Welcome to another round of Travel Technology – this time looking at headphones. In particular, we’re looking at some wireless headphones.
Why wireless headphones? I recently got an Apple iPhone 7. As we all know, Apple had the “Courage” to remove the headphone socket from the iPhone 7 (which trust me… is irksome to say the least), and instead only leaves you a lightning port.
Since adaptors to listen to headphone and charge at the same time are thin on the ground, I decided to explore wireless earphones.
So, let’s look at the SkullCandy Ink’d Wireless Earphones. Mine came from HMV for a grand total of £29.99.
What’s in the box?
The box comes with the Earphones, some Earphones tips and a micro USB to USB cable to charge the headphones
The design is a neckband sort of thing, with two plastic bits – from which there are wires to the earphones, connected with a flexible neck/collarpeace.
They look a little like this (this is the set I use).
For some of you, this won’t sit well – for me, it provides some stability, although wearing it with a T-shirt can be annoying when you’re not pay attention. Wearing a polo shirt/formal shirt will hide the flexible collar, and reduce any annoyances with the design.
In terms of weight, they’re light at 24gramms so you don’t get too annoyed at them – I was wearing them on and off for a lot of my trips without them annoy me in terms of how heavy they were.
The left hand side of the band has all the important controls – Volume down, Power button and Volume up. The power button can act as a clicker for iTunes music player, as well as answering phone calls and volume. The micro USB charging point is also here.
These Wireless Earphones are rated for 8 hours off a full charge. This depends on the volume you’re playing at, how far away the Bluetooth device is from the headphones… and if you gave the headphones a good charge in the first place.
I managed to use them without a recharge on a transatlantic flight on and off with about 40% of the charge drained – so a reasonable life in my eyes .
These are reasonably stable once you set them up. But before you initially pair the devices, reboot your phone… otherwise they don’t pair correctly. In addition, if your phone is doing multiple tasks, the headphones do sometimes drop audio for a few seconds. If the phone is just playing music, then they should be fine.
How do they sound?
These earphones fall into the “Noise Isolation” earphones – the idea is that these try and block ambient noise coming in. They do a pretty good job at this – whilst no Bose or Sennheiser in terms of noise reduction, they block out annoying noise.
In terms of volume and sound – these things are reasonably loud, and like most of the Skullcandys product range – aimed for bass. As a result, it can thump through dance music tracks, film soundtracks, classic disco (for example, this thing is happy with anything by The Pet Shop Boys, Linkin Park, Adele, The KLF, The score to Star Trek First Contact).
In the mids and highs – these can be lacking in some vocals (for example, Creep performed by Scala and The Kolancy Brothers is lacking when building to the first crescendo) , but considering the cost – I kind of expect this. If you want something more balanced, then you’re paying a lot more money.
For those on a budget, and who have migrated to the land of dongles (known as the iPhone 7), The Skullcandy Ink’d earphones aren’t a bad set of earphones to use if you’re going for a long haul flight or a trip down to the shops.
If you can put up with the neckband and like bass – these will suit you nicely. Those who seek something which can handle more refined mids and higher vocals should look elsewhere.
But for cheapish, branded earphones that deliver – these do the job nicely.
Where can I get them?
You can get the SkullCandy Ink’d Wireless earphones at various places:
And of course, many other places.
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