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Review: Stylish, quality headphones get popular
_ Soul by Ludacris SL300JAM _ Usain Bolt Signature Series ($349.95)
Something about me didn’t want to like these brightly colored over-ear headphones, emblazoned with a silhouette of preening Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt on each ear cup. They’re a bit ostentatious, like Bolt himself. And they are expensive.
But after I put them on, I surrendered to the most comfortable pair of headphones I’ve ever worn. My jaw dropped after I cued up Coltrane.
I give up. These are wonderful headphones.
Of the ones I tried, the Bolt headphones are the only ones with noise cancellation, which is the introduction of a discrete signal to eliminate surrounding environmental noise. Whether I had that feature turned on or off, the Bolt signature headphones stood up to each test of each genre I threw at it. I heard range and separation in Coltrane’s jazz, precise power in Metallica’s metal and the intricacy of latticed percussion in Simon & Garfunkel’s “Cecilia.”
As far as specs go, these headphones sport 40-millimeter drivers and weigh 252 grams, heavier than the others even without the two small AAA batteries. Soul would not provide additional specifications, such as the frequency range, claiming it is proprietary and patented technology, which is an unfortunate bit of non-disclosure.
But in the end, I don’t care what’s in Soul’s audio sausage. I just know that’s it sounds delicious.
The interior headband is smartly quilted and Bolt series headphones are collapsible for nice portability in their sturdy black case. If you’re OK with the Jamaican flag color palette (black, green and gold) and a bit of sticker shock, these headphones are bound to win you over.
Otherwise, for lighter duty and a less garish look, I’d have to say the V-Moda True Blood headphones should make the budding audiophile quite happy for less than $250.
Follow Ron Harris on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Journorati
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