the Fermata is a great buy. While it is expensive, the fine details and features make it worth the $80 price tag. The issues are small and can be corrected fairly easily. I do hope we see a V2 with a reversible microUSB port, or better yet a Type-C port, but as it stands (I went there), the Fermata is a fantastic way to keep your headphones safe and charged.