For all its fit problems the Soho for me sounds way better than the B&W P3. Cleaner, more dynamic and better clarity and a much more coherent and apt lower range that allows the rather small sound stage to breathe a little easier than other consumer cans on the market. In this case the more delicate nature of the typical Harman Kardon sound suits the headphone. It is not too radical departure from the mid-centric warmish tonality of the bigger CL and lacks any boom or veil that can often murder consumer cans of this size.
The treble still falls off a bit too much for my liking and lacks a bit of headroom and airy sparkle that could have benefited the smaller sound stage somewhat but on the flip side it possesses zero lower treble peakiness or sharp irritating peaks that many find overly fatiguing for long listening periods.
The bass is more supportive than demanding and for bassheads this might be a disappointment but I am glad HK stayed away from that temptation. There is more than enough basshead portable cans on the market to satisfy the most demanding of tastes but not enough mid-centric cans thats for sure. The Soho bass resides more in the mid-bass than any sub-bass but it doesn’t possess any noticeable incoherent cheap hump to distract or a sucked out mid-section to emphasize. I have mentioned before that Harman Kardon “do not do bass”, in this case it really suits the Soho and its flatter response. Gives it something unique among the vanilla ‘me too” Beats styled portable cans.
It is not the hardest of headphones to drive but give it some slight amping and the bass extension and slam becomes a bit deeper and harder and the sound becomes a little richer and thicker. It paired extremely well with my Vorzamp Duo and a splash of the treble switch give a little bit more sparkle in the top end that I felt was initially missing when straight out of the AK100 or DX50. Dynamics increased also but the Soho’s overall mid centric and smooth bass delivery never once became disjointed or suffered from any distracting distortion.
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