Skullcandy don't sound like a brand you would associate with high end audio, so the performance of their Ti headphones came as a bit of a surprise. While their unique aesthetic and interesting design won't appeal to everybody, the sound quality was above average and many will be pleased by the laid back, airy presentation and excellent clarity.
- Nice clarity in the mids and treble
- Bass a little lacking, Design not for everyone
If you are a fan of flamboyant music accessories and want some headphones with above average sound quality, the Skullcandy Ti may be for you.
Price$ 129.95 (AUD)
Skullcandy's line of headphones are targeted at an extreme sport demographic such as snowboarders and skateboarders, and thus the design isn't exactly conventional. The Ti has an almost entirely white colour scheme with a thick, material covered headband complete with metal studs. The Ti certainly helps you stand out in a crowd. The headphone cups themselves are wide and heavily padded, with a closed design that helps block out external noise while keeping your music just for you. We certainly gained our fair share of strange looks testing them on public transport and although our skating skills weren't up to the challenge of testing them in their intended environment, we imagine we wouldn't have felt any less silly. The design may appeal to some people, but keep in mind that it isn't exactly subtle.
Aesthetics aside, the sound quality was quite pleasing. While not on the level of products from more manufacturers such as Sennheiser or Koss, the Ti presented a clear, reasonably well balanced sound that is suited to a wide variety of music. It was interesting to note that Skullcandy advertise strong bass as a key feature of this unit, but we found that was the one area that came up lacking in our tests. It wasn't as weak as we've heard on other units, but the whole low range sounded quite hollow and lacked the impact we're used to.
This isn't necessarily a complaint however, as it suited the laid back sound quite well. If you like this style of sound the Ti might be a good choice. We thought the mid range had excellent clarity and a lot of detail, but was a little recessed. The treble was clear and well presented, with great separation and no harshness to be heard. The overall balance is quite neutral, with a slight tendency towards being bright.
The soundstage was rather distant, further contributing to the airy sound. It gave the impression of being in an extremely large concert hall, far away from the performers. The overall sound wasn't particularly engaging, thanks to a lack of impact across most of the registers, but it had a lot of clarity and you'll definitely notice the difference over regular earbuds and headphones. The Ti is music like jazz, or rock tunes where powerful, thumping bass isn't the primary concern.
We found the design to be quite comfortable. The headband is adjustable and the large quantities of padding, while looking quite ridiculous, certainly make them easy to wear. We did find out ears heating up after prolonged periods of use, but this is often an issue with large pairs of headphones, and can easily be rectified by taking short breaks. Or going snowboarding.
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