Money can’t buy you love, but 100 bucks will buy you a better set of headphones than we would have thought possible before we strapped Sol Republic’s Tracks to our noggin.
The Tracks feature a very unconventional design in which the ear cups slide up and down—or even completely off—a spring-plastic headband with a thick but short cushion at the top of its arc. The ear cups are large—nearly 1.5 inches thick—but generously padded. The design seems rugged enough, but it’s not very portable (even if you dismantle it, remove the cable, and stash the components inside your computer bag).
We’ve reviewed a number of great speakers, but we haven’t been this excited about a set of boom boxes since we laid hands on the eponymous Cambridge SoundsWorks MicroWorks in the very first issue of boot magazine—way back in September 1996.
Listening to Peter Gabriel’s new album Scratch My Back on Bowers & Wilkins’ MM-1 computer speakers sent chills down our spines, a sensation rapidly followed by slack-jawed awe. We downloaded the album from B&W’s Society of Sound music club, which has the exclusive rights to distribute the album in studio-master quality: losslessly encoded in FLAC with 24-bit resolution at a 48Hz sampling rate. The MM-1 delivers audio quality that’s so exquisite, so pristine, that it makes the mighty AudioEngine A5—our previous favorite 2.0-channel speakers—sound almost muddy in comparison.