GadgeTell Review: Wicked Audio Solus Headphones

Sections: Audio, Headphones

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Wicked Audio launches their full-sized on-the-ear style of noise isolation headphones, the Solus. Latin for ‘be yourself,’ this DJ-quality headset commands respect at a respectable price.

While bellowing superb audio in a cool and comfortable design, The Solus displays real attitude; dare I say they’re wicked?

Starting with its lively, yet clever cardboard packaging covered with assertive phrases like “Shut up, sit down and listen,” these bad boys are compelling. Upon their un-boxing, the thick foam ear muffs and headband padding is quite inviting also, and is pleasing to the touch. Its funky black and red color scheme too, complements their ‘tude, as does the Wicked trident-resembling ‘W’ logo spread across each ear.

Collapsible for easier storage, each ear speaker sports a 180 degrees swivel feature (you know, for that classic one-on-one-off turn-tablist action). Likewise its in-line volume control includes a stereo/mono switch to help mixing audio signals for DJs on the fly. This found to be a perk for leisurely music fans, as myself, since the mono channel sounds better to me than the stereo channel, primarily in older pieces with thick sound structures (say, the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds).

At four feet, its red nylon-braided cable provides a tangle-free, sturdy connection; its a simple but a key attribute. Also included is a 1/4 inch gold-plated stereo audio jack converter and a basic stereo extension cable, providing 6 additional feet.

Audio-wise, the Solus deserves clout. The noise-isolation is effective due to its soft formfitting ear pads, snug but not tight. The 40mm drivers pump a nice range of frequencies: 20Hz to 20,00Hz at 32 ohms of power. They aptly sufficed all music genres tested through them. The enhanced bass, possibly its strongest asset made my hip-hop records more vibrant and alive. The high range too, is up front, bright and clear, making Glenn Gould’s Goldberg Variations sound like a private concert.

The only noticeable lacking sound feature would be the Solus’ mid-range, seemingly a bit forgotten or lost in the mix. Amongst the crisp shrills and the sub-bass capabilities, instruments that usually fall within in the mid-range, such as the human voice or a piano synthesizer appear slightly forced out.

When cranked high, there is surprisingly little to no distortion, even in the lows. However, there is a fair amount of sound-leakage, making these cans function more like portable mini-speakers.

In terms of usability and comfortability, the Wicked Solus is very desirable. No batteries are needed and they’re lightweight enough to avoid becoming tiresome towards the end of a full-length record listening session. They are easy around the ears and head, akin to little memory foam pillows with personal speakers inside.

Durability on the other hand is where the Solus falls seemingly short. The plastic casing is a bit flimsy and although they are marketed towards budding DJs, these headphones are probably more appropriate for the everyday music enthusiast. The satisfying swivel ability could cause trouble, as a slight overextension feels like it would crack the ear piece off in one beats time.

Having said that, I couldn’t imagine them lasting long on the road, especially during intense heat-of-the-moment stress applied on them during gigs. Also, the included carrying bag offers little to no protection while tucked away. In fact, the neat cardboard box they came in would deem a more superior carrying case.

Overall, these headphones are as impressive as they are appealing. Compact, light and potent, Wicked’s lifetime warranty is also worth mentioning. Marked at $100 on the company website -although as of the date of this publication, found for around half the price on Amazon- the Solus provides an appreciated more-reserved style than their Skull Candy peers and a sweeter price than the Dr. Dre Beats. Although Wicked, snatching a pair would not be a wrongful proposition.

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