To think a couple of years ago, SOL REPUBLIC started with just a $99 pair of headphones that were detachable and indestructible. Now they have come out with a slew of headphones, from additions to their Tracks line such as the Tracks HD and Tracks Air, to their over-the-ear branding which were the Sol Republic Master Tracks that were unveiled back at CES 2013. Here we have a revision of their Master Tracks called the XC, which have the same look as the original Master Tracks before them but have been fine tuned by world-renowned DJ Calvin Harris. Is the slight upgrade in pricing worth it?
Master Tracks XC Style
If you are familiar with the Master Tracks, they are the same over-ear design as its predecessor, just at this point has a nice splash of burgundy added to the headband as well as the speaker pads. Personally I like the colorway as it’s not usually seen on a pair of headphones or I haven’t at least. A couple of additions with the Master Tracks XC not included with the original Master Tracks, are a pro studio audio cable which extends out to six feet as well as a mini jack to accompany that. SOL REPUBLIC wants you to use these more for leisure but also when you’re in the studio. Also just like any other pairs of SOL REPUBLIC headphones, everything is interchangeable, such as the wires, headbands, and speaker pads.
SOL Republic Master Tracks XC – Sound
If you thought the sound in the Master Tracks was good, the Master Tracks XC’s provide even greater sound. No distortion at the highest levels, and clarity like no other. Aloe Blacc’s vocals can surely be heard on “The Man” which has him singing through reasons why you should be at the top and the XC’s make sure you hear each word. The great vocal power on the XCs reminds me of the Sol Republic Ultras which had this terrific clarity, but bass wasn’t all there like its Tracks HD model. Looks like with the fine tuning by Calvin Harris they may of hit the mark.
Since inquiring the XC’s I haven’t been able to put them down. I don’t know if it’s just the sound, the comfort or just the color alone that sets it apart. I have worn them for long periods of time and haven’t felt any pain or discomfort if that helps and the cushions feel ever so plush on the ears. Being in New York City, use on mass transit has helped to isolate noise around me and also having lengthy conversations on the phone have been great as well.
Now compared to any other headphones SOL REPUBLIC has in their collection, the Master Tracks XC would be the most expensive with a price tag of $249.99. And while I know they have lower priced headphones out there especially starting at $99.99 the clarity you get these are excellent. Also with the fact they are “virtually indestructible” and parts can always be swapped out if need it, that always adds value to their headphones and is definitely worth a listen.