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Gear Review: Harman Kardon Soho 2 NC

May 15th, 2017 | by Z. Gonzales

Earbuds are definitely one of the most convenient ways of listening to music especially when you’re on the go. Earbuds are compact, lightweight and they don’t take much space in your bag. The tradeoff though is that earbuds mostly suffer from sound leaks compared to over-ear and on-ear headphones, which makes for a less than pleasurable listening experience.

Fortunately, some manufacturers have incorporated noise-cancelling technology in some of their offerings that should help in making earbuds sound better (if not as good) as headphones. Harman Kardon is one such brand that has these particular earbuds offering in the market with its Soho II NC.

package

I got mine last year bundled with my Huawei Mate S smartphone and have used it for a few months. The Soho II NC is still available in select online retailers such as Amazon at a discounted price which makes it quite an appealing product to consider especially if you’re looking on upgrading to more high-quality earphones.

Here’s my review to help you figure out if it’s worthy for your dollar.

 

WHAT’S IN THE BOX

Despite the Harman Kardon branding, the Soho 2 NC is packaged quite modestly. The product is placed inside a white windowed box. Aside from the headphones, Harman Kardon has included a pouch for the device, three pairs of ear plugs and ear fins, the usual documentation pack and an in-flight adapter for frequent flyers.

Unbox 

DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION

Being a noise canceling earphones means there are some things found in the Soho 2 NC that are not found in other types of earbuds. For starters, the housing containing the sound drivers are much bigger compared to the normal earphones since they need to have more space for the other hardware that’s responsible for the noise canceling technology.

input

Moreover, since the noise canceling components need their own source of power, the Soho 2 NC has its own battery which is located a little bit down south near the 3.5mm jack.

In terms of build quality, the Soho 2 NC didn’t let its Harman Kardon branding down. Despite using a lot of plastic in its construction, the earphones have managed to still look good and “not” cheap. The battery is also enclosed in high-quality plastic with a metal plate accent emblazoned with the company’s logo.

cover photo

The rubber that they used for the ear plugs and fins are also high quality and the suede-like pouch that comes with the device also looks and feels quite fancy.

 

ERGONOMICS & SOUND QUALITY

Sound quality is definitely where the Soho 2 NC shines. With the flick of a switch, the earphones turn from a typical earbud to a high-quality sound machine. The quality of the sound produced by the earphones is almost comparable to larger headphones I’ve used in the past.

Design 1

However, the device stumbles when it comes to ergonomics. The earphones are quite heavy that they tend to be pulled out of your ear because of their weight. On top of this, the battery at the end of the cable makes it hard to use the device when you’re traveling. The odd placement of the battery means it’s an extra piece of item you need to hold apart from your device this headset is connected to.

I also had difficulty finding the best fit for the ear fins. Even though the Soho 2 NC came with 3 pairs of ear fins, I just couldn’t find the right size that perfectly fit my ear.

battery pack

Lastly, you won’t be able to use the headset if your batteries run out of juice. Yes, even though this is essentially a wired headset, the audio drivers in this device is connected to the noise canceling components that require power, so the device always needs to have a charge when you want to use it.

 

FINAL WORDS

After using the Soho 2 NC for several months, I can definitely say that the earphones provide high-quality music despite its small size. However, it’s not really the most practical piece of equipment if you want to enjoy music on the go.

The headset is quite bulky and of course, there’s the issue of making sure the device is charged whenever you want to use it – something that I think shouldn’t be an issue for a non-wireless earphone. There’s also an issue with the fit of the earphones to your ear, which is quite important for products in this category.

When you consider its price of close to a hundred dollars, it’s not that easy to recommend the Soho 2 NC to anyone especially, when you can get a wireless earbud for the same amount of money. Nonetheless, if you like high-quality audio and have some money to spare it’s definitely something you should consider.

 

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