Review SOL Republic Tracks Ultra

Discussion in 'Audiophiles: Headphones, Earphones, etc.' started by tinyman392, Sep 8, 2012.

  1. tinyman392

    tinyman392 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Headphone Review: SOL Republic Tracks Ultra
    SOL Republic | On-Ear Headphones | $ 179.99

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    It’s Michael Phelp’s choice of ‘phone to jam to before he takes a dive. It’s customizable through Colorware, and supported by SOL Republic themselves. They are flashy, and fun. They sound… Well, you’ll have to read on to find out exactly how they sound. We first took a look at SOL as a brand when I did a review on their original tracks. They were good, but nothing special. SOL Republic has released a new flagship model that aims to fix the problems of original Tracks as well as the HD model.

    In the Box
    • SOL Republic Tracks Ultra
    • Detachable Cable
    • Carrying Pouch
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    The Tracks Ultra come with few accessories.

    Design

    SOL hasn’t walked too far away from their original design of the Tracks. The general shape and parts are still actually the same. A similar headband, as well as housings have been used. SOL likes to take advantage of the idea of interchangeable parts.

    The headband has a nice translucent touch to it with a solid backing. The effect is a glass-like appearance in the plastic headband. The entire coloring is a darker blue with white highlights (for the padding). The housings have a nice shine to them with grooved metal. This creates a CD-like light reflection on the housing from afar. The look is very attractive, but also a little out there.

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    The design of the Ultras is very beautiful, but also very out there.

    Design: ★★★★

    Audio

    The SOL Republic Tracks Ultra still have a V-shaped signature like the original Tracks, but the midrange has been cleaned up a lot. The bass is still strong, but better controlled. The mids have cleared up a bit from the veiling while the highs shine a little bit more.

    Bass

    The low end is a low-mid-bass focused sound rather than a mid-bass focused sound that the originals had that clogged up the midrange. The bass is still well forward, not as tight as I’d like it, but respectable nonetheless. A good strong impact is present over everything around. This does cause a loss of actual punch as a negative consequence however. The sub-bass region is extended upon nicely with a strong texture that has a strong presence and body.​

    Bass: ★★★★½

    Mids

    Unlike the original Tracks, the mids are a lot more refined due to the better focus on the upper-midrange. This creates a beautiful clarity that the originals never had. Vocals also pop a bit with good dynamics due to the beautiful lushness instill on them as well as the sweetness that is needed to create good vocals. The detailing on the lower mids are a bit lacking with the Ultra though which can be a bit of a problem for a few generes.​

    Mids: ★★★★½

    Highs

    As we enter the high end, we find that they, like the midrange, focus on the higher spectrums. The end result is a better overall sparkle that creates good energy for the headphones. They don’t extend as high as I’d like them to however. The detailing is nicely done in the upper ranges, as well as the lower. Snare snaps, however, could be better implemented, since they didn’t serve the prowess that they should.​

    Highs: ★★★★

    Audio: ★★★★½

    Build

    SOL Republic has always been good concerning toughness and build quality. The Ultras use the same types of materials as the original Tracks. That said, the build quality is still up there. They do, however, come with a soft carrying case this time around.

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    A nice soft pouch is included with the Ultras.

    The housings have metal plates on the outside that are very strong and sturdy. The rest of the housing is plastic that is also the very same way. Tough plastics and metals make the housings very strong. They are also detachable and replaceable if anything ever happens to them.

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    The housings are detachable just in case they break.

    The headband is one of the strongest that is around. It is strong, flexible, and close to impossible to break. The material is a lightweight polycarbonate compound similar to fiberglass. It’s strong, smooth, and looks beautiful.

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    The headband is strong, just like the original.

    SOL Republic, like with the housings and headband, use a similar cable. Well, not just similar, but same one. The cable has a nice firm feel to it. The thickness of the upper half of the cable is probably as thin as I’d feel comfortable with. The lower half has a nice bit of bulk and thickness behind it though.

    The cable terminates at the headphone jack. The jack itself is angled at 90 degrees with a stiff strain relief. The thing really looks rugged despite it’s average size. Gold plating on the headphone jack seals the deal regarding build.

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    The headphone jack is nicely built.

    Build: ★★★★

    Comfort

    Something that originally impressed me with the original Tracks was the comfort. The new Tracks Ultras are no different. Big, soft padding is placed on each housing to ensure the utmost comfort. The headband has a thinner amount of padding, but is also very easy on the head. I had no problems wearing these for a couple hours of uninterrupted listening. If there is one thing that SOL Republic does right with the Tracks’ design, it’s the comfort.

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    Large, supple pads are used on the Ultras to ensure a comfortable fit.

    Comfort: ★★★★

    Value

    SOL offers a nice overall package with the Tracks Ultra. They offer the same, high-quality build as the originals. The comfort is also the same way, the design is stellar on its own. The audio quality has been improved vastly. Yes, there are better sounding headphones out there, but overall, SOL Republic offers a fun, mainstream headphone in a nice package.

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    On top of everything above, the Ultras also do have a remote and mic.

    Value: ★★★★½

    Final Thoughts

    The original Tracks impressed me with their build quality, design, and comfort. SOL Republic has gone on and improved them to be on par sound-wise while not taking much away from the fun-factor the originals had. They aren’t accurate, but do suit the users who favor a V-shape nicely. They are definitely something I can recommend.

    I’d like to thank Philip for the review 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 Philip for the product sample.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
    bgizzle likes this.

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