I am an earbud kind of guy, having tried literally dozens of them from stock earbuds to wireless sport headphones to extravagant, handmade monitors and everything in between. I prefer a small, compact, transportable form-factor. However recently, I have been noticing many folks wearing on-ear headphones and I wondered if I was missing something. After searching awhile, the moment I saw Harman Kardon’s stainless steel and leather Soho wireless on-ear headphones I knew they were the ones I wanted to give a go.
Note: Images can be clicked to enlarge.
What’s in the Box:
- Harman Kardon Soho Wireless headset
- Slim-line carrying pouch
- 1.2m bypass cable
- 1m microUSB charging cable
The Harman Kardon Soho Wireless headphones are a premium on-ear headset with ‘simplified’ Bluetooth and NFC connectivity. Even the packaging and product layout ooze quality. The soft, fitted foam box presents the stainless steel and leather headphones with polish and class.
The Harman Kardon Soho wireless headphones are very well constructed with a definite (as I said) premium feel, created with quality stitched leather and polished stainless steel body and sliders.
The Sohos stream music, movies, calls, etc wirelessly via ‘Bluetooth-enabled connectivity’, together with NFC, aptX and AAC coding for lossless information exchange and pairing to multiple devices. Wirelessly connecting the Sohos is simple and easy, taking mere moments. The Bluetooth range on the Sohos is the usual 20-30 feet depending on walls and obstacles.
Harman Kardon includes a very well made fabric-wrapped bypass cable enabling you to continue to use your headphones when wireless is not allowed or you run out of battery power. They also include a (fabric-wrapped) microUSB cable for charging the headphones. It took a couple of hours to initially charge the Soho’s internal lithium battery and it lasted many hours before needing to be recharged.
Harman Kardon embeds touch-sensitive controls in the exterior surface of the right ear cup. This is a great feature allowing simple, instant access to remotely controlling your smartphones functionality. I found this control system an easy and effective way to manage your music without having to reach for your device.
In addition to the hidden controls, the bottom of right ear cup has the Bluetooth/power button, cable/audio input, microUSB port, and microphone. The Bluetooth button glows red while charging and goes dark when fully charged.
The recessed metal sliders and hinge system enables the Soho’s to fold up into a relative small package. The ear cups can spin 180 degrees from center point and can also tilt back and forth for a more comfortable fit on the ear.
- Max Input Power
- System Frequency Response
- Frequency Response
- 20Hz – 20kHz
- 32 ohms
- USA Warranty Length
- 1 Year Warranty
According to Harman Kardon the Soho’s ’30mm drivers and neo-transducers deliver a refined sound quality across all frequencies’. I agree the Sohos sound great providing clear, solid sound in all respects. Music is lively and precise, movies are clear and not garbled, and call quality is more than understandable on both ends of the conversation. The Soho Wireless have a good amount of pop and full range. The highs, mids, and lows all stood out well enough, adding up to offer very good performance.
The speakers are set behind cushioned perforated leather, rather than plastic or fabric…very comfy. Their on-ear design does permit some ambient/background noise to leak in but not a lot. You can definitely tell they do not have noise-isolation or noise-cancellation engineering, thus I am not sure how well they would work on a loud airplane.
As I mentioned earlier, the Soho’s somewhat unique fold-flat design enable the on-ear headphones to transform into a relatively small footprint for transportation.
HK includes a nice velvet-lined, ultra-slim, carrying pouch for protecting your headphones while on the go. Though I have to say the pouch looks painfully like a woman’s purse.
The Soho Wireless’ headband and ear cups fit nicely on my head and ears. Both are comfortable and fit well. Though they did slip off every now and then when I was puttering around the house, getting things accomplished.
The Soho Wireless headphones are available in black, brown, and white.
In a sea of today’s plastic devices, the Harman Kardon metal and leather Soho Wireless on-ear headphones definitely standout. Their premium build quality, compact, unique design, and good sound make them a solid choice if you are looking for a wireless, on-ear set of headphones.
Source: The sample for this review was provided by Harman Kardon. Please visit their website for more info.