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Ghostek GHOHP001 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, soDrop Series aptX Over-Ear Headset with Noise Reduction, Bluetooth 4.0, HD Sound, Built-in Microphone, Hands-Free, Brushed Aluminum & Leather

  1. Cinder
    Watch Out Dr. Dre: The Ghostek SoDrop is a Beats Killer
    Written by Cinder
    Published Jun 26, 2016
    Pros - Premium feel, decent battery life, excellent case
    Cons - Undefined and overly-boomy bass, lack of clarity in complex choruses
    Ghostek made its name in the phone accessory market. Its been building solid cases for a while now, and they’ve brought everything they’ve learned from making durable phone cases to the table when designing the SoDrop. With an understated angular black and silver design, the SoDrop brings a fresh design language to an already crowded market of neon colors and rounded “b”s. While the SoDrop isn’t perfect, I find that for $90, it’s certainly worth considering.
    Disclaimer: This review is based upon a sample unit provided to me by a manufacturer in exchange for my honest opinion and un-edited words. I do not profit in any way from the writing of the review. I would like to thank Vadim at Ghostek for providing me with a review unit of the SoDrop.
    Preference and Bias: Before reading a review, it is worth mentioning that there is no way for a reviewer to objectively pass judgment on the enjoy-ability of a product: such a thing is inherently subjective. Therefore, I find it necessary for you to read and understand what I take a natural liking to and how that might affect my rating of a product.
    My ideal sound signature would be an extended sub-bass with a leveled, but textured, bass. The mids should be slightly less pronounced than the treble, but still ahead of the bass. I prefer a more smoothed upper range.
    Source: The SoDrop was powered off of a Nexus 6P -> Bluetooth aptX. All music was served as FLAC or as 320Kbps Mp3 unless otherwise stated.

    Sound Signature

    Highs: Songs used: Supermassive Black HoleAriseFade Into Darkness
    Highs are forward, with a good amount of detail and extension. I am impressed with the quality of sound these $90 Bluetooth headphones are capable of delivering, specifically in the high frequencies. I suspect this has much to do with the “W” shaped sound signature it has (boosted highs and lows, with a slight boost in the vocal mids). The high-pitched guitars and symbols of Arise cut through the song nicely, but became distorted or inaudible during the chorus.
    This is a trend; very busy songs cause some distortion in the upper frequencies, and generally lower clarity. I think this is a limitation of the drivers themselves, and not a tuning flaw, as I was unable to resolve the issue, even after wiring the SoDrops through my Sound Blaster E3 via my PC.
    Mids: Songs used: The DriftJarsIn Bloom
    Another pleasant surprise was the SoDrops respectable mids performance. Resolving the vocals and guitars of In Bloom clearly and with a good amount of texture, I found the SoDrops to be fun to listen to, even when compared with my more expensive and matured headphones such as the Audio Technica ATH-M50x and RHA MA750i. However I was slightly dissapointed by Jars. The song sounded flat, and lacking definition in the lower-mids, the frequencies where the guitars live.
    Furthermore, the violins and piano of The Drift were lacking in crispness, despite their general forwardness.
    Bass: Songs used: LightsBangarang99 Problems (Hugo Cover)
    Ghostek definitely tuned the SoDrop to be bass-heavy. I found the kick-drum of lights to be present and forward, but lack shape and definition. While this may upset purists, I find that it won’t be an issue for a casual listener, and is still a big step forward from Beat’s offerings. The unending chaos of Bangarang resolved well over the SoDrops, and managed to impress the bass-head in me. As a general trend, the SoDrops tend to perform well in songs where the bass does not need to be defined or shaped. For example, the majority of Skrillex’s songs performed well, as did many of Bassnectar’s — especially songs such as Underwater and Butterfly.
    99 Problems could have been punchier, but was decent enough. Unfortunately, the bass tended to bleed into the other parts of the song, making it difficult to discern certain lyrics.
    Clarity: Songs used: ThroneMap of The ProblimatiqueI’m Not Alright
    Unfortunately, this category is where the SoDrops perform the worst. Throne is mediocre-sounding, loosing definition in the bass. The vocal overlays loose their texturing, and tend to overflow onto the guitars. Likewise, in Map of The Problimatique, the bass became boomy, and generally unshaped.
    I’m Not Alright fared better, being able to resolve the violins and trumpets over the crowded intro, but largely loosing them in the chorus.
    Male Vocals: Song used: Hotel CaliforniaAshes of EdenSunday Bloody Sunday
    Male vocals are more often than not, slightly too thin. I found this to remain true in Hotel California and Sunday Bloody Sunday, but not in Ashes of Eden. It seems that darker and deeper voices resolve better and fuller on the SoDrops than brighter and higher-pitched voices.
    Female Vocals: Songs used: Stupid GirlSweet EscapeNeed Your Heart
    Female vocals sound pretty good. I enjoyed Gwen Stefani on Sweet Escape, and thought that Kai’s voice on Need Your Heart sounded rather full, if not too smoothed. Stupid Girl fared just as well, with a good resolution on the vocals.
    Sound Stage
    Sound staging could use some work. While there was some semblance of left/right separation, and a mild width to sound stage, I found the SoDrop’s offering to be less than stellar. One could describe the soundstage as mostly narrow, with occasional widening.

    Packaging / Unboxing



    Connectivity and Battery Life
    The SoDrop connects wireless to your devices over Bluetooth aptX. It can also connect to devices via 3.5mm jack, and charges over micro-USB. The SoDrop works over the 3.5mm jack, even when powered off or out of battery.
    Ghostek quotes 14 hours of battery life, but my best run has been 12.5 hours. While not ground-breaking, I find the SoDrop’s battery performance to be good enough.
    Construction Quality
    The SoDrops are built rather sturdily from premium-feeling materials. The driver housing is built from soft-touch plastic. The adjustable part of the headband is built solely from aluminum, and the actual headband is covered entirely in leather.
    The buttons click nicely and satisfyingly. They are not loose what-so-ever inside the driver housing.
    I found the build to be pretty sturdy overall, with some minor concerns on the folding mechanism on the band. While the headphones snap into place when fully expanded, the don’t snap into place when folded, leaving them rather wiggly. If a secondary “snap point”, for lack of a better term, was added to make the band feel more secure when folded, I would give the SoDrop full marks on external build quality.
    The SoDrops are pretty comfortable, even during longer listening periods. The soft earpads and light construction are likely responsible for this. I found the pressure the SoDrops exert on my ears to be a little too high, but never felt too much discomfort during my three hour listening session.
    Sound Isolation
    Sound isolation is pretty mediocre, owing to the SoDrop’s on-ear design. I can hear a snap clearly through the seal the earphones makes. However, on the bright side, they do a respectable job in blocking out my noisy mechanical keyboard. I would not recommend these for long airplane rides, as much of the noise will likely penetrate the seal.
    I feel like Ghostek went a little overboard with built in control functionality. There are 16 commands available, despite there being only three buttons of the SoDrop. I give the SoDrop full marks in this respect, as I’ve yet to see a more comprehensive set of built-in commands.


    The SoDrop came with a short micro-USB cable, a 3.5mm adapter for wired listening, and a hard case. While I wished the cables were a little thicker, I can’t really fault Ghostek for making some compromises on arguably the least important part of the product, especially given the level of quality the case has.
    When using the included case, I feel very confident that the SoDrops will remain protected, whether it’s a drop, a spill, or any other weird situation clumsy people like me get themselves into.


    The Ghostek SoDrop is bargain for the price. Good battery life, comprehensive controls, good build quality, and decent sound quality make it a compelling offering for $90. Though audiophiles beware: the W-shaped sound signature and loose bass may not be for you.
      peskypesky likes this.