[dropcaps]W[/dropcaps]hile the Plantronics BackBeat GO 2 function as my daily driver headset, I was pumped to get my hands on the Shadow Wireless earphones from Sol Republic. In short, they’re a solid set of buds that really impress at their price point.
Let’s start with sound. These earphones are a great buy for folks that want a strong bottom-end response. I found the low and high-end hyping to be really great for hip-hop tracks and imagine that Sol Republic is targeting a younger demographic with this offering. In fact, I can imagine tons of teens putting these on their back-to-school shopping wishlists. Let’s not kid ourselves here; these aren’t Bang & Olufsen but for the price, they do deliver.
The form factor features a “NASA-inspired biomorphic design”. Scratching your head? I was too but after feeling the comfort of the neckband, it immediately clicked for me. The unit wraps around quite nicely and fits to the contours of the neck. When in use, these are super easy to wear. I had the opportunity to try the Steel Black color, which — in my opinion — are the more attractive of the two offerings. I did find that, when the earphones weren’t in, the dangling buds were unsightly and quite annoying to walk around with although this is easily remedied by folding and pocketing.
For all you fast-moving jetsetters with multiple phones, you’ll find solace in the ability to connect to two devices at once. The battery life clocks in at about 8 hours. If you’re going out for a marathon trek in the mountains, you may want to bring a pair of wired headphones, but these fit perfectly into my New York City lifestyle.
While these aren’t the best for running (my earbuds fell out a few times), they are water resistant and the built-in button controls are simple to use. The Shadow Wireless headphones feature Bluetooth 4.0 with Apt-X support. The latter is an integrated codec for superior wireless streaming sound but, quite frankly, I didn’t hear much of a difference. Your mileage may vary, though.
If you’re looking for wireless headphones, these should absolutely be on your radar. Got a friend or family member heading to high-school or college? These would be perfect gift. I found the sound to be solid, the design to be svelt and the price point extremely attractive. Overall, the Shadow Wireless is sleek, comfortable and a true value for just $100.