Despite the rise in celebrity-hawked headphones, from 50 Cent to Snoop Dogg, Beats by Dre, the headphones designed and promoted by legendary producer Dr. Dre, continue to be the most popular. But before you decide to grab those Beats by Dre, rapper Ludacris has his line of headphones he wants you to give a shot.
SOUL by Ludacris has three types of over-the-ear headphones (SL100, SL150, SL300) that come in an arrange of different colors and have two pairs of earbuds headphones (SL49, SL99) with a couple of more styles coming soon. The prices range from $149.95 for the SL100 headphones to $299.95 for the SL300 headphones. The ear buds start at $69.95 and go up to $149.95 (however, there is a sale on all the headphones going on over at http://soulelectronics.com right now).
I got a chance to try out the highest end of the SOUL by Ludacris line, the SL300. The headphones have a nice sleek design and are incredibly comfortable when worn. The headphones come with two detachable tangle-free cables, one with in-line remote control that works with recent Apple products (iPad, iPhone, etc.). The headphones also come with a gold-plated 1/8” adapter (for the DJs), an adapter that plugs into airline outlets, a cleaning cloth and a couple of AAA batteries.
Yes, the headphones are battery-powered, just like the Beats by Dre, but the difference is that the headphones do work without the batteries unlike the Beats by Dre, which don’t work at all without batteries. When the power is on, the music sounds crisp, clean and full. Although the headphones may seem particularly designed for hip-hop music, jazz, rock and classical sound great. And if watching a movie, you get that surround sound experience.
Granted, when you turn off the power on the SL300s, you lose the noise-canceling feature and the high-definition sound, but it’s a good option if you want to conserve battery power. Not that it uses much battery power in the first place, but choosing to turn off the power isn’t all bad. Of course the music doesn’t sound as good and full when the power is on, but when I was listening to a podcast or a book with the power off, it sounds as good as any non-battery-powered headphones. If there are any drawbacks to the SL300, sound does tend to leak out of the headphones and may bother people if you’re sitting in a quiet place like a library, coffee shop or office. But at least you won’t to have to hear them complain, right?
But are the SL300s worth the $300 price tag? Yes. Are they better than the Beats by Dre Studio version (which are the same price)? Sound-wise, I’d say it’s about equal. But like previously stated, the SL300s do work without batteries, while Beats by Dre Studio do not. The could be a determining factor for you, or if you just want to go against the grain and get some great headphones that won’t make you look like you’re trying to “fit-in,” get some SOUL from Ludacris.