Sol Republic Brings Studio Headphones to the Masses
Call it the Beats effect: Over-the-ear headphones today are obsessed with bass. While that’s great for the subway-riding public who want powerful sound that competes with their surroundings, it’s not always the best solution for all music.
Sol Republic aims to change this boomy dynamic with its Master Tracks XC. To create headphones that would satisfy both musicians and connoisseurs of music, the company partnered with superstar DJ Calvin Harris, who insisted on building a completely new model from top to bottom.
Like Sol Republic’s Tracks headphones, the XC model is modular, meaning the earcups slide right off the headband, letting you mix and match designs and effect repairs easily. The headphone cable splits off to both earcups, so there’s no need for any wires running through the band. It also completely eliminates any tiny delay between the left and right channels, which a wire might create.
The XC comes with two headphone cables: One for everyday listening, which includes in-line controls for music an volume, and a six-footer meant for studio listening. The studio cable has a 5-inch coiled section near the jack and is thicker and more durable. It’s able to withstand being continually slipped in and out of connectors.
The heavy-duty studio cable has both a standard headphone jack and a quarter-inch adapter. Cleverly, the adapter screws into a small nub on the end when not in use, ensuring you won’t lose it.
Compared to Sol’s regular Tracks headphones, I thought its new model did a better job of conveying Alicia Keys’ lyrics with zero distortion, and the opening beats of a Jay-Z track were palpable, but not overpowering. The « micro suede » ear cushions were quite comfortable.
The Master Tracks XC will be available this month in « singularity red » finish (read: dark burgundy) for $249.99