We review a ton of different types of headphones here on MajorHiFi. They come from a ton of different price ranges and can have more than one use. There are a ton of premium headphones out there that we cover here, but so far I don’t think I’ve tackled anything like the T+A Solitaire P before. This is a brand that’s completely new to me, and I was able to familiarize myself with them at CanJam 2022 in NYC. They don’t have the widest selection of headphones yet, but what they do have in their library seems very impressive. This headphone is their flagship, costing $6,900. It’s one of the most costly headphones out there right now, and with that notion, it can generate a certain amount of interest. Is the Solitaire P overpriced, or something truly special?
What You Get
- Solitaire P Headphones
- Unbalanced cable with 6.3 mm connector
- Balanced cable with 4-pin XLR connector
Look and Feel
The Solitaire has the look of a premium open-back headphone, with a high level of construction crafted by real hands. High strength plastics and carbon are materials that are instrumental to the headphone main build, and as a frame, it holds together well. The most impressive part is the solid aluminum cups and yokes that help support the overall durability of the headphones. The ear cushions are also handmade. They employ allergen-free synthetic leather and Alcántara. They feel really comfortable on the ear, but the clamp of the headband might not be up to par for some listeners. I felt they fit my head well, but I know for others they might not secure themselves enough to the ear.
This is an open-back planar headphone with a special transducer. At the heart of the Solitaire P’s design is the TPM 3100, a transducer that uses high-performance neodymium magnets that are built precisely to match the size of the diaphragm. With this construction, T+A hopes that the actual magnetic current sustains a stable airflow, extending the dynamic range with little to no interference. This design is also special in that there are no opposing magnets, significantly reducing the headphone’s weight and freeing the diaphragm to oscillate with no limitations.
When dealing with a headphone of this caliber, in the price range it happens to be in, it’s easy to write it off as overpriced when a certain aspect about it isn’t the best you’ve ever heard. This is how I feel about the soundstage of the Solitaire P. It’s not the biggest or most impressive soundstage I have ever heard, but it still delivers all of its spatial elements extremely well. In terms of width, the Solitaire P is pretty much what you expect from a premium open-back planar headphone, but its enjoyment lies within its deeper layers. The level of separation you get is extraordinary, precisely displaying instrumental positioning so effectively it creates this immersive sonic environment that becomes easy to lose yourself in. From left to right, backward and forward, the Solitaire P reproduces its imaging with an expert level of finesse, responding dynamically to grandiose effects and instrumentations. The sound elements bloom out directionally adding to its overall dimension in a spectacularly refined fashion.
With the Solitaire P, the bass might not feature the most expressive tonality. However, it does showcase its frequency content with tightness and clarity at the forefront of its overall timbre. I wouldn’t call it lean, but it is definitely a more neutral response, complementing the sound signature with a more realistic output. It still possesses the opportunity to really reach deep into the sub-bass for that extra lift and coloration, but the main meat of the frequency response lies within the mid-bass, where the details are far more articulate and complete. I felt it even provided a sense of warmth to the sound signature that was subtle enough as to not bloat the timbre in unwanted resonance.
The midrange is where the Solitaire P really starts to show its richness, with frequency bands featuring expressive tones and transparency. They don’t accomplish this with emphasis though, as the heightened fidelity of the mids come off as way more natural and life-like than textured. It also appears like the mids have a lot more drive to them, as they pick up a sizable body that makes certain tracks display an exceptional amount of power. Accents on notes are extremely well balanced with the softer parts of certain tracks for an extra layer of dynamic expression. To me, these headphones benefited the most from orchestral compositions that feature a wide array of different acoustic instruments. Pianos tones were especially highlighted, as well as brass sections and strings. Listening to any track by Johann Johannson was met with serene clarity and tonal excellence.
When comparing the high-end to the rest of the frequency response, there’s a noticeable dropoff in the weight of the tone, but they still retain their fidelity. The treble here is very safe, finding a perfect middle ground between recession and brightness. Like a lot of the sound signature, the highs come off as completely natural, and it fulfills the sound signature in a way that any type of listener can enjoy. It flattens out the more defining qualities of the treble, eliminating harshness, but sacrificing some texture in return.
It’s easy to be turned off to a headphone when you see the price point, but the T+A Solitaire P is one of a kind. Whether or not the sound truly justifies the price is of course, up to interpretation, but from what I can tell from listening to the Solitaire P for a number of hours, these headphones are more than a worthy investment if you’ve got the cash. Its sound signature is refined in a way that you only hear in a select few premium types of headphones. If you can find a way to experience the Solitaire P you should absolutely seek it out, especially if you can listen to it with its HA 200 amplifier.
The T+A Solitaire P is available at Audio46.