Bluetooth headphones are becoming somewhat the norm for everyday use. Throughout the years, I’ve seen them gradually grow in popularity, especially in the fitness category. There are a lot of reliable headphones suitable for working out. I’d say bluetooth headphones have gotten better overall in sound and pricing. Sol Republic came out with their first pair of Bluetooth headphones with the Sol Republic Tracks Air (on-ear) headphones. Earlier this year I got a sneak peak at what now are officially the Sol Republic Shadow wireless Bluetooth earbuds (in-ear headphones). Given Sol Republic’s excellent track record with headphones and speakers, I couldn’t wait to get some time with the Shadow Wireless.
Design and Build
The design of the Sol Republic Shadow headphones will be familiar-looking to you. The body (or the base) of the headphones rests on your neck. It has a soft rubber feel to it. They fit nicely and lightly around your neck. The headband or “neck-band” bends and twists, so it can adjust to fit over sweaters and collars.
Right now the Shadow wireless earbuds are available in 3 cold combinations; black and silver, white and rose gold, and the special edition Tiger Woods collaboration with Sol Republic that are black with red accents. I have the white and rose gold. The white is a bit off-white. It’s not a full bright white. Where the rose gold accents are at the end of the neck band, that’s where the headphone cords begin. The cord is long enough to come up from the neck to your ear without being too tight or too loose.
The controls are on the side of the right earbud. The neck band has a rectangular shape. There are four buttons on the right side. There’s 3 buttons in the shapes of a line, a circle, and then another line. These of course control volume and track playback. On the opposite side of these buttons is the flush round power button. On the inner side of the neckband is the indicator light. And on the left side you have the microUSB charging port.
When it comes to wireless earbuds, I expect volume over sound quality when it comes to the overall sound. After breaking in the headphones (letting them play for hours), I found the Shadow Wireless to be very loud, much louder than I expected (or remembered). The overall sound of the Shadow wireless earbuds is balanced with a slight bass punch. Sometimes the bass beat overrides the vocals of the track. Impressive for wireless sound.
The earbuds do a great job of noise isolation. The volume of the Sol Republic Shadow earbuds are incredible! Along with the noise isolating tips, you have a winning combination. I was shocked to get this sound quality and volume from bluetooth earbuds.
To me most bluetooth earbuds are comfortable. The basic setup of small headphones and no wires is as minimal and comfortable as you can get. Once you get passed that, you go for the comfort of the fit of the band, and pressure of the ear tips.
The flexible neck band is comfortable, very comfortable. I’ll go as far as to say, too comfortable. They really do fit “naturally”. It’s super lightweight and doesn’t have the choke-hold feeling. You will forget you have the Shadows on, and sometimes you have to make sure the headphones are resting evenly around your neck and not hanging too much from one side (about to fall off).
These headphones are great for everyday use, commuting, and taking the occasional phone call. However, these are just “good” at the gym. You can use these at the gym with no problem if you’re weightlifting or any exercise that has steady movements. Running with the Shadows isn’t the most comfortable. The earbuds stay in most of the time, but sometimes the band starts jumping around , and it can get annoying.
The Shadow earbuds charge quickly. I listen to 2-4 hours of music a day. It stays paired and I often forget to turn them off. There’s also an battery indicator when paired to an iPhone. When the battery is low, you’ll get a notification saying “Battery low. Charge now.” There’s also an battery indicator when paired to an iPhone, which I go by for the most part.
When running the Shadows non-stop at about 70% volume, you will get almost a full 8 hours. Recharge time when fully drained is 1.5 – 2 hours. But using them for an hour or two a day everyday (I listen to music at 70% – 80% volume), I have to charge them every 3 – 4 days.
Pricing and Availability
Like I stated earlier, the Sol Republic Shadow Wireless earbuds are available in 3 color combinations. They retail at $99.99 (the Tiger Woods collabo version details for a bit more. You don’t get a carrying with the Shadow which is probably the minor grip I have. I need them protected from the chaos that is my bag. These are definitely worth the bill in all the departments; price, quality, and sound.
You can find the Shadow wireless at on SolRepublic.com and at Best Buy.
The Sol Republic Shadow Wireless are great everyday headphones. You’ll be satisfied with the look, volume, and comfort. You won’t be disappointed with the Shadow wireless.