Out from the shadows.
So it seems as if Jabra weren't the only ones making a 'round-the-neck' set of Bluetooth headphones, as Sol Republic have assembled a tasty looking pair as well. If you're looking for a water and sweat proof pair of cans that can function for sport as well as fun, check out the Shadow Wireless... we did.
The Sol Republic Shadow Wireless Headphones feature a pair of in-ear monitors attached to a flexible base. That base sits comfortably around your neck on top of your shoulders, and as it is bendy and exceptionally light, we hardly knew we were wearing it when we had it on. The flexibility of the band, and its ability to be moulded into shape and stay that way, should mean it could be worn by pretty much anyone of any age.
The device boasts a battery life of up to eight hours, and first time round we let them play endlessly, connected to a phone. Sure enough, the Sol Republic Shadow Wireless Headphones gave up the ghost after just over eight hours of playback, which means, off and on, these will see you right for a whole day of heavy use. On that note, the charging time was also very quick, and we think we juiced them up fully in under an hour.
Connecting via Bluetooth is a doddle, and we found that the headphones were both discovered by music sources, and discovered devices themselves, very quickly. Switch them on, and so long as your phone's Bluetooth is already enabled, they'll connect in less than five seconds. And, obviously, while connected to a phone you can still make and take calls via the headset's built-in microphone.
In use, they performed exceptionally well. The earbuds (extra fittings included) create a reasonably tight seal, so even at low volumes you'll be hearing every little detail of the track. It would be an understatement to say that the Sol Republic Shadow Wireless Headphones excelled at reproducing bass, but heavy and thudding tunes were a real pleasure to listen to with them.
All genres sounded nice however, not just bassy efforts. Spoken word tracks were clean and crisp (as were phone conversations), while high points and lyrics just seemed to pour into our ears smoothly – again, all helped by those comfortable and tight seals.
Bluetooth headsets of this design are becoming increasingly popular, and it's easy to see why. By taking them off the head they are more comfortable and less conspicuous, meaning they can be work pretty much anywhere and used not just for music throughout the day. The Sol Republic Shadow Wireless Headphones epitomise this, as they could be worn for listening to tracks while running and also for taking calls in the office. Some nice work here.