PROS / The call quality for this pair of earbuds was the best of the pairs we tested.
CONS / You have to increase the volume significantly to block out external noises.
VERDICT / These earbuds are stylish, comfortable and provide a high-quality audio. However, they struggle to block out external audio.
Sol Republic has already made its mark on the audio industry. Its Bluetooth speaker is even one of our favorites. It comes as no surprise that the company has taken a stab at wireless earbuds, too. Its Sol Republic SHADOW wireless earbuds are well-designed, fairly priced and sound great.
Rather than having an around-the-ear design, this pair has a flexible collar that wraps around the back of your neck. The neckband is made of a water-resistant rubbery plastic and is flexible enough to put in your pocket. Two short cables with silicone tips connect to the collar.
Sol Republic includes four different sizes of tips so you can find a fit for your ear shape. Although we were able to find a comfortable and secure fit, we discovered that these earbuds don’t do the best job of blocking external noise. You have to turn up the volume about 75 percent to block out all ambient noise. Fortunately, this pair of cordless earbuds is our loudest pick – it reached 75 decibels during our tests. The sound quality was detailed with a well-defined bass.
Not only were we impressed with sound quality for music, we found that the SHADOW has the best call quality. This is probably because the microphone rests on your neck, placing it closer to your mouth than if it were built in to the remote like other wireless Bluetooth earbuds.
Speaking of controls, don’t fret – this one still has them. A play and pause button, which also serves as a button for answering and ending calls, is on the right side, along with some volume controls. There is a separate button for powering on the earbuds and putting them in pairing mode. For whatever reason, we had some hiccups when trying to pair the earbuds to our computer, but pairing them to our smartphone took less than a minute. The SHADOW’s battery life is strong, lasting for eight hours.
These cordless earbuds have a one-year warranty, which is the same length as competing wireless earbuds. Sol Republic’s customer support agents are friendly and hold times were practically nonexistent. Besides phone calls, you can reach a support agent over email. Sol Republic also has social media accounts you can interact with, but the company lacks a live chat option.
Sol Republic’s SHADOW earbuds provided us with the best call quality and impressive sounding audio. However, the earbuds do let in some external noises. They are loud enough to drown it out but at the risk of damaging your hearing.