Soul X-Tra Performance Bluetooth over ear headphones for sport review.
Soul X-Tra Performance Bluetooth over ear headphones for sport review.
In this review we focus one of the smaller players from a name perspective in the over ear headphones segment.
When it comes to gym headphones there are a few attributes that need to be present. For One, the headphones must have ear pads that can dry quickly after you have sweat on them.
Secondly the headphones must fit very well, because as you exercise the headphones must stay on and not slip off.
Next the headphones need to be able to be able to pump out quality sounds, they should especially be able to produce decent base and crisp Mids.
From the name, you can tell that The Soul X-TRA wireless Bluetooth over ear headphones are wireless Bluetooth headphones.
Soul is not a brand that I have purchased at all in the past, so you know that I was skeptical about these headphones. However, after a few uses I was pleasantly surprised.
The Soul X-TRA Bluetooth wireless headphones, have certainly made a name for themselves amongst the best over ear headphones that are good for working out.
The headband is made of some pretty strong plastic. You will notice that the top of the headband is not solid as is the case with more traditional headphones.
The headband contains open spaces which allows air to come into the headband and cool you down during a workout.
The headband slider that is used to adjust the headphones on your head is made of metal, ensuring that the headphone will not break easily, as a result these are cans that you will keep beyond 1 year.
One thing that did let me down was the fact that the top of the headband was made of rubber and there was no padding what so ever.
I am not sure whether this was done to save costs, but it can be slightly uncomfortable especially after long periods of use.
But if you only need the headphones for a 1-hour gym session in a day, then I suppose that they will do the job.
The other reason, which is far more plausible is that the design of the headband is to keep the weight down.
Thankfully soul recognized that it is important not to create leather ear cups for workout headphones (unlike some headphone makers that I will not mention here).
My biggest problem with leather ear cups is that after extensive sweating, they lose their visual appeal and the smell can be a bit disturbing.
Thankfully the ear pads can be removed, so that you can clean them when they become dirty.
If you do wish to wash the ear pads then I would suggest that you make use of some warm water with some soap or disinfectant. I would also suggest making use of a microfiber cloth.
Another cool feature of the headphones is the fact that the ear cups fold inwards for easy storage.
This makes the headphones the perfect travel companion, as you can carry them with any size of luggage.
The ear pads are surrounded by a breathable material and have a fair amount of padding.
My view is that they could have included slightly more padding as after about 1 hour of continuous use, the headphones can get a bit tiring, especially given the clamp force.
So, if you are one of those people that do 2-hour gym sessions, you may want to rest for 15 minutes in between just to give your ears a break.
The ear cups also have heightened ventilation and breath ability.
The surface area of the mesh allows for grater air to moisture contact, allowing your body to maintain a more consistent level of comfort.
If you happen to damage your ear pads or they wear out then ensure that you can buy a pair of replacement ones.
The ear cups do also swivel on the joints and you can turn them in all the way such that the inside faces you.
At the bottom of the right ear cup are the USB charging slot and the 3.5mm jack slot.
I did have difficulty in opening the charging slot sometimes which in my view was quite irritating.
From a sound perspective, you will find that the Soul X-TRA wireless produces balanced bass, with clear mids and highs.
The sound in the headphones is powered by 40 mm dynamic drivers. The sound quality is HD, that’s no exaggeration, you really can enjoy your movies and music with good sound quality.
The headphones are also closed back headphones and, insulate the sound of your headphones very well, so that others around you will not be distributed by your music.
Like most headphones the controls are located on the right ear cup. The controls on the Soul X-TRA Bluetooth wireless headphones have been made to be very basic.
The included buttons are the volume up/ volume down as well as an on / off button in the center.
The on/off button also doubles as a play / pause button. The buttons are easy to locate by feel.
To skip tracks, you will press and hold the volume up/down button to skip forward/back.
One criticism I do have of the controls is that they do not have good tactile feedback. The buttons feel very rigid to me, which was not enjoyable.
Unfortunately, these headphones have little to no noise cancellation. So, I would not even consider these headphones if you are interested in any meaningful noise cancellation or isolation.
For a review on noise canceling headphones, click the following link.
Fit and comfort
The Soul X-TRA has a lightweight and ergonomic design. The headphones fit nice and tightly around the head.
The tightness is not that bad though, and is specifically designed to ensure that the headphones can withstand a full workout.
The ear cups are round and therefore can accommodate different ear types and sizes.
The clamping force on the headphones is quite strong, again this feature is specifically for the work- out junky.
The headphones are powered by a 320mAH Li-ion Polymer battery
The headphones can go for 24 hours un wired. So, if you average 1 hour at the gym, that’s a total of 3 weeks of listening time.
3 weeks before you need to recharge these bad boys is amazing. Of course, do remember that your battery lasts depending on the way you use your headphones.
If they are constantly on high volume and connected to multiple devices then the length of time can decrease.
Keeping up with the latest in headphone technology, the headphones come with a fast charging option. Fast charging of just 15 minutes provides 2.5 hours of play time, or 2.5 gym sessions.
This is impressive, considering that the Bose QC 35 II offer the exact same charging, yet cost 3 times more (at the time of writing).
The amount of battery life will also depend on whether you have the safety LED light on or off. The 24-hour time frame is for when the safety light is off.
If the safety light is on then the headphones will go for 8 hours of continues use before they need a recharge.
This name is quite fitting for this feature. So, Soul have identified that some people do not have time to go to the gym during the day. Some people are also not morning people.
So, if you like to jog, in the late evening one of the issues that you must be worried about is traffic.
Soul, therefore introduced Dual mode LED lights to make sure that you are visible to oncoming cars, cyclists or the odd hooligan on the streets.
The reason they are dual is that the LED lights either flash / flicker or remain still.
To turn on the LED lights, you must simultaneously hold the volume up and down buttons simultaneously. The first setting will be the still LED lights and the second will be the flashing lights.
The headphones come with a hard cover carry case. This always get a thumb up from me as hard cover cases provide maximum protection for your headphones.
The case comes with a carabiner clip, the word soul is marked clearly in the front and a very nice zipper.
When you open your case, you will see that there is a compartment on the inside where you can stash your case.
If you do happen to lose your case, and you previously had a pair of Soul combats, then you can use that case a substitute.
These are some of the lightest headphones I have ever worn, coming in at 198 grams. But do not let that weight fool you, this is a solid pair of cans.
The headphones support Bluetooth 4.0, which means that they are compatible with most Bluetooth devices.
The Bluetooth range is the standard range of roughly 33ft or 10m. The headphones are additionally compatible with Android and Apple devices.
The headphones come with a built-in microphone that enables you to answer and make phone calls using your headphones.
What’s in the box ?
Your Soul X-TRA Bluetooth wireless headphones, a USB charging cable, an audio cable and the carrying case.
As soon as you open the box, you are greeted by something that looks like a catalog with all types of fit looking people and athletes.
So, there can be no doubt as to what these headphones were designed for.
The headphones are PS 4 compatible. This will work provided you have plugged the headphones onto the controller and changed the PS4 audio settings from chat audio to all audio. Use the supplied cable to plug into both the controller and the headphones.
One of the other nice features of the Soul X-TRA is that they are very convenient to wear for people who wear glasses.
The headphones are perfect for longer mile runs as well. I recently tried them on whilst hiking and whilst going on my 5-mile run. The clamping force is perfect.
An additional plus of the headphones is that they can be worn in the rain, which is a plus for those who live in wet cities.
The bottom Line
These headphones are perfect for the gym. They do not possess all the bells and whistles, but honestly, they just do a great job.
If they were retailing at the $150 price point, which they were when they first came out, I would have probably said wait it out.
But the price has declined since that time and I think at this price point they are very attractive.
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