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Customer Review

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creamy listening experience -- and loud, 18 Feb. 2012
This review is from: headphones Soul SL150 BW (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
SOUL by Ludacris is a highly styled headphone set with a smooth, creamy sound, excellent isolation, and high sound pressure. It comes equipped for completeness with an iPhone cable including microphone, standard mini-jack connector, and a solid mini-to-quarter-inch jack adapter, all in a semi-hard case.

If you're wondering why anyone would want to spend almost two hundred pounds on a pair of headphones, you should probably stop reading at this point. For twenty quid you can upgrade the headphones that came with your MP3 player and get an entirely adequate result. It is only if adequate is not enough for you that you would consider this set.

Audio quality
Audio quality is uniformly smooth, with deep bass and crisp tops. You never get the true bass experience with headphones, because bass is something you feel throughout the body rather than just in your ears, but, in as much as you can have bass on headphones, SOUL does the job nicely. Importantly, this is not 'bass-enhanced' with electronic jiggery pokery. It's bass by design. The tops are crisp, though a bit light to my tastes. Where this set excels is in the middle. You might be forgiven for saying that these are 'middly' headphones, but that would be to fail to recognise just how much transparency is revealed in the frequencies between 256 hz and 1khz. These are generally the most problematic frequencies, where too much makes a muddy sound, and too little makes everything thin. The actual sound balance is a matter of taste, and, if you don't like it, simply dialling in more treble is enough to give you back the top-heavy sound that most of us have got used to since the in-ear headphone revolution.

In audio terms, this rates a solid eight out of ten on my scale, which is really as much as I would ever be prepared to give a pair of headphones.

These are extraordinarily comfortable headphones. Although they are described as 'on-ear' rather than fully enclosed, they are generously proportioned and about as comfortable as on-ear headphones ever get. There's a lovely bit of padding at the top, and the adjustments are solid enough to stay where you put them.

These are billed as pro-headphones, but the cables are too short for recording studio use. On the other hand, since the cable is fully detachable (and, indeed, interchangeable) and the connection to the headset is entirely standard, you can simply put your own length of cable on. They are billed as 'anti-tangle', which means they are flat, ribbon types rather than round. I've seen 'anti-tangle' before, but this cable does actually seem to live up at least in part to the claim. They are reassuringly thicker than many headphone cables, including some studio types, though nowhere near as thick as the cables you find in BBC studios. On the other hand, since they aren't the curly type, they will probably last better anyway.

Styling was clearly a part of the designer's brief. You could wear these on the Tube without looking like you'd escaped from a stint as a sound-assistant on a video shoot. In fact, it's the high-styling which is the only thing about this set which makes them feel non-pro, as they look more like a (rather large) fashion accessory than something you would actually use in the music business. The styling goes down to the accessory bag, which is semi-hard and has what looks like a climber's metal clasp, in what appears to be aluminium. This is by far the sturdiest clip I've ever seen on a headphone bag, but it isn't quite as sturdy as it looks, and I take it as a piece of styling rather than something to be relied on.

Call quality
You can make and receive calls if you use the iPhone cable. This headset is not bluetooth enabled -- it is an entirely passive device without any built in active electronics -- so you use it like the headset that came with your iPhone. The call quality is possibly marginally better than using the iPhone handheld, but in our tests it was touch and go. It's certainly a lot better than most of the bluetooth sets we've tried, but, then, you still have to have the cable. By the way, these didn't suffer from the odd call problems encountered with some headphones on the first iPhone 4Ss. I'm not sure if that is to do with the headphones, or an update to the iPhone firmware.

The only other thing to be said about this head-set is that it is LOUD. Naturally you can turn it down (and probably should in most circumstances), but if you are listening in a noisy environment such as a club, or the music you want to hear was recorded too low, then this will come as a welcome variation to standard fare. Of course, if you work at the BBC and want to use these, health and safety will come and fit an 85db limiter...

Overall -- Pro or not?
Whether these are pro or not depends a little on which profession you're in. Recording studio equipment tends to have more on the highs than these do, largely because headphones are used for a dispassionate take on what is going into the mix, and the highs are where you will hear the problems. Radio studio equipment generally has to be limited to 85db. You might get some funny looks if you turned up with these as the sound recordist for a video shoot (though, since you're not on camera, it shouldn't bother you). If your main thing is DJing, then the good isolation, high styling and high volume will come as a blessing. The sound quality is certainly superb (better than you need in most professional environments -- after all, you're not generally there to have fun), and will add a creamy richness to anything you have to do for work. This set, really, though, is for enjoying listening to music -- and maybe looking good doing it.

If you're in the market for a pricey piece of kit, you should definitely take a look (and a listen) at these. Sound is uniformly enjoyable across everything from jazz to heavy metal and from acoustic folk to classical (chamber and orchestral).
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Review Details



Martin Turner

Location: Marlcliff, Warwickshire, England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 130