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Skull Candy SkullCrusher Headphones
Well known to skateboarders and snow dwellers globally (none of which is in fashion here, sadly) Skullcandy products, quite literally look like candy you wear on the skull. This brand manufactures headphones (besides other headgear) inspired from pop culture, more specifically radical, new age, funky designs.
Their designs have over the top colors, wacky patterns and basically anything that'll attract the younger or informal crowd. We have a model by them called the Skullcrusher; plus since it's our first ever Skullcandy review, lets not waste anytime getting those board shorts on, neon green bongs out and loads of gatorade for after the session.
Design and features
This model actually hails from the school of circumaural headphones, wherein the cans cover the ears completely - they engulf the pinna. Not only is the external paint job good but the ergonomics are great as well. Firstly, the cans are not round. They are egg shaped thus fitting the ear perfectly. The leatherette surrounding the rim of the transducers seems to be very good quality, so is the protective foam on top of the speaker face.
This surface has a Skullcandy logo design in its weave, thus adding to the funk. Our model is called the CMYK, which heralds a beautiful but loud looking pattern consisting of interlinked meshes. The color scheme - you guessed it - Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (black). The base is gray. Honestly, it's not my favorite design in the SkullCrusher range, the same model comes in sexier finishes of black red and white which are much better.
The headband has foldable joint in the middle, it is used to fold in the two cans together for storage. The Joints don't end there( no pun). The earpieces themselves are attached to the band via swivel joints, thus one can turn the earpiece outwards if someone interrupts when your skull is being crushed. The cable is blue (cyan) in color, and is about a meter in length. There is a similar colored cyan cased terminal towards the end that houses a crossover, and a single AA battery case for powering it. Also, a black slider switch protrudes out, which has to be in "on" position for any sound to be audible at all.
Just next to the switch is an analog style potentiometer dial sticking out, which I assumed was for overall volume level, but it's only for bass "vibration". The funda behind this is a 2 way speaker design, one low frequency driver and another woofer for rest of the frequencies, separated by the crossover. The main feature is yet to come: the bass driver is touted as a subwoofer by Skullcandy, thus, not only does it pound you with low bass, it also vibrates the diaphragm, which the ears can feel. So any bassheads in the house, click "next".
As for rated specifications the frequency response is rated as a full fledged 20Hz-20Khz. The driver magnets are neodymium, with a 30 mm diameter. The sensitivity is rated as 99 dBSPL, while the impedance is 32 ohm. The crossover frequency is 100 Hz.
We plugged it into an iPod Touch loaded with heavy Disco House, Hip hop the works... The first thing to be done is replace the battery available on purchase, as ours was drained out and made the bass MIA. Once that is done the next job is to adjust the level of bass on the in built amp. This is important as you will surely get a headache, bass lover or not, if the level is kept at max. It's TOO hard. But once a sweet spot is found, an actual listening session can commence. Another small iffy I felt was the absence of a full range volume knob, it would have helped in outdoor situations, where this model finds its best application.
In a snapshot, I would have to say that the listening experience was quite enjoyable, mainly in genres like techno, trance, deep house, modern pop, dub etc.. you get the drift. Rock and metal also sound really heavy and juicy, all this due to pure low frequency dominance. The frequency response is in no way balanced, thus pure audiophiles will not dig it, but then again, the design itself elucidates the fact that the audiophile tribe are not the main market of Skullcandy.
It's meant for bassheads, gamers, DJs etc. Another positive point for this swanky transducer is its noise canceling capabilities, that too purely due to its acoustic properties. There is no active circuit for that because the fit is so snug and the pounding bass cuts everything out. Overall the sound is loud, bass heavy and in your face. A word of caution: exposure to loud sounds is really harmful, jokes apart. This model can go till about 100 dBSPL easily, thus it should not be heard at max level for extended time. Also once in a while one must expose the ears and let them "breathe", because circumaural headphones like the Skullcrusher totally block the ear from fresh air.
At Rs. 3,469 the SkullCrusher is not so expensive, as the sweet paint jobs available will command a sum. The build quality and ergonomics are also very high quality. Bass response surely overpowers the rest, and needs to be fine tuned via the control pot. Also a few small iffys like absence of a volume knob, and not so efficient battery life blemish the experience just a tad. Overall, it's a recommend for Bassheads — anyone with the love for the louder sounds of life, and the longer wavelengths of sound.