Skullcandy is a headphone brand popular to those with active lifestyle or those who value style and design on their headphones above anything else. They’ve been around for years and recently, they made a refresh of their popular series. According to the company, the 2012 versions will have new color ways, better cable quality, and improved sound quality.
I haven’t tried old Skullies before so I have no point of comparison here. I’m just going to call it as I hear it for this review.
The Smokin’ Buds is one of their primary basic earphones characterized by different designs in interesting color ways. Skullcandy is targeting this earphone to replace the stock ones that come with your music player and it also has a handy in-line control with mic as well.
The driver housing doesn’t look plain at all with an interesting color combination (there’s even one with rasta colors) on a glossy plastic finish with the Skullcandy logo. The silicon gel buds are not the cone-shaped ones so getting the right fit (two more set of tips are included) is critical to avoid fatigue.
There’s a simple one-button inline control on the left bud’s cable which controls playback (pause/play, previous/next track) and managing your calls. There’s no volume control here but I must say that it works well even on Android phones which I can’t say for more expensive earphones that were made for Apple products only.
The cables here look ordinary to me although it’s a bit thicker and stiffer than your regular ones. It doesn’t mean it won’t tangle though.
Sound isolation on this earphone is not that great unless you will be cranking the volume way up although I’m happy to say that sound leakage is not much of an issue so you can keep your Bon Jovi tunes to yourself when riding an elevator. Thank God.
For overall sound quality, I would sadly say it’s just below average compared to some other affordable in-ears I’ve tried. It lacks power for its bass, and the sound stage is too shallow for an in-ear, like you’re using an on-ear earphone. Given that it’s a basic earphone which shouldn’t have the benefit of a large sound stage, it doesn’t have that enclosed feeling I get from using the Philips SHE8000 or the Promac Pro One earphones. It does find its strength on tunes that emphasize on mids where clarity is not much of an issue. Ballads should sound good on this earphone although club or party tracks may sound less than stellar compared to others.
What I’m trying to say here is that the Skullcandy Smoking Buds doesn’t sound bad at all especially if all you have for comparison is your stock iPod earphones. However, when you start using those P3k and up earphones, you will hear how far the quality is from this one. What I really like here is the in-line playback control and mic which works even on non-Apple devices and might justify the Php1,750 price tag for you. If brand is not an issue, budget ones like Superlux, Soundmagic, and Promac gives better sounds quality at this price point.
Skullcandy Smokin’ Buds:
- Speaker Diameter: 9mm
- Tactical Rubber Housing
- 2 Silicone Gel Sizes
- Satin Travel Bag
- SRP: Php1,750