T+A Solitaire P Review
The Solitaire P headphones fit perfectly in the narrative for T+A for me. For a brand that has traditionally focused on pushing the boundary with their two-channel work, the Solitaire P shows their true commitment to stepping into the Head-fi arena. They just exude quality from every orifice. Whether its build quality or sound, T+A has a knack for absolutely nailing it. The Solitaire P are a high-end, over-ear pair of headphones that are designed to deliver exceptional sound quality and a comfortable listening experience. We could stop right here, and I could tell you how they rival/best pretty much every other planar TOTL headphone I’ve heard but that would be lazy so I’ll get right into it.
Starting with the build, these headphones are made of high-quality materials that are both durable and stylish. The earcups and headband are made of a lightweight metal alloy that feels sturdy and well-constructed, while the earpads are made of Alcántara that provides a comfortable fit for extended listening sessions. They easily look the part of their price tag to me and with a solid construction to match. These are no Abyss 1266 in the sense that you could hit them with a car, and they would be fine, but they certainly don’t seem fragile either. Aside from style the housing serves a specific purpose of holding the magnets in a precise formation to ensure a total linear magnetic field.
The drivers on the Solitaire P deserve their own section. Once again pushing the envelope in terms of what can be achieved with the traditional planar diaphragm. They use a sophisticated neodymium magnet array. Each magnet is carefully positioned withing calculated magnetic fields. They also employ mounting rings and magnetic carriers. The driver itself a is a vapor-deposit membrane. All of this is done to improve upon the standard planar design and result in lower distortion and improved dynamics.
Moving on to sound quality, the T+A Solitaire P headphones do not disappoint. It’s easy to see or I guess hear in this instance where form meets function. All the work they did with the drivers paid off with absolutely incredible micro and macro-dynamic performances. They deliver a well-balanced, clear, and detailed sound that is perfect for a wide range of music genres. The bass is tight and punchy, without being overpowering, while the mid-range is warm and natural. The high-frequency response is also excellent, with a crisp and airy presentation that adds a sense of space to the music.
The album "Satori" by Flower Travelin' Band is a classic example of Japanese psychedelic rock, and it's a perfect showcase for the sound quality of the T+A Solitaire P headphones. There is so much this album does right that I haven’t heard anywhere else. These Solitaire P has been one of my favorite for this album for a number of reasons. The micro-dynamics and textural information give so much more tangible feel to this album than some other headphones. Theres so much going on in this album that some of the smaller things can be overlooked but not with the Solitaire P. Its clear and incredibly detailed sound brings the eclectic mix of instruments and vocals to life.
The soundstage of the T+A Solitaire P headphones is wide but not as wide as some headphones. Although in my mind it’s the right mix. It’s enough to allow each element of the mix to have its own space, making it easy to follow along with the complex arrangements of the songs. Another thing they excel at is layering and depth. Its so easy to pick apart the recording even as hectic as this one. The slightly warm and natural mid-range presentation of these headphones also makes the vocals of the iconic “Joe” sound rich and full, while still bringing his harrowing shouts into full focus. The tight and punchy bass adds depth and power to the tracks.
Listening to the song "Belong" by Slenderbodies on these headphones quite an experience. The intro starts with a beautiful guitar riff that sounds incredibly clear and crisp. As the vocals kick in, you can hear every nuance and inflection in the singer's voice, which is quite impressive. The Solitaire P does an excellent job picking up on all these small details which I’ll attribute to the magnetic structure design. Also, they really maintain the ethereal, dreamy nature to his vocals. They just have such good air throughout the mid-range and treble. The bass here is just as textured and detailed which a lot of headphones don’t do as well. Its punchy and incisive without being overstated.
The T+A Solitaire P headphones truly showcase and exemplify T+A’s slogan “engineering emotion.” The level of precision and thought that went into these headphones truly shows in their sound. These make listening one step closer to the real thing which anyone in this community will tell you is quite an emotional experience. For anyone in the market for a true top of the line headphone, you would be lacking if the Solitaire P wasn’t included.