TestDrive: Wicked Audio Solus DJ Headphones Review
Wicked Audio is attempting to make some waves in the headphone market by offering audio quality conscious headphones with a youthful aesthetic. Unlike Skullcandy, which is all style and no substance in terms of audio quality, Wicked wants to find the right balance, at the perfect price point.
The Solus headphones raised concerns about build-quality and a serious mid-range dip that compromised definition and presence
Unfortunately, their new Solus DJ headphones don’t meet either criteria. In our extended review, involving five different evaluators, the moderately priced headphones raised concerns about build-quality and a serious mid-range dip that compromised definition and presence.
The Solus' energetic packaging targets the style-conscious youth DJ market
» Volume Control
» Collapsible Headband Design with Swiveling ear cups
» Enhanced Bass (not good)
» Mono/Stereo Switch
» 40 mm Drivers
» Impedance 32 ohms
» Claimed Sensitivity 105 dB
» Claimed Frequency 20-20000 Hz
» Cord length 4 ft
» Gold-Plated headphone jack – Unscrews to minijack
Too Many Shortcuts
The review unit we received was black with red high-lights on the bottom head band and ear foam. The undetachable cord was “way too short for proper DJing duties” and contained a “cheap, bulbous” volume control and “worthless stereo / mono switch.” The compromises Wicked had to make in order to reach the $119 price point was apparent in the headphone’s ear pads, which “were ample” in density, but betrayed by “poor, sloppy stitching” that made the can “look cheap.” Worse, was the thin plastic utilized to house the swiveling ear cups that ended up cracking by the time the unit reached the fourth evaluator and broke during use with the fifth.
Where Wicked intends to complete with other manufacturers of youth-oriented cans, is on audio quality and again the Solus fell short with every reviewer. “I don’t think I ever witnessed worse mid-range replication in a pair of headphones,” wrote one, which was backed up by the other four. “It was almost like the Wicked designers took a 31 band graphic equalizer, pushed the five lowest frequency sliders to max on the bottom, as well as the three highest frequency sliders on top, and minimized everything else to to create the ultimate crooked smile sound signature.” The “veiled” and “removed” mids created a “lop-sided” distribution of sound that “became fatiguing in less than an hour of listening.”
This is the most attractive angle of the Solus, besides looking at them in the garbage. Notice how they hide the cheap writing on the cord's volume control?
“Why manufactures feel that they need to blow out the bass frequencies on headphones these days is beyond me,” complained one reviewer, but we dub that the Dr. Dre Phenomenon, which stems from the bass-heavy Beats By Dr. Dre headphones that exploded in popularity in the last few years. The Dre Phenom has become the go-to signature for up-and-coming manufacturers to emulate and often the results are less than stellar, which is certainly the case with the Solus whose bass often “yields distortion” and other “unpleasant artifacts that become pronounced with the excessive boosting.”
The Wicked Audio Solus headphones retail for $119, but street for about $50. Even at this low barrier to entry, we do not recommend these headphones.
Discontinue this model and start again.
» FutureMusic Rating: 40%
– Build Quality
– Sound Quality
– Not Good For DJing
– Short Cord
“The worst headphones I ever heard.” —Garth Fields
“Unfortunately, the Solus looks like a major misstep for Wicked, and I don’t believe this project will last long in their line up.” —Dan Brotman
“Did Wicked consult with a single DJ when designing the Solus?” —Greg Geller
“It’s not a good sign if your headphones look like counterfeit knock-offs from Hong Kong…” —Nik Kaufman
The Wicked Audio Solus is available now for $50 via Amazon.