Last summer, I was lucky enough to attend the Lollapalooza music festival for work, as part of a joint launch of the SOL REPUBLIC x Motorola DECK speaker with RadioShack. It’s a sweet speaker, and I’ve got one in my bathroom, if you’re interested. At Lolla, I had the chance to hang out with the product designer for DECK, and asked him “What’s next?” His answer was waterproof earbuds.
This led to an interesting discussion, as I confessed that I’d tried dang near every brand of earbuds, and I stuck with Bose, simply because they actually fit in my ears comfortably, and more importantly, they stayed there. The SOL REPUBLIC designer wasn’t phased – he said the hardest part of earbuds is actually the design, because people’s ears are all so different. He did tell me that once they announced theirs, I needed to try them, cause he was confident they’d fit.
Today, SOL REPUBLIC announced them, the RELAYS earbuds. RELAYS definitely have a unique design, consisting of a ‘FreeFlex’ technology as an adjustable ring around the eartip, and then a bud for the inside. Of course, they’re water-resistant, so you can use them in the rain and whatnot (though I’m not sure what you’d plug them into that’s also waterproof…..)
As for sound quality, I’ve no doubt that these things sound awesome. I have a pair of SOL REPUBLIC TRACKS v10s and SOL REPUBLIC MASTER TRACKS, and they both sound amazing. Full bass, but not annoyingly so, with great lows and mids, too. I’m certainly looking forward to testing out a pair of the new SOL REPUBLIC RELAYS.
I was also pleased to see SOL REPUBLIC announce pricing and availability (a rarity for CES announcements). The RELAYS are available now in black for $79.99 at Verizon stores and the company’s website, and the whole color gamut — black, white, Horizon Blue and Lemon Lime — will arrive in nationwide retailers some time in February 2014.