Harman Kardon’s Soho headphones are the audio connoisseurs answer to those who want more sound, but a little less headphone. Soho is refined, delicate, and small! Whether it was intentional for these headphones to have a smaller footprint that appeals to women, is anyone’s guess, but this gal certainly appreciates the petite size of these headphones . Because while most other headphones tend to be on the larger size, the Soho is the complete opposite of that.
At first glance, the Soho headphones are quite small in size and have a striking resemblance to the Bowers & Wilkins P3 on-ear headphones - right down to the design of the ear pads. And the Soho’s, just like the P3′s, lets you swap out audio cables from terminals found underneath the ear pad. However, other than some minor details here and there – the Soho does know how to stand on its own. The collapsible headphones also come with a hardshell case and two cables – one with remote controls for your iOS device, and the other is just a straight-up 3.5mm audio cable for use with all other smartphones and audio devices.
Wearing the Soho is light and lovely, and it feels like you are wearing just a simple headband. The ear cups are tiny and fit on smaller ears very well. However, those with larger ears may need a bigger ear cup, thankfully Harman Kardon’s diverse headphone line-up has plenty to choose from. The hinges are also solid and show no signs of ever breaking unless you really try hard to break them. The headband also hugs your head really tightly, so even though they are light, don’t expect the Soho headphones to go slipping and sliding on your head.
Design and construction aside, the Soho Headphones audio experience is just ok. With 30 mm drivers, at times the sound experience was bit too muddy for our ears and not balanced. Depending on the specific tunes you listened too, the Soho will excel more, and we found that they perform better mostly with pop with strong vocals, while acoustic tunes seem just ok. Unfortunately, the Soho gets a bit uneven when it comes to deep Jazz or hard rock, and they suffer from a less than balanced listening experience.
The in-line remote works perfectly and callers heard me loud and clear with each outgoing and incoming call. Switching between calls and music is also a breeze and the controls themselves are nicely crafted and not chintzy.
The Harman Kardon Soho headphones offer a sleek and sophisticated look that is perfect for that guy or gal on the go who doesn’t want an imposing pair of headphones on their ears. It’s small design will appeal to those that are tired of the clunky huge headphones, and they really do seem a bit more inclined towards being feminine. They are also easy to throw into a bag, and shove into that seat pocket on an airplane. We only wish the sound experience was bit more balanced from song to song, but for the price point you get a very well crafted pair of headphones that are nice and compact, yet still fashionable. Harman Kardon Soho Headphones retail for $199.
The Good: Solid build quality. Comfortable. Perfect for those looking for smaller headphones to grab and go.
The Bad: Sound experience could be richer and more balanced. Those with larger heads, might want to steer clear of these and look at other Harman Kardon headphones.