Soul X-Shock True Wireless Earbuds - Review

March 14, 2018

For the uninitiated, Soul Electronics is an company founded in Ludacris in 2011 when the rapper released his line of headphones called 'Soul By Ludacris'. Since then, the company has slowly built its repertoire of audio gear. True wireless was the new frontier for most manufacturers and they duly obliged with the Soul X-Shock buds. Interestingly, they ran an Indiegogo campaign to get this product up and running, not unheard of for a startup company but a little quizzical for a 6 year old company. That aside, let's take a look further with a full review of these true wireless buds!
Soul X-Shock True Wireless Buds

Type - True Wireless Buds
Price - SGD 249 / USD 169

Who's It For?
The X-Shock buds have two features that make them ideal for fitness enthusiasts - they are waterproof / sweat resistant and they have a 60 hour battery life when charged with the case, ideal to last long stretches.
Soul X-Shock, Apple AirPods and Samsung Gear IconX
L to R - Soul X-Shock; Samsung Gear IconX and Apple AirPods

Pros (+) : Waterproof (not just splash-proof); Almost instantaneous pairing between buds; Superb battery life when combined with casing.
Cons (-) : Bulky carrying case; Time needed to adjust for ear fit; Average sound quality.

In The Box
You get a very sturdy box, which is magnetically clasped on the right edge. Pop it open, peel off the sticker and you get access to the inner sanctum that holds the buds and charging case that are blatantly displayed and tucked into the supporting foam. 

And taking everything out, you have access to the packaging contents that include:

  • Soul X-Shock True Wireless Buds
  • Charging Case
  • USB Charging Cable
  • 2 x Ear Tips (S / L)
  • Carabiner
  • Pouch

Design
The X-Shock buds are meatier in volume than most other true wireless buds we tested, though at 12g (combined), they weigh quite similarly to Bragi The Headphone (12g), the Samsung Gear IconX (12.5g), though all don't hold a candle to the lightweight Apple AirPods at 8g. They feature a single physical button on the exterior, its sweet spot marked by the Soul logo.  
Soul X-Shock True Wireless Buds

The carrying case measures 90 x 65 x 28 mm and its exterior made of soft leatherette gives it a premium feel. The flipside is it weighs a hefty 135g, when compared to similar cases provided by Samsung Gear IconX and Apple AirPods. However, it's important to note that the case does provide a total of 60 hours of battery life, something that way exceeds what its competitors deliver. Interestingly, even a pouch for the charging case is provided, something of an anomaly given that fitness folks would likely attach the carabiner directly to the case. It's a nice touch though. 
Soul X-Shock, Apple AirPods and Samsung Gear IconX
L to R - Casings of the Samsung Gear IconX; Apple AirPods and Soul X-Shock

Features
Playback:
While these buds do not have touch controls on the exterior, there is a physical button to activate certain controls such as Play/Pause and Skip Track. Now while they worked perfectly fine, pressing the button while out jogging can be a little painful on the ears as the button requires a certain fingertip pressure to actuate. Google Assistant / Siri can be activated by holding it for one second though take care not to actuate too long or the unit will power off. 
Soul X-Shock True Wireless Buds

Waterproof / Sweat-proof:
While other earbuds boast being splash-proof, the X-Shock takes it one step further - they are waterproof. They can supposedly be submerged in water for up to 30 minutes. Though I didn't test it to this extent, I ran these under running water and they worked perfectly fine. It's a great feature to have if you're somehow jogging in adverse weather conditions.

Pairing / Voice Commands:
Auto pairing is one of the unit's unique selling points. When taking 'em out of the case and inserting them in your ears, they will vocally notify you of the pairing between the buds. Once it links to your phone / device, which we found to be a straightforward process, it will again reconfirm. It's very communicative - both earbuds will sound off 'Power On', 'Left Channel', 'Right Channel', 'Pairing' and 'Device Connected'. 
Soul X-Shock True Wireless Buds


Performance
Sound Quality:
The sound quality was really quite average - Playing a sample of Kygo & Selena Gomez' It Ain't Me, the bass was decent but in no way does it hit the level of pounding excitement though the vocals give some clarity of Selena's vocals. 

Fit / Noise Isolation:
I found fit to be a bit of an issue when tested. Out of the two, the default (L) was used and while the left side inserted snugly, I had to adjust the right side a few times to get an optimal fit. You may need to try them out to see how whether it works for you. I took these for a spin in the gym and while they certainly don't fall out, I had to tweak the right side every now and then. 

In terms of noise isolation, these were tested on a bus and they hold their own in keeping the ambient noises down to a comfortable level. 
Soul X-Shock True Wireless Buds

Battery Life:
The buds last around 3.4 hours, putting them on an average level when compared with the Apple AirPods (5 hours) and Bragi The Headphone (6 hours) but bettering the Samsung Gear IconX (1.5 hours). 

The charging speed is very decent, given it takes about 1.5 hours to power up. The battery case boasts 3,000mAh which translates to 60 hours of playtime, according to Soul. This is way better than others like the Apple Airpods that hold practically a tenth of the juice (rated at 398mAh).
Soul X-Shock True Wireless Buds

One thing of note is a USB passthrough port - basically, when charging the case, you can also plug another USB cord to the case to charge another device like your phone, a useful function. I used my phone to test and it charged just fine. Another great touch is the useful 4 tier battery indicator lined adjacent to the port. Do note the front flap needs to held up if you want to charge the case. 

Overall
The Soul X-Shock true wireless buds are a decent pair of buds to behold. The inadequate fit and discomfort in controlling the buds on the move may not hit the right notes but they pack a punch in certain aspects for fitness enthusiasts. The fantastic overall battery life and waterproofing give a rep for rugged durability and one that will last the distance.  

Where To Buy
If you liked what you read, do feel free to support us by buying from Amazon through this affiliate link. 
Soul X-Shock True Wireless Buds

Credit to Soul Electronics for an evaluation unit.

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