Review: SOL REPUBLIC Master Tracks

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SOL REPUBLIC | Over-Ear Headphones | $ 199.99

SOL REPUBLIC has really shown in the past that they can produce a pair of headphones that looks stylish and sounds great at the same time. Their Tracks Ultra were a testament to that. SOL REPUBLIC, however, has yet to expand to something larger than on-ear headphones. That is, until now, as they release the new Master Tracks Headphones. 

Specifications

  • Drivers: Dynamic
  • Frequency Response: Unknown
  • Impedance: Unknown
  • Sensitivity: Unknown

In the Box

  • SOL REPUBLIC Master Tracks
  • Audio Cable (mic’d)
  • Carrying Pouch
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Design

One thing that has never failed with SOL REPUBLIC was their design. The Master Tracks are no different. Although they do step away from the circular designs of the past Tracks, the same design principals still stick. They don’t pop straight out at you, and hold back a little on flash. The Master Tracks, however, are still very attractive to look at and will be available in 3 colors: black, white, and blue.

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Design: ★★★★

Audio

The sound signature of the Master Tracks takes a step back from where the Ultras brought them and bring them closer to the bass-induced sound of the originals. Essentially, it’s a step in between, much like the HD is. The sound, however, still remains the bass-focused sound I wasn’t expecting.

The low end has a bit of oomph and strength behind it. Hitting the impacts with immense strength, the bass can find itself not only boomy at times, but also a little flabby. Other than that, the bass is very well defined with a good presence behind them. The sub-bass texturing can be taken away by the low-bass at times that offers the slam that consumers tend to flock to. The low-bass also tends to steal the upper bass.

The midrange has a small warm tint to it overall. There is a hint of clarity in the upper midrange; it could be emphasized a little more, but is more than ample. Detailing is the main downfall of the midrange here as many of the details really find themselves lost. Vocals lack a bit of dynamics as they can’t seem to hit the higher octaves of female (and some male) vocals, but can adequately present lush, lower vocals although not perfect at them.

The upper-end of the Master Tracks have a focus on the upper treble. That said, lower treble snares don’t really snap as they should. They lack a bit of presence down here, same goes for the extension. The upper treble has a nice softness allowing it to never offend. It has decent detailing up here. The detailing and presence is improved in contrast to the lower treble. Still, it could go a little higher.

Audio: ★★★★

Build

One thing that has always seemed impeccable with SOL REPUBLIC headphones was the build quality. The Master Tracks come with a pouch to hold them while they aren’t in use. The pouch isn’t as nice as the one that came with the Ultras. I would be expecting a hard-case though. Despite that, the Master Tracks should still be able to hold their own.

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Each housings has a beautiful metal faceplate that has a soft texture on it. Silkscreened onto it is the SOL REPUBLIC logo right down the center. The rest of the housing is plastic. Despite what you’d think, the polycarbonate used feels very firm and strong. A hinge in inside the actual housing to allow the cups to swivel. I don’t have much more to say about the housings, they are built very well.

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Once again, SOL REPUBLIC touts that they have one of the strongest headbands in the business. Like the housings, a nice strong polycarbonate is used. This plastic, however, has good flexibility and feels very stable. The headband also, contrary to the past Tracks, has a nice bit of padding on the top. Like always, the headband is built tough.

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SOL REPUBLIC uses the same exact cable that comes with their Tracks and Tracks Ultra (I’d assume HD as well). This isn’t a bad thing as it keeps everything streamline and interchangeable. That said, I’ve talked about the cable twice before and my opinions really haven’t changed. It’s thick enough down low, not up high.

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Using the same cable also means the same headphone jack. That said, opinions haven’t changed. The angled jack is thick and strong with a nice firmness to it. It lacks a strain relief so it doesn’t feel flexible enough.

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Build: ★★★★½

Comfort

If there is something that SOL REPUBLIC seems to know how to do, it’s comfort. They seemed to have hit the ball out of the park with the Master Tracks. The pads are literally clouds for your ears. They are large, thick, and extremely soft. They gently caress your ears while the clamping force is done with a great balance. The nice thick headband helps as well.

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Comfort: ★★★★

Value

These headphones cost 20 bucks more than the Ultras. In terms of only audio quality, I can’t say it justifies the price. Sonically speaking, I would recommend the Ultras over the Master Tracks. In terms of fit and comfort, everything flip flops. If you’re looking for a comfortable over-ear to wear around, these are it. Let’s face it, they are stylish too. Like with the other models, the Master Tracks come equipped with a remote and mic as well.

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Value: ★★★★

Final Thoughts

I have to say, the SOL REPUBLIC Master Tracks don’t sound too bad. They do offer the consumer-oriented, bass-heavy sound signature which may upset a few audiophiles. They still do sound good while offering a style that doesn’t flash, but tries its best to hold back. What really sets these apart is the comfort. These have to the most comfortable over-ear headphones I’ve put on.

I’d like to thank Eric for the product sample.

Overall Score
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† All prices are in US currency.
This review was written by the iFans.com Review Team. Cumulative scores are rounded to the nearest half or full star.

This accessory, product, or app was received as a sample. Thanks Eric for the product sample.

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