Soul Electronics started with music artist Chris “Ludacris” Bridges creating the first headphones, and now manufactures a wide range of earphones, headphones, and speakers. Needless to say, they too ventured into true wireless earbuds with the Soul X-Shock, but instead of merely going through their traditional sales channel, they went through crowdfunding platform Indiegogo to garner interest. Response was overwhelming with over 700% funded.
Connecting your device to the earbuds is totally fuss-free, because the earbuds go into pairing mode automatically whenever there are no devices connected. Both the left and right earbuds connect to each other the moment they leave the charging case. The proprietary tiny ear tips look similar to the Bragi and achieve good noise isolation as they go deep into the ear canals. Even without ear fins, they do not fall out during runs.
The buttons on each ears require some effort to click and pass against the ears, which could get uncomfortable, but the consolation is that unlike capacitive touch buttons, you will never accidentally trigger any action when handling them. Soul claims that the X-Shock offers better connection quality due to the gold-plated antenna, and throughout the review period, there were indeed no significant dropouts.
What hit me when I played my usual test tracks is the bass. They are fat, full, extended, yet not too bloated. The treble still delivers sufficient clarity, only to be veiled when the bass gets heavy. Pop songs sound better on old ears, where the bass has some fun energy while the highs sound less harsh. Classical tracks have that additional boost at the lower range.
As the X-Shock is designed for an active lifestyle, the charging case is wrapped with synthetic leather and the flap secured with a magnet. With a fabric loop to hook the included carabiner, and with the charging ports covered below the flap, the case can be hooked to your bag or bike to follow you wherever you go. The earbuds are also IPX5 rated, so rest assured they can repel sweat and rain.
Retail price is something that savvy consumers would look for to determine the value. At S$249, the Soul X-Shock is powered with over 50 hours of play time over several charges. In addition, the charging case works as a power bank to deliver juice to other USB devices if needed, though I would use it sparingly to save the battery for the earbuds.
With the overcrowding of true wireless earphones products in recent months, it takes more to impress consumers to part their cash. The Soul X-Shock satisfies the bass lovers with massive low frequencies, good connection quality, and a charging case that doubles as a power bank, providing over 16 full charges on the earbuds.