SOL Republic is kicking 2013 into high gear with their latest piece of audio arsenal – Master Tracks Over-Ear Headphones. Master Tracks delivers a bigger and crisper audio experience in an almost indestructible pair of headphones. While the SOL Tracks, Tracks HD, and Ultra certainly were impressive for the price for on-ear headphones, the Master Tracks kicks it to the next level.
Master Tracks stay true to the original design concept of the freshman SOL Tracks On-Ear Headphones with their swappable headbands and cables. This is truly a feature we love, and as the Master Tracks come to market, we’re sure many customizable headbands will be sure to follow. Personalization is key here, and SOL makes sure that whichever pair of headphones you choose from, your style and personality can shine through.
The Master Tracks are obviously bigger than the rest of the SOL line-up and sport bigger ear cups to go ‘over your ears’, but the width of the headband has stayed the same. However, the headband’s cushion this time around is made much better. No longer is it just a sliver of cushion attached to the top of the headband with adhesive, but now the cusion wraps the entire top portion of the headband. The ear cups are extra cushy and were actually comfortable enough to fall asleep on after hours of use. And while the Gunmetal version of the Master Tracks is pretty masculine in color, but the overall design is still minimalistic and unique in comparison to the rest of the headphone styles out there with their plasticky construction. Lets also keep in mind that these headphones still continue to be extremely durable, allowing you to bend and twist the Master Tracks without creating any sort of breaks or weaknesses in the headband.
Besides being super comfy, durable, and hipster approved, the Master Tracks have also mastered sound on a budget. These headphones won’t break the bank and certainly don’t sacrifice quality. Mids and highs are crisp and clean and they just bathe your ears. While bass reproduction is not as strong, the crisp vocals and overall balanced listening experience makes up for it. These are certainly not headphones that audiophiles will go crazy for, but the average consumer who wants a quality pair of headphones without having to get a 2nd job to pay for them, will appreciate the Master Tracks. The Three Button Mic worked flawlessly and callers had no complaints with incoming or outgoing calls.
Audio leakage is an issue as people around me did hear the music I was listening too. In extremely noisy areas, external noises seeped in as well. So should these headphones only be used in quiet places with no one around? No, we aren’t saying that, but you may just have to turn the volume up if you want to drown everyone else out.
While we have tested our fair share of over-ear headphones, the Master Tracks doesn’t try to be anything more than a good pair of headphones that is accessible to all kinds of audiences. They may not be the audiophiles headphone of choice, but for those that are looking to spend a little bit more for a pair of uniquely styled headphones that sound pretty damn good, super comfortable, and offer great construction, then the SOL Republic Master Tracks are the way to go. While the Gunmetal design isn’t necessarily a very female friendly look – we can only hope future headbands will change that.
SOL has delivered over-ear headphones that scream personality without making you go broke. Master Tracks will retail for $199 and is available for Pre Order.
The Good: Lightweight, bendable, twistable, and can take abuse. Comfy ear cups and swappable headbands. Good sound reproduction that won’t cost you a fortune. Priced right. Highs and vocals are super crisp.
The Bad: Takes a few hours to burn in. Out of the box they sound a bit empty and hallow. Sound leaked out and ambient noise leaked in, in noisy areas.