27 June 2013

REVIEW: SOL Republic Tracks HD V10 Headphones

Back on tracks.

Here at The Test Pit we can certainly admit to being rather clumsy with our treasured tech. One of the first ever touchscreen phones, the LG Viewty, fell victim to our butter fingers, as have countless other gadgets and accessories. How about you?

So here's a question: how many pairs of headphones have you owned? If, like us, you've been plugged into a music player of some kind since childhood, you've probably worked your way through several dozen sets; each pair falling by the wayside, broken and ruined. What you need is a pair of Tracks HD from SOL Republic.

SOL Republic is an American company that has recently expanded to this green and pleasant land after working with top DJs for many years to develop a superior musical experience. Now available in the UK, their range of headphones and earphones has a great selling point in that they are modular and interchangeable. Therefore the wires, cans and head strap can all be changed and replaced offering great scope for personalisation.

When we received our pair of Tracks HD the first thing that struck us was that the band was separate from the cans, making for a striking bit of packaging and certainly something that will draw the eye in John Lewis. That same headband is made with FlexTech which apparently makes it nearly indestructible. Certainty it is both tough and flexible, surviving a couple of bumpy commutes in our gadget laden bags.

The wires, which features a stereo jack on one end and connectors at the other for the cans (a unique feature indeed), seem sturdy and strong and includes a built-in mic for calls while plugged into your phone.

The cans themselves are truly gorgeous. Designed with clean minimalist lines in mind and featuring SOL's slick logo, leftie and rightie slip onto the headband smoothly and can be easily adjusted to fit your big head. All in all, these are some awesomely cool looking bits of skull bling.

Sound: does it live up to the hype? Clearly SOL Republic has definitely been paying attention to the DJs, athletes and bands - their so-called Saviours of Sound - as the Tracks HD were extremely impressive. The quality of sound was both rich and detailed and we discovered the headphones worked very well even at higher volumes - a place where other brands tend to suffer with distortion. As with most other headphones of around this price, the better you encode a music track, the better it will sound and the Tracks HD is no exception.

We were slightly surprised that the product isn't Bluetooth enabled, maybe only because it looks like it should. There are similar looking Bluetooth headphones current available, and although they negate the need for wires and cables, they're never going to reproduce the Tracks HD sheer depth of sound. So we were eventually thankful for the wires; confident in the knowledge that the extra expense has gone on build quality and sound.

We found the cushioning inside edges of the cans to be very comfortable on our dear little lugholes, even over the extended use of a few hours. Storage is also a doddle thanks to the included carry case and the fact that every element of the headphones is detachable making for convenient packing up.

As you may have guessed we are big fans of the SOL Republic Tracks HD V10 Headphones. Great looks combined with amazing sound and comfort make for a truly impressive set of 'phones. SOL Republic have an extensive range of products and we urge you to take a look at them all, particularly the new Jax In-Ear Headphones.


Available from www.johnlewis.com

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