Incase Sonic Headphones review: Incase Sonic Headphones

This omission of steel parts certainly shields the headphones from knocks and drops, but it also reduces the weight down to a little less than half a pound. Combined with the supple memory-foam padding that lines the earcups and the top of the headband, it's easy to forget you're wearing the headphones unless you're pumping music through them. The plush micro-fleece cloth stretched across the padding feels remarkably similar to a Snuggie, though I wouldn't recommend you fall asleep on top of them.

That said, the material does tend to pick up dirt and debris, but Incase provides a Mylar zippered bag to accompany the cans in transit. You also get an assortment of accessories including a 3.5-inch adapter plug and the aforementioned cables, both of which are equipped with a microphone and three buttons on the remote that support track navigation and volume controls for compatible iOS and Android devices.

Performance
The Sonic's pivoting ear cups and padded ear cushions work together to create a seal that efficiently blocks outside noise without putting too much pressure on your temples. That said, these aren't active noise-canceling headphones, so you'll still hear ambient noise drifting into your ears if you play your music at a moderate volume. Still, the circumaural (over-ear) design fully engages the drivers in front of your ears, so they perform equally well in an office and a crowded subway station.

Incase builds a 40mm titanium diaphragm driver into each earcup with a 20Hz-20,000Hz frequency response and an impedance of around 32 ohms, but what does that mean for the average consumer? I ran several digital music files through the headphones paired with an Apple iPhone 4S with encoding ranging from 128-320k as well as a few FLAC tracks, and the cans are capable of outstanding high-frequency extension.

Even at high volumes, my copy of Michael Jackson's "Off the Wall" delivered pristine highs with no noticeable sibilance or roll-off, and I was able to hear each vocal snap articulated clearly in the middle. Low-end texture seems to be the litmus test for modern headphones now, and bass lovers and neutralizers alike will be pleased with its depth and lack of distortion.

Finally, the headphones give off an open sense of space that's particularly impressive given their closed-back design. Each instrument takes the listening experience out of the user's head and separates it from the rest of the recorded tracks -- further evidence of this device's acoustic aptitude.

Conclusion Incase proves you don't need to be in business for decades to produce a solid headphone. By crafting new build materials around a cushioned fit with lively performance, the Incase Sonic headphones succeed in producing a near-perfect headphone worthy of your $150 investment.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Color gray
  • Sound Output Mode stereo
  • Additional Features remote control
  • Type headset
  • Headphones Form Factor ear-cup
  • Connector Type mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm
About The Author

Justin Yu covers headphones and peripherals for CNET. When he's not wading through Web gulch or challenging colleagues to typing tests, you can find him making fun of technology with Jeff Bakalar every afternoon on The 404 show.