I always enjoy a good set of headphones. These little devices bring audio straight to your head in style and comfort. The Solus from Wicked Audio is no exception. These headphones are trying to enter into a section of audiophiles that also enjoy a good set of headphones that won’t miss a beat and bring the listener even closer to the music. How well does the Solus from Wicked Audio deliver on this promise of bringing you even closer to the music? Does it hold up to long wear and finally will it be embraced by DJ’s around the world that are looking for a solid alternative and great price point? Find out now in our review.
For around $100 you will be getting into your possession a great set of headphones. You get style and pricing that rivals Skull Candy but you get a stronger audio performance as well. While it doesn’t match the same output as the Beats by Dre line of headphones it doesn’t mean you are losing much in dropping down in price.
Packaging says a lot
The first thing that caught my eye was the packaging the Solus came in. A solid heavy-duty box with amazing graphics and some great marketing encompasses the Solus, and after some fiddling with so that the box stays intact I was finally able to free the Solus. Inside the box you have the molded plastic tray that holds the headphones, a 6-foot extension cable, ¼” (TRS) adapter, a sating carrying case (how fancy) and a Wicked Audio sticker. All in all some very unique packaging.
Once out of the package you take a look and for a second you can make a comparison to the Beats line of headphones but that quickly goes away as you are hit with more and more plastic feeling at every corner. I am not saying it is cheap looking in any stretch of the imagination just seems like other headphone lines might mask the plastic a bit better and the Solus just has a feeling of “we don’t care how it looks, you just need to listen” type of vibe. I will say this and some people might consider it a knock but I am just putting out my feelings and observations about the headphones, the hinges which allow the headphones to swivel about are very loose and DJ’s might not like that as we (yes I used to be a DJ) tend to like a sturdier feel to the swivel so I know I can just pick them up and not have to worry about flipping them around to pop them to my ear.
Features and design
Now remember when I talked about the plastic feel of the headphones but I told you that the Solus has that “just listen to me” vibe. Well here is where we talk about that. The Solus has plenty of great features that help make it stand out in a crowd. The braided cloth-covered cable with stout strain relief for the 1/8-inch mini-plug termination is fantastic. Then you have the inline volume control with Stereo and Mono switch was very responsive and DJ should find that feature appealing. Others will think it is too big but in reality when you are not wanting to look around for a small switch it is nice to know you can feel out the big controller and be able to flip it back and forth with no problems.
The ear cups can be rotated, folded up or flip them into multiple directions. Giving the working DJ a high level of positioning flexibility, or if you are just the casual user and want to enjoy the music it will work for you as well.
The ear pads themselves are very thick and made of foam and the faux leather that surrounds the ear pads also wraps around the base of the ear cups and can at times come off but putting the ear pad back on isn’t really that hard to do. The headband is made up of the same material as the ear cup, a layer of memory foam layered underneath to metallic bands.
The attached cord to the headphones extends four feet in length and the extension cable nets you a total of 10 feet of working space that any working DJ will have fun in that work space. The ear cups themselves house a 40-millimeter driver with a rated sensitivity of 105 decibels, frequency response of 20Hz to 20 kHz and impedance of 32 ohms. What does that all mean? In simple terms is that the bass is booming, the sounds come out very well and all in all these headphones do a fantastic job.
Durability and comfort
Ah the durability of headphones is always something people should look into. If you are a gentle person who takes off their headphones and gently places them down onto the table or seat or wherever it is you are then you should see any problems. However, if you are the type of person who rips off your headphones and throws them down to go look for something you will see some problems. The fact there is no storage case for these headphones already means you are going to be a bit delicate in how you transport these things.
Then during a few tests of folding, twisting, and basically running the headphones through its paces, we started to notice the right ear cup was becoming looser. We then had to tighten up the screw that holds it in. Again it wasn’t as if we were throwing them around from person to person more just going through a typical DJ spin and seeing how it holds up.
Comfort wise the Solus headphones do alright if you don’t want to listen for hours on end. In my podcast we talked about the fact that I can have these on for long periods of time and not feel any discomfort at all. Then you start to break them in, and then you start to realize that long periods of wear tend to become a chore. The ear pads, while big for my ears, start to get warm and the headband starts to really sink onto your head. However for the working DJ this shouldn’t be a problem since you really aren’t going to be wearing the headphones for very long stretches of time.
This is the all-important section. You think with the Solus having a huge design and the ear pads are big and everything about it seems to scream “death music loudness level 15”, the Solus actually doesn’t do that. Instead the bass comes in terrific, drums come in sharp and not overbearing. Bass guitars come in rich and well textured and the electric guitar comes in right on tune and even at times the background instruments on some tracks came in clearer in the background on the Solus than on other headphones.
All in all, not a bad little headphone that comes in under $80. A great quality headphone that will satisfy your needs and not blow out your ears is able to handle highs heavy tracks we pumped into it. Yet the Solus was still able to invoke a soft subtle touch when we played some acoustic tracks through them. Never once did we feel as if we were missing anything off the tracks we were playing.
Wicked Audio promises you a superior sound quality at a great price and did they deliver on that promise? Yes they did. Not quite sold on the durability of the headphones and after a while they tend to lose their comfort ability but that doesn’t detract us away from giving it a run through the Kyle Scientific Scale-o-Rama and after our crack team of scientists were done going through and putting the Wicked Audio Solus headphone through a few of its paces they have rendered a decision. With a scale of Buy It, Flip It or Skip It the Wicked Audio Solus headphones get a bass bumping, rock god guitar riff jamming, solo drum portion of a rock concert result of BUY IT.
Even with a few faults they don’t take away just how great these headphones are. Simple put for the price it is hard to match what the Solus headphones from Wicked Audio can do. Check out our podcast when we talked about the Wicked Audio Solus.
|Article first published as Wicked Audio Solus Review on Technorati.|