Soul headphones by Ludacris
Mike Tyson would loves these, well, just saying the name over and over. Or maybe it would be more that we would love hearing him say it over and over? hmmm Well, anyways I have been eyeballing these since last year when they were $299 and when the price came down to $60 recently on some crazy pre-Black Friday sale so I had to bite. These are the SOUL SL300WB version of the line. “WB” means “white and black”. The SL300 came in a variety of colors but as they are discontinued now finding some of the more popular colors is tough.
Unboxing these was a treat. the package contents are well displayed when opening the box, the phones come come in a nice hard shell carrying case and the goodie box is well, full of goodies.
Real Energizer AAA batteries was a nice touch. Cables included have gold plated ends, one is for straight up listening and the other is an iphone/ipod compatible cable with an inline mic and music control buttons. Also included is a plane adapter (for the arm rest plugs?) and a 1/8th inch to 1/4 inch adapter. The cables are all very good quality and both have one straight end one that’s at a 90deg angle which I really like. They are sort of flat and made of a tangle free malleable rubber plastic material. So after inspecting the cables I got the batteries ready to load which go into the right ear piece side.
Once loaded I was ready for a test run. There are two settings on these headphones, active noise cancelling (ANC) on and off. The switch is on the side of the left ear piece and a blue LED glows when ANC is on. Also with the ANC on you can hit a little button on the inside of the left ear piece to activate some LEDs for a little extra logo flash. Kind of cool, but gimmicky. So I used my iphone5 as a music source and used both the listening only cables and the cables with the inline mic with button controls on them. I noticed no sound difference between the two cables. I played some tracks I have listened to on my Sony MDR-X10s many times so I know how they sound very well with those phones, which I consider reference quality. Here’s the verdict:
Not to launch into the negative, but I am really glad I waited and bought these for $60 and not $299. That being said, I think they are well worth $100 – $125 or so. They are very comfortable, they come with some nice accessories, they look very nice, but the sound quality is just medium/good – not great. With the ANC off, these sound really bad actually, so that’s something that will have to be taken into consideration! You will want to have a fresh pair of AAA batteries handy at all times. The highs are crisp and detailed, the mids are fair, almost a little lost but depends on the music. The lows are good, and I think better than all of the Beats headphones I listened to, but they do not compare to my Sony X10’s which are the pinnacle of silky deep brain shaking bass… The overall sound-stage is pretty good… not great, but good.
As for the ANC, it really does work. I turned up the TV really loud and flipped the little ANC switch back and forth, with ANC on the TV was much less audible. The ANC also seems to have some active equalization that makes the sound quality of the music MUCH better also… as I said previously, it’s actually a must to have ANC on to get the best sound out of these, period. SO anyways, the bottom line is I am quite happy with my $60 purchase. These will be a nice extra set of headphones so I don’t have to whip my Sony’s out of my backpack every time I want to watch a movie on my kindle at night in bed. I would not spend more than $125 on a pair of phones like these though. The sound quality is just good, not great, but they are very comfortable, come with some nice extras, and yes – they look pretty cool, expecially with the LEDs on at night. Oh, here’s the hard shell container, with a little “satchel” for stashing the extra cables, adapters, batteries, etc..
The case is very nice. All of the parts of these phones say quality except for the most important thing, the sound – which isn’t bad, just good, not great. I guess I was hoping for better but again for what I invested these are quite nice. Once I have some more time to spend with them I will submit a follow-up review.