Review: SOL REPUBLIC Tracks three button $99 headphones
January 30, 2012 by Bill Palmer
by Bill Palmer
Popular brand names are often popular for a good reason: they have a history of making excellent products. But every once in awhile a company neither we nor you have ever heard of comes along and serves up a product which instantly becomes the best in its class and price range. That’s the case with the Tracks headphones from newcomer SOL REPUBLIC. They’re a $99 set of on-ear headphones which come in a black on white design and offer built in three button playback and volume control along with under-band padding.
Not having any expectations regarding audio quality, we were blown away with what we found. The Tracks are the best sounding sub-$100 on-ear headphones to ever come through Beatweek headquarters – and we’ve been at this since 2004. They offer an expansive sound which is quite rich for their price point, along with a bass ratio that’s slightly higher than typical but shines in that department. There’s no cheat here; every kind of genre we tested the Tracks with sounded excellent. As a matter of course, they don’t measure up to the $200 and $300 headphones we’ve tested. But when it comes to the $99 range, SOL REPUBLIC has instantly jumped to the front of the pack.
The only oddity we found during testing is that unlike most headphones which feature a single cable running to one side of the headphones (with an internal wire running through the headband to the other side), the Tracks employs a Y-cable connecting to both sides of the headphones. It’s a design seen more often on earbuds than headphones. It turned out to be of no issue during testing. SOL says they’ve partnered with ColorWare to optionally offer additional color choices (not tested), but the stock options are all black, black on white, and black on red.
Rating: 5 stars out of 5 • Price: $99 • solrepublic.com