Sol Republic Soundtrack Pro headphones review: Excellent sound but no-frills

These headphones sound amazing for the price, and they offer great battery life

Sol Republic Soundtrack Pro ANC headphones review

Bottom line

Sol Republic’s Soundtrack Pro ANC Over-Ear headphones are well priced and sound just as good as the more expensive competition, but they come at the cost of missing out on some frills.

Overall
4

Pros

  • Fantastic sound quality
  • Distinguished clean design
  • 32-hour battery with USB-C and quick charge
  • Active Noise Cancellation is solid
  • Priced reasonably
  • Pretty good call quality
  • Good usability with hard buttons and LED battery gauge

Cons

  • No app
  • Tight fit can get uncomfortable
  • No premium features like auto-play/pause
  • Noise cancellation not as powerful as Bose or Sony

Sol Republic was once the hottest headphone brands, and they’re now making a splash back into the market with new active noise-canceling over-ear headphones. The Sol Republic Soundtrack Pro ANC headphones are over-ear headphones competing largely on price and audio quality. They feature a collapsible design, 32-hour battery with USB-C charging, and quick charge.

Design

The Soundtrack Pros have a distinguished and clean-but-edgy design. Although it’s covered mostly in plastic, it’s durable with strong metal hinges. The headphones fold in towards the headband for adequate portability — we can fit them in our jacket pocket. They also have nice large oval ear ups that are well cushioned with memory foam and ultra-soft faux leather. The earcups only pivot slightly, they don’t swivel.

While they’re not rated for water resistance, our guess is they’re fitted for sports since the headband gets a really tight and secure fit on your head. We had trouble getting used to the tight fit in our first week, but they loosened up (or we just got used to them) after a week of use. We‘d think twice though if you’re looking for something you can wear comfortably for hours at a time, especially if you wear glasses. That said, they’re great at the gym and barely move even during situps.

Features

The headphones are very easy to use and set up. There’s a few hard buttons that do everything you’d expect: power, pairing, volume, track control, and voice control. The buttons are a bit stiff and skipping tracks relies on a press-and-hold, but it beats touch buttons and swipes. You can also easily toggle active noise canceling with a press of the power button.

We were happy to see Sol Republic includes a standard 3.5mm cable with universal button and microphone with the headphones. We’re seeing this less and less nowadays, and many headphones don’t even offer an audio input anymore.

The big miss for the Soundtrack Pros is there’s no app. Without an app it’s hard to get extra value out of the headphones. This means there’s no equalizer, tuner, or presets. You cannot personalize settings like ANC strength or default options. It can access your phone’s default assistant, but you can’t change it to Alexa or Google Assistant.

Call quality

The built-in microphone is good, but not best. Our callers reported really clear and isolated voice. Comparing some voice recordings, we found voice is a little less clear and defined compared to some of the other premium ANC headphones or even our iPhone’s microphone.

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Sound

The audio quality is fantastic, as expected. The Sol Republic Soundtrack Pro headphones pack in 40mm drivers that are a lot of fun to listen to. They have great range, a vibrant signature, and solid bass with some real oomph. Voices shine and the highs are crisp and detailed. As mentioned, the only kicker is that it’s not configurable with an app. Thankfully the default tuning is well balanced and favorable to most any genre. These compete well with Sony and Bose on audio quality for out-of-the-box audio quality — however, Sony and Bose allow you to configure the out-of-the-box tuning to one that better suits you.

ANC

The Active Noise Cancellation does the trick. It silences a lot of background noise and some voice, but not all. It’s not the best we’ve tested, but far from the worst. It’s really clean and easy to use all the time. Strangely, it’s disabled by default and has to be turned on after you turn your headphones on. There’s also no customization options — there’s just on, off, and hear-through where the mic plays just background noise. Without ANC on, the Soundtracks already remove a lot of noise with their fit and design. All-in-all, we think the headphones satisfy what most people want out of noise cancellation, but if you’re searching for complete silence then Bose and Sony are still running the show.

Battery

The battery packs in an impressive 32 hours of playback, with or without ANC enabled. It charges with USB-C (woohoo!) and there’s a USB-A to USB-C cable included. There’s also a quick charge feature that gets you a nice boost of battery in a short amount of charging time.

Call quality

The built-in microphone is good, but not best. Our callers reported really clear and isolated voice. Comparing some voice recordings, we found voice is a little less clear and defined compared to some of the other premium ANC headphones or even our iPhone’s microphone.

Bottom line

Sol Republic offers a compelling pair of ANC Over-Ear headphones with the Soundtrack Pro headphones, especially considering the cost is almost half of the competition. The battery, design, and most of all, the sound quality have us loving them. The kicker is there’s no app for personalization/tuning, and also they have a tighter-than-average fit. These are basically a no-frills pair of ANC headphones: they offer great sound and battery, good ANC, but no robust comfort features or expandability via an app.

The Sol Republic are priced competitively at $199.99 and come in black, gray, or champagne. They’re currently available from Amazon, and they’re not a bad purchase by any means. For the price, we’d also consider Jabra’s Elite 85h. They’re a little more expensive with a design that’s not as edgy, but feature all the comfort features and frills of Sony’s WH-1000XM3 and Bose’s QuietComfort or 700s.

Buy from Amazon