SOL Republic Tracks Headphones Review 
Home Theater Accessories Accessories
Written by Andre Marc   
Wednesday, 08 February 2012

While I am not a headphone fanatic, I am rather picky about the phones I use for my iPod Touch and iPod Nano. I also use headphones for early morning or late night listening on a McIntosh integrated amp, or via my Pro-Ject Head Box II headphone amp.  I also use headphones when traveling.

There are tons of headphones of every conceivable design on the market, and it is not very easy to distinguish between those who are design, rather than sound quality, oriented. Many headphones are simply fashion statements. Occasionally you find a pair that look and sound good. SOL Republic specializes in producing a unique line of headphones. The Oregon based company can honestly claim to have an original concept with their line of headphones. Before we get to the particulars, SOL Republic says that sound quality was first and foremost on its list when they designed the product line. By the way, SOL stands for “Soundtrack Of Life.”

SOL Republic Tracks HeadphonesSOL Republic has several product lines. Amps and Amps HD line are in-ear phones, with the HD version being equipped with "i6 HIgh-Definition Sound Engine™" speakers. Tracks and Tracks HD are on-ear headphones, with the HD version loaded with their top shelf “V10 High-Definition Sound Engine™” speakers. Both versions of the Tracks are highly customizable, with switchable cables, ear cups, and what they say is a virtually indestructible  “Sound Track” headband. Both Tracks units are also equipped with a three-button remote and microphone.

I received standard Tracks on-ear headphones for review from SOL republic.  Equipped with their “V8 Sound Engine,” they cost $99.99, are quite attractive, and the build quality is very good. Tracks can be customized with different color headbands, cups, and wires. All the available options are on their snazzy web site. By the way, the detachable cable is of very high quality, and never tangled during my time with them.

SOL Republic Tracks HeadphonesAfter many hours of use over a few weeks, I find the SOL Republic Tracks to be pretty comfortable and well fitting. I'm able to slide the cups into the perfect position on the headband. I also like the three-button remote control; the buttons are actually large enough for me use them correctly. Tracks also do a very nice job of blocking out background noise during listening (there is no built in noise cancellation, mind you, but the cups naturally block a reasonable amount of outside noise).

 

Listening to tunes varying from modern rock (Dengue Fever), to trance/world music (Jai Uttal) it is clear to me Tracks are high fidelity phones. There have a really good soundstage depth, powerful and well-articulated bass, and a nice balance across the board. Instrument separation is also really good, and there is nothing sonically to complain about. It is nice to see Tracks living up their billing, sound wise, because in the past, I have spent very good money only to be disappointed in the performance of headphones made by some very well known manufacturers.  And, if Tracks sound this good, I can only wonder how much more Tracks HD, which cost an additional $30, would bring to the table. I suspect a bit more definition and bass articulation.

Conclusion:

SOL Republic is a young company but I like their game plan. High quality, fairly priced, customizable headphones that stomp on the standard headphones included with most portable devices like the iPod.  Being able to mix and match colors and styles is a pretty cool thing; I happen to like the Tracks in the standard black, but I can also see wanting to experiment.

SOL Republic Tracks


SOL Republic's Tracks headphones are a pleasure to use; they never fell or shifted, even while using them in the gym. Most important, they are non-fatiguing, even with extended listening, and offer nicely balanced sound.  At $99, they are fairly priced and easy to recommend.

Specifications

SOL Republic Tracks on ear headphones: $99.99

www.solrepublic.com

●    Equipped with 3-button remote and microphone
●    Audio works on all phones and audio players with a 3.5 mm jack
●    Microphone works on almost all Android & Blackberry Phone
●    Microphone + 3-button remote control works on iPods, iPhones & iPads

 

Review Systems

CD Transport: bel canto CD3t
Server: Squeezebox Touch with CIA  VDC-SB power supply
DAC: Bryston BDA-1
Headphone Amp: Pro-Ject Head Box
Preamp: Audio Research SP16,
Amplifier: Audio Research VS55
Integrated Amplifier; McIntosh MA6600
Speaker: Thiel CS2.4
Cables:  Stager Silver Solids, DH Labs Revelation (IC), Kimber KCTG (IC), Transparent  MM2 Super (IC),  Transparent Plus (Speaker) Acoustic Zen Tsunami II (AC),Transparent (AC).Shunyata Venom (AC)
Accessories: Symposium Rollerblocks, Shakti Stone, Sound Anchors stands,  Audience Adept Response aR6 power conditioner, Cable Pro Noisetrapper, Salamander rack

CD Player: Marantz 5003
Music Server: Squeezebox Touch
DAC: Musical Fidelity V-DAC II, Rein Audio X-DAC

Preamplifer: Densen B-200
Amplifier: Revox A722
Tape Deck: Revox A77
Speaker: Harbeth Compact 7ES3
Cables: Kimber/QED/Transparant (IC),/PS Audio, Pangea Audio (AC), Kiimber(digital)






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