Pros: Good sound quality in highs, super durable, less boosted bass than forerunners, cleaner look and sound
Cons: Can be uncomfortable, get dirty easily, better sound for the money, terrible soundstage
These are pretty solid cans, especially if you're a fan of electronic music as Sol Republic (a company I'm a huge fan of) has pretty much tuned their cans for that exact genre, as can be seen from their overall sensibilities with marketing, etc. Don't let that statement fool you though, these aren't boom-tastic basshead cans like say the Beats Solo HD or something along those lines. With their "Ultra" version of the popular Tracks line Sol Republic has toned down the level of bass while still making it more tight and high quality and cleaned up the higher registers in an attempt at audiophile territory. Did that attempt pay off? Well, sort of.
First of all, if Sol Republic was targeting die-hard audiophiles with this headphone, their going to be in for a disappointment. These are not going to blow the socks off any audiophile who has heard anything from, say the Sennheiser HD line, but they may wow more average consumers who's reference points are Beats or Skullcandy. These are super nice, clean headphones in terms of their styling as I think most of the Sol Republic headphones are. They sport a headband that they claim is unbreakable and I'm sure as hell not going to try to dispute them on that; these are MEGA durable cans. You can skate with these on and not even have to worry. I wiped out on my longboard flying down the street with these on and they flew off skidding down the road for a good solid way. Aside from some minor cosmetic damage they didn't even seem to notice.
As for more details on the sound, well they sound like Sol Republic Tracks cans still, but with a much more neautral sound overall. The bass has been dialed back, but they still sound punchy. The highs sound less sharp and more smooth, and the mids are less recessed. They are a very fun and lively set of headphones, but with one major caveat: the soundstage sucks. This is something all of the Tracks series struggles with, and despite being a huge fan of them, I must admit this simple fact. The sound you get out of these will still reflect basic stereo choices in the production of the music, but they won't do the soundstage subtleties very well. All in all, they sound good, but not THAT good, and certainly not "audiophile" good.
In conclusion: I like the Tracks Ultra. It's a fun headphone with a good sound and it's a logical progression to the tracks series, but it's not the most compelling one. The reason the Tracks HD is such a great headphone is how cheap you can get it, and these aren't as good of a value as the HDs pure and simple. Sol has corrected this misstep in their line with the much more compelling Tracks Air since the Ultra's release, but this is a review of the Ultra, and the Ultra just doesn't stand up in terms of value to the rest of the line. It's a good pair, but far from the best.