Based on past experience with Sol Republic products, I had high expectations for the Shadow Bluetooth headset. Not surprisingly, it lived up to those expectations. Bringing a great build quality, amazing sound, and a decent price, these earbuds just may be the ones to beat.
Retailing for $99, these wireless earbuds fit right into the perfect price range. They’re not outrageous, and not cheap. With the Shadows, you get what you pay for and that’s a good thing.
Like usual, Sol Republic has stunning packaging for their products. Yes, it’s just a meaningless box, but it helps to make you, the customer, feel more special. Upon opening the package you’re greeted with the earbuds, a micro USB charging cable, and a few replacement ear tips. If you happen to lose any of the ear tips, they can be replaced for free through Sol Republic’s Free Ear Tips for Life program (I highly suggest you check it out).
Charging is fairly quick and once the battery is full, you can expect around 4 to 6 hours of use. This obviously is affected by many factors, keep that in mind. But I can assure you you’ll be ballin’ most of the day before these die.
The Bluetooth range is a bit of a disappointment, as the phone usually needs to have a clear line of sight to the earbuds in order for them to work. Even setting the phone on the table and walking 6 or 7 feet away makes the Bluetooth start to cut out. I did experience a few issues while shoveling snow, I’d bend over and the connection would start to become spotty. Bluetooth will be at its best when it can establish a strong signal (this also does affect battery quite a bit).
These earbuds feature a flap over the charging port to further establish their position as water-resistant sport earbuds. On the other side you’ll find four buttons, a mic, and an LED. On the bottom is a power button, while the top sports volume controls and a play/pause/answer/hang up calls button. These buttons are a bit difficult to press at times, but that’s forgivable since I usually leave music on shuffle.
Listening to these earbuds is pleasant. You get a nice, balanced sound with both lows and highs present, strong, and crisp at the same time. Overall it’s a nice sound that makes you feel regret when you switch to something else. In my experience, this is the best sound at this price range that I’ve heard.
Weight isn’t an issue with these earbuds, and comfort comes easily. They’re super light and the soft touch material makes them disappear on your neck. It helps to have the main body NOT in the buds themselves, as this creates weight which pulls the earbuds out of your head. Sol Republic made a smart decision to make the Shadows into a neckband-style set of earbuds.
One thing I would’ve liked to see would be a carrying pouch of sorts. If you don’t want to leave the Shadows on all day, there’s really no place to put them. It doesn’t feel right just jamming them into a bag or pocket. This made me choose other earbuds over the Shadows when going somewhere.
The Shadows also tended to slip off my neck if I was bending over a bunch or moving in an irregular way. I understand this may not be typical use, or even something anyone else has an issue with, but it was very annoying to me.
In summary, you can feel confident that dropping $100 on these buds is a good idea. They have amazing sound and comfort, which far outweighs the drawbacks.
Feeling like picking up a pair? You can do so here, and while you’re browsing I might suggest the Jax to be a great pair of wired in-ear headphones on a budget.
Drop a comment down below letting me know your take on these earbuds.
Thanks to Sol Republic for letting me check these out.