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Friday
Apr272012

Sol Republic Amps In-Ear Headphones Review

It takes a lot in order to come up with a good looking pair of in-ear headphones that will not only stand out, but sound even better. Sol Republic, a newcomer in the audio industry with little credibility to its name, has managed to greatly impress us with the Tracks on-ear headphones. No headphone brand is complete without a matching pair of in-ear headphones wouldn't you say? Sol Republic's Amps in-ear headphones are provocative, promise deep bass and all for an affordable price tag. Sounds delightful! Are the Amps a yay or a nay, head past the break for the full review to find out!

Right out of the packaging, the Amps are one of the few in-ear headphones we've seen that don't include some sort of storage case. What's included are a few different sizes of black silicone ear tips some literature and a Sol Republic sticker. They come in an all black color or in this eye-catching black and red color scheme. Pretty standard stuff so far.

The Sol Republic Amps are considered to be an affordable pair of in-ears at $59.99. And as far as we see it, they're the more affordable, better looking Beats Tour. The Amps are baseline to what we have reviewed on here before and their price sets them right besides one of our favorites, the JAYS a-Jays series. If having the advantage of traveling light, the Amps are just as good looking as the Tracks. The Amps borrow the same rounded faceplate, shininess on top of matte finish and even the same headset features from the Tracks.

The build quality of the Amps is what you'd expect out of a $60 pair of in-ears. The are entirely made out of plastic that's part glossy and part rubberized. The odd shape of the Amps, a flat and rounded body attached to an angled sound tube, makes them stick out of your ear, albeit not by much. I've got a feeling that if you sit on them or stress them the wrong way, they'll snap in half. The cable on these isn't a flat tangle-free cable like the one you get on the more expensive Amps HD model, yet I haven't experienced any tangling thus far. So it might be a matter of marketing mumbo jumbo. 

The Amps are lightweight and comfortable while fitted in the ear. Their angled design naturally feels very comfortable because of how it doesn't interfere within the ear. It fits in very well so long you've got the correct ear tip fitted which should create a good seal and help reduce background noise and offer you better sound isolation. While the Amps fit me very well, I wasn't much of a fan of their bulging design. I much prefer low-profiled in-ear headphones that seamlessly blend with the ear.

The Amps are equipped with a 3-button remote and mic for headset functionality. The remote is crappy for the lack of a better word. Using it is like beating a dead horse. It offers awful tactile feedback and the cheap plastic buttons feel out of place. Not to mention it's a bulky remote that tends to get in your way when you're running and at the gym. Other than that, it works ok for making calls, adjusting the volume and controlling your music. It isn't by any means a good option if you're after the headset feature more than anything else. The remote's mic quality is decent at best and easily picks up background noise. For that reason, the a-Jays Four offers one of the best 3-button headset remote on the market.

One of my favorite things about the Amps is their tiny angled 3.5mm plug. It's a great little tough plug that can fit in any place even if you've got a case on with a very small cutout.

After days of testing, comparing and thoughtful price consideration, the Amps will most fit the needs of specific listeners of music genres such as hip-hop, pop, dance and anything else that calls for a lot of bass and not much of anything else. Under the hood is what Sol Republic calls the high-performance i4 Sound Engine which is safe to say, is a dynamic driver. This translates into the Amps having a very warm typical sound signature that requires a little time to "break-in" in order to sound best. The Amps deliver a pleasant sound for what you pay, albeit a more balanced pair of in-ears will be a better alterative if you listen to a wide variety of music like I personally do. Bass is obviously their strong point with a full bodies, thumpy low response that really comes to life with listening to bass intensive tracks.

Swedish House Mafia's Greyhound, Tiesto's Chasing Summers - all sound really great on the Amps while alternative music is on the verge at being great, and rock music is best left to more capable in-ears. The mids aren't anything to brag about and could have been more pronounced while the highs came out pleasantly clear and full of treble. Best of all, you can crank up the volume to party rock heights without distortion and only plenty of bass pumping out air. 

On that bombshell, if you like bass, the Amps have got you covered with plenty. The Amps aren't the best in-ears around, however they do deliver decent sound quality in a stylish package. Sadly, the Amps aren't solid enough in order for us to recommend them. But they're worth a look if you think they cover what you're looking for. The next step is Sol Republic's Amps HD, which in theory should put out even better sound at just under $100.

Solrepublic.com

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