Well, where to begin? These headphones are simply fantastic. They have a slick & sleek form-factor that hugs your head without being oppressive, the ear pieces are well articulated & extremely comfortable for an 'over-ear' type. They are surprisingly light and comfortable to wear if a little on the large side...
The folding design means that the headphones fold away neatly in their very own semi-solid case that is sufficiently logo-ed up and comes with a karabiner to clip it to your bag. It's not a hassle to fold them up either, they pack-away with a reassuringly solid 'click'. The headphones also come with a branded anti-bacterial wipe to clean up any fingerprints on the glossy headband or - as mine is more frequently used - to polish up the screen on my iPod touch.
This is where the real functionality begins; the control lead has become one of the best-designed pieces of electronics I own. The cable detaches from the headphones itself and from the iPod, meaning it is very easy to put-away. The lead itself has an anti-tangle design - much thinner than Monsters - the cable inside the insulation is a flat ribbon rather than the usual wrapped-cylinder and as a result the lead doesn't twist inside the insulation and you get far fewer knots. In fact you can throw this in the case with the headphones any which way you fancy and it still comes out without a knot or one ounce of fuss.
The controls on the control button are very slick; sitting 2-3 inches below the left earpiece, they are discreet but always within reach (never disappearing into the depths of your jacket) and manage the essentials with great aplomb. Volume; Up & Down on the respective keys, Centre Button; one press for pause, another for play and a double-press to skip to the next track, triple-press to skip back. As a result my iPod stays in my pocket for longer without having to open the case, unlock the thing, then skip the track. Genius. The controls also work for the iPhone, one press to answer, double press to divert and in-call volume controls. What surprised me is just how little delay there is in-between pressing the button and the iPod responding, the software is obviously doing it's job.
I own a pair of Monster Beats with similar-sized neodymium mass-drivers (that's magnets to you and me) but I feel that these go much, much louder and most importantly, WITHOUT BATTERIES, something Monster failed to accomplish and so Soul deserves some credit here. Plus, the inside of the upper headband on my Monsters has begun to come away, these puppies are stitched in like a black-leather sofa - far superior in my opinion.
Last but by no means least, the HD sound. There are some tracks that in-ear pieces just can't do justice and this turns out to be a lot more of my music collection than I had given credit to. The sound is rich and resonant but not overly bass-heavy as might be expected with a name like Ludacris on the headband. The mids & the trebles all ring clear & true. The seal between your ear and the earpiece is truly impeccable, it stops practically all but the loudest outside noise and there really is minimal leakage (especially considering the volume these babies can produce) meaning you really don't have to be considerate to your fellow commuters anymore!! The quality of the sound coming from these beauties means that you might have to listen to you whole collection again, just to hear it as it was intended - with studio quality headphones.
I can't recommend these headphones enough, do your record collection some justice and get these!!