Either way, our test model is already developing several nicks on the edges that reveal the silver finish underneath, so expect to see similar results if you listen to music on the run or store your headphones in a carry-all bag.
A thinly coated rubber cord protrudes from both sides of the padded earcups and extends slightly longer than the average headphone cord at just under 4.5 feet from the reinforced connection points. At 6 inches down, you'll find a small remote control on the wire with three buttons that control the music on your smartphone; we tested the track navigation and volume features on a series of Apple iPhone and Android models and the remote worked well.
The lightweight Aiaiai Tracks are also comfortable on your ears thanks to the small buttons that cause the earpads to pivot a full range of angles to accept multiple head sizes and ear shapes. The design itself is supra-aural, meaning the earpads sit directly on top of your ears with a light pressure that you can control with the slider. The wafer-thin headband sticks out only slightly from the sides of the wearer's temples for a unique look that seems to almost disappear on your head.
On-ear headphones under $100 typically underwhelm us with their shallow sound stage and shrill sibilance, but the Tracks' dual 10mm drivers blew us away with their rich, thumping bass and vibrant structure that accurately translate spatial cues. In listening to our test tracks, we could easily perceive the different instruments present in the recording session, especially in terms of relative distance and direction from the microphones used to pick up the audio.
The headphones also have no shortage of tight bass that shapes itself well to the even-toned midsection for satisfying fidelity all around, and not just in music; we also played a variety of podcasts encoded at bit rates from 44KHz and 96KBps all the way up to 128KBps, and all the recordings sound precise, especially the ones recorded with music markers and background music.
The versatile sound of the Aiaiai Tracks headphones and their unique rail design make them valuable contenders for a range of aesthetic tastes and music tastes. The in-line remote control earns the Tracks high marks for smartphone owners and bass-loving listeners won't be disappointed with their low-end bump, but no matter what kind of music you prefer, the $84 Tracks are excellent performers and deserving of your consideration to be your next pair of headphones, at home or outside.