Headphone Review: Wicked Audio Solus Headphones Review
Editor's Ratings (1-5): 4.5
What's Hot: Spacious sound with excellent stereo separation, unbelievable noise isolation, and powerful bass.
What's Not: Some tracks lack clarity, the headphones are not lightweight.
Reviewed by Tong Zhang
Wicked Audio makes many different styles of earbuds, ear-cover style headphones and over the ear headphones. The Wicked Audio Solus is their high-end over the ear headphones that offer big sound, strong bass and incredible spacious sound quality in a substantially sized body. The headphones are marketed under their "Audio Revolt" slogan targeting the youth and a new generation of audio connoisseurs who grew up with headphones permanently attached to their ears.
The Wicked Audio Solus Headphones are for those who don't mind wearing something a football coach would wear on the sidelines sans the mic boom. The large body affords you some comfortable features including a wide headband that's sturdy and padded, sturdy sliders made with strong plastic for adjusting the headband length, beefy hinges that allow you to fold the ear muffs when you're not using them, and two over-sized ear muffs that should encase your entire ear lops with very thick but soft padding. Large and domed hard plastic casing house the 40mm drivers. Though the headphones aren't lightweight at 11.4 ounces (without the weight of the audio cable and volume control), the tension of the headband is well adjusted and the soft but thick padding on both the headband and the ear muffs help the Wicked Audio Solus stay comfortably seated for long period of usage. If you're a gamer with long history of wearing big and heavy headphones you'll feel right at home with the Wicked Audio Solus. If you've never worn any large and heavy headphones, it'll take you some time to get used to the weight and size, but rest assured, you'll get used to it.
The Wicked Audio Solus Headphones comes with a braided fabric audio cable that looks thick and well made. Its 4" length is long enough for using the headphones with your mobile devices, your tablets or notebooks, but if you need to watch TV on the big screen or DJ using these headphones you can extend the cable length with the included 6" extended cable. The extended cable comes in regular plastic and the headphones also come with a 1/4-inch audio plug for your AV gear. The main audio cable isn't detachable and comes with a large control stick that lets you adjust the volume independent of your audio device's volume and a switch for mono and stereo. The control stick does not have a mic built in. Both the 3.5mm audio plug and the 1/4-in audio plugs have gold plating.
Much was made about the style of the Wicked Audio Solus Headphones and they do indeed stand out. The headphones come in contrasting black body with read accents on the inner side of the headband, the interior of the ear muffs, the main audio cable and the dominant "Wicked" logo brightly painted on the outside of the driver housing. Combine these bold colors with its imposing size, the Wicked Audio Solus Headphones look and feel masculine and speak of power.
So does the appearance of power translate into audio prowess? The Wicked Audio Solus Headphones operate on 20-20kHz range of frequency with its 40mm Neodymium drivers. We tested the headphones with several mobile devices including the iPhone 5, the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One, as well as tablets and gaming notebooks. The biggest characteristics you'll notice is how spacious the sound is presented, thanks to the large ear covers and the decent sized drivers. There is enough space for the bass to tremble through and vocals and other instruments to circle the sound around into full audio. You can hear the full extend of sound linger through and trail off. The space also gives bass lots of room to play out, and in some tracks the bass can get a little overwhelming. But if you're partial to bass sound you should be happy to know that the power on the Solus felt stronger than the one on Beats by Dre and all other headphones in our tests.
Surprisingly though, the volume wasn't very loud compared to other headphones we tested. The iLuv ReF iHP635 which has the same sized drivers operating on the same frequencies sounded louder. Of course different devices with different audio implementations also affected on the volume. The volume was louder on the Samsung Galaxy S4 than on the iPhone 5 via the Solus, for example. The audio sounded clear enough but the focus of the Solus was on balance, not on bringing out each track as it was with the RHA SA950i headphones. So those who have a taste for more balanced audio presentation with occasional emphasis on bass will enjoy the Solus; but those who wanted to hear every detail on every track need to look elsewhere.
The tight-fit headband and the large and very padded ear covers provide the best noise isolation we've ever experienced in headphones so far, even compared to some Bose headphones. When the music, video or game is playing audio on the Solus, you will not hear any sound near you. So be sure not to use them while you're walking on busy streets or need to at least know someone is talking to you. The headphones also block airplane noise very well and the outbound noise is kept at minimal so that your office mate or roommate isn't bothered by the leaking audio.
The Wicked Audio Solus aims to attract the young generation of multimedia consumers with taste for bold audio and outstanding look, and it achieves that admirably. The headphones' design makes a statement and the audio is powerful. We really enjoy the spacious sound when playing music, movie special effects and games as well as the complete noise isolation that helps immerse yourself in the audio experience through the headphones. The bass also has impressive power and stereo separation is excellent. The weight of the Solus will require some getting used to if you have not used heavy headphones before and some tracks sound muddier than on headphones such as the RHA SA950i.