With humble origins in Park City, Utah, Skullcandy has quickly established itself as one of the leading brands when it comes to producing cutting-edge audio products at a reasonable price. While they aren’t going to be competing with Sennheiser’s anytime soon, they still produce great sound for what it’s worth.
With their primary products mainly aimed towards the general consumer market or your casual listener so to speak, there are a few factors that truly set Skullcandy Earbuds apart. With that in mind, we’ll be talking about the kind of products the brand offers today and if they’re worth it as compared to other earbuds that come in at the same price.
Skullcandy – A Brief History
Founded by Rick Alden and Cris Williams, Skullcandy’s claim to fame was the introduction of their proprietary LINK system which allowed users to listen to music through a Skullcandy portable device while listening to calls from their mobile phones. They then proceeded to produce different types of earbuds and headphones while maintaining a reasonable price point.
The company then filed for an IPO in 2011 and was eventually acquired in late 2016 for around $196.9 million which then led them to turn into a private business back again. Nowadays, the company focuses on promoting its image by integrating themes of youth, art, culture, and music into its products. Their products were also labeled as the world’s coolest ear bud by Fortune magazine which portrays their overall image in the market.
Who Are Skullcandy Earbuds Meant For?
Pioneers of the idea of an active lifestyle, Skullcandy Earbuds are designed to be non-intrusive, stylish, and are meant to blend in with your life both in terms of how they look and their overall use as well. With the audio market steadily facing fierce competition with the entry of newer brands, Skullcandy has still kept up its image and is providing good-quality earbuds.
If you aren’t a fan of plain-looking white earbuds like the AirPods or don’t want to shell out hundreds of dollars for the latest Sony earbuds, the Skullcandy hit a sweet spot. They’re cheap enough for you to be able to use them nonchalantly and their audio quality doesn’t leave much to be desired.
Skullcandy Earbuds – Notable Features
Before we get into the details, having an idea of the overall Skullcandy lineup is vital. Generally, their earbuds and over-the-ear headphones are meant for gaming, exercise, and casual use. As such, their lineup does not consist of any serious studio-grade headphones for example.
- Ink’d: Meant primarily for casual listeners and those who are into sports, Ink’d are around-the-neck in-ear headphones that feature good battery life.
- Crusher: Known for their Bass, the Crusher is an over-the-ear headphone that brings an intense thump through that features both a wireless and a wired variant with great battery life.
- Grind and Hesh: Both lower-tier variants of the Crusher that feature a much more compact design with wireless variations present and a great number of color choices.
- Dime and Jib: Both wireless earbuds come in with their own carrying case. While they do have slight differences, their overall design remains the same. They deliver good battery life and balanced sound.
In terms of fidelity, don’t expect studio-grade quality. However, we’ve tested out both wired and wireless offerings from Skullcandy, and suffice to say, they do the job quite fine. One common theme you’ll find in all their offerings is a heavy emphasis on bass.
If you thought your Beats were on the bassier end, the Skullcandy’s will change your perception real quick. One quick listen and you’ll be met with overwhelming deep ends that make your music pop. If you are a fan of Rock music or EDM, they’re an excellent grab.
But, if you are into a more refined sound profile, steer away from the Skullcandy’s. They are quite inaccurate and don’t fare well if you were to compare them with earbuds that promise to deliver a balanced stereo image.
If you are in the market for durable earbuds that can stand a bit of punishment, the Skullcandy line is a good grab. With good after-market support and a knack for using high-quality materials, the fact that the brand revolves itself around an active lifestyle is a testament to its overall resilience and durability.
However, don’t be fooled. At this price point, don’t expect the brand to be using anything other than plastic. While this isn’t a downside, the earbuds generally do not have a premium look to them and there’s a lot to be said in terms of their finish. This, ultimately, is the price you’ll un-ironically have to pay considering how cheap their offerings are.
Unlike most reviewers though, we feel like a plastic build quality does not necessarily hinder the durability of the overall product. Sure, it won’t heed well against bumps and dents, but so won’t any other earbuds for that matter. Given the price, you get your money’s worth of durability and there’s not much to complain about unless you drop your earbuds often.
Design is truly where the Skullcandy shines. With Beats by Dr. Dre now consisting of only premium offerings the Skullcandy Earbuds still manage to maintain a mix of colorful designs with interesting aesthetics that pop out. If you are into matching your accessories with your outfit, each Skullcandy earbud model comes in a variety of different colors all with their unique flair.
Plus, you’ll be able to truly make your own headphone as you can customize and select the kind of color you’d like your new earbuds to have directly from their site. Their unique, interesting colors have set them apart for many years now.
You won’t be finding anything that looks supremely Skullcandy though. In essence, their unique aesthetic sense only carries to their colors. None of their designs pop out and you won’t be making a statement with them. Whether that’s positive or negative is completely your call!
Should I Buy The AirPods or Skullcandy Earbuds?
The AirPods and Skullcandy Earbuds cater to completely different niches. They also are separated by a wide price point. However, for the sake of comparison, the AirPods do indeed sound better but are limited by the fact that you’ll need an iOS / Apple device to take full advantage of them.
While they do work with an Android, the Skullcandy Earbuds have a much better time when it comes to pairing and customization. Plus, the AirPods come only in one color while the Skullcandy as mentioned earlier comes in a wide variety which helps them stand apart.
Therefore, your final decision is dependent on what your use case is. If you have an iOS device and can fork out the extra cash, the AirPods are a no-brainer. If you are in the mood for a more customizable or even a cheaper pair of headphones as a gift, any Skullcandy offering is an excellent pickup. This is especially true if you go for their over-the-year variants as they have better sound isolation than the AirPods.
Are Skullcandy Earbuds Compatible WIth My Android / iOS Device?
Yes, they are! Skullcandy Earbuds use Bluetooth 5.0 and are therefore compatible with any device that has Bluetooth capabilities. You’ll need to download the Skullcandy application on both iOS and Android to make the most out of them. However, you’ll still be able to use them quite easily with no real hassle.
Why Should You Choose Skullcandy?
Now that you have an idea of what makes Skullcandy different, the question arises, why should one pick up a Skullcandy branded audio device in the first place? While the answer is dependent on your use case, there are a few distinct advantages that the brand offers which is hard to replicate.
- Price: Skullcandy earbuds are priced extremely reasonably, you can find a good pair for as low as $20 with their more premium offerings coming in under $50 in most cases. So, you’ll end up having a good pair of headphones for casual use or when you exercise at a relatively inexpensive price point.
- Availability: Unlike other signature headphones that are only available on Amazon or select retailers, you’ll find Skullcandy earbuds everywhere. From retail stores to petrol pumps, the inexpensive price has turned them into a readily available item. So, if you need good-quality headphones in a jiffy, they’re the ones to go for. Plus, they’ll sound much better than any cheap headphones which you’ll find loitered around retail stores.
- Aesthetic: As we’ve mentioned earlier, Skullcandy has a distinct brand persona that only a few can replicate. While the choice of materials leaves a lot to be desired, the variety of colors and different tones available more than makes up for it in our opinion.
- Warranty: Skullcandy headphones all come with a fool-proof warranty and are therefore excellent grabs if you are going to be using them in a rough manner.
- Great Gifts: Skullcandy earbuds have always been great gifts due to their excellent pricing and unique aesthetic. With the brand now actively pushing towards various deals especially nearing the holidays, they’ve transpired into great back-to-school gifts too.