Weighing in at just six ounces, the Soho Wireless headphones are the lightest pair in our Bluetooth headphone round-up (they’re exactly half the weight of the 12 ounce Plantronics BackBeat Pro). Unfortunately, they also have the least impressive battery life. Harman’s website and manual do not offer a battery-life estimate, but I managed about eight and a half hours of music playing at a medium level.
Don’t let the light weight fool you: These headphones are sturdily built, with a leather-wrapped headband and flexible metal frame with soft rectangular ear pads. The well-padded muffs sit comfortably on your ears, but the headband could use more of a cushion. I found it to be stiff and uncomfortable enough to be a constant reminder that I was wearing headphones.
The outside of the right ear cup features touch controls: Tap to pause, play, and answer calls; slide right or left to skip or go back a track; and slide up or down to change the volume. Unlike the overly-sensitive touch controls on the Sennheiser Urbanite XL Wireless, these touch controls are just sensitive enough that you’ll be able to effectively control your music without accidentally triggering them.
There’s a power button beneath the right ear cup, along with a covered micro-USB port and an audio-in port for wired listening. The headphones come with a micro-USB cord and an audio cable, but the audio cable doesn’t have any sort of in-line remote. This is of course problematic if you’re using the audio cable as a last resort to save battery, because the touch controls will not work if the headphones are turned off.
The Soho Wireless’ sound profile can best be described as ‘bass-heavy,’ but that doesn’t necessarily mean good things for bassheads (like myself). The deep bass sounds a little hazy, which means those low notes don’t give as much oomph as you expect from a bass-heavy pair of headphones. The mids are muddled and almost detail free, which means all the lower tones blend into one big bass-y mix. Highs offer some nice clarity—treble notes still sound sparkly and bright—but overall I expect a better audio experience from a pair of $250 headphones.
Mediocre audio experience aside, the Soho Wireless headphones will still appeal to a lot of people. They’re professional, ultra-portable, and posh-looking (more than Beats’ all-plastic models, anyway). They also have the best touch controls I’ve used, which means they’re easy to use in their wireless state.