Look great, sound good, fair price
Plastic body, could isolate more noise

tech Review

After my old Ultimate Ears earbuds broke, I set out on a quest to find the next best thing for the price. I would’ve gone with the brand again, but Logitech either shut them down or stopped production. I’d heard that SOL REPUBLIC was a good brand, so that’s what I decided to get. I just so happened to remember seeing some videos on them from the 30 or so tech channels I subscribe to on YouTube, so I started there.

The video reviews were mostly positive, with the main negative being the construction, which I’ll get to later. But overall, I have to agree with their opinions. Let’s get right into what I think about them now.

Price

First off, the SOL REPUBLIC Jax are a great price. They retail at $40 or so, but I managed to snag them for $28 at Best Buy. Amazon had some for about the same price, but they only had a one button remote, and I wanted a three button remote. So at Best Buy, I got the three button model with a black body and a white cord.

What’s In the Box?

When I got home, I opened them right up. Here’s what was in the box:

  • The earbuds themselves
  • The user manual and regulatory information
  • Three extra sets of ear tips

I tried out the default set of ear tips while mowing the lawn, and they didn’t block out very much sound, so I switched to the largest set. Those worked better, but they didn’t stay in my ears very well, and I had to get them just right to block out the sound. The ear tips attach to the earbuds better than my old ones, which used to come off while in my ear. These have a ridge that locks into the earbud body in order to stay on.

You can see the ridge that locks the eartip into place on this image
You can see the ridge that locks the eartip into place on this image

 

Design

The earbuds look good, too. They have a cylindrical body and a flat cord, which gives them a really cool, urban-ish look. The flat cord prevents tangling by providing only one axis for it to pivot on while in your pocket or bag.  More on this from pocket-lint.com:

However much we’d like to believe that some creature leaps into your pockets to tamper with your wires when you’re not looking, sadly, we know that’s not really the case. It seems that round-bodied cables all suffer from the tangling problem thanks to their aerodynamics and friction control (or lack thereof) making the cords rotate and tangle. In theory, that means that flat cables should be less susceptible to getting knotted up.

That should set you straight on that fact. The color contrast is very cool looking as well. The white on black gives it lots of appeal, and it comes in lots of very bright colors if you buy them from their website.

 

Above is a video demonstrating the tangle free abilities of these earbuds.

 

These particular earbuds have a three button remote and mic that works with iPhone, iPad and iPod.
These particular earbuds have a three button remote and mic that works with iPhone, iPad and iPod.

The earbuds come with a right angle jack, which prevents fraying of the wires inside
The earbuds come with a right angle jack, which prevents fraying of the wires inside

 

Sound

For the price, these earbuds sound slightly above the rest in their class. The bass is not quite as strong as advertised, but it’s still noticeably present. The sounds are crisp and the highs and vocals are not muddy at all. These earbuds seem to have a very big range. I tested them out on the song Stronger by Kanye West and on the song Trumpets by Jason Derulo. The test songs were chosen for their high and low ranges, and the prominence of vocals. (and because I think they both are good songs!)

Free Ear Tips for Life

One of the main bonuses for purchasing these earbuds is the program by SOL REPUBLIC that offers free ear tips for the life of your earbuds. In case of loss or damage, they’ll send you replacements, no questions asked. If you don’t want to wait the two to three weeks for shipping, you can visit your local participating Radio Shack and get them there.

Overall

Overall I think these headphones are a great purchase. At $40 it’s a little high, but I’m basing this opinion off of my $28 price. At full retail price, it’s not bad, but not great either. It has the full range of sound present, good looks, and a great design. Noise isolation is not the best, but it works.

Let me know in the comments what you think of these, and if you plan on getting a pair for yourself. With any other questions, reach out to me on Twitter and fire away.

Price - 8
Sound - 7.5
Looks - 9
Construction - 7.2
Total Score
7.9
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