Soul Electronics Jet Pro review

These noise-cancelling headphones look smart enough, but is there substance to go with the style? Tested at £250

TODO alt text

Our Verdict

All looks but no real substance - and simply too hard to justify for the price

For

  • Smart design
  • Good battery life
  • Interchangeable cable and battery

Against

  • Music lacks clarity
  • Muddy midrange
  • Bloated bass
  • Lack of detail and subtlety

Following an attempt to take on the likes of Beats by collaborating with rapper Ludacris back in 2011, Soul disappeared from our radar for a while, until we recently bestowed five stars on a pair of its sporty Electronics Flex in-ears.

A perfect time to take a look, then, at these stylish noise-cancelling cans, the Soul Jet Pro.

Build and design

This is the ‘Pro’ version of the original Jets. The difference between the two comes down to about £50 and a premium, more stylish finish. With the Pro, there is an aluminium and leather-look headband instead of the plastic on the originals, and a solid construction, rather than one that folds down to be more portable.

You’ll also get a 99.99 per cent oxygen-free copper-stranded “professional audio cable” alongside the standard inline remote cable (exclusive to the Pro version), a 1/4in adapter and a leather carry case in the box.

As far as internal acoustics go though, they’re exactly the same as the standard Jets.

Noise-cancellation

The design is relatively lightweight and we find the fit comfy enough to wear over extended listening sessions. The earcups aren’t as padded as some though, and although this doesn’t affect the comfort level, it does mean Soul Jet Pros aren’t as good at passive isolation when compared with something like the PSB M4U 2s.

Noise cancellation could do better too. Office noise is dulled but not convincingly blocked out, while more constant sound, such as airplane noise, is still noticeable, particularly with quieter recordings.

Performance

Start playing some music and the news doesn’t get much better. The Soul Jet Pros are quite hollow sounding, with little body or depth to their presentation. It’s almost as if you are listening to your tunes in a big wooden box.

The bass is boosted and sits forward in the mix, but lacks punch or impact. Listen to Nicki Minaj’s Truffle Butter and the bassline sounds bloated and soft, with a powerful low rumble, but very little detail to go at, making the Pros sound a bit cumbersome and imprecise.

Detail is lacking across the frequency range, in fact, with a muddy midrange and vocals that sound as if they’re being sung from behind a window, losing any finer detail or emotion in the process.

Dynamically the Jet Pros are pretty flat too, so you’ll lose the impetus of livelier recordings, while also sacrificing the intimacy of quieter ones.

Strangely, switch off ANC (powered by a single AAA battery) to listen to the Soul Jet Pros passively, and we find they sound a touch better – unusual in this category of headphones. There’s a slight thinning of the treble but the bass is better balanced and the midrange is cleaner, with better clarity across the board.

Don’t get us wrong, it’s still a sound that’s very much below par for this price point, but it is a saving grace of sorts.

Verdict

For all of their good looks, the Soul Jet Pros fail to impress, with sound quality far off the best and noise cancelling that needs improvement too.

You can get both much better elsewhere, which makes these difficult to recommend.