By Mike Wheeler
These have been sitting on the desk for a while, so thought it was time to give them a blast. We’re pretty fussy when it comes to sounds, even more so when it comes to earbuds/headphones etc. With earbuds especially, comfort is a huge factor – almost on a par with the sounds, although less so with headphones because your ear canal is not being invaded by malleable, or more often than not, rigid pieces of plastic.
So where do the Sol Republic set of headphones sit on the landscape of music listening devices? Pretty high.
What do we like about them? The sound is excellent. We played several different types of music styles through the headphones – hard rock, some classical, some modern music from 2012 – the Tracks handled them with ease. I think I could give a reasonable argument that they could play a little louder, but that more comes down to personal preference as opposed to a performance issue.
Considering the main function of headphones are the sound quality, then these certainly meet the requirements. They are also very nicely designed, and you can see that Sol Republic has put a lot of effort into this aspect of the unit. They are also pretty comfortable, with one slight caveat, which we’ll cover soon enough.
There are a couple of minor issues when it comes to negative aspects of the review. First, the cable. The cable is detached from the headphones themselves. One end obviously plugs into the MP3 player or similar device, but that other end is split into two whereby each jack then plugs into one headphone each. Why this is necessary we’re unsure, unless the vendor expects you to buy several different pairs over the ensuing years and you will able to use the cable again. Still on the cable, it is too short. This is a complaint I’ve had for some time, not just with Sol Republic but on almost any set of headphones I’ve reviewed. I would like a couple of metres at least so if you plug it into your home theatre you can walk around. They might argue that this set of Tracks is for MP3 players only, but I don’t know too many people who would invest in two or more pairs of headphones for different uses. The other issue I have is the cup size. I don’t have particularly big ears, but these sit on the ears, as opposed to covering them , which feels kind of awkward. This leads to a feeling of being uncomfortable
Overall, these headphones offer up very good sound, but with a few minor hiccups .
Pros: Good sound, nice design, reasonable price
Cons: Ear cups too small
4.2 Shacks Out of 5