Wireless headphones are everywhere. They are quickly becoming the most popular style of headphones around, with sales exploding and store shelves getting filled with various models from almost every headphone manufacturer. That's for good reason: wireless headphones are hugely convenient and are one of the few gadgets I use on a daily basis that make me feel like I'm actually living in the very near future. Most wireless headphones are on-ear or over-ear models, but there are a few in-ear designs that have been available for a couple of years. Beats' PowerBeats 2 are excellent examples of in-ear wireless headphones designed for exercise.
Sol Republic's new $99.99 Shadow headphone is a Bluetooth in-ear model, but it's not designed for exercise like the Beats. Instead, it has a piece that rests on your collarbone that houses all of the electronics and battery to power the wireless connectivity. Unlike other wireless headphones with similar designs that have stiff collars, the Shadow's collar is soft and flexible, and can easily be folded up and jammed into a pants pocket.
I've been using the Shadow for the past few days, and they are the most comfortable wireless in-ear headphones I've worn yet. Unlike the PowerBeats, which can be heavy on your ears after a short time, the Shadow is lightweight and feels like a standard wired headphone when it's in your ears. It also managed to stay in my ears for the duration of a red-eye flight, which is a marked improvement over other Sol Republic in-ear headphones I've tried in the past.
The Shadow's sound is just as impressive as its wearability: the sound is clear, with pronounced mids, and bass that doesn't overwhelm. It suited the twee Belle and Sebastian playlist I listened to on the plane in an attempt to fall asleep, and sounded great with hip hop or harder rock music. I normally prefer the sound of over-ear headphones compared to in-ears, but the Shadows are comfortable enough and sound good enough that I didn't miss my larger cans.
Sound is clear, with pronounced mids and bass that doesn't overwhelm
Sol Republic says the battery in the Shadow will last for 8 hours between charges and the three-button remote should work with any phone. I used it with an iPhone and HTC One and was able to control volume and pause tracks without issue on either one.
You can get the Shadow starting today from Best Buy and Sol Republics's website in two colors: black and grey or a light grey with rose gold. More color options are planned for release later this year.