on February 20, 2012
The SL99 headphones are an extraordinary piece of audio equipment that any person who are passionate about music will fully appreciate.
Just looking at the box tells you these headphones mean business, it's very neatly styled however is a nightmare to get into, I had my hands on the corners of the box whilst franticly shaking it up and down, it worked eventually.
When you finally get into the box you are presented with a very smart accessory case which inside have the small & large ear-buds.
As for the earphones, well lets just say they are probably the most stylish in-ear headphones I have seen to date, visually they shout "hey look at me!", and they have every right to do so.
The quality is the cable is really nice, instead of the typical circular wires, they seem to have a slight rectangle shape which is probably why they don't get tangle so easily (I'm not sure if this is the actual reason, but the wires very rarely tangle when I shove them into my bag unlike previous headphones, but when they do they untangle with very little effort).
I've tried this on many different devices that have an audio jack slot, with mixed results:
* iPod, iPhone 3G, iPhone 4; I was able to test this on my sisters and friends iPods and iPhones and can say these headphones are FULLY compatible with these devices, you can use the control panel located under the right earphone:
The triangles are for volume adjustment or press the circle button once for play/pause, twice for skip forward, or three times to skip back a track.
For iPhone users, when you get a phone call, press the circle button to answer it, that's right, the control panel has a very small hole on the back which picks up audio! I must say the audio quality both ways were very good indeed!
* Sony Walkman; For audio purposes only, this does the job, but unfortunately you cannot use the control panel.
* Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo This is the phone I have, unfortunately I get a message (Unsupported Device), I don't really mind not being able to use the skip functions or the hands-free option, I just want to listen to my music.... So this was a HUGE disappointment for me.
Not being able to use it on my phone was a real let-down especially as it has the 3.5mm audio socket this is why I had to knock off a star. Luckily for me though I have a Walkman, which is DOES work on, so I can use these with that.
COMFORT & SOUND QUALITY
I wanted to get more than one opinion so I also asked friend on his opinion for these headphones:
Personally I found it took awhile to get used to getting them in my ear, I also at first wasn't fond of the feel in the sense of my last earphones were really nice and snug, whereas these had a more lighter feel which although were actually secure, felt like they were going to drop out at any second. Although now after using it for awhile I don't get that sense of feeling any more.
As for the sound, I cannot fault it in any way, I've listened to; Passion Pit, Taylor Swift, Fightstar, 30 seconds to Mars and was blown away, no matter what genre of music I listened too, it always took my breath away, it can even produce some nice bass also.
My friend is a drummer and I would say is very picky on music quality, he notices music flaws whereas I don't notice. He had no problem putting them in his ears, he actually found them to be very comfortable on first time use, as for his opinion on the sound quality, he stated the quality was extremely good and was very pleased with their performance.
I wouldn't recommend these for people who don't own an iPhone due to the lack of compatibility, as to those who have an MP3 player (excluding the iPod) and don't mind not being able to use the control panel, then I would recommend these.
As for those who own an iPod, iPhone or iPad and appreciate the up-most audio quality, then I highly recommend these!
on October 11, 2012
For starters, I've been using Soul sl99 headphones now for approximately 6 months now. I know that they are the product line of rapper "Ludacris", but that had no impact on me purchasing them. Over these months, I've tested and compared them with different types of in-ear headphones. These include:
* Altec Lansing UHP336
* Klipsch S4
* Bose IE2
In my opinion, the Souls blew away the Lansing's and the Klipsch's. The Soul's simply offer a much more dynamic sound. I did expect this though, because they do both sell for a lower price. And the Soul's also require less power than most headphones to deliver. I use them with my Zune HD, where the default volume is under half, and that is plenty loud for these. Haven't ever attempted to use them with the computer. In comparison to the IE2's, I think that they are close. They both reach nice lows which you can feel, but that's about all they share. I think the Soul's focus more on bass and treble where the IE2's are more of a full range. In the sl99's, the treble is probably what you will notice to be the most prominent aspect. They reach much higher than any other earphones that I have tested, and it's actually quite unexpected and surprising initially. But they may in fact reach too high, which might actually cause minor headaches. Personally, I like it though, probably because I've gotten so used to it after using them for awhile.
-- The volume control doesn't work for non-apple products, but I've tested it on an iPod and it works as intended.
For the build quality, this is where the sl99's shine in some parts and crash and burn in others. In a positive note, what I love about the 99's is the design of the wire. The rectangular design, with a quality feel, isn't flat and cheap feeling. It really does feel like it will last. And unlike many supposedly "tangle-free" headphones I've used, these truly don't get tangled because of the wire design. The buds themselves are light, and made of a plastic material. The buds actually feel really empty because of their size in comparison to their weight, but don't seem like they'll break unless you are TRYING to break them. The LOOK of them is nice, mostly a glossy look, with a chrome sort of paint, which seems to wear off over time (or at least has on mine). AND, the screens that cover the speakers are cheap, and almost always push in with very little effort.
But then we get to the worst problem of all. Certainly the biggest problem of any with these 99's, that seems to effect many people. Though I don't think people actually realize what this problem is. I read many people claiming that after only a short while, one ear bud will stop working, or the sound is diminishing. Where the problem in fact lies, is at the end of the cable, at the input. Where the wire leads to the 3.5mm input, comes a 90 degree angle, rather than the traditional straight plug-in. The angle itself doesn't cause the problem, is the connection to the 3.5mm. Unfortunately, the actual true wire(s) inside the cord, for both buds and the volume control, are quite thin. So whenever you bend the wire when plugging the headphones into the device, you are just weakening it. So what people are experiencing is the wire breaking. Hence the reason why I have 4 pairs of these, as 2 of them have already had this problem. But I'm not fool. Because of their problems, these sell quite often for cheap on eBay, because of their problems.
So in the end, you've got to make the choice. Sound wise, these are great. But you'll be taking your chance with quality. If you can get these for cheap, then definitely go for it. Just don't pay retail of $100 on these; you'll likely regret it.
on November 13, 2013
I have used a good number of sub $300 headphones over the years, from Bose to Shure, all the way down to cheap Skullcandy and Sony headphones. I like to run and bike, too, so I typically evaluate products keeping their performance in these scenarios in mind. With that said, I definitely consider $100 to be on the more expensive end of headphones that I would consider buying, though I understand that many of you will place value in headphones that cost several hundreds of dollars. This review will be coming from my perspective of a more budget minded consumer.
With that said, on to the pros and cons!
1. Bass - The bass is solid. Other reviewers have commented that it's a little too much bass, others have commented that it sounds just about right. For me, it's just about right stock, and I'd rather have more bass capability than less, because even simple and inexpensive MP3 players these days often have EQ settings that you can customize. How hard is it to turn the bass down a little? Typically it will not be hard at all. But how hard is it to boost the bass level in headphones that are simply not capable? This is one of those things where I'd rather have it than not need it than need it and not have it.
2. Mids and highs - There is nothing to complain about here. The mids and highs are solid and will give you the full experience of your sound. Rock music allows for accurate listening of all the intricacies of your guitar riffs, and orchestral music is full and bold. I have yet to listen to a track that leaves you lacking in the mid/high range on these headphones.
3. Comfort - These are very comfortable for my ears. Again, this is something that will depend on your ear shape, but there are different sizes of rubberized ear pads you can select, and the stock ones that came fitted right out of the box fit my ears quite pleasantly, and I can listen for hours without discomfort.
4. Look and feel - These headphones look great. They are not gaudy and super flashy, but still attractive. They look like serious headphones, and feel like they are quality made.
5. Microphone - The mic is actually pretty good! It sounds a bit better to listeners than lower-priced Skullcandy offerings I have tried. It also still works, whereas on the MEelectronics sport headphones w/mic model that I also own, the mic simply died after the 2nd phone call I made and hasn't worked since!!! So far so good on the SL99's microphone.
6. Controls - The buttons work great on my iDevice for controlling volume and pausing/starting music playback, or taking calls. The pause/play button also works well on my Android devices (Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 3).
7. Price, if on sale - For under $50 these headphones are worth every penny, but as you go above $50 you start running into competition that provides either flatter sound, or other potential advantages over these, although again I stress that this will depend a lot on personal preference. Are these competitive headphones at MSRP? Yes, but the high bass levels will turn many buyers off that are expecting flatter sound at this price point. But on sale, these represent a great value for both build quality and sound quality.
1. Android - Android handsets now outnumber iDevice handsets out there, and yet mainstream headphone/mic combos STILL sadly provide primary support for iDevices. This is terrible. Yes, I'm glad the controls make my iPad happy, but for crying out loud, I personally have witnessed the market shift to Android over the last few years. I have friends and family that have owned iPhones in the past and now flat out refuse to buy another iPhone because of their limited functionality and variety of handset type compared to the wealth of functions and variety available in the Android world. However, the top headphone makers continue to cater to iDevices with their control functions. Ideally, since both support the same jack size, Apple AND Android makers could come to some sort of standard so it wouldn't matter. This would benefit Apple as well, because I'm NOT going to buy an iPhone just because I'm in love with their new headphones, but I might buy Apple's new headphones for my Android phone if I knew the controls would work properly. We are finally starting to see some good headphone/mic & control offerings in the Android world, but they are still few and far between.
2. Sports use - These stay in your ears, for the most part, on bike rides, but in running they simply aren't as stable as competing models of headphones that have more form fitting ear pieces, such as Yurbuds or MEelectronic-style models with two to three flexible plastic ear canal pieces. The constant impact over long distance will eventually wiggle these SL99s out of your ears before more sports-specific targeted models.
Thanks for reading!! Would I recommend these to a friend based on MSRP? Depends on their wants/needs. If they want strong stock bass performance without having to adjust any EQ settings in an attractive and quality-built design, I probably would put these on my list of recommendations. If they want a $100 pair of headphones with flatter sound out of the box, I would steer them elsewhere.
But if you can snag these on a sale, they are simply amazing, easily giving you $80 Shure or Klipsch quality sound for less.
on October 2, 2011
I am not an expert... I am a dj and have used over the ear headphones only. I finally bought an Ipod and the headphones it came with weren't for me. So, I knew if I wanted a great set, I would spend more than $30. After going thru countless reviews on the big players in the $100 or so range, I decided on these cause of the positive reviews on build quality and sound. Oh man. The sounds are so clear and has great bass without drowning the highs and mids away. These are perfect. Do I have any gripes? Yes, but let me explain why. I have never used in ear phones. I do notice a little discomfort in the first couple uses. But, I am getting used to it. Maybe i should switch the ear pieces. Oh well. I am really loving this. Listening to my music in bed while everyone is asleep is just great. After using these, I threw the Apple earphones away and the $15 JVC earphones. By the way, love the flat cord cause it doesn't tangle like other cheap earphones. By the way, I am going to vote for Ron Paul. lol
Just one week after normal use, the right speaker is turning off. I have to take out the headphone plug and put it back in and sometimes that remedies it. Good thing I bought the $9 extra warranty at Radio Shack cause they quickly replaced it with a new one. Hopefully, its just that one bad earphones and this set will last me. I am guessing that it was the wire connected to the speaker part and when you take out the speaker from your ear, you gently pull on the wire. If this is the cause, then this could have been poorly designed. I doubt it as I am sure they know people would pull on the wire. hey, the left speaker was still working! lol
on September 30, 2013
Gave it three stars because I didnt want to spend the extra money on the Dr. Dre Beats one. I should have though. I felt the earbuds were heavy and kept falling out when I go to move around. I've also changed out the bud size to fix the problem, but nope, it still falls off!
on August 7, 2013
These headphones are great soundwise. They have some nice bass to them and a range that makes listening to music pleasant. However, The headphones look obnoxious in your ears and fall out constantly. First things first, they look bad. Most of the time people (me included) buy the in ear headphones for the low profile and fact that they tend to sit mostly in your ear. But, these stick out obscenely from your ear. Between the housing and the ear piece is an unnecessary extension that make it so the housing sticks far out of your ear. Unlike most in-ear headphones that comfortably in the ear, these stick too far out and just look odd.
Because of this design, the headphones fall out of the ear pretty easily. Most other headphones I have used comfortably sit in the ear and feel secure, but these do not. In order for these headphones to feel secure they must be pushed into the ear quite deep and it just simply uncomfortable. With the fact that they fall out and how far they stick out I simply do not like these headphones and most likely would not buy these again if given the chance.
on November 2, 2013
I use these with my Android cell phone. The controls mostly work. I can make calls with the microphone and answer calls with the middle button. When playing music, the middle button also pauses/resumes the playback. The volume control buttons appear to have no functionality with Android.
Very happy with the sound from these headphone. There is very good bass as well as good detail in the higher frequencies. If you're using the stock headphones that came with your phone or MP3 player, these will give you a significant improvement in sound quality.
The drivers on these headphones are very large compared to many other products, with a large chunk sitting outside your ear. Seems comfortable enough, but the headphones will be very noticeable to people who see you on the street.
The thick cords are both good and bad. The good is that they are very tangle-resistant. The bad is that they are heavier than wire cords and bounce around uncomfortably when running. I'm going to use different headphones for running. I haven't had any problems with durability yet, but I haven't had them very long.
Now that the price has dropped to $24, I ordered 3 more. I have used a lot of headphones over the years and these are clearly the best that I have ever bought for less than $30. I don't give out 5 stars ratings very often, but will do so here because of the unbeatable value at the $24 price, despite the volume buttons not working with my phone.
on November 14, 2013
They hurt my ears and the sound is not that great. The noise cancellation is awesome since when i put them on I cannot hear anything.
on February 22, 2014
Short Story: Amazing bass and clarity in a stylish and functional design, but highly recommend Sony Hybrid Tips in place of stock tips.
The bass is definitely one of the more notable mentions in these headphones, since in songs like Watching Movies by Mac Miller, Im a Real 1 by YG or any bass heavy song like that will make these headphones rattle in your ears. But this is not accomplished by unnatural and muddy bass that old Beats give. No, in fact these have very clean bass reproduction. And aside from the sub-woofer like bass, these actually have very noticeable and warming highs and mids (I know, mids that are able to be heard in a celebrity endorsed headphone? It is weird.) Aside from bass notes, acoustics and artists voices all sound amazing through these. I remember listening to a slower acoustic song, While My Guitar Gently Wheeps (The anniversary version with Prince, which is amazing by the way) and a more fast paced one such as Dead Memories by Slipknot. Even despite the huge change in tempo, the electric and bass guitar, as well as the snares or cymbals played on the drums are all very distinct, separate, and balanced in a clean and beautiful sense.
The earphones come with a nice hard shell zipper case that is both small, and protective of the earphones as well as a tiny Velcro pouch to hold spare ear tips. The earphones also feature a flat tangle free cord that is I admit kind of heavy on the buds themselves but nonetheless is free of tangles every time. It also features a 3 button remote control, which for IDevices (iPhone, iPad, etc.) can control the volume and track skipping, and for androids or blackberry’s as well can pick up calls or play/pause the music. And at the very bottom is an L-Shaped gold plated 3.5mm connector.
I am no audiophile, and I don’t want any audiophile to believe these are the ear buds for them. But as an avid music lover and a collector of headphones in search of the perfect ones, I believe these may be the best bet for anybody who loves either hip hop, dubstep, rock, or any type of music who does not want to spend more than $100. As a nut job who loves headphones, these are by far my favorite in-ears and I may even consider buying a spare pair since they are such a steal on amazon (now $35 on Amazon as opposed to $100!)
on November 20, 2013
This has been one big letdown after another. When i got them i was really impressed, the packaging looks really upscale, the box has a real premium feel to it, it feels the same inside the box too, with felt lined walls and the earphones nicely displayed and surrounded in foam, with a nice storage case it really felt like i was getting a $100 pair of earphones. Unfortunately it goes downhill from there, the earphones itself feel plasticy and cheap, even the ear-tips also feels cheap, more of a plastic feel than the rubber ones I'm used to. Tried them on and i can officially say these are the worse fitting in-ear earphones I've had. They simply don't fit. My guess is the plastic tip that the ear-tips attach to are larger than normal so it's really hard too get them in your ears. After a few tries i was finally able to get them in with the smallest ear-tips from my previous earphones. You kinda have to wedge the corner of the earbuds into your ear to get them to stick... Once i have them in however i was quite impressed with the sound, it's definitely bass heavy but it does sound good, i would compare them favorably with my seinheiser hd 428 headphones. I like the sound on the HD428 better but only because it isn't so bass-heavy. That said, i cannot wear these for longer than 10 minutes before my ears start to hurt. They are simply too big for my ears, and I've never had problems with in ear phones before. my previous earphones were the seinheiser cx-300 and bob marleys conquerors and they both fit me fine. So if you could somehow get these to fit i'm sure these would make great earphones but they simply don't work for me. In conclusion:
Feels plasticy and cheap
It's huge! like twice the size of a normal pair of earphones
1-star... plus 1 because they actually do sound decent.