17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
If you can get these for under $50 on a sale, they are well worth it!,
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This review is from: SOUL by Ludacris SL99 High-Def Sound Isolation In-Ear Headphones (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
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.
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Initial post: Jul 8, 2014 10:11:18 AM PDT
Apple has a patent on dedicated volume controls on headphones similar to what these headphones have. That might help explain your #1 con.
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