SOL Republic Delivers impressive quality for under $100

I recently got a demo pair of SOL Republic Tracks headphones and I couldn’t have been more excited.  Honestly, I felt like a kid on Christmas morning when I unboxed them.  Everyone with a mobile lifestyle knows that headphones are a vital part of your day.  As a New Yorker, I wear headphones a lot; like, really a lot.  I wear them on the subway, in the gym, at my desk, and just about anytime that I take a phone call.

Because I do all of these different things with my headphones, I need durability; but I also want something that is comfortable and cool-looking.  It would be a bonus if they could also control my iPhone, and maybe even actually produce good sound.  At the same time, I don’t want to break the bank buying headphones.  It’s hard to explain to your wife that she has to wait to replace the dishwasher because your headphones make the latest Ratatat single sound REALLY awesome.

I’ve got to say, these Tracks headphones had me covered on all counts.

They are on-the-ear noise-cancelling headphones with a microphone and standard iPhone three-button controls. The three-button control is about the only thing these headphones have in common with your standard white earbuds. The headphone band is lightweight, comfortable and virtually indestructible; I’ve literally bent it 180 degrees from its natural position, and it just sprung right back, good as new. The on-ear parts have a soft feel, and there’s a cushion in the top of the headband where it touches the top of your head for added comfort. The Tracks feature a modern look that, while maybe a bit flashy, is definitely stylish and garnered compliments from my office-mates.

The coolest part? If you don’t like the way that they look, or want to swap out for over-ear or buds situationally, then each part of is modular. You can easily swap different bands and speakers, and even the cord with the iPhone controls is its own separate part.

To top it off, these cans produce excellent sound. There’s a crisp low-end bass that doesn’t overpower the mids. They also switch easily between telephone calls, talk radio, music and movies. It’s impressive that SOL is able to offer all of this in a sub-100 dollar headphone. In my opinion, these are the best iPhone-specific headphones in the price range, and really great for mobile and outdoor professionals who work in loud conditions.

If had to say anything negative about these headphones it would be that the noise-cancelling might work too well; when I have these on both ears I can’t hear traffic around me or a co-worker speaking to me in a normal tone of voice. Although sometimes, this is just what the doctor ordered, but, it could potentially also be an inconvenience for some. To put it simply, those who have spent three to five hundred dollars on headphones may look down their nose, but my coworkers with Beatz headphones looked kind of jealous after testing these out.