Sol Republic is a relatively new company with a nice line of headphones of a few various shapes and sizes to suit all sorts of listening styles and needs. The Sol Republic Master Tracks headphones are their new over-the-ear style of headphones that could possibly fit the bill for DJ’s needs based on its construction and replaceable parts offered in case anything ever does break. The purpose of this review is to test them out further to see if they can handle the abuse and needs of a Performing DJ. Check out the written and video reviews after the jump to see if they make the grade.
Review Video & Demo
Setup & First Impressions
Sol Republic is a relatively new company with a nice line of headphones of a few various shapes and sizes to suit all sorts of listening styles and needs. The Sol Republic Master Tracks headphones are their new over-the-ear style of headphones that could possibly fit the bill for DJ’s needs based on its construction and replaceable parts offered in case anything ever does break. The purpose of this review is to test them out further to see if they can handle the abuse and needs of a Performing DJ.
In the Box: - X3 Sound Engines with SonicSoft™ Speaker Pads - Interchangeable Cable with Mic + Music Control - Interchangeable and Virtually Indestructible Headband - Slim-Fit Carrying Case - 1/4" Adapter
The Design of the Sol Republic Master Tracks headphones is very really stylish and supports individuality by offering them in three different color-schemes and interchangeable parts. The Gunmetal Master Tracks in this review have a nice dark color scheme where everything is a single dark-grey color. They have a nice smooth paint finish and they definitely feel comfortable right out of the box. They also come in blue and white with many more color combinations on the way. They are designed to look like metal, but in reality, they are made of mostly plastic which allows for comfortable lightweight listening for long periods of time. The cable that is used on these headphones is detachable and replaceable, but since both leads individually plug into each earcup for stereo sound, the cable often gets in the way for a performing DJ. The cable itself has an in-line remote with buttons for answering calls and volume up/down control. The end of the cable that connects to your device or DJ gear is on a permanent 90-degree angle. I yanked the cable a few times unintentionally and the cable seems like it will last a while. The cable is about 3.5ft long. Some DJ’s will need more length to their cable to be comfortable in a DJ booth with these headphones, but the Master Tracks were just fine for my needs.
The earpcups on the outside are made up of hard and flat-painted plastic with the SOL logo in the middle of each. The earcups are fully removable from the headband and can be taken off and replaced (if Sol Republic releases the earcups separately). The earcups actually slide onto the thick headband and can slide up and down to adjust to the size of the user’s head. The headphones have 40mm drivers that are covered by some really comfortable memory foam pads and super-soft Real-Leather material. These pads fit very nicely Over-The-Ear instead of on the ear and are extremely comfortable and lightweight and provide very good isolation and leakage protection. These headphones are perfect for extended usage as they are very comfortable when worn for long periods of time. This is probably because these headphones are intended for all types of listening environments and for users on the go with their smartphones, MP3-players, laptops, etc…
On the Master Tracks, the hinge point is very different from other headphones and this is where they will outlast the competition. There really is no hinge-point as the earcups simply slide over the headband. This is great news for most DJ’s as the hinge connection point is usually the first thing to go on a set of DJ headphones. Since this construction is basically hinge-less, it makes these a great candidate for DJ’s who want a set of headphones that are going to last. The headband itself can bend, twist, and flex without cracking or creaking in any way. If the headband ever breaks, then you can simply order a replacement headband for only $30 in any color of your choice. The headband has adequate foam padding at the top and is covered in Leather to protect the user’s head and the Sol Republic name is on the top of the headband for a bit of brand recognition. The headband doesn’t really clamp down hard on your head, but they are held tight enough for DJ’s to bounce around in the booth to the beat without them falling off.
The Sol Republic Master Tracks headphones cannot fold, swivel, or twist like other DJ headphones and they will always remain in a standard position. DJ’s usually like for their headphones to swivel or at least fold for easy transport, but they still feel good on the head when monitoring with one earcup on and the other off or with both earcups on your head at the same time.
The Sound Quality of the Sol Republic Master Tracks headphones is crisp and controlled. The sound quality is comparable or slightly better than other DJ headphones in the $200 range that these fall under. The Master Tracks have 40mm diameter drivers with 20 – 20,000 Hz frequency response to provide crispy bass and very accurate reproduction of the mids and highs. These headphones perform great on all types of devices including smartphones and tablets and are great for all types of listening needs, including vocals and spoken words. While using the Master Tracks headphones, I felt that the lows were really controlled and not rattling or overbearing like other DJ headphones in this bracket. It really sounds like all three EQ levels are on an even playing field without one drowning out the other.
For DJ use, we used the Master Tracks headphones with a Vestax PMC-05ProIV Mixer, Vestax VCI-400 Controller, Reloop TM4 Controller, and a Traktor Kontrol Z2 mixer. Every time we used the headphones, the volumes were surprisingly higher than expected and the sound stayed true. The DJ gear seemed to have another gear when it came to the volume of the headphones as the experience on the DJ gear was more enhanced than when using the headphones with smartphones or with a computer. When volumes were pushed to the max and near the “red”, the headphones did produce only a slight bit of distortion, but nothing out of the ordinary. The Master Tracks headphones sound great on tablets, smartphones, computers, DJ Mixers, and DJ controllers. As mentioned earlier, these headphones have good enough isolation properties and low leakage making them ideal for DJ use in the sound category.
Conclusion / Recommended For
In conclusion the Sol Republic Master Tracks headphones are great for many different listening applications and are a decent alternatives for DJ’s looking for an all-around headphone for performances. The Master Tracks are good for many different activities which make them a single set of headphones with multiple uses. There are other DJ headphones in the $200 range that are in the market that would definitely be better suited to DJ or perform with. One of the main concerns with the design is the fact that each earcup must be connected to the cable for stereo sound. The dual cable definitely got in the way of my DJ needs while performing in the DJ booth. DJ’s would much rather get a set of headphones that have a single cable attachment for the stereo sound or have a foldable and swivel design for easy transport to and from. With that being said, I can still see myself using these in the DJ booth for a performance if they were available and then taking them with me to use my smartphone on the go. The Master Tracks have a cool hinge-less design and style which sets them apart from the rest. They also have removable and replaceable headband, earcups, and cables just in case anything breaks. They also offer a comfortable and light-weight listening experience for extended periods of time on all types of devices. Even with the obvious DJ-related shortcomings, I’m still going to recommend the Master Tracks headphones to DJ’s who want a stylish set of great-sounding headphones that can adequately be used in the DJ booth and for all their other general listening purposes.
- Nice Customizable Styling & Hinge-less design
- Removable & Replaceable headband, earcups & cable
- Very Comfortable for Long Listening Periods
- Good sound quality with controlled bass & high volume
- Headphone Cable Attaches to Both Earcups
- Cannot fold, bend, or twist for easy transport and Monitoring Styles