For budget headphones, the SoundPal SW69 deliver on quality that exceeds expectations. They don’t have any fancy features like noise cancelling or numerous in-line controls, but the sound they deliver tops nearly all low cost headphones and puts it more in line with mid-range products. I was very surprised when I tested these out, as I was expecting a much more plain if not low quality listening experience. But I was pleasantly surprised…

Pros:
– Lightweight
– Comfortable ear pads
– Very good sound quality
– 50mm drivers

Cons:
– Provided AUX cable can be touchy
– No frills (features, case, etc.)

The design of these headphones is very lightweight, but it didn’t feel overly cheap or likely to break. They are foldable, and the ear cups can also swivel to lay flat against your shoulder when around your neck. I don’t usually have an issue with that, but if you tend to take your headphones off and rest them around your neck, it’s a nice little feature to make doing that more comfortable. The headband has adequate padding, and while it’s not thick, the lightweight nature of the headphones makes excessive padding unnecessary. The ear cups themselves are very soft, and while I initially expected their cushioned design to muffle the sound, I found they didn’t do that at all.

h2The sound quality is what definitely surprised me about these headphones. With anything under the $20 range, I typically don’t expect the best of quality. I was even surprised to see that these had 50mm drivers, rather than the typical 40mm drivers in smaller headphones before I even started using them. The range of sound is very good, and you get all frequencies from low to high well represented and quite clear. Even pop music comes through with some impressive bass for inexpensive headphones. Rock and jazz also sounded very good, and everything stayed quite clear. Of course, at very high volumes things do start to get a little muddy, but I don’t suggest listening to your music like that anyway as it’s bad for your hearing. But the quality and clarity of sound in this unit is definitely better than expected.

The unit connects using a removable 3.5mm AUX cable (included), which does have a microphone on it. The microphone is nothing special, and the cable was a little finicky. I had to turn it slightly to keep the connection working properly. I’ll probably just end up using one of my own AUX cables, particularly since this one isn’t really that long. It’s a pretty standard length around 3ft.

sw69-score

Overall these are a surprisingly good buy for their price range. They don’t offer any sort of noise cancelling or other higher-end features, but they’re light and comfortable and the sound is quite good. These would probably make a very good and inexpensive choice for children as well. They’re soft and comfortable and can be worn for long periods without getting uncomfortable. For the price, it’s hard to find a better option.

SoundPal SW69 Headphones: $14.99 – Amazon.com

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