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Posts Tagged ‘Skullcandy’

Black Skullcandy GI

Given the demise of my last pair of TI headphones from Skullcandy, I’m in the process of waiting for my replacements coming from the US via a friend who’s going to redirect them to me (the selling company doesn’t like to ship to Canada). Anyways, I am (was) without headphones until the replacements arrived, but thankfully the local Best Buy had kept some GIs in stock, and why not review them until I take them back?

The GI line has been in Canada for a while unlike the TI line of headphones that Skullcandy makes. Why, I’m not entirely sure, but they are almost the same headphones. Almost. The pair I have appear to be a later generation re-design. The earlier version in the picture above have a lot of the same parts that they used to create the TI headphones albeit with a different earphone casing and some other little features. That said, I’m confident that the actual speakers used in both TI and GIs are more or less the same.

What you get in the packaging with the headphones is the usual skullcandy pouch and the 5mm connector and that’s it. I did find a nifty bottle opener in the headphones themselves which I happened to think was some sort of defect in the ones I got, but nope, a nice bottle opener. I am a little disappointed that were I getting headphones I just paid $90 CAD for less than what I get buying the older TIs for about $70 CAD (shipping costs included). So if you like bonus items, then you’re much better off going for some TIs before they all disappear.

As for the headphones themselves, the sound isn’t too bad. Again, they have the same speaker driver inside as the TIs, but the lack the handy volume control that the TIs come with, but in leu you get a longer cord without the need to have an extension added on thus adding another break point. I did at first notice that there seemed to be some distortion in the lower range / bass, but it was not as horrible as in their SkullCrusher headphones. Later in the day things sounded more or less the same. The mid range on them was good allowing for the classical music I listened to be heard clearly.  Without having my TIs to directly compare the sound and have a more confirmed say, I’m going to say the quality between the GIs and the TIs is more or less the same. I will however give points to the TIs having better sound proofing from outside noise and against sound bleeding out from the units.

For the fashion conscious out there, the GIs to have a good diversity in style. If I were to get some GIs I would stick with the black ones I got. However that said, given the lack of extras, no volume control and sort of iffy construction, I would not ever pay more than $60 for these headphones. They do match nicely in sound to the TIs but you get so much more with the TI headphones than you do with the GIs that they do not command a cost of $90 (taxes included).

The combat theme is so HAWT.

Old style T.I.s

TIs for reference

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Broken, but not dead.

About a month ago my beloved Skullcandy TIs suffered the fate of all headphones which had come before it; the wiring (most likely from the extreme cold) went and the sound along with it. Woe was me, I needed to get them replaced again. However since Skullcandy has graciously discontinued the TI series, no swap from Skullcandy. I finally decided to bite the bullet and just fix them myself.

Repair isn’t entirely common with them as it was very difficult to find anyone who had experience, but if you generalize it to search on ‘headphone wire repair’ then you should be able to narrow it down and get the information you need. I knew it was a wire problem because when I turned my or the wire was pressed in an odd way, the sound would cut out. I’m going to warn you however, if you don’t know much about soldering or electronics, then you’ll probably be better off just getting a new pair of headphones. There’s a good deal involved with the TIs because they have the volume control which bisects the wire, although this actually makes repair a bit easier than a single cable.

Also as a bonus, the extension cable they give you is the same wire but with the added bonus that it’s longer. If the wiring problem was on the plug connector, then you have an easier time as you can just swap that section. I had to swap the section between the volume and headphones. Inside the speaker is a bit of a pain in the ass, as they’ve got most of the wires connected to the headphones, however a fourth wire heading over to the right speaker needs to be soldered together (the pain in the ass connection). Volume soldering is fairly straight forward connection of the three wires, just make sure you know where what’s going else you’ll have a bad connection or reversed stereo.

All and all repair took me approximately an hour since I’m not the most experienced at soldering. Again the hardest part will be with the 4th wire connection to the other speaker. It’s also more difficult given the size of the wires you have to work with in addition to their coating. Even if you gob on the solder, you have plenty of room in both the headphone housing and volume control to fit everything back together. It’s all a matter of patience and caution.

Just to be clear, here’s a list of what you’ll need:

  • soldering Iron with a fine / thin tip
  • solder, be careful with lead based and use in well ventilated area
  • three strand colour coated wire (or Skullcandy extension wire packaged with headphones)
  • busted Skullcandy headphones
  • optional but very useful: ‘third hand’. Has two adjustable alligator clips to hold what you’re going to be soldering together.
  • electrical tape or heat shrink: used for covering up the fourth wire’s exposed solder to keep it from shorting out the speaker
  • patience and a steady hand

Again it’s not something overly complicated, but it’s best something to do as a last resort and if you have the background experience. If you have a friend who’s done it before, then I would suggest bringing it to their attention and see if they can pull it off. It was well worth the efforts of doing it myself as they sound exactly the same as when they were first put on my head to pump out some killer music.

Best of luck, and a bit of buyer beware with the next-gen of Skullcandy products.

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So way back I really railed on how shitty Skullcandy’s Skullcrusher headphones are in comparison to the Ti line that cost $10 more. Since then a good number of people have come to my blarg after searching for some sort of search involving ‘Skullcandy review headphones’ ect. And in addition since I like the Ti so much I think it’s high time I give them a little loving and a proper review.

Old style T.I.s

My very first pair of TIs

 So way back in 2008 I believe, my girlfriend at the time was very kind and thoughtful and got me a pair of Skullcandy Ti headphones as you see to the left. I was a little skeptical at the time because I really am not a fan of things with a lot of flash and bling to them, but they were a gift and they were not as bad as the other alternatives out there.

This was a bit of a change for me. I really wasn’t too big of a fan Dj headphones, up until I got the Ti headphones I was mostly rocking the street style, behind the head headphones. The reason for this was I was mostly wearing hats and those kind tend to interfere less with hat wearing. However, the Ti are hella comfortable and I decided I could change my lifestyle a bit to accommodate.  

The Ti  go beyond just looking slick and feeling comfortable. The sound quality that comes from them is far beyond any other pair of headphones you’re going to find. The sound is clear and crisp as well the bass is noticeable and doesn’t require a battery operated add-on to balance out the lack of low tones.

With each pair, Skullcandy tosses in some nice little add-ons. An extension cable which doubles the cord length, a pouch to keep them in, additional ear pads incase you happen to wear them out or would just like another colour (the newer ear pads are angled instead of flat) and a Skullcandy stencil, but I think all headphones come with that. And with all Skullcandy products they have a lifetime warranty which is really broken into two categories; general breakage and abuse breakage. Abuse gets you 50% off next purchase and general gets you free replacement.

Now with that said, I’ve had a hell of a time with the quality of Skullcandy headphone products. The first pair, the black ones, I managed to put through hell and back. They were very worn and I very nearly busted off one of the speakers. Since getting the black Ti headphones replaced, I’ve found that the quality has gone down hill on them. The problem is with the wiring which I’m assuming is a very common problem. I don’t think it helps that I wear them outside in the winter, but it’s always been that the sound goes in the left speaker or becomes dull in both speakers.

Skullcandy knows damn well about this, so much so when doing the online replacement they have a part where you fill out which speaker(s) have gone on it. Then you send it off to Utah and in a few weeks you get your replacement sent back. Since getting the Black ones replaced, this has happened to me approx every 6-10 months of usage. Considering that these are not cheap headphones and for the most part are really high quality, it bothers me that Skullcandy hasn’t stepped up to make sure that the assembly quality is just as good. Otherwise they just seem to look like over priced cheap made headphones.

Finally, I wish they had some variety to the styles. I mean they do have a huge selection of styles to choose from, but for a long time they’ve lacked anything basic or not as fucking loud as people are probably going to turn them up to. The headphones are large enough and obvious that I don’t need to have them bright pink, fuzzy or with an insane pattern to make that point more obvious. Below are the styles that have which proves my point.

And on a bit of a downer note, it seems like Skullcandy is working to discontinue the Ti line which worries me a bit and I hope they don’t replace them with shitty Skullcrusher line.

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Doing something a little different today, going to be reviewing / giving an opinion on some headphones. Last week I got a pair of replacement headphones from Skullcandy to replace my pair of broken T.I. headphones which are so nice, when I found out I couldn’t get the T.I.s replaced I ordered another pair.The replacements are in fact their Skullcrusher brand with a nifty little base boost do-dad. However, there are several things wrong with them.

To start, I really have not liked the direction that Skyllcandy has chosen for any of their headphone products. They’re marked more on the ‘street’ and ‘urban’ style rather than you know, making a good product. Why do I say this? Because the first pair of T.I. Headphones I got lasted nearly 2 years before suffering from catastrophic break down of the wire (which is typical of any headphones). Hell, I broke off the ear pad of my headphones and had to super glue it together again. But they worked until one speaker went dead. The problem was however I had to wait forever for a replacement since they didn’t carry the basic black T.I. Headphones any more and the current run of replacements ran from gaudy gold to fuck ugly fuzzy pink.

So I opted to wait for the new styles to come out in hopes of something as basic and neutral as black. And when I did hear back, the style only got worse. The best I could get out of the current run that wasn’t fuzzy or brighter than a supernova was the Glen Plaid style which are not bad at all. Fast forward about 8 months and they’re broken again via shitty wire connection. Once again replaced only to break (the same way too) for a third time.

Now apparently the people who do the replacing in Canada don’t carry the TIs any more and so had to give me the Skullcrushers. However they sent me the style listed as ‘Peace Love Noise’.This is what they look like:

Peace Love Noise? More like What The Fuck!?

I mean, I can’t expect them to know I’m a guy, as much as my name is a dead give away, but who can honestly say they want to be seen in public with those on? It’s a chaotic mess of hot mess dressed in hot pink / peach. So after several e-mail exchanges and some phone calls I was able to get them shipped back and replaced with another style since they’re ass hats and wouldn’t send me the TIs.
This is what I got back:

This is the lesser of like 8 other evils.

They don’t look as bad, but the sound on them is awful. While waiting for these to get back I did get a totally new pair of TIs which totally helped me discover this problem. The comparison between them is almost night and day. The Skullcrushers have a good lack of range and sound high-pitched and tinny which is not something I want at all in my headphones. Even with the base booster, it’s still bad and the base boost doesn’t even sound that awesome in and itself because it makes everything sound like shit if you have the volume too high on it.

In comparison the TIs have a near perfect range to them and a volume control to boot! And there isn’t even that big of a price difference between them (I think it’s about $10 which is worth it to listen to your music and not have it sound like shit). Realistically the Skullcrushers sound like oversized ear buds and not like proper DJ style headphones, which is really disappointing. I mean really the only upside the Skullcrushers have over the TIs is the compact size and maybe the dual wires, but I really like the single wire look so my shit doesn’t get tangled.

I think perhaps when both headphones eventually bite the dust, I’m going to seek out a new brand because I’m tired of Skullcandy’s bullshit quality control and fantastically retarded artistic design and style. Its getting to be too much and I really want to know the demographic they’re aiming for to push these headphones on so I can go punch them in the face and ask ‘What’s wrong with you?! Why do you like this shit?’

But if you must get some Skullcandy headphones, get the good kind. Get a pair of the TIs while they’re still around and before they make them look any worse.

 

The best design of the current TI runs.

The Basic Black before Skullcandy fucked it up.

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