Having already done a few dozen headphone reviews on the site, I’m starting to get a real good feel of what I love, like, and even hate when it comes to sound. When I first ran across the Sharkk Bravo headphones I was very intrigued, both at their price point and their claim of ten times better sound than other headphones. So, I decided we needed to put these Sharkk Bravo cups to the test and find out if the hype actually sounds good.
The Sharkk Bravo headphones have the following specifications:
- Frequency Response: 6 – 45,000 Hz
- Speaker Diameter: 4030 e-stat + 40mm dome-type
- Sound Pressure Level (SPL): 118dB
- Total Harmonic Distortion (THD): Less than 0.5%
- Impedance: 32 Ω
- Audio Plug: 3.5 mm
- Size: 252 x 218 x 95mm
- Weight: 10.3 ounces (294g)
Headphones priced anywhere over $150 should at the very least have an eye-catching design along with high quality materials. The Sharkk Bravo headphones design tries very hard to emulate studio type headphones, but some design cues were just off. The faux leather straps on the sides held down by Phillips head screws simply look tacky and appear as if they could easily break at some point. The faux aluminum and metal bits are also obviously plastic and the red stitching looks to be made from seriously cheap thread. The only metal thing on these headphones is the headband which is wrapped in a rubbery/plastic material (the headband was actually very comfortable).
The headphones do not fold up but they do have a good amount of bend to them which is helpful when throwing them in a bag, they should give a little. The Sharkk Bravo headphones aren’t Bluetooth enabled, but rather they are wired. I’m not a fan of the permanent wire coming from the left ear cup, at this price point the option to switch which ear cup you wire to should have been there. The wire also does not have the highest quality build so should this ever fray or break, you cannot replace it. The earcups are pretty soft and fairly comfortable but also made from cheap materials that could cause people who sweat some discomfort. Sharkk does include a replacement set of earcups in the box. Overall the design isn’t anything to get excited about, the materials aren’t as high quality as I think they should be and feel cheap.
The Sharkk Bravo headphones are Hybrid Electrostatic headphones, and this is my first experience with the technology. I will say that these headphones are fairly loud but you’ll have to control all volume through the phone, there are no volume controls on the headphones themselves. While the headphones are loud they’re also very different in sound than what I’m used to. I found them to be balanced in terms of the equalizer, which seemed to give everything its place. But I also found them to be overly bright and almost too crisp as if they were trying too hard for clarity. I felt like the bass and mids could have used some warmth to compliment the highs and clarity could have been leveled out.
While I don’t hate the sound coming from the Sharkk Bravo headphones, I also don’t love it and I certainly don’t think it has ten times better sound. For $249, I’d considered mid-range in pricing, I would expect much richer tone here. Sadly I didn’t find that. But that doesn’t mean the Sharkk Bravo’s won’t appeal to some, they’re certainly decent sounding headphones and there are ears out there that will most certainly love them. Overall I would say these headphones sound good but not stellar and certainly not ten times better.
Call quality was really good, the ear cups provide good noise isolation and calls were easily understandable.
At $249, these headphones might be considered pricey for some people, but with many other better built and better sounding options, I just don’t think the value is here.
Sharkk is banking on the Hybrid Electrostatic designation of these headphones to command the price tag but the low quality materials and the lack of impressive sound might keep people away. The Sharkk Bravo headphones are decent sounding but there’s definitely better out there, so shop around.