Unless you’re well-immersed in audio companies, you may not be aware of SOUL Electronics. They’ve been around since 2009, which is not particularly long as companies go, but is at least indicative of a brand with some staying power in these particularly competitive times. Between the abundance of $5 headphones you might get at a discount retailer and headphones costing well over $1000, goodness knows that choosing a good pair somewhere on the lower end of those price ranges can be overwhelming.
Perhaps that’s why I like these Soul IMPACT OE WIRELESS headphones so much. With a price right around $100, they’re not too cheap where you know sacrifices had to be made in sound quality and construction, but also not priced too high where us mere financial mortals can’t afford them.
Basic features of the IMPACT OE include:
- Bluetooth 4.0 audio streaming with HFP, A2DP, and AVRCP
- Two 40mm dynamic neodymium drivers with a frequency response between 20Hz – 20kHz
- Optional 3.5mm audio cable to listen over a wired connection
- Line-in controls and built-in microphone
- Padded ear cushions and headband
- Lightweight at 8.1 ounces and foldable for easier storage or travel
- Up to 18 hours of play time from a single charge of its 300mAh lithium ion polymer battery
For testing purposes, I first paired the IMPACT OE with my Windows 10 desktop PC, and then my iPhone 7 Plus. Pairing was straightforward, with the headphones showing up as SOUL IMPACT OE in the Bluetooth listing. Using Spotify’s maximum quality levels, music sounded great, with clear vocals and instrumentation, as well as a powerful, but not too overpowering, bass line. I then listened to audio podcasts, and the voices were perfectly clear.
One thing to note is that these are powerful headphones. What I mean by this is is that you can really crank the volume to ear splitting levels. Amazingly, the audio remains clear even at the “now you’re deaf” setting, but this power (these go to 11!) is something to keep in mind when letting younger ears listen.
In testing the microphone, callers said my voice was clear. In turn, I could hear them with excellent clarity.
Although the IMPACT OE may not win any awards for its somewhat conservative looks (something my middle-aged self who prefers professionalism frankly likes), it more than delivers when it comes to sound quality. About the only potential negatives I can levy against these headphones is that the sizing band tends to slide out of position after you remove them from your head and the heavily cushioned earpads are small and meant to go on top of your ears, rather than over. My personal preference is for the latter style, although these are so heavily padded that it definitely doesn’t bother me as much as it usually does.
Despite some niggling issues, if you want a premium, versatile Bluetooth wireless headset that doesn’t break the bank, you would do well investing in these headphones.
- Latest Bluetooth technology
- Can be used with wired 3.5mm connections too and requires no power in this mode
- Great sound
- Gets as loud as you could ever want and still pumps out clear audio
- Built-in microphone
- Long battery life
- Lightweight and portable (they fold up)
- Premium packaging and materials
- Reasonable price
- Earpads are sized to go on the ears rather than over, so that may or may not be a negative
- Sizing band does not lock in place
The IMPACT OE headphones deliver excellent Bluetooth performance with premium sound quality.
Thanks to Soul Electronics for the review unit.