When I hear the name “Skullcandy,” my mind jumps to a hip underground band from Brooklyn, or perhaps a startup candy company in a similar zip code. But the brand is actually a headphone manufacturer, combining a sharp eye for design with functionality. Part of me is still picturing sitting in an idyllic Williamsburg family-owned cafe with a $5 cold press and fresh Skullcandy, but I digress. One of the major factors of differentiation in an overcrowded and already saturated category? The water-resistant construction paired with bluetooth capability and supreme sound. They promise dynamic sound quality with powerful bass, warm vocals, and a 9-hour battery life (for the water resistant in-ear model). Maybe the exercise and sports component make this a more justifiable purchase. Hey, it’s for health right? And who doesn’t need music during a long workout on the treadmill?
We reviewed two of Skullcandy’s bestsellers, the Method Bluetooth Wireless Earbuds (with water resistance, marketed to the workout crowd, 9 hour batter life) and the 2nd generation Hesh Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones, a more traditional model that also offers wireless pairing with 15 hours of charge. Both models offer a wonderful range of vocal quality, precision highs with excellent bass quality, and can be charged with a micro-USB. A backup AUX cord with microphone provides additional power. Both models can be streamed using any bluetooth enabled device. Additionally, both models are extremely user-friendly and require minimal to zero setup or tech expertise. Fans rave about the quality of sound and construction alike, claiming they are better in both departments than models priced upwards of five times the purchase price. We found both products to be of excellent quality and provide solid construction as well as sound quality. Expectations were exceeded in this case.
Behind The Brand
Skullcandy’s target demographic seems to be a semi-educated younger consumer, one that may have dabbled with Beats or Bose before, but probably without a need for studio or professional-grade musical equipment. The marketing seems to be paying off, as reviewers claim they’ve ditched the more expensive brands in exchange for Skullcandy’s quality offering for less. It’s target audience? Rebels, artists, and non-conformists. The company was founded by self-described non-conformist Rick Alden, who has a background in action sports products. He partnered with teams of artists, musicians and athletes to “secure street cred,” and promote a message of self-expression and trendsetting. The concept is in making good audio quality and style both affordable and attainable to a broader audience than it typically has been in the past. It’s a solid blend of art, sports, and product availability to a wider consumer demographic. They offer popular wireless speakers as well, ones we’ve yet to review but would certainly consider given previous favorable experience.
The Main Features
The bestselling Hesh Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones, Skullcandy’s most popular SKU, packs 50mm audio drivers, a built-in microphone and 15 hours of rechargeable battery life. Very impressive durability and noise-cancelling ability.
The Method Sport Earbuds (in-ear option) promise a secure fit and built-in sweat resistant technology. They are the most popular sport earbud and in-ear option for the brand, with bluetooth functionality built into a flexible around-the-neck collar. These are a great option for anyone looking to exercise with headphones, or simply a preference for in-ear buds. Sound quality is excellent and the physical product is very lightweight but extremely durable. Bluetooth connects right away with no issues. The earbuds are comfortable and the neck band is as well. Very strong applications for sports and exercise given built in water-resistant construction that can withstand sweat without damage to the product. Very impressive noise-cancelling ability.
Positives and Negatives
The Hesh Bluetooth Over Ear Model and The Method Sports Earbuds both come highly recommended and reviewed, with that said, some users reported and experienced challenges with both products as well. To summate the feedback in terms of both positives and negatives for each, we combined personal experience and a broader range of user opinion.
- Users consider both models to be extremely good value and of the same quality as much pricier brands/models
- Sound quality: rich basses, warm vocals, clean trebles, music just sounds “just as it was produced”
- Carrying case, USB and AUX cord with mic (earbuds) or built-in mic (over-ear model) come included with purchase
- Extremely durable, can withstand active sports and rough usage, not prone to breaking or becoming defective in one or both ears
- Some customers think the noise-cancelling ability is so good it poses an environmental danger (but this may be complimentary)
- Some customers think the Hesh option is too heavy
- Not bass-heavy, for those with that particular preference
- Some users think the over-ear option is not comfortable around the ear (others say it is very comfortable)
The Final Verdict
Skullcandy’s Hesh Bluetooth Headphones and the Method Sports Earbuds are both excellent products with superb reviews and great audio quality. They both offer a strong battery life, strong bluetooth capability (to connect with any other phone or audio producing devices) and excellent durable construction. The Sports Earbuds option are water resistant and make a great option for anyone seeking a go-to headphone product for sports or the gym. They stand the test of both sweat and durability. The Hesh Headphones offer a great quality audio bluetooth headphone option for a fraction of the price of other comparable models. They are great for sports as well but do not come with a water-resistant construction. Skullcandy’s offering gives a broader consumer base the ability to access quality sound and music product, an audience that may not have had such an ability in the past. Ultimately both of these products are highly recommended and suitable for quite varying needs. The company lives up to the test of both self-expression and deviating from the norms, in an affordable way. Recommended!