Monday, April 14, 2014

Free Headphones Giveaway: Sol Republic Relays In-Ear Headphones

Update: Congratulations to Casey Baker, who has just won the headphones! Casey's favorite CPB post is How To Be Creative. A huge thanks goes to Sol Republic for offering to run the promotion!

For many years I've been something of a headphone junkie, and I've had countless hours of use from the mid-size AKG, Sennheiser, and Grado phones I use at home. I was glad to hear from the indie headphone startup Sol Republic about giving away a pair of their new Relays in-ear headphones.

My initial reaction was that the marketing of the Relays as an on-the-go pair of phones for sport and urban use might not be the right fit with CPB readers, many of whom are serious musicians who make their living working in the trenches of the classical music and music education industries.

So when SR sent me a pair of Relays to try out before running the promotion, I was more than glad to take them for a test run, playing some a variety of things and testing them against my trusty Grado SR80's.

The first thing I noticed about the Relays is that they need to be fitted all the way into the ear in order for the bass response and stereo imaging to snap into focus. Fortunately, there are four different sizes of ear-tips for every type of ear (the one I used were the second largest). There was definitely a discernible bass boost in these phones, but it didn't at all seem unnatural in the way that one often finds with some brands of phones.

What I particularly liked about the Relays was the lively, musical way that both stereo imaging and musical details were audible, especially the detail that I could hear in music with a fair amount of layering. The musicality of keyboard, strings, and voices came out very cleanly and in an immediate way, with slightly more clarity than my trusty SR80's.

In fact, I liked these phones so much that I would question SR's emphasis on marketing these phones solely for sports and urban use since they work so well for critical listening. My initial misgivings were unfounded, since I found the depth of detail ideal for the kind of listening that professionals need to be doing, and if you can take them on the road with you, so much the better.

Enough with my thoughts - let's get down to business, as SR has graciously offered to give away one free pair of Relays to a lucky Collaborative Piano Blog reader.

Here we go...

Competition Rules and Regulations

1. Send an email to collaborativepiano [at] gmail dot com with a) "Sol Republic Relays Draw" in the subject line and b) a link to your favorite Collaborative Piano Blog article in the body of the article.

2. Only one entry per person and per email address will be accepted.

3. The deadline for entries is Saturday, April 19th at 10pm EDT. After that I'll randomly draw one entry from the pool of accepted responses and announce the winner on the morning of Sunday, April 20th.

4. After that, I will put the winner in touch with the rep from Sol Republic - they will send you the headphones directly (not me).


  1. Replies
    1. There's an update at the top of the post. The phones were won by Casey Baker!

  2. I'm a big fan of in-ear headphones because of their small size and their close proximity to eardrums offers the potential for the highest-resolution sound quality.