SOL Republic Tracks Air Review

SOL Republic Tracks Air Review
SOL Republic Tracks Air Review
SOL Republic Tracks Air Review
SOL Republic Tracks Air Review
SOL Republic Tracks Air Review
SOL Republic Tracks Air Review
Introduction


Established back in 2010, global consumer electronics company SOL Republic might seem like a new player in the portable audio space, but don’t think for a moment that they lack experience – that’s because a couple of the company founders had ties to Beats Audio and Monster previously. In its quest to become a formidable contender, its wireless Bluetooth solution in the SOL Republic Tracks Air is looking to win the hearts and minds of the young, hip, and open-minded crowd. Flaunting a modular design, one that’s undoubtedly rare in the headphones space, the Tracks Air is already making itself a distinctive pair of headphones.

The package contains:

  • microUSB charging cable
  • PowerTrack headband
  • ClearTalk 3.5mm cable
  • Carrying case
  • Owner’s manual

Design

Thanks to its modular design, the Tracks Air offer a little bit of personalization we normally don’t see.

There’s no denying it one bit, the SOL Republic Tracks Air has a distinct design that makes it unique in the space. Quite frankly, there’s a strong focus on style and minimalism with its design – one that culminates in a pair of attractive looking headphones with a modernist touch. At the core of it all, it’s the modular design of the Tracks Air that distinguishes it from all other style-centric models out in the space at the moment. Essentially, the headphones are comprised out of a flexible plastic PowerTrack headband and two ear cups that slip over these metal strips on each side of the headband.

Available in four colors, ice white, gunmetal, electro blue, and vivid red, it’s neat that the headbands are interchangeable to give us a subtle level of personalization. With the colored options, they’re vibrant and flashy in tone to really stand out in a crowd. Our particular review unit, the ice white model, its headband sports a matte finish, which has a nice contrast to the black accented color of the padding on the inside of the headband and around each ear cup. Indeed, its modern and minimalism design carries a profound touch to make it one of the more stylish looking headphones.

Even though the headband is flexible, it manages to retain a snug fit around our head – allowing for a tight fit that never feels loose, even with physical activities. Therefore, it’s usable for activities such a jogging or kickboxing. However, with prolonged usage, it becomes uncomfortable to wear, as the padding around the ear cups make it feel constricting. After a while, though, our ears feel a bit tender. Of course, this wouldn’t be a problem if it were an over-the-ear style – instead of the on-the-ear style it’s employing.

The right ear cup is the main unit, which seems to house all of the components that are necessary to bring the Tracks Air to life. Around the outside, we have its microUSB port for charging, various microphones, LED light, volume control, and multi-function button. With the latter, we can press it once to perform a pause/play or pickup/end function, while double and triple pressing on it performs track reverse and forward functions. For some reason, the volume controls have a stiff feel to them.

Okay, so we really like the modular design of the Tracks Air, but our biggest complaint is how the sound engine speakers need to be placed high enough on the PowerTrack headband – giving little room for those who have “above-average” sized heads. This is necessary so that the speakers make contact with the metal strips, allowing the right sound engine speaker to communicate with the left one. Honestly, this could be addressed by merely extending the metal strips farther down the band. At the same time, we find it strange that the 3.5mm cable has separate left and right connections – you’d think that one would only be required, seeing that the metal strips could be used to transmit audio as well. Guess not.

 

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SOL Republic Tracks Air Review

SOL Republic Tracks Air Review
SOL Republic Tracks Air Review
SOL Republic Tracks Air Review
SOL Republic Tracks Air Review
SOL Republic Tracks Air Review
SOL Republic Tracks Air Review
Introduction


Established back in 2010, global consumer electronics company SOL Republic might seem like a new player in the portable audio space, but don’t think for a moment that they lack experience – that’s because a couple of the company founders had ties to Beats Audio and Monster previously. In its quest to become a formidable contender, its wireless Bluetooth solution in the SOL Republic Tracks Air is looking to win the hearts and minds of the young, hip, and open-minded crowd. Flaunting a modular design, one that’s undoubtedly rare in the headphones space, the Tracks Air is already making itself a distinctive pair of headphones.

The package contains:

  • microUSB charging cable
  • PowerTrack headband
  • ClearTalk 3.5mm cable
  • Carrying case
  • Owner’s manual

Design

Thanks to its modular design, the Tracks Air offer a little bit of personalization we normally don’t see.

There’s no denying it one bit, the SOL Republic Tracks Air has a distinct design that makes it unique in the space. Quite frankly, there’s a strong focus on style and minimalism with its design – one that culminates in a pair of attractive looking headphones with a modernist touch. At the core of it all, it’s the modular design of the Tracks Air that distinguishes it from all other style-centric models out in the space at the moment. Essentially, the headphones are comprised out of a flexible plastic PowerTrack headband and two ear cups that slip over these metal strips on each side of the headband.

Available in four colors, ice white, gunmetal, electro blue, and vivid red, it’s neat that the headbands are interchangeable to give us a subtle level of personalization. With the colored options, they’re vibrant and flashy in tone to really stand out in a crowd. Our particular review unit, the ice white model, its headband sports a matte finish, which has a nice contrast to the black accented color of the padding on the inside of the headband and around each ear cup. Indeed, its modern and minimalism design carries a profound touch to make it one of the more stylish looking headphones.

Even though the headband is flexible, it manages to retain a snug fit around our head – allowing for a tight fit that never feels loose, even with physical activities. Therefore, it’s usable for activities such a jogging or kickboxing. However, with prolonged usage, it becomes uncomfortable to wear, as the padding around the ear cups make it feel constricting. After a while, though, our ears feel a bit tender. Of course, this wouldn’t be a problem if it were an over-the-ear style – instead of the on-the-ear style it’s employing.

The right ear cup is the main unit, which seems to house all of the components that are necessary to bring the Tracks Air to life. Around the outside, we have its microUSB port for charging, various microphones, LED light, volume control, and multi-function button. With the latter, we can press it once to perform a pause/play or pickup/end function, while double and triple pressing on it performs track reverse and forward functions. For some reason, the volume controls have a stiff feel to them.

Okay, so we really like the modular design of the Tracks Air, but our biggest complaint is how the sound engine speakers need to be placed high enough on the PowerTrack headband – giving little room for those who have “above-average” sized heads. This is necessary so that the speakers make contact with the metal strips, allowing the right sound engine speaker to communicate with the left one. Honestly, this could be addressed by merely extending the metal strips farther down the band. At the same time, we find it strange that the 3.5mm cable has separate left and right connections – you’d think that one would only be required, seeing that the metal strips could be used to transmit audio as well. Guess not.



Connectivity


SOL Republic Tracks Air Review
Turning on the SOL Republic Tracks Air for the very first time, it’s automatically placed into pairing mode. As an alternative, it also features NFC, so that a quick tap from our NFC-enabled device onto the outside area of the right sound engine speaker establishes the connection. With its Bluetooth 3.0 connection, we’re able to retain a connection of around 75 to 95 feet, which is more than adequate in our books. And finally, it also packs multipoint technology to enable two devices to be paired with it.

Performance

It’s all about the bass, so there’s a strong focus on the low audio range.

Using it for music listening, we can attest that the SOL Republic Tracks Air, much like some of its modern contemporaries, favors audio in the lower frequencies. So yeah, it’s all about the bass with this one, which isn’t too shocking – though, it’s not quite as heavy as some other models we’ve reviewed. That’s a good thing in a way, seeing that highs don’t get drowned out in the process, allowing for mids to resonate at a decent level as well. Generally speaking, its quality exhibits a mixture of robustness and depth.

Switching over to its Bluetooth connection, it still continues to favor the lows – giving bass tones a pronounced level above everything else. Technically, the SOL Republic Tracks Air offers noise reduction when worn, as opposed to total noise cancellation. With this implementation, it absolutely suppresses background noise enough to eliminate distractions that are around. Thanks to its noise reduction technology, it lends its usefulness with _phone_ calls, as we’re not constantly battling in noisy environments.

Yes, the transition from music listening to _phone_ call conversations is smooth, and for the most part, we’re able to carry conversations with little fluff – albeit, we wouldn’t say it’s necessarily the best quality we’ve heard from a pair of Bluetooth headphones.

SOL Republic Tracks Air Review
Battery


Rated for 15 hours of battery life, we’re able to achieve continuous music playback for close to 14 hours. To its credit, though, its battery life is more than ample in getting us through a solid week between charges – using the Tracks Air for approximately 2 hours a day at the gym. The result isn’t a leap over other comparable models, so we can safely call it average at the very least.

Conclusion


SOL Republic Tracks Air Review
Priced at $199.99, the SOL Republic Tracks Air is right there in the thick of battle – where it’s competing against an assortment of similarly priced, stylish models. Undeniably unique looking for a pair of wireless Bluetooth headphones, its modular design no doubt follows that principle of thinking differently or outside of the box. At the same time, it has that hip, modern, and minimalist look that gives this pair of headphones a stylish edge over the mix of conventional looking ones in the space.

All told, it boils down whether or not you’re willing to sacrifice features for style. Compared to some other similarly priced models, it doesn’t offer things like true noise cancelling technology, or app-enhancing qualities. Dishing out a little bit more money, you can pick up the cool lights show of the JBL Synchros S400BT – and for a little more, you can get the Swiss Army Knife of headphones in the Plantronics BackBeat Pro.

However, when it comes down to quality, we’re certainly pleased by the results here, as it packs enough robustness, depth, and punchiness to make listening to all sorts of music pretty enjoyable.

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