CES 2012: Skullcandy

I strongly believe headphone pricing has gotten out of hand. Beats opened the door for high prices on pop-culture headphones, and now, like a crowd at a Target store on the day after Thanksgiving, manufacturers are in a crushing rush to get through the door by making the next cool $300 headphone ... and a big wad of cash. Thankfully, a few companies are seeing opportunity in providing the more value laden proposition of headphones that compete on sound quality and realistic price. With a significant history in the manufacture and marketing of low-cost headphones, and now the team and tools to develop good sounding headphones, Skullcandy is well positioned to employ this strategy.

Weighing in at $59.99, the Hesh 2 is Skullcandy's first sub-$100 headphone to make it through their new development process that focuses on build and sound quality. It appeared to be a very nicely built pair of headphones, but I was unable to listen using my test tracks so I don't have much of a read on their sound. What I did hear though, was nice tight bass with emphasis that kicked in at a low enough frequency so as not to muddle up the mid-range. Tetsuro Oishi (Skullcandy's director of electrical and acoustic engineering) verified this impression saying the lows start coming on at 150Hz and below. I commonly use the number of 120Hz and below for my preferred bass boost, so it seems Tet and I are pretty close in our ideas about bass boost.

Here's Tet to tell us about the Hesh 2. (I wrongly said "Ted" in the video, sorry Tet.)

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RPGWiZaRD's picture

Skullcandy to continue focusing on sound quality like they did with Aviators & Mix Master rather than exploiting kids pocket money on low-cost poor sounding headphones that breaks after a couple of months of "normal" use.

As I respect this kind of market movement very much I'm gonna at least check hopefully a review by you for these Hesh 2.

I'm hoping especially all these kids that seem to be swallowed by this "fashion" headphone market to at least get something decent sounding offer out of a company they already are familiar with, it would do good to us all for also youngsters to up the cravings for sound quality...

BTW, personally I prefer as even bass response as possible in the 20 ~ 200Hz or so range so if it's boosted from 150Hz downwards seems quite good to me, if it's boosted all the way to 250~300Hz or so though where lower mids starts it starts affecting mids quite a bit from my experience.

Tyll Hertsens's picture
I'm working on it. It's something on my mind all the time.