Back in 2011, Sol Republic launched its
Over the last couple of years, the fledgling but fast-growing company has released a few different iterations of the Tracks, including the Tracks HD and Track Ultra, as well as the over-the-ear Master Tracks. But now, in a joint partnership with Motorola, Sol Republic's gone wireless with its first stereo Bluetooth headphone, the Tracks Air.
It shares many of the same strengths as the original Tracks -- an eye-catching design, durable build quality, muscular sound -- and small shortcomings that may affect some people more than others.
Like the wired Tracks, you can disassemble these headphones and swap in a new headband if you like. The big difference here is that the headband on this model has some metal embedded into it that acts as a conduit and connects the two earpieces, which Sol Republic calls "sound engines." So the company has retained the modular flexibility of accessorizing the earphones while not making any cumbersome changes to the design. Kind of brilliant.
That headband is bendable yet very strong. In all, these headphones seem very durable, but you can't fold them up into a more compact form factor. However, they do come with a simple protective carrying case (it's more of a pouch) that works well for storing the headphones.
This is an on-ear model which means these guys sit on top of your ears rather than completely enveloping them. The Tracks Airs are nicely padded and should be pretty comfortable for most people, but not everyone. Due to the angle of the headband, they may not sit quite right on some people's ears and if you have a smaller head, the headband can end up poking out of the bottom of the sound engines a little too much -- it doesn't look quite right.
I wouldn't call these lightweight headphones, but at 0.48 pound, they're lighter than many full-size headphones, including the Beats Studio Wireless 2013 (0.57 pound) and the(0.72 pound).
The headphones charge via a Micro-USB port on the right earpiece and in the box you'll find a set of cables that allow you to use these as wired headphones.
The power button is a little awkwardly placed on the top of the earpiece right next to the headband, but on a more positive note, it's easy to find by feel. So, too, is the volume control and one-button remote, which you use to pause/play tracks and skip forward and back (two quick presses to jump forward, three to jump back). Those buttons, which are the ones you'll use most frequently, are well situated on the right earpiece.
I also liked how when you power on the headphones a voice tells you how much battery life you have left (in hours). Battery life is rated at 15 hours, which is above average for this type of Bluetooth headphone (by contrast the Beats Studio Wireless Over-Ear's battery life is rated at 20 hours).