Wicked Audio has garnered its reputation on stylish looking headphones at reasonable prices. Based on reviews most of their headphones have been well received in terms of their sound quality. Empire Brands, Wicked’s parent company is looking to attack the pro market with the release of its Solus headphones. The name Solus is derived from the Latin for “Be Yourself”; a philosophically named headset sounds much better than a model number like KSP-212, doesn’t it?
While the retail price lists them at around $100 they can actually be found online in the sixty dollar price range making them an intriguing purchase if their sound is on par with the rest of the package. Let’s take a closer look…..
The Wicked Audio Solus arrives in a black and red cardboard package with an image of the headphones in profile on the front. On the left-hand side of the box is a description of the product along with a list of specs. The back shows a diagram of the headset with highlights of its features along with another list of specs.
The outer box is actually a sleeve that slides off to reveal a red inner box with some trendy slogans such as “shut up sit down”. I wonder what Howard Stern’s father Ben Stern would think of his famous line being printed on a headphone product box?
Opening the red inner box reveals the Solus headphones resting in a velvet covered plastic holder. Also found in the box is a scratch guard cloth carrying case, extension cable, user manual and ¼” headphone jack adapter. According to the content listing on the outside of the box there was supposed to be a Wicked Audio sticker, however this review sample did not contain one.
The Wicked Audio Solus has a black and red color scheme and is primarily composed of plastic. This is an over the ear headset that is partially collapsible making it easier to transport. Currently Wicked Audio only offers the Solus in red and black.
The first thing you notice about the Solus is its size. These are a big set of “cans”. Here is a size comparison against one of the various Monster Beats models.
A stealth hinge allows the ear cups to be folded towards the headband when not in use. This hinge also acts as a swivel allowing the ear cups to be facing inward or out. An extender sits below this hinge providing an additional inch of extension for those with larger heads.
The speakers feature a red cloth covered 40 mm Neodymium driver with black leather covered foam on the outside. The Wicked logo is found on the outside of each ear cup. Coming off the right headset is the speaker cable. Unlike the Beats line this audio cable does not detach from the earpiece.
Between the speakers is a well-padded adjustable band that is designed for comfort especially for prolonged use. On the top of the band is the Wicked Audio logo.
Wicked Audio provides plenty of padding on both the earphones and headband to make the Solus comfortable for extended periods of listening.
Overall the construction of this headset is solid despite being primarily composed of plastic.
The audio cord is nylon wrapped helping to keep the cord from tangling when the Solus is in transit. One-quarter of the way down this cord is a volume control dongle along with a switch for mono or stereo playback. The mono setting is for those who plan on using the Solus while DJ-ing; this setting allows all the sound to come out equally in each speaker.
At the end of the cord we find a gold plated connector designed to provide high-quality music playback from the source device.
A nylon satchel with the Wicked Audio logo is provided when traveling with the Solus. For those who need an additional length of cord extension cable is included along with a 1/4-inch adapter.
Headphones feature striking design, built-in DJ switch, and mind-blowing sound
• Solus – Latin for “Be Yourself”
• Crafted with adjustable headband and padded earcups to deliver the utmost in comfort
• Sports a built-in DJ switch allowing users to switch between stereo and DJ sound to experience impressive music sounds in either or both ears
• Equipped with braided cord for a convenient and tangle free traveling experience
Available in a dual black/red design
Driver :40 mm Neodymium
Sensitivity: 105 dB
Frequency: 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz
Impedance: 32 ohms.
Cord length: 4 feet
Extension cord: 6 feet
Plug material: gold plated
The first thing you notice when putting on the Solus is their size; these are very big headphones. Surprisingly for their size they are not that heavy. The padding makes them comfortable and the ear cups are large enough to cover both my ears to keep out ambient noise.
The Wicked Audio Solus is targeting the DJ/dance market so I expected these “cans” to be skewed towards the low end which emphasis on the bass which they definitely were. One thing I did notice is that out of the box the Solus the high end on these speakers was a little flat. To remedy this situation I ran a 12-hour break-in period that seemed to help make the mid and high ends become more audible.
Overall the Solus has a rich sound stage but for my personal taste it is focused too much on the deep end. The music that sounded best using the Solus included hip-hop, dance and top-40, music created with bass in mind. Rock and metal tended to sound muddier although classic rock such as the Beatles and Rolling Stones sounded very good.
Friends who listened to the Solus thought they sounded terrific. One friend who uses the Beats on a regular basis felt the Solus sounded close to the more expensive Monster brand headphones.
One thing I did notice was the sound source had a dramatic affect on the Solus. Using my iPhone 4S sounded less impressive than when the headphones were plugged into my Denon receiver.
The built in-cord has plenty of length when used with a portable music player, for those stationed at a DJ booth the extension cord provides plenty of room to move around. Folding up the Solus can be slightly frustrating as the hinges fold in preset directions. Fitting the Solus into the satchel takes some maneuvering but once inside the headset was securely held in place.
In terms of durability the Solus headphones seem like they should hold up to the rigors of travel. Like most headsets the hinge and cord are the weakest points; hopefully Wicked made these points built to last.
Wicked Audio’s first foray into the high-end headset market is a good start. While they seem to be targeting the bigger names such as the Beats line, their pricing is still in the lower end making the Solus a good value. They currently can be found online for under $60 making them an excellent bargain.
Headphone preference is based on the individual users tastes. Bad headphones are usually easy to identify after a couple of listens. The Wicked Solus does not fall into this category as they are quality-sounding headphones, the problem I had with them was they were too reliant on bass and low end for its sound stage making it not the ideal headset for me personally.
If you listen to Top-40, hip-hop, dance, or electronic music then the Solus is an excellent choice.
+Good sound overall
+Designed for comfort
+Tangle free nylon audio cable
+Folding hinges and swiveling ear cups
-Can sound too bassy
-Highs and mids overpowered by low end
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