Tech News on G4
Wicked Audio Solus DJ Headphones
Aug 15, 2012
By Greg Gazin - Apple Gazin’ - G4 Canada
For me headphones and earphones are like shoes, you need 'em, you can never have enough of them and there are different kinds for different moods and different occasions. Some are funky; some are cool, some are practical, others crisp and sometimes even formal and the list goes on. Now while it might sound silly or just another example of a Gadget Guy's obsessive behavior, I jumped at the opportunity to review the Solus Headphones, by Wicked Audio - the name alone intrigued me.
To start, they do look wicked, in-fact, quite devilish. Maybe it's the black shell with red inlays on thick headband and cushioned ear cups or maybe the stylized Wicked logo that looks like a pitch fork might have had something to do with it.
Nevertheless the Solus, Latin for "Be Yourself," is a full-size DJ-style can-style headphone. It features a long non-detachable 4ft. braided nylon covered cable somewhat reminiscent of a shoelace or a hoodie cord that's tipped with a gold-plated connector -a nice touch. The inline analog style wheeled volume control simply controls the level going to the headphone but doesn't actually control the device it's attached to. As well, it features a mono/stereo switch, so if you are listening with only one ear to cue up the next song, you can hear both channels - right and left coming from one ear, so you know how the next song will sound when it blends in.
The Solus' design makes it easy to do the DJ thing. The collapsible folding hinges on each side allow for convenient movement of the earcups for easier access and for folding and storing. The swivel hinge allows you to easily monitor the sound from one earcup without interference from the other. The headband also expands out about 1 1/2 " on each side to comfortably accommodate any size head.
Except for the padding, the Solus is an all-plastic construction. While it seems durable and well put together, I'm a little unsure as to how much pressure the hinges could withstand with constant on and off use or let's say for example, in the hands of a 2-year old toddler.
With that said, according to the box, the Solus headphones come with a lifetime warranty, something you don't often see these days.
So it was time to put them to the test. The flexible hinges and adjustable headband made it so easy to get a good fit. The earcups nicely covered my ears keeping much of the ambient noise out. Although large, I didn't find them too heavy but after about an hour it was time to take them off. The sound was crisp and clear, although quite heavy on the bass with the boom of a kick drum quite prominent on most songs. The output was also much louder than on other headphones. The highs were reasonable but because of the overpowering bass I felt a little loss in the mid-ranges making these ideal for dance and electronic music and less perhaps for folk tunes and audio books.
Listening to Coldplay's Speed of Sound, I felt a little loss in the mids. In comparison, when I played the same song with a pair of Creative Aurvanas, they had more prominence in the midranges but were missing the oomph of the bass that I could hear with the Solus headphones. The Solus design made the song sound different allowing me to gain appreciation for the lows in Coldplay's songs.
Sometimes it's just preference and sometimes, it just boils down to sound perfection versus a sound experience. You will not get the same high fidelity from a concert performance as you would from a studio, but then there's something to be said about being present at a live venue with Chris Martin performing on stage.
Overall, the Solus headphones are suitable for the right person, right situation or maybe just for the right day. It's great for one who likes it loud and enjoys the boom-boom of the bass and perhaps wants to make a statement. Its adjustability makes it ideal for comfort whether or not you use it for DJ purposes. The lifetime warranty certainly adds a huge value.
On the other hand, these may not be ideal for every kind of music and again, although the plastic body seems durable, I do have some reservations on the hinges.
As you can see, they come in an appropriately loud gift box. As well, you get an extension cable, a plain one, not a braided red one, a ¼" adapter so you can attach them nicely to regular audio gear, as well as a nylon pouch with draw strings for transporting them.
The Wicked Audio Solus Wi8700 Headphones retail for $99.99 - although I've seen them for more at Amazon.ca and substantially less- under $60US at Amazon.com. Wicked doesn't sell these directly nor will you find them at your typical electronics store. They do however carry them at HMV.
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