Want to choose an inexpensive and convenient headlamp? With built-in charging, with a good color temperature and a magnet in the lid? Most likely Sofirn SP40 will suit you
So, two budget headbands powered by 18650 were released at the same time: Convoy H1 (see my review) and the hero of the review — Sofirn SP40. Sofirn are actively stepping on the heels of the Convoy and, by and large, they went to the opportunity to assemble a flashlight for themselves right at the order stage. Sophirne did not give such a choice until some point. Be that as it may, the price tag for the reviewed model is very affordable, even with a battery it is lower than the coupon price for the Skilhunt H03 (which has gone out of sale and cannot be found on topics prices)
Important! I advise you to pay attention to my text how to choose a headlamp. There is everything to help with the choice of a model that suits your needs and help you avoid buying some kind of abomination with a bluish light. A list of interesting models is attached.
Packaging and appearance
The packaging is extremely primitive. Apparently, one single kind of branded and relatively good-looking packaging is used only for 1×18650 flashlights (such as very not bad for its 20 bucks SP32A).
Sofirn SP40, like the very bright keg of Sofirn SP36, is packaged in a simple beige cardboard box without any markings. Well, at least it’s quite thick and holds the contents well.
Well, here is the headband itself. Outwardly, it does not represent anything out of the ordinary. Headband as headband. Nevertheless, it looks quite neat and for all its modesty, it is quite far from the same boruit, which I consider the closest price competitor from the ultra-budget category.
As for the size, here Sofirn SP40 does not stand out from the general row with its 11 centimeters. Quite ordinary in size L-shaped forehead. It would be worth comparing it with H1, but the package with them got stuck in some hole, so I’ll get by with the well-known standard — S2 +.
But the complete 18350 handset should pleasantly please the more advanced part of users (who else has 18350 batteries) and all sorts of light-movers. With the installation of this tube, the forehead becomes actually the size of a thumb, extremely compact, below is a fairly clear Photoshop comparison.
Now is the time to take a closer look.
The head mount is very simple, without reflective elements and a gel strip. Be that as it may, it is better than the same mount on the H1 (and it’s hard to find something cheaper than that mount). Be that as it may, the fabric is quite soft and the mount sits comfortably on the head.
Tailcap without a magnet, and it’s not that bad, but strange. The magnet costs a penny, and adds convenience disproportionately to the difference in price. Now they are placed almost everywhere, it is strange that sofirn missed this moment.
the spring in the tail is of a completely normal thickness. It is quite clear that inside it there is a place to install a regular round magnet.
The clip is simple. I do not see any practical point in installing a double-sided clip here. It sits tight, when scrolling and removing it, it does not scratch the anodizing. It comes off with a lot of effort. I would even say with excessively large. Personally, I would spread the lips a little on this clip.
Knurling in the middle part with the simplest, classic diamonds. The thread is well lubricated. If desired, you can bring it to the state of «fat hanging from the sides», but as it is, it is quite enough. Here for an amateur.
The rubber round button has a red-green backlight and protrudes slightly beyond the head.
As usual, the micro-USB charging connector and the reflector are placed on opposite sides of the head.
The first is closed with a thick and solid plug. It closes tightly, it is convenient to pick it up with a finger, there are no difficulties.
The reflector is shallow, textured with XPL on the bottom. As in everything else, there is a strict adherence to the general routine.
The overall impression of the appearance can be described in one word — ordinary. And I don’t see a special minus in this, in such a form factor it’s difficult to do something new in terms of design. And for sure, if the manufacturer had gone for it, it would have taken the Sofirn SP40 out of the category of inexpensive headbands. Looking for a nice L-shaped browband? Look for another price range. Immediately, the simplicity of appearance is directly linked to accessibility.
As for the build quality, I did not see any obvious disadvantages. Everything is quite normal.
On-off on click.
Switch modes on hold. Low-Mid-High.
There is a mode memory.
2x press starts Turbo
There is no blockage, as usual, we break the contact with the lapel of the tailcap.
In short, there are no difficulties. Unless it’s unusual for me to see a selection of holding modes in the forehead.
Yes, and I would make instant access to Low on hold. That would be a clear plus for the headband in management.
How Sofirn SP40 shines
Everything is normal here, something on the order of 5500K (the manufacturer claims 5300-5700K). By the lack of a choice of color temperature, Sofirn clearly loses to the convoy and skilhunt UPD Attention! 30004000K version appeared!
there is no visible PWM flicker in any mode.
The light distribution is quite normal for such a combination of LED and a shallow textured reflector, except that I was pleasantly surprised by the side illumination, which turned out to be wider than that of the H1S2+. For me, a textured reflector is more preferable than a TIR optic, because I usually use a headband at a distance of 1-2 meters. I consider TIRKA, with its maximum blur, more comfortable for working with hands at a corresponding short distance. However, it is clear that here the side fill is very wide, wider than that of the H1. At the same time, you can evaluate the color temperature. 5500K is already clearly far from the budget blue of the same S2 +. For me personally, 5000-5500 is a fairly comfortable temperature.
Yes, there is a clear hotspot in the center in the photo, but this is due to the fact that I shot in a turbo near the wall. With brightness adequate to the distance, this is not. And live, the eye sees a much smoother transition from hotspot to side fill.
The battery corresponds to the declared capacity of 3000mah. The charging current is normal.
Playing in the same price range as the Convoy, Sofirn usually has the advantage of more flexible handling and better stabilization. And here this advantage is observed only partially. I expected to see the same thing as in 1×18650 flashlights (i.e., fully stabilized brightness), but I ran into the same picture that one would expect from Convoy. I’m talking about a gradual drop in brightness as the battery drains. In general, after what I saw in the wonderful SP32 V2.0, I expected better. In general, there is nothing critical here, the schedule is quite typical for budget lighting. But, of course, I would prefer full stabilization. It is not clear why they were able to implement it in a flashlight of the same price category, but not in the forehead.
Thermoregulation is working.
as for the world. I would add here moonlight in hidden mode (on by hold) and make it 50-150-400, now the gap between 90 and 400 seems to me too large. Far from critical, no. Well, it just could have been better. Although, I admit that this is a matter of taste and who else will be satisfied with such a scatter of regimes.
In general, it’s okay. In turbo mode, the flashlight shines quite well. Mid-Highs on their own (regardless of the spread between them) are quite comfortable. I spent a couple of evenings in the country with this headband and the seemingly dim 90 lumens of Mid were enough for me. You can move around the site, follow the barbecue. In the closed volume of the garage it is so very bright.
As for the models that I took for comparison, the H03 does not shine much warmer, and is noticeably less bright at maximum.
It is clear that the range is not the strength of the headbands, but at the maximum Sofirn SP40 gives enough light to illuminate the road ahead at a distance of perhaps fifty meters.
In the video review there is a much clearer example of how this model shines.
If the price of this headband were comparable to the H03, my impressions would be more negative (by and large, only because of the stabilization typical of budget headbands). But since it’s about budgetary forehead, then for its price Sofirn SP40 seems like a pretty good choice to me. Anything is more interesting than anything that can be found for this price (ready for your counter-arguments, I may well forget something, although I strongly doubt that there is nothing to choose from in this price range)
I liked the Sofirn SP40 much more than the Convoy H1 — it has a better price, smaller dimensions, built-in charging and better control.
Taking into account its affordable price, Sofirn SP40 can be a good magic gift. Yes, and in everyday life for an undemanding user, this headband will fit perfectly. The scatter of modes, in general, is convenient. In which case, you can briefly illuminate everything around in the turbo.
And if we take the functionality in relation to the price, then Sofirn SP40 is the best inexpensive headlamp from aliexpress. Otherwise, this is quite a normal, ordinary 1×18650 L-shaped headband, which does not show absolutely anything special compared to modern headbands of this type. And given the price, I would be surprised if Sofirn showed something like that here. In short, a strong middle peasant, regardless of price, and quite a good thing, if we evaluate the functionality relative to the price tag. And with the release of the version in neutral, the SP40 completely defeated the Convoy H1, and in my TOP-5 of inexpensive headbands it holds the first place.
+ generous equipment
+ built-in charging with normal current
+ not the coldest light, there is no obvious loss of H03H1
+ build quality and looks
+ the ability to use from 18350 power.
— no moonlight (not critical)
— no instant access to low
— I would make a slightly different scatter of modes, but this is a matter of taste
— no choice of color temperature
— stabilization typical for budget products, gradual slide of brightness as the discharge progresses.
UPD! look at my review of a more powerful novelty from Sophirne, maybe this is exactly what you need Wurkkos HD20
time has shown that Sofirn SP40 is now the most popular headlamp with aliexpress.
UPD The manufacturer has added the ability to select 3000 4000K colors, so now, IMHO, this is the best inexpensive headlamp on aliexpress.
UPD2 now there is a magnet in the tail
Where to buy and how to save
▶ You can buy Sofirn SP40 on aliexpress with a difference of $ 3 between the kit with and without battery. You can find out how to save money on purchases on Ali in the discount channel in telegram, see the link to it below in the block «about the author»