Out of all the celebrity-branded headphones to hit the market lately, we’ve been digging the Soul line by Ludacris the most. The cans are consistently flashy, consistently chic, and always brilliant sounding. We’ve come to expect a lot from their over-ear models, which is why we were quite excited to finally get our hands on a pair of the SL99 in-ear headphones.
Thankfully, we weren’t disappointed in the slightest. The buds fit perfectly (or very nearly, anyway) offer world class construction, as well as stupendous sound performance—though it’s obviously a bit heavier on the bass than some might prefer. Regardless, you can check below to digest our entire headphone review.
Design and Comfort
In comparison to the Beats line by Dr. Dre, we actually prefer the models Ludacris has been putting out, as they feature a more subdued kind of elegance. The SL99 headphones are no different, offering thick metal rings at the earcaps, as well as a superbly crafted unibody design. The cable is also worth noting, as it’s flat and—apparently—tangle resistant. We never realized just how much we appreciate this feature until meeting the SL99 headphones, and now we wish every pair of in-ears came with it. The fit itself is quite comfortable, though we did find that the earbuds rest best when projecting out of the ear at a slight angle.
Otherwise, the headphones tended to slip out during heavy commuting. However, the in-ear tips are certainly plush enough, and may even be too large for those with more minute ears. We aren’t complaining, though, as our ears tend to rest a little on the big side of things.
Sound Quality and Performance
Obviously, you’ll find the best performance with these headphones while listening to something in either the R&B or hip-hop genre. With that set-up in particular, the bass is absolutely slamming, and adjective we wish we could apply to more earbuds. Percussion hits in particular are nice and booming, while snares pop and sizzle like none other.
Even better, the high-end performs with enough clarity to be allowed within rock and pop, though obviously it isn’t quite the ideal set-up. However, the mids tended to dip and rise with an unpredictable throw. This tended to knock genres other than hip-hop the most, but as our favorite rappers tend to focus on the highs and lows more, we weren’t that perturbed by the performance.
Considering the headphones will cost you less than $100, we can’t recommend the SL99s enough. Ludacris has obviously put a lot of thought into the design and sound quality, and the end result is a top-notch pair of in-ears that will fit almost any need. If you’re into modern music the SL99s will appeal to you most. For everyone else, the earbuds are a classy and attractive option to be considered.