Another day, another earphone review but this time it’s from a new brand we’ve not yet worked with before, SOUL. SOUL launched in the US in 2010 and they make speakers, headphones and earphones. They’ve just sent over one of their new pairs of earphones, the Sync ANC. They retail for $99 and are available to purchase now. Let’s check them out.
- Bluetooth 5.1
- 12mm drivers with AAC Codec
- Active noise cancelling
- Upto 5hrs playback and 22hrs total via charging case
- Audio Transparency Mode amplifies the sound around your surroundings
- Sweat resistant
- Built in microphone
The earphones come nicely packaged in a sturdy cardboard box and include the earbuds, the case, small & large rubber buds (medium on as default), a short USB-C cable, some instructions, and a carabiner. Why a carabiner? because there is a small fabric tag fixed to the carry case, meaning you can attach the carabiner to the case and then again onto your jeans, your bag etc.
The earphones are available in three finishes, black, mint green and navy blue, which is the pair we got. The carry case is very small, lightweight, it’s easy to pick up and hold. It’s made from plastic, it has a matte finish to it so it does show up grease and sticky patches. The lid opens from the front to reveal the earbuds and if you raise it all the way back, you can feel it lock in place, which is quite nice. To the rear of the case is the USB C port for charging, plus an indicator light but that only comes on when on charge, and that fabric tag to the right, which I spoke about earlier. Although there is one indicator light at the rear, it flashes, and the number of flashes relates to how much charge it has. Charge the case with the provided cable, plug it into your existing adapter or PC etc. There is no wireless charging.
As for the earphones themselves, traditional in shape and size with just a single rubber bud, no secondary supportive hook that some come with. Each earbud comes with a little indicator light, so you can see what’s occurring when pairing. Each earbud includes a microphone and they magnetically connect to the carry case, to ensure a secure connection for charging. The earbuds include touch controls
Audio performance at first was a little muddled, a little flat at low volumes but as you increase the volume, everything begins to lift. Mids and highs are mixed well and If I was being particular, the low end is prominent and can be overpowering for some tracks. That may or may not be an issue for you though, listening to some old school Kayne, with a thumping bass layer, the earphones punched hard. Whereas something a more chilled, acoustic stuff that focuses less on bass, didn’t sound as good.
With any earphones, there is a passive amount of noise cancellation anyway but these also include active cancellation too and I’m impressed with how well they work. Scrolling through the three modes, when ANC is on, you can notice a difference, be it a car driving past, someone talking to you or clapping, which is what I like to do to see how well it reduces that sound and these do it well. As for the transparent mode, which is meant to allow specific sounds/frequencies through so you can hear some external sounds, I think they worked but it’s not as noticeable when switching between ANC on and off.
As for controls, the left earbud controls volume, single tap for up, double-tap for volume down or three taps to activate voice assistant. The right earbud controls your content and calls. A single tap is play/pause, double-tap is the next track, three taps is the previous tap. To scroll between ANC, transparency mode, and normal, press and hold for two seconds, on either earbud to activate. There are voice prompts, that will tell you which setting you’re on. The touch controls do work well, the delay is minimal but you need to hit the correct part of the bud for it to register. You’ll notice a brushed effect section on the bud, it takes up about 60% of the face but if you hit the 40%, the command won’t register. It’s not a problem, I only missed it a couple of times and you’ll get used to it anyway.
Comfort, they’re pretty good. I’m a bit picky with earphones, perhaps it’s the size and shape of my ears and although these were comfortable when in, they were not the most secure I’ve tested. Sitting still at my desk, not a problem but walking around they would move, fall out or feel like they were falling out. I did not try these while exercising (usually my bike), as I knew they would annoy me, having to continually fiddle with them. This isn’t the first time this has happened, this is quite common, for me, so take that with a pinch of salt.
Battery life seems good, I’ve not quite hit the quoted 22 hour battery life yet, so not needed to charge them but when I do plug them in, I have got down to 2 flashes, which means the carry case is at 50%. Lastly, the microphone and each earbud include one. I made three calls while these were in my ear, no complaints, no questions so they pass that test.
Middle of the road for me, not the best I’ve heard but far from the worst either. I like the case, the overall appearance, the size of it all and they do sound good too. I would recommend them to people that sway more on the rap, RnB, heavier bass tracks, as that’s when they shine. They currently retail for $99, which should be around £79, so they are fairly priced, bordering on the lower price bracket, for that market.
For more info and to purchase, head over to the official SOUL Sync ANC webpage.