Youtube review: Harman/Kardon Soho Stereo Headphone Review by Dale - YouTube Photos: http://dalethorn.com/Photos/Panasonic_Gm1/Headphone_Harman_Kardon_Soho_01.jpg http://dalethorn.com/Photos/Panasonic_Gm1/Headphone_Harman_Kardon_Soho_02.jpg http://dalethorn.com/Photos/Panasonic_Gm1/Headphone_Harman_Kardon_Soho_03.jpg Sources: iPhone5, iPhone5 with FiiO E07k using LOD, iPhone5 with Decware Zen Head amp, various computers using the Microstreamer and Audioengine D3 DAC/amps. Summing up the Harman/Kardon Soho sound based on a long listen plus direct comparisons to the Beyerdynamic T51p, B&W P7, B&O H6, Shure SRH1540, and a few others, the bass is excellent when heard on its own or compared to headphones that don't have an emphasized bass. But compared to the P7, Srh1540, and to a lesser extent the H6, the Soho's lower bass has a lighter impact, although the bass overall seems to have an ideal warmth and strength - very similar to the T51p. I realize now that these impressions are heavily biased by what a person is most accustomed to, so my descriptions and comparisons should help to show where the Soho fits into the overall bass hierarchy. The Soho midrange is clear, neutral to very slightly dark - again an ideal signature for my listening. The Soho treble is clear and clean and well-balanced, and given that this sound is much better than what I imagined for a headphone in this price range, I ran some tone sweeps and discrete tones from different vendors to try to discover where any major deviations from accuracy occurred, since I couldn't imagine it testing as good as it sounds. The bass is smooth and flat down to 45 hz or less, with an estimated 4-5 db rolloff below that. The midrange tones didn't show any significant peaks or dips, and given my impression of an ideal midrange, I'd say it's about as flat of a frequency response as headphones get. Treble response is smooth up to 3.5 khz where there's a mild emphasis - possibly 3 db, followed by a small dip of 3-4 db around 5 khz. Above that it sounds like there's a moderate emphasis around 8 khz, increasing a bit to 4-5 db at 9 khz, followed by a dip of perhaps 3 db at 10 khz. Above 10 khz it's smooth and not remarkable, except to say that there's a decent amount of 'air' for hi-fi listening. Since a good soundstage depends on having a full treble, the Soho's soundstage is better than most small headphones since most of those have a recessed treble. But I don't think anyone is going to expect the Soho to perform miracles in that regard. In any case, soundstage in most headphones varies far less in my tests than the various music tracks do, so the better your recordings the better the Soho will sound, and it sounds excellent with my high-res downloads. Using a good headphone amp or DAC/amp with the Soho makes a big improvement in sound quality as well as soundstage (see below), since the Soho was built for high-quality listening. Reiterating the most sensitive aspect of the Soho's sound from the most common user viewpoints - the bass does not have any weakness when the Soho is played exclusively for a long enough time for the user to shed their biases based on their familiarity with the more common bass-heavy headphones. People who are gaming and require a heavier impact, or people who use the headphone on public transport where the background sound contains a lot of low frequencies - these users usually prefer a larger headphone which can produce the boosted bass frequencies more cleanly than a small headphone, since the small headphone is typically being stressed beyond its design limits by the use of bass booster controls and EQ settings. Like most quality headphones, the Soho sound improves noticeably with DACs and headphone amps as compared to driving the headphone with just a low-cost portable music player or cellphone etc. To appreciate the difference a good DAC and/or amp can make, play music using the DAC/amp first, then switch to the cellphone or music player and hear the difference. That difference is usually subtle and difficult to appreciate the other way around: if you listen with the cellphone first and then switch to the DAC/amp. I think that's because it's easier to hear what detail is lost in the former example instead of what's gained in the latter example, unless what's gained is dramatic as might be heard with some of the more expensive DACs and amps. Soho isolation is low - less than 10 db at high frequencies and even less lower down. Leakage is low - if used in a very quiet office in a cubicle next to other cubicles, persons in the adjoining cubicles won't likely hear disturbing sounds unless the Soho is played very loudly. There's no significant difference in bass response when wearing the Soho with eyeglasses on, since the small-ish earcups sit entirely on the ear. The Soho's physical design is nothing less than amazing. Removing it from the box, it looked very small folded up, but felt very dense as most high-quality electronics items tend to be. In spite of that density, the actual weight is light because of the small size, albeit purely plastic headphones are lighter. There's enough clamping force to keep the Soho on your ears if you don't make rapid head movements or bend over very far, and that moderate clamping force is necessary due to the smooth spongy earpads that sit on your ears. Getting those earpads centered on your ear canals is important in getting the full complement of treble frequencies. The headband has little padding, but the light weight makes additional padding unnecessary. However, for anyone bothered by even a slight headband pressure, I recommend pulling the earcups down an extra 1/8 to 1/4 inch to transfer more of the weight from the headband to the earcups. The construction is all metal except for a leather-like covering on the earcups. The Soho is ideal for portable use since the earcups can be pulled all the way down and folded flat, and the headphone worn around the neck all day with no problems, since the earcups don't get anywhere near the chin where they would potentially bother the user. Two double-entry detachable cables are supplied with the Soho - both about 4 feet long. Apparently there are 2 Soho versions - one with an Apple-type cable plus a generic cable, and one with cables for non-Apple phones or music players. My Soho is the Apple-compatible type where the non-generic cable has controls for start-stop, volume up and down, and mic. The hard clamshell carrycase supplied with the Soho is a very nice touch, and very useful - small enough to fit into airline carry-on bags or student backpacks without taking up much space in those bags. The music tracks below have been listed in several prior reviews, and are a random sample selected from the 400 most recent tracks I've acquired. Since these tracks cover a wide range of genres, and were selected when I was using several different headphones, there won't be a bias toward the Soho headphone with this music. My suggestion is instead of reading each comment below as an absolute unto itself, you could compare these notes to the prior reviews and other reviews as they get posted, and see how the Soho compares with each individual track.