Sol Republic spins off from Monster Cable with four new headphones

sol republic spins off from monster cable with four new headphones tracksKevin Lee, son of Monster Cable founder Noel Lee, is striking out on his own with a new headphone company which he and his co-founders are calling  Sol Republic. The details on the first four models of the new company’s line of headphones have just been released, and based on what we’re seeing so far, these cans appear to offer design on par with that of Monster’s line of headgear, but at a much more value-oriented price point.

Sol Republic will soon be offering two on-ear and two in-ear headphone models. The Amp and Amp HD make up the new in-ear line, and are reported to be priced at $60 and $100, respectively. The Tracks and Tracks HD models make up the first of Sol Republic’s on-ear models and are expected to be priced around $100 and $130 respectively.

At first glance, the Amp and Tracks headphones seem to bear some similarities to the models found in Monster’s Beats by Dr. Dre products. That doesn’t come as a huge surprise, since Lee was a big part of the development of the highly successful “Beats” line and many of their patented features, including the tangle-free cable design found on the Amp HD. That said, Sol Republic has integrated some unique features which do something to distinguish its products from those produced by Monster Cable.

SOL REPUBLIC AMPS HD For instance, the Tracks on-ears feature interchangeable headbands, speakers and cables. The headband on the Tracks HD model is being touted as a revolution in headphone design because it’s made of a “virtually indestructible” polymer (Lee joked during a press conference that, while he hasn’t managed to break the material yet, someone will likely come along and figure out a way to break it — but it will take some doing). Both Tracks models allow the speakers to slide on and off the space-age headband and are held on by a tension mechanism. As such, the headphones have no moving parts and should prove to be pretty durable. Want color options? Sol Republic will have plenty. 

What makes the HD counterparts to the standard Amp and Tracks ‘phones seems to come down to that materials that are in use. The Tracks HD sports the aforementioned super headband, while the standard line does not. The HD Tracks also use an aluminum cap on the earcup whereas the standard Tracks is a “metal foil cap”

As for the Amps, the tangle free cord appears to be the most blatant physical difference. Of course, as the HD moniker would imply, we expect a difference in audio performance as well. In keeping with Monster’s reluctance to disclose technical differences, Lee declined to discuss what differences may lay inside. 

Lee says the the new company is “motivated by the power of music”, pointing out he thinks that “…a good song can help you be happier, run faster and think clearer.”  In fact, the company’s name, Sol, is an acronym for “Soundtrack of Life.” Time will tell whether this approach will resonate with younger listeners, which Sol seems to be targeting.  They’ll need to do something pretty special. The company is venturing into a product category that is already severely short on elbow room.

The new headphones are expected to be launched together and sold through Best Buy and at the Apple store (yep, they’ll work with the iPhone) though no launch dates have been disclosed at this point.

We’ll reserve our speculations about sound quality until we’ve gotten some review samples in our hands. Until then, we will say that we like some of Sol Republic’s more interesting design points, and find the budget-friendly price point and lack of glitzy celebrity endorsements  a refreshing approach.

Emerging Tech

Why wait? Here are some CES 2019 gadgets you can buy right now

Companies come to CES to wow us with their cutting edge technology, but only a few products are slated to hit the market right away. Here is our list of the best CES 2019 tech you can buy right now.
Home Theater

Wireless headphones are finally awesome, and these are our favorites

With sleek form factors, prime audio quality, and the freedom of untethered listening, there has never been a better time to pick up a pair of wireless headphones. These are the best ones currently available.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our 10 favorites.
Deals

The 5 best Apple AirPods alternatives for Android, Windows, and iOS devices

Apple AirPods, nice as they are, aren't the only game in town. Other makers are offering their own truly wireless earbuds, and if you're looking to buy a pair of high-end in-ear headphones, we've got the best AirPod alternatives on the…
Emerging Tech

The best 3D printers for 2019

On the hunt for a new 3D printer? We've got your back. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned veteran, this list of the best 3D printers has what you're looking for.
Emerging Tech

The enormous ‘Flying Bum’ moves toward a commercial design

A prototype of the world's largest aircraft is being retired as the company behind it prepares to build a production model. The new Airlander 10, also known as the "Flying Bum," could be ready for commercial use by 2025.
Emerging Tech

Yamaha’s new app lets you tune your motorcycle with a smartphone

It used to be that if you wanted to tune your motorcycle’s engine and tweak its performance, you needed specialized tools and even more specialized knowledge. Yamaha’s new Power Tuner app changes that.
Emerging Tech

Face-scanning A.I. can help doctors spot unusual genetic disorders

Facial recognition can unlock your phone. Could it also be used to identify whether a person has a rare genetic disorder, based on their facial features? New research suggests it can.
Emerging Tech

Lasers and bovine breathalyzer help determine how much methane cows produce

Cow farts and belches don't sound like catastrophic threats, but they contribute to the massive amounts of methane in the atmosphere. Recently, scientists set out to establish the numbers.
Emerging Tech

Researchers discover a way to make 3D printing 100 times faster using light

Researchers at the University of Michigan have invented a new method of 3D printing which is up to 100 times faster than conventional 3D-printing processes. Here's how it works and why it could prove a game-changer for 3D printing.
Emerging Tech

Drones: New rules could soon allow flights over people and at night

With commercial operators in mind, the U.S. government is looking to loosen restrictions on drone flights with a set of proposals that would allow the machines greater freedom to fly over populated areas and also at night.
Emerging Tech

Short film celebrates New Yorker’s amazing robot costumes

New York City resident Peter Kokis creates stunning robot costumes out of household trash. His designs are huge, heavy, and extremely intricate, and never fail to turn heads when he's out and about.
Emerging Tech

In a first for humankind, China is growing plants on the moon

Having recently landed a probe on the far side of the moon, China announced that it managed to grow the first plant on the moon, too. Here's why that matters for deep space travel.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.