If the last couple years have been about headphones then 2013 was definitely the year of the wireless speaker explosion. SOL Republic has recently teamed up with Google’s Motorola to launch their versions of a wireless speaker (The Deck) and headphone model (Tracks Air). So we cranked up the House music and gave these things a test run.
The Deck brings a fresh and youthful design that lays flat rather the typical vertical orientation. This speaker by its very nature is social and demands to be the center piece of your gathering with its glowing status light that indicates what person/device is paired with it. The “heist mode” allows five people/devices to be paired with the speaker and play the role of DJ, or speaker pirate… However you want to look at it this is a great function as long as people can behave themselves and not constantly hijack it.
The sound is solid for a speaker of its size and the range is also impressive, you can really stretch it out from the connected devices. So if your Dj steps away from the general vicinity the music will keep streaming unless they roll down into a wine cellar, bunker, etc.
The speaker was definitely designed for party music, EDM and Hip Hop both sounded good and while not delivering mind blowing bass it still delivered enough bump to keep it cool. It’s a portable speaker people, don’t expect it to be a bass bin.
The controls and connectivity are all straight forward and we love the fact that it has an indoor and outdoor mode to change the sound dynamic for your surroundings. Battery life is roughly 10 hours give or take which should be plenty for any gathering unless you are in Berlin and getting suuuupa weird.
In summary this is a great sounding speaker with a fresh and socially minded design that delivers well for the price point and class it’s in. So if you are looking for a great party speaker that can roll with you, The Deck is worth your duckets.
Let’s just call it, being wireless is great but for this freedom there are sacrifices you must make. SOL Republic’s new Tracks Air model rides on the same design DNA as their wired models with tweaks on the sound engine (aka speaker) and increased size to house the wireless electronics, battery, etc.
The headphones are comfortable, a decent weight and have a range that is better than most (it might be the category leader). The standard controls are all there and easy to find as is the mic so you can take calls on them as well (You can also be connected to two devices at the same time, like a tablet and a phone, which is cool).
The sound is decent but if you are really someone that is obsessed with perfect balanced sound you might head for their HD wired Tracks or Master Tracks models.
If you are someone that is constantly on the go and love the freedom of no wires these are a decent solution for that lifestyle. The battery life is good, it comes with a wire if you run out of power and has a travel pouch and charging cable.