It’s been a long time since I did a review post on something that was sent to me. But, when I was offered a pair of headphones to try out, I couldn’t pass it up. When I was deployed, I had ‘phones with me all the time: a pair of Skullcandy in-the-ear for the gym or surfing the web at the MWR; a pair of collapsible Skullcandy over-the-ear for watching movies or listening to music in my cell room. They were a “must have” accessory. But, at the same time, that environment is hard on them. The only set I have left that made it out of counrty are my Skullcandy Skullcrushers. So, when I received an email about trying out a pair of Sol Republic Tracks, I figured, what the hell.

Trackshdblack1_7I received a pair of the Sol Republic Tracks HD with the black headband – I’m a subtle man so I opted for the black as opposed to the red, purple or blue. I don’t like to call attention to myself, that’s why I blog. Ahem. Anyway, ingenius little system they have: the headband slides into the phones meaning the whole system is collapsible. The phones come off the headband, the cord detaches from the phones and it all fits nicely in carry case – great for cord management so you’re not untying 50 knots before getting your Muse fix for the day. The cord also has a mic and music control capabilities making it perfect for you iPhone and Android users. That’s all well and good, dubs, but what about the sound? Well, I’m no sound engineer and my hearing is pretty iffy after so many years in the army, but I’m impressed. The phones have a deep, rich bass and crisp, clean highs and no discernible distortion on vocals even at higher volume levels. They sit comfortably on the ears – not in or over like my other pairs. I used them the other day while deep cleaning the carpets (yeah, I know you’re jealous) and they worked very well – I didn’t have to increase the volume all that much to hear my music over the roar of the carpet cleaner. So, they get two very enthusisastic thumbs up from me.

If you’re looking for a last-minute gift for the music lover in your family, these would be a great choice. You can still get them by Christmas if you hurry: the 2-day shipping deadline is tomorrow (December 19) and the overnight is December 20. But, I have a pair to give away – you won’t get them by Christmas, but Christmas does go for 12 days, right? So, if you want to win a pair of the Sol Republic Tracks HD, just leave a comment here – the deadline is Friday, December 21 at 6 pm EST – and I will choose a winner at random using a Byzantine formula known only to me.

On a totally different note, I also got booze in the mail. I know. How awesome is that? I received two bottles of Shellback Rum – Silver and Spiced (you can actually sing that like Burl Ives – go ahead, try it). Now, as a big fan of Captain Morgan and Sailor Jerry I was a little hesitant to let another rum into the house. But, I put those hesitations aside and gave the Shellback Spiced a go. Wow – phenomenal stuff. Remarkably smooth and mixed well with Diet Pepsi (I have to watch my figure lest all the beer and booze goes right to my hips). Anyway, pick up a bottle or two for your next holiday party – you won’t be disappointed. I have a near-empty bottle to prove it.