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Topic: SkullCandy headphones any good?

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Old 01-10-2007, 09:59 PM
Junior Lounger
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Question SkullCandy headphones any good?

I was at Staples today and saw some headphones call Skull Candy , they have ear buds and head phones and i was wondering if they were anygood or if they are crap, i currently use Sony Earbuds and they have good sound but they distort with Heavymetal and Rap music . so i trying to look into something else that has better sound. I know that anything thats going to sound GREAT will be atleasr $100 but i was just curious about the SkullCandy Brand. Thanks,

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Old 01-10-2007, 10:42 PM
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my firend has a pair of the skullcandy inear, and to me they are decent. im currently using teh sony MDR-EX51, and to me they are far superior to the skullcandys. but the my opinion, and for the price i thnk 39.99$CDN, the skulls seem like a good deal, considering the sonys are 59.99$CDN, so its up to you if you wanna step up the 20$ more to get the sonys.

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Old 01-11-2007, 12:43 AM
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They may seem unique and all, but you are definitely not getting the bang-for-your-buck.

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Old 01-11-2007, 07:34 AM
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The Skull Candy in-ears are Dreadful.


Affordable in ears, an overview

Affordable In Ears an Overview

"Affordable in ears, an overview

It depends what you’re looking for, it depends how fussy you are about quality, and it depends what you are willing to spend.

You can buy in-ears for less than $10, and you can spend more than $900...... But price is not a reliable indicator of quality or performance.

Things have been changing a great deal in this area, recently, and many ‘old favourites’ (phones that I'd have recommended a year or eighteen months ago, have been utterly outclassed by relatively new entrants.

I have always taken a great interest in affordable in-ear headphones, and have amassed a huge collection – many of them given to me for review.

I will not comment on phones that I have not owned, or evaluated for an extended period, and I won’t recommend anything that I don’t own.

I would stress that I own, or have owned, every headphone mentioned in this post (bar the E500 and the Triple Fi 10) and have listened to them, extensively, back to back against each other. I'm not basing my impressions on five minutes (or less) listening to a friend's phones, or in a store. And if I were to say that something was: " infintely better than any of the Sony IEMs" it would at least be on the basis of having listened to and properly evaluated all of them. You can only properly compare phones that you know, and that you know pretty intimately, and recommending a phone if you've only heard it and the stock buds is understandable, but really pretty pointless.

Nor do I rely on my own impressions alone - if I had a particularly strong reaction to a phone, I'd wonder whether mine were representative, and I'd hesitate from stressing the point (the tiring coldness of the ER6i, for example) before I'd discussed it with other people whose opinions I valued, and preferably not before I had listened to an alternative pair of the same phones, and I'd be happiest if the point I was making was endorsed or echoed by the more grounded and sensible among on line communities.

You can buy some very cheap in-ears, but they are, in my view, dreadful, and not worth the money. All in-ear phones have more isolation than earbuds that don’t go into the ear canal, and give an immediacy that is refreshing. They are also very comfortable. But the feeling soon wears out if you compare the cheaper in ears with better gear, when their shortcomings become immediately apparent. I would single out the Koss ‘The Plug’, Skull Candys, Earthumps and Earjams as being a particularly pernicious and cynical way of parting na´ve youngsters from their cash.

I think that you really need to be spending at least $50.

However, if pressed, I would say that at the sub $30 level, for an IEM, and not a bud, I don't think you can do better than the JVC HA FX55, though at this bargain basement price point I think that you’re better off with conventional buds like the Sennheiser MX400, and the Sony ED21LP. It's not like at higher price points, where there is more GOOD competition, and where there is a wider range of choices to suit different musical tastes.

Some may recommend the cheaper models in the Sony EX51/70/71/81 family of earphones at this price point. They have strong bass, but it's muddy, toneless and very crude, and you can get bass that's better defined and just as powerful. The Sonys also suffer from a harshness and a ‘hissy’ sibilance in the higher ranges. recent models have also suffered quality problems with the cords, which tend to disintegrate with age/sweat/heat/use.

The JVC HA FX55 is at least a huge improvement over these dreadful phones.

At the $50 price point, my recommendations would include the Sennheiser CX300, which offers great value for money. It uses the same housing as the Creative EP630 and the four-pole Sharp MD33, and, I think, as the AKG K324.

They seem to use different, or differently tuned drivers, and I prefer the CX300 to the 630.

There needs to be a health warning here, as the CX300 is being widely copied in China, and the fakes/counterfeits are often sold cheaply on eBay. If you want CX300s buy these from somewhere reputable, and if the price seems to good to be true, it probably is.

If you want more prominent bass and lighter weight than the CX300, one good alternative at this price point is the
manufacturer censored/model name censored. It's bassier than the CX300, and lighter, so it stays in the ear better, I personally prefer the sound of the CX300, though some would say that the manufacturer censored has marginally better sound.

Apple’s own In Ears are not bad, if you’re among the minority who can use them. Most find that they don't fit, and that they therefore don’t stay in the ear well.

At $90-$100 choices start to really open out, though my recommendations would be for three newcomers - the Panasonic HJE70, the Sony EX90, and the manufacturer censored/newer model name censored, all of which represent excellent value for money performance, and which effortlessly outperform better known more strongly hyped branded competitors.

The Panasonic HJE70 ($88) gives a lovely warm sound, with super-cool design, and comes with a superb titanium case included. The HJE70 is very comfortable, and my only reservation is that there seems to be some patchy quality control – you can find really poor sounding HJE70s, though mine are simply superb.

I’m a big fan of the Sony EX90 ($90) which has good, solid sound, but whose real unique selling point is an unusual combination of excellent comfort and brilliant fit. The EX90 stays in the ear extremely well. It doesn’t isolate as completely as some IEMs, which further enhances its suitability for running. It even comes with a great leather box. The only real problem is that the cords are slightly fragile.

The new
manufacturer censored/newer model name censored sells for $*** exact price would identify phone and is a brand new, compact, ultra-light, metal bodied IEM. Positive, subjective comment removed lest it be interpreted as 'promotion'.

Other alternatives include the $120 Audio Technica ATH CK7, another metal-bodied IEM, whose only real difference is a cleaner, less bassy sound. This is a nice headphone, and represents a great alternative to the ER6i.

Some like the Westone phones, but I’m unimpressed, personally.

I’d reject the $109 Shure E2C because it’s exceptionally uncomfortable, and because the sound is mediocre for the price, while many users report cord problems.

I’d reject the $139 Etymotic ER6i for being too cold and clinical, for being over-isolating, and for having an uninvolving sound. The ER6is would be dangerous for running - they block out too much of the outside world and you'll never hear the truck that kills you!

The Altec Lansing iM616 ($150) uses the same technology and is no better.

Though Ultimate Ears make some great phones, I think that their low end offering, the $100 SuperFi 3, is poor, and could not recommend it.

I’m horrified at the price of some of the high end ear-gear I’ve been given, most of which is superb, but most of which is not so good that I’d spend my own money on it.

Of course anything about sound preferences will be subjective, and anything that criticises higher end gear will be controversial. If you've spent $299 on ER4s, it's human nature to be unhappy (even angry) if someone tells the world that they could do better for $100, and that you've been buying 'snake oil'.

An exception would be the $200 SuperFi 5EB, which does at least offer a unique sound stage.

For the sake of completeness, other choices for the ‘more money than sense brigade’ include the:

SuperFi 5 Pro $250
Etymotic ER4 $299
Shure E4 $319
Ultimate Ears Triple Fi 10 $400 (I don’t own these)
Shure E500 $500 (I don’t own these)
E5C $550

None of them are even twice as good as the best $100 phones, so you are paying hundreds of dollars for relatively small steps in quality.

IEM features and variables:

Driver size
I used to think that there was a direct relationship between sound quality and driver size - and this would be born out by listening to the EX51/70/71 (with a tiny 9 mm driver) and (say) the E888 with a much bigger driver. But there are plenty of small driver phones that deliver superb sound, and I now realise that driver size is not critical.

Impedence will affect primarily how loud the phones sound. Most go loud enough to damage your hearing, so I'd question the relevance.....

Frequency response
Frequency response, too, is of questionable import, since there are $300 and $400 IEMs with narrower frequency response than some $25 phones. Guess which sound better?

Other factors
Cord length, plug style (straight or L) and configuration (even or asymmetric) are real differences, to be sure, and do make a difference, but there is no 'better' or 'worse' since it's a matter of preference.

I personally prefer an L-shaped plug, a longer cord, and an asymmetric arrangement. But none of those are deal-breakers for me - what I really want is phones that make my music sound as good as it can for the price, and that's the basis of my recommendations above."

Since the original thread was written, I've been told not to mention a particular headphone manufacturer. The company exists, and lest anyone think I'm unaware of its two IEMs, I've left references to them in, for the sake of completeness, but have removed the names, and have removed or blurred any subjective opinion or recommendation.
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Old 09-05-2009, 10:57 PM
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Some Skullcandy phones ARE very good....

Like many, I too was skeptical about these phones as the name "Skullcandy" and all the flair associated with their design made me think they were designed first to appeal to kids and sound quality being a lesser priority. I was very wrong. They are OUTSTANDING headphones and I have been EXTREMELLY happy with mine. Though I do not know the exact model number, it does not say it on the phones themselves, they are the over the ear type with a rather thick over-the-head foam cantaliever. They do not fold, but have a volume adjustment on the cord. They are VERY, VERY light and perhaps the MOST comfortable over-the-ear design I have ever owned. Headphone quality is VERY important to me as I listen to music on my computer ALL the time. I have heard others complain about bass quality of Skullcandy phones yet the bass quality is better than my over-the-ear Koss k/6ALC and my $200 Grado 220's as well as several Sony models I have owned or tried over the years.

I suspect those who complain about the quality of bass either did not choose the right model that fit their need (Skullcandy seems to make hundreds of differing models), they need to EQ the bass up a little, OR their built-in sound card on their computer just doesn't pack the punch.

Keep in mind, computer manufacturers focus primarily on four parameters: price, hard drive capacity, processor speed, and RAM. Other functions like video, audio, keyboard, and mouse functionality is now integrated on the motherboard, NOT seperate cards as they used to be in the old days. The result is that in the interest of keeping costs down audio and video will often suffer. This is why I ALWAYS use aftermarket video and sound cards. For instance, I use a Soundblaster sound card with 7.1 Dolby Digital capability. Not only does it pack more power than the built-in "card" on my Compaq, but the sound quality improvement is DRAMATIC. So when I see others complain of distortion when they boost the bass, I have to wonder if it is not the fault of the phones, but the sound producing element of their computer. The simple fact is that if you care greatly about the sound quality of your computer, you MUST purchase an aftermarket sound card. The same goes for video as well. As far as MY Skullcandy phones, I can boost the bass to ridiculous levels using my Winamp EQ and there is no distortion.

I have owned some MUCH more expensive phones in the past including the $200 Grado 220's and several Sony models. These Skullcandy phones are the equal of ANY headphones I have ever owned as far as sound quality AND they are lighter and, without a doubt, more comfortable than ALL OTHER over-the-ear headphones I have ever owned (and no, I DO NOT work for Skullcandy!). Again, the sound quality is second to none, but it is how light they are that truly make them so comfortable. I don't know about all other headphones in Skullcandy's product line, but mine are outstanding and I would certainly buy another in the future or recommend them to friends. Mine cost $50-$60 at Best Buy (as I recall, they were the most expensive Soundcandy over-the-ear, non-noise cancelling model they sold), but this is a true bargain IMHO compared to what I have paid for lesser phones in the past. I know the ridiculous colors and designs will likely steer true audiophiles away from these, concluding they are designed simply around their aesthetic appeal to young people. But that is simply not the case, at least not the case with ALL of their headphones, like mine.

Senheizer makes a great phone as well, but I cannot imagine my Skullcandy's being any better than they are. I have owned them for over a year and a half and they have been dropped, stepped on, ect., yet they are tough and are working as well as the day I bought them.

Anyway, like all things, it's safe to say you get what you pay for. Obviously, a $60 set of Skullcanyd's are going to sound better and be built better than a $15 set. This applies to all brands as well. The point I am making is that Skullcandy DOES make some outstanding phones, though the better ones will cost you more of course AND to maximize their performance you really should have a quality aftermarket soundcard.

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Old 09-06-2009, 04:40 AM
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Follow-up to my last post....

By looking at pictures on the SkullCandy website I was able to determine I own a model that is part of their Hesh series of over-the-ear headphones that posses 50mm drivers as opposed to their other lines (some more expensive) with smaller 40mm drivers. I don't really tend to care about specs preffering to judge with my own ears the quality of sound. HOWEVER, that may be why the Hesh series have better bass response than their other lines that tend to have 40mm drivers or less. Again, frequency response specifications mean little to me without tolerences like 20Hz-20kHz +/-3 dB which Skullcandy does not state, instead it simply says 18hz-20kHz, that's it, which is a little like a car's acceleration performance stated as 0-60 MPH in WHO KNOWS HOW MUCH TIME. Almost ANY speaker can match those frequency response numbers, it's how flat the response is that TRULY matters (is a 20Hz tone virtually inaudible?, who knows with the specs given). All I know is that the Hesh series sound great with AWESOME bass response.

Anyway, to add to my previous post, I would certainly take a look at the Hesh series if you are in the over-the-ear headphone market as they are reasonably priced, INCREDIBLY comfortable, and sound as good as phones costing much, much more.

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Old 06-04-2012, 04:00 AM
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Nice to meet you here. Hope we can be friends. Windows 7 keys, And i have something interesting to share at my blog : Please visit it if you have time . Thank you.
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Old 06-17-2012, 05:41 PM
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Stop the spam foenge
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Old 06-27-2012, 09:45 AM
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I owned a pair of skull candy earphones and they broke within the fist 3 months. The casing around the ear piece broke open exposing all of the wires. I would not recommend them especially if you use your ear phones a lot.
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Old 06-30-2012, 05:05 PM
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You get what you pay for most of the time.
Skull Candy don't do high end, what they specialse in is right where they sit in the price-chain.

You could go through hundreds of pairs of headphones or IEMs and never quite get what you're looking for, or you could buy a pair of cheap Skull Candys and find they suit YOUR NEEDS perfectly.
It's all very subjective, based on your musical taste, your hearing, your wants and likes in a sound signature and your preference on looks (yes that actually often matters).

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Old 07-02-2012, 01:41 AM
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I'm liking SkullCandy. Had used Sony.

I was at Target. They had an array of earbuds. For the fast few years, I had a great set of Sony earbuds for my ipod. About $40 I think. But after a few years, the connection started to get staticky and was shorting.

When I looked at the Sony buds, I didn't see the old ones I had at Target. Nor on the Sony site. The newer Sony budys in the store had a weird shape. Like a 3 way bud shape. The rest of the Sony buds looked dated. The Target person recommended Skullcandy over Sony. Skull prices ranged from $15 to $100. Similar to Sony. I went with Skull one for $49.

Comparing them at home side by side, I'm pretty impressed the Skullcandy earbuds! I'm gonna keep them. The sound is clearer, louder, bass is bigger, highs higher than the Sony. The Skullcandy ones I got are black with red trim. They are called "50/50."

I am a novelist. It's very important to me to have great sound for my music. I often go to coffeehouses to write my books.
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Old 07-24-2012, 02:59 PM
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I have skullcandy over ear and in ear headphones and I think they are awesome! I love the sound quality and they also fit very comfortably for long periods of time.
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:55 AM
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Skullcandy headphones are among the most stylish headphones in the market. With their wide array of lines and designs, they do not only sound good but also look great! I personally love my collection of Skullcandies and use my headphones to listen to my music and even record my guitar tracks on my computer.
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Old 09-17-2012, 03:00 AM
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With so many designs and features, it can be easy to miss the best lines out there in the market.
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Topic: SkullCandy headphones any good?

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