SOUL by Ludacris SL300 Headphone Review

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SOUL by Ludacris SL300 Headphone Review

David Solomon – Headphones.com

A Triumph of SOUL

For me, a great noise cancelling headphone does a lot more than just allow for more detail to be heard (at a lower volume) in noisy environments; it actually allows me to sleep in noisy environments when I otherwise would toss and turn. For a headphone to be both “sleepably” comfortable and block out an extreme amount of ambient noise, I would be willing to pay the asking price of the SL300. However, the SL300 is not only the most effective and comfortable noise canceling headphone I’ve ever worn, but it sounds as good as it looks – And I think it looks pretty darn good!

The Fit and Finish

The folks over at Soul by Ludacris know how to make me smile just looking at the box. I have to say, for me, the entire Soul line has some of the most attractive packaging in the industry. The SL300 is one of the most attractive headphones I’ve ever seen. Coming in two colors the SL300GG and the SL300WB, I especially like the Othello-like look of the Black & White version. The gold version is truly eye-catching, but it may be slightly more difficult to fit into a wardrobe. The SOUL by Ludacris SL300 folds up compactly to fit inside a stylish hard travel carrying case. This carrying case fits perfectly into my backpack and brief case. The headphones come with two different cables: One has an embedded microphone and remote for Apple products while the other does not. Both connect to the headphone on the left side via mini-plug and terminate to a right-angle mini-plug. I greatly prefer the right-angle style of cable termination because it tends to stress out the mini-plug headphone jack much less. The ear pads are plush and have pleather-like material which does not overheat my ears. I was surprised how comfortable the headphones felt when worn on my head. The ear pads feel soft and generously padded. The headband too is soft and plush and demonstrates Soul by Ludacris brand’s signature stitching design. While the noise canceling activation button is found on the back of the left ear cup, the batteries which provide the power for this feature are manually installed inside the right ear cup. The right faceplate comes off by toggling it counterclockwise. The package comes with the first pair of triple A batteries to be installed. Fortunately, in order to preserve battery life, you can still use these headphones for music listening even when the Noise Cancelling feature is not activated. However, you will notice a drop in overall output volume when the noise cancelling feature is not activated. The level of noise cancellation on the SL300 is superb! And what’s equally impressive is that I have found that the SL300′s noise cancelling feature is less intrusive than I have typically found with other noise cancelling headphones. What I am speaking of here is the awkward feeling of slight pressure which some sensitive ears can feel when noise cancelling is activated. When I observed the noise cancelling quality in my apartment, I was amazed that the hum of my louder-than-average air conditioner had been entirely eliminated. The call quality of SL300 showed to be very clear and reliable when paired with my iPhone. Speech is easy to understand and recipients can hear me well. The iPod controls rest at my shoulder for easy accessibility. SOUL by Ludacris SL300 Headphone Review

All About the Sound…

I feel that the SL300 have a sound that would please a variety of music listeners. While the bass is definitely raised for that extra oomph and punch (best suited for listening to Hip Hop, Pop and R&B), I have found that the bass region is controlled enough to sound really good with a variety of music including Rock, Metal and Jazz. The midrange allows for vocals to come to the forefront. The highs are just slightly subdued for a more mellow tonality. A Comparison between Beats Studio & Soul SL300 – Which is the better Noise Canceller/iPhone compatible headphone at $300? First things first: If you hold the SL300 in one hand and the Studios in the other, you may be as surprised as I was to feel just how much more substantial the SL300 look and feel. It’s not something that can be noted in pictures, but the difference is very apparent in person. The stitching of the Soul by Ludacris headband is an awesome feature. The SL300 headband is also slightly larger and feels more impressive than the Beats Studios. The noise cancelling and call quality are on par with one another, though I do feel the SL300 edges out the Studios just slightly in the amount of ambient noise it is able to eliminate. The comfort on the ears is about equal, however the extra padding on the headband allows the SL300 to rest more comfortably on the head. The difference in sound quality is not as night and day as it was when I compared the SL150 to the Beats Solo HD (Soul by Ludacris’s and Beats by Dre’s $200 models respectively). Make no mistake about it, I prefer the SL300′s sound quality by a significant margin over the SL150 for its tighter bass control and purer-sounding midrange. However, the sound quality of the Beats Studio is of a similar tone to the SL300. The most distinguishable difference between the sound of the SL300 and the Beats Studio is in the way in handles bass. The bass of the SL300 feels more controlled and tighter, while the Studios have more bass emphasis. I preferred the SL300 in this regard. The SL300 have a slightly more forward midrange which allows for vocals to have greater presence. The Beats Studio have a slightly more forward treble response which I enjoy for the detail it provides. However, the Studios have a slightly more U-shaped frequency response than the SL300. What this means is that the bass and treble feel more inflated and there is a perceived dip in the midrange. In other words, the Studios sound more colored to my ears than the SL300. However, neither headphone is a neutral headphone – both are fun sounding. When listening to “John” by Lil Wayne featuring Rick Ross, I preferred the way the SL300 sounded. The rapping was easier to hear. However the percussive elements had slightly more impact when listening to it with the Beats Studio. I took a listen to “Astral Weeks” by Van Morrison and I preferred the sound representation of the SL300. In this instance, I felt that the Beats Studio had a bass which overwhelmed the mix and as a result, the vocal and the acoustic guitar were compromised. Listening to Eva Cassidy’s interpretation “Over The Rainbow, I preferred the extra feeling of air which the Beats Studio seemed to have. However I felt the vocals were slightly fuller when listening with the SL300. Megadeth’s “Foreclosure of a Dream” sounded more aggressive and tighter when using the SL300. The bass simply felt looser on the Studios. Loose bass and metal are like oil and water. When listening to Katy Perry’s “Teen Age Dream” I felt both headphones offered a similar quality of sound, though slightly different in approach. The voice was more forward using the SL300, but the percussive elements including the guitar chops was more audible when using the Studios. I did not mind the extra bass emphasis which the Studios offered, but I did prefer the forwardness of Katy’s voice when using the SL300. Overall, it was my impression that while both headphones boast a similar fun sound, the SL300 was able to make more genres sound good. For this reason, I would say that they are the better sounding headphone.

Last Word

The SL300 are one of those headphones which seem to have it all: Good sound, comfort you can sleep in, a compact design, noise cancelling which can block out the noise which irks you, a mic/Apple compatible cable option and impressive looks. Soul by Ludacris has succeeded here on many levels, creating one of the best noise cancelling headphones on the market today!
Sound Quality 8.5 (bass emphasis)
Design & Features 10
Portability 8
Isolation 9 (active noise cancelling)
Value 9 out of 10

SOUL by Ludacris SL300 Headphone Review

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39 thoughts on “SOUL by Ludacris SL300 Headphone Review

  1. i want to buy a headphone but i can’t deceide between sl150 and sl300. i read some reviews that said sl150 sounds better than sl300. which will you buy? if don’t care about the price?

    • Hi Daniel –

      Thanks for the question. As I stated in the review, I prefer the sound of the SL300. The bass is tighter and more controlled, giving a truer sound to the actual recording. Both are great choice, but the SL300 wins in comparison. If you have any more questions don’t hesitate to give me a call at 1-800-352-6140.

  2. i am new to headphones and i have several questions~
    will sl300 be to heavy to wear or it is still very comfortable? and if don’t consider the price which will you choose sl150 or sl300? (i have read some reviews that said sl150 sounds better than sl300)
    thanks for answering me~

    • Hi Shallan

      Thanks for the response! I haven’t found any discomfort listening to the SL300 over extended listening sessions. The sound quality plus added noise cancelling makes the SL300 a good choice over the SL150 if price is not an option. Feel free to give me a buzz at 1-800-352-6140 if you have any more questions.

      David
      Headphones.com

      • The SL150 have better sound throughout the whole spectrum, included bass. It would be very difficult for me to imagine someone preferring the sound quality of the Solos. Thanks for the question. If you need anything else, don’t hesitate to give me a call at 1-800-352-6140 and ask for David!

  3. I currently own the Beats by Dee, which I like a lot. I thought your review was very even handed. My biggest complaint with the Beats is the level of sound leakage to those close by. Are the Soul headphones open air headphones? How would you compare the leakage?

    • A lot would depend on which Beats you are using. As far as I know there are no open air Beats models or Soul models. The SL150 however block out more noise than the Beats Solos or the Solo HD. Obviously, there are noise cancellers available for both brands as well! The SL300 and the Studios. :)

    • Thanks for the question, Bobby.
      The leakage from the Beats and Souls are about the equal. On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being best case scenario), I’d say both headphones are about a 6.
      -Dave

    • They’re both really good and very similar in sound presentation, I personally prefer the Soul’s slightly for its more forward midrange. I would suggest in this case to go with whichever model you feel is more attractive to you.

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  5. Hello! I have pretty large ears and have been deciding between the SL150s and SL300s, is there a substantial difference in comfort between these two? I really like the white color of the 150s.

    How comfortable is wearing the two different Cans around your neck? I travel a lot in Japan. ;) Thanks!

    • The SL300 has a larger ear-cup, so if you want to avoid any potential for the cup to be resting on your ear, the SL300 is the way to go. My ears are not terribly large and fit very comfortably within the ear-cups of the SL150. The SL150 will be more comfortable for wearing around your neck, due to the smaller ear-cup size, however the SL300s around your neck will still allow for good neck movement as they are not terribly bulky. I personally think the white SL150 is one of the nicest looking pair of cans in our selection, and proudly wear them around my neck while traveling. I hope this helps! -Brian

  6. I find the white and black version of these headphones much more appealing. However, the inner headband is white. What type of material is it made of and does it get dirty easily?

    • The sound quality is about equal, so if the around the ear design is not something you prefer, and the noise cancelling ability of the SL300 is not something you are after, then the SL150 may be the better buy for you. Feel free to give me a call at 1-800-352-6140 if you need help with your order.

    • At headphones.com we were definitely won over by Soul by Ludacris the most. In terms of sound quality we feel that each of the offerings surpasses the other brands when matched at the same price point. Both Beats and 50 have $400 models with something unique to offer, but I feel the SL300 and SL150 are hard to beat for their price.

  7. Thank you so much for this review. I recently purchased the SL150 about a week ago and I honestly love it. I’ve had the Beats Studio before and I really think that it comes down to preference. Tho the SL150 and 300 are definitely more stylish.

    Now, I’m kinda wanting to upgrade to SL300 but I really love my SL150. Would it be worth the $100 extra? and does it go over the ears or around it? Please let me know and thank you so much.

    AWESOME AWESOME REVIEW

    • Robert,

      Thank you for the kind words!

      Regarding the SL1300 vs the SL150, a lot will depend on what you are looking for from the headphone. Believe it or not, based on sound quality alone, the two headphones are in the same playing field. However the SL300 have larger pads which go around the ear and the added benefit of noise cancelation, which works awesomely. If you are extremely happy with the SL150 but are desiring these added benefits, then I do feel the SL300 is worth the additional costs. If these additional features are not necessary for you, then it may not be worth the extra expense.

  8. I can’t decide on which headphones in the range 200-300 should I buy, I’m a person that enjoys all kind of music and my options are sl150, SMS wired or the v-moda, could you recommend and help me in the decision

      • I’m trying to decide between the sl 300 and the v moda m80 . I want to block out as much noise as possible and will use themto listen to mostly rock and rap on my android smart phone watching blu rays on lap top. Both have solid reviews but i cant find a store near me that sells the v moda so i can demo them. Thanks

        • If you want to block out noise, the SL300 is the way to go. Not only is it an Over-Ear headphone (M-=80 is On-Ear), it also has active noise cancellation to prevent that outside noise from disturbing you.

  9. Hey so i am stuck. I can’t decide which headphone to choose, sl150 or sl300. Please just give me feedback on which is better. Willing to pay either. Thanks!

  10. I have read good review for both The Dre.Beat Mixrs and The Souls sl150 but I don’t know which one to choose, Also i have been debating if i should get the Soul sl300 instead of those, Which one would you recommend?

  11. I like the beats Studios and I love the Souls. I have had the Souls SL 150 and I love them. Since I prefer the comfort of around the ear headphones I decided to buy the SL 300 . I was expecting the same sound of the 150 or better, but in my opinion the 300 does not sound as good as the 150. The 150 sound great but the 300s treble is to harsh and its midrange is not as good. There is something in the 300s that hurt my ears but the 150s are just perfect.

  12. I just got the sl300 gold n the bass is works but the sound of the vocals/lyrics don’t. What do i do to fix/prevent this

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