Soul Electronics manufactures a wide range of audio products like earphones, headphones, and speakers. Needless to say, they too ventured into true wireless earbuds, but instead of merely going through their traditional sales channel, they went through crowdfunding, Indiegogo, to garner interest. Response was overwhelming – over 700% funded. I received the SOUL X-SHOCK for review from the local distributor, McBay, and as a gesture of my effort, I get to keep it.
As the X-Shock is designed for the active lifestyle, the charging case is wrapped with synthetic leather and the flap secured with magnet. With the charging ports covered below the flap, the case can be hooked to your bag or bike to follow wherever you go. The earbuds are also IPX5 rated, so rest assured they can repel sweat and rain.
The retail box only comes with another smaller pair of ear tips, and does not have additional fittings, unlike the Bragi. Plus, I was forewarned that some users could not get a good fit on them, but guess I was fortunate the buds fit really well.
Connecting the device to the earbuds are really easy, because the earbuds go into automatic pairing mode whenever there are no devices connected. Both the left and right earbuds connect to each other the moment they leave the charging case, with the left earbud as primary. If the paired Bluetooth device is found, then the X-Shock will announce “second device connected”. 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 button on each earbud is covered with rubber which requires effort to click, resulting in pressing against the ears which is uncomfortable. The consolation is that unlike capacitive touch buttons, you will never accidentally trigger any action when handling them. The X-Shock offers better connection quality due to the gold-plated antenna, and throughout the review period, indeed there were no significant dropouts.
The X-Shock earbuds are tuned with big bass that are fat, full, extended, yet not too bloated. The treble still offers clarity and transparency in the midst of the encompassing bass. Pop songs sound better on old ears, where the bass has some fun energy while the highs sound less harsh, and Classical tracks have that additional boost at the lower range. These earbuds are good to listen to at high volumes without hurting the ears. These earbuds are definitely less dark than the Fischer Audio Alpha X, my go-to earphones thanks to its lightweight, neckband convenience, and a comfortable balance. Between the 2, I definitely prefer the X-Shock audio quality.
Due to the standard Bluetooth audio codec, Android smartphones seem to get low-res wireless audio, with compressed and distorted high frequencies. iPhones do not exhibit any audio artifacts.
The Soul X-Shock can handle over 50 hours of play time, achieved by charging the earbuds on the charging case over 16 times. For each charge, the earbuds can play over 3 hours. 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 so many true wireless earphones products appearing over the past 12 months, each new earbuds must differentiate themselves. Soul X-Shock satisfies the bass lovers with massive low frequencies yet the treble remains sufficiently clear. It achieves good connection quality, and its charging case doubles as a power bank, providing over 16 full charges on the earbuds. Among the true wireless earphones I have reviewed, the X-Shock delivers the best bass response, which sounds full and massive but not over-the-top, and still giving room for the treble.
- Driver type: Dynamic 5.8mm
- requency response: 20 – 20,000 Hz
- Impedance: 32 ohm
- Headphone Sensitivity: 92 dB
- Wireless Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.2, HFP, A2DP, AVRCP
- Water Rating: IPX5 washable, sweat resistant
- Battery Size: 60mAh x 2 (earbuds), 3000mAh (case with powerbank function)
- Battery Life: 3.4 hours playback, up to 54 hours (recharge 16 times on case)
- Weight: 135g charging case, 6g each earbud
- Dimension: Case 90 x 65 x 28 mm, Earbud 26 x 19 x 24 mm