Head Sonic Pro Edge 16 String Review
- Too firm and low powered for beginners
Built with special additives to enhance comfort, power and feel, Head Sonic Pro Edge fits perfectly inside the new generation of softer, more playable co-polys. As with the original Sonic Pro, we discovered above average comfort and playability. This doesn't mean it's going to be soft enough for multifilament or natural gut fans, but it does suggest that Head has created a very accessible control string. For our team the most impressive feature was the bite. With its five sharp edges, this string grips the ball very effectively and provides easy access to spin. As for power, we found this string to be quite lively for a firm monofilament. Ultimately, for the player in search of a user-friendly control string with exceptional spin and decent pop, Sonic Pro Edge 16 looks very promising.
Power - Score: 74
While Sonic Pro Edge is definitely a control string designed for big hitters, it is by no means a dead poly. In fact, Brittany found it to be pretty lively. She said, "When I first started hitting with this string it felt crisp and had a bit more power than I was expecting from a poly. I felt it to be a little livelier than the average poly but not as lively as a multi or multi/poly hybrid. I enjoyed hitting my groundstrokes with a little extra oomph behind them."
Echoing Brittany's response, Andy also noticed the liveliness. He said, "Sonic Pro Edge had a crisp, lively feel, and the ball seemed to be jumping off the stringbed, but not to the point where I was losing control. It's on the softer side for a polyester based string, so that's going to give it a little extra juice. I would definitely consider it a livelier poly, similar to a Big Hitter Black 7 by Tourna or Luxilon's ALU Power."
Spin - Score: 84
The sharp profile and vicious snapback of Sonic Pro Edge gave our team exceptional spin. For Andy the extra bite translated into greater confidence on bigger swings. He said, "Its five-sided design helps grab the ball and shoot it off with lots of spin. The amount of spin you are able to generate also helps to control the little bit of extra power you get from the soft string. I was able to rip the ball and really accelerate on my shots with full confidence that I was going to get enough spin to bring the ball down into the court. To sum it up, you're talking about lots of spin with this one."
While Brittany tends to hit a flatter ball, she can definitely appreciate extra spin. She said, "With its shaped design I was able to get good bite on the ball. My game style consists of hitting flatter groundstrokes and serves, so the extra spin potential was welcomed. I benefited the most on serves. I was able to hit second serves with effortless spin, and I had the confidence to hit them under pressure."
Comfort - Score: 83
Though Sonic Pro Edge is built from a stiff material, Head found a way to add some comfort. Brittany took notice, saying, "Polys don't have the best reputation when it comes to comfort, but this one is definitely on the softer side. I normally don't have a problem with string stiffness, and I had no problems with this string. I was very comfortable hitting all my strokes. Even off-center shots, which I happen to hit occasionally, were not jarring or uncomfortable."
Andy also noticed the friendlier feel. He said, "Since it's on the softer side, Sonic Pro Edge is very comfortable on the arm. The lively feel contributes to this as well, because you don't have to be slugging the ball to get it to go somewhere. It's still a polyester, and it's not the softest poly, either, so it's not going to be the most arm-friendly string out there, but compared to most polys I'd say it's on the more comfortable side."
Control - Score: 81
Any string constructed primarily of polyester is bound to offer excellent control. According to Brittany, Sonic Pro Edge is no exception. She said, "My favorite aspect of this string, as with most polys, is control. I normally like playing with more powerful racquets (Yonex VCORE 100 S, Babolat Pure Drive), and a poly or poly/multi hybrid helps balance out the power. Throughout this playtest I noticed it was very easy to direct the ball to where I wanted it to go, and with the extra spin I was keeping more balls in the court. "
Andy discovered excellent control despite the somewhat springy response. He said, "This string provides a fair amount of control, but it's not the primary benefit of this string. Since it's a softer poly you're going to get that lively feel, but the spin potential corrals a lot of that extra pop and helps you be precise with your shots. I didn't feel like it got 'mushy' at all, which is when I feel a poly loses a bit of control. It's still crisp enough to maintain its shape and it doesn't get manipulated too much at impact."
Playability Duration - Score: 88
Sonic Pro Edge held up very well against the assault of Andy's big strokes. He said, "For as soft as it is, Sonic Pro surprised me with how long it has maintained its tension and playability. It has been in some of my racquets for almost three weeks now, and there has not really been a noticeable drop in tension or feel."
Brittany also had good playability long into the test, though she eventually noticed some changes. She said, "I would say I started noticing a change in the string's characteristics after about two and a half weeks into the playtest. I normally like polys more the longer they're in my racquet (I like the dead feel), but I have to say I really enjoyed the first two weeks of this playtest. I would say the control stayed pretty consistent throughout the playtest, maybe dropping at around the three-week mark. The power and comfort dropped after about two and a half weeks."
Overall - Score: 85
Who would you recommend this string to?
Andy - "This is an accessible poly good for a number of different players. If you're new to the world of polys, this would be a great string to start with because it's very arm-friendly. It would be good for a teenage junior player transitioning into polyester string or just your normal poly user that is looking for something softer and livelier."
Brittany - "I would recommend this to a player looking for a durable poly that is a little softer and a little more spin-friendly. I would also recommend this to a player with a powerful racquet looking to gain some extra control."
Andy - "A lot! I like the crisp, lively feel, the access to spin, the good control and the tension maintenance."
Brittany - "I liked the control and spin potential from this string. The comfort was also a nice bonus."
Andy - "None."
Brittany - "Can't really come up with any, but if I wanted to be nit picky, a little longer playability duration wouldn't hurt."
Comparing the string to others they've tried, our testers said:
Andy - "It reminded me a lot of Tourna Big Hitter Black 7. They are both softer, crisp feeling polys that provide a good amount of power. They are also both shaped strings that grab the ball exceptionally well. Since Big Hitter Black 7 is one of my favorite strings right now, it puts this string in good company for me."
Brittany - "I think this string most reminds me of Tourna Big Hitter Black 7 and Black Widow. Besides being similar in color, they are all shaped strings with good spin potential and a comfortable feel."
(Scores are determined by averaging individual play test scores)
Playtester String Setups
Playtest Racquet: Yonex RDX 500 Mid
Playtest Tension: 53 lbs.
Typical String: Tourna Big Hitter Black 7
Playtest Racquet: Yonex VCore 100S
Playtest Tension: 53 lbs.
Typical String: Poly or Poly Hybrid
Review date: January 2013. If you found this review interesting or have further questions or comments please contact us.
All content copyright 2013 Tennis Warehouse.