By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
The sound quality from Skullcandy‘s line of headphones is a mixed bag. While great for certain musical playlists, it’s terrible for others. I recently tried the Jib Wireless, which arrived in stores a few months ago and I was overdue for a replacement. It’s affordable price is perfect but it’s ability to do everything I want is problematical.
The headphone I tried was defective; trying to use it with my phone to communicate with co-writer James Shaw (he does manage to contribute, right?) was met with a terrible buzz upon my attempted phone call. No online information was available about fixing this problem and I returned it to try another, with the same resounding success. When compared to another product from this company, the Smokin’ Buds 2 I sadly lost on a trip, I felt both products have a terrible fit (even with the replacement/alternative caps). I did not mourn the loss and feel I wearing these particular brand of fashion accessories is not worth any amount of money.
The Jibs was able to pound out the music; Billy Idol’s “Eyes Without a Face” sounded terrific. I put it through the paces of Lita Ford and other heavy metal tracks, and they were enjoyable to listen to. For audiobooks, the mix was off and I had to use my mobile’s equalizer application to fix it. Also, these particular type of bass-heavy headphones are not ideal for Mozart.
My main reason for a new pair is to replace my much beloved Sennheiser MM100. In certain quiet environments, this headgear works to engage in phone conversations. In others like inside a busy store, it fails. I blame James for his broken ability to hear, but I also realize older reviews and reports say the same thing. This pair of headgear is comfortable and easy to slide on and off. Sadly, this product is discontinued and trying to find replacement foam covers is next to impossible.
The choices for wireless these days is wide, but to have it last long on a day trip to another city is another story. My old Sennheiser’s barely lasts a ferry ride to the mainland. My replacement is bulky but great for home use. When I saw Skullcandy’s Smokin’ Buds 2 on sale, I concluded that after a month of use, it is a hazy substitute. It’s fit and ability to block external noise (this detail includes the Jib’s) is terrible (even popping out when out on rigorous walks) and I was reluctant to try their Method Wireless. I was able to try them on at the store and found the comfort not right given my thick neck.
With Skullcandy products often seen “on sale,” I am led to believe their quality has going down the drain. They are pushing out quantity, hoping for their name to sell product. Sadly, I believe this company will get buried six feet under in a few years time unless they do something to fix the number of returned and revised products I have seen since this brand entered the market.