Sol Republic Tracks Headphones (Black) review: Sol Republic Tracks Headphones (Black)

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.3
  • Design: 7.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Performance: 7.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The Sol Republic Tracks headphones are light, fairly comfortable, and sport a durable design with a convenient interchangeable headband, detachable cordage, and an integrated microphone and remote control. They sound good, delivering deep bass, and are affordable at $99.

The Bad The sound isn't terribly detailed, and the on-ear-design can rub certain ears the wrong way.

The Bottom Line If you're looking for Monster Beats-style sound at a more affordable price, the Sol Republic Tracks should be on your short list.

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We test a lot of headphones here at CNET, and the good ones tend to set you back more than $100. But a new headphone company, Sol Republic, is hoping to change that with a line of headphones that deliver very good sound and durability for a more affordable price.

In case you're wondering what "Sol" stands for, it has nothing to do with the sun but is an acronym for "soundtrack of life." The company's founders have a good pedigree in the headphone business, and co-founder and CEO Kevin Lee is the son of Monster Cable founder Noel Lee, widely credited for driving the popular Beats by Dr. Dre line of headphones at Monster.

The new line consists of two flavors of Amps in-ear headphones and two flavors of Tracks on-ear headphones that feature "swappable headbands, speakers, and cables in various colors and designs." The Tracks' headband also boasts a proprietary new polymer called FlexTech, which the company says makes the headphones virtually indestructible.

Both the Amps and the Tracks have a built-in microphone for cell phone calls. The Tracks model reviewed here costs $99.99, while the higher-end $129.99 Tracks HD model will debut in late 2011.

With their deep bass and aggressive sound, these headphones aren't for everyone (read: if you like well-balanced "natural" sounding headphones, these aren't a good fit), but if you're someone who likes a Beats-like sound, the Tracks certainly fit the bill--and cost less.

Design
While the Tracks don't look anything like the $179 Beats Solo headphones by Dr. Dre from Monster, they're arguably spiritual cousins. They have the same on-ear design, which means these guys sit on top of your ears rather than completely enveloping them like the Monster Beats by Dr. Dre over-the-ear headphones.

I found these headphones pretty comfortable, but they're not in the same league as Bose's OE2 on-ear headphones, which cost $179.99 with an integrated microphone and inline remote, and $149.99 without.

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Where to Buy

Sol Republic Tracks Headphones (Black)

Part Number: CNET1201-01
Pricing is currently unavailable.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Regional specs shown for US. UK specs are unavailable.

  • Color black
  • Sound Output Mode stereo
  • Additional Features track select buttons
  • Type headset
  • Headphones Form Factor ear-cup
  • Connector Type mini-phone 3.5 mm