Friday, March 28, 2008

Review: Skullcandy Full Metal Jacket

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Deutscher Testbericht
日本語のレビュー


Intro

In the series of iPod related product reviews, today I will review the Skullcandy Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) in-ear headphones. There are various color variation as well as the option to choose 9mm or 11mm speakers. I was fortunate enough to be supplied with the 11mm speaker product sample by Skullcandy.



Package Content

The Package includes a custom EVA carrying case to put your headphones in. It is a very stylish white pouch with the neat Skullcandy logo on top. You will also get three pairs of semi-transparent earpieces (sizes: small, medium, large). I will recommend trying out the different sizes to choose the one that suits you the most. You will also get two stickers you can put on your skateboard or binder or something and a life-long replacement warranty.




Design and Manufacturing

These headphones are probably one of the best manufactured ones I've seen. There is so much love in detail what makes the Full Metal Jacket nearly perfect. The thing that surprised me the moment I unpacked the headphones was the integrated volume control. There was no mention about this in the product description and I was very happy to see this feature. As an iPod Touch owner i found, that the option i use the most: Volume control, was very inaccessible: Getting the touch out of the pocket, unlocking it and then adjusting the volume. With this volume control this annoying process was replaced by just dragging a little slider attached to you headphone cable. I was a bit worried that the weight of the volume control might become an issue since it might drag the earphones down and make them uncomfortable to wear. After testing this whilst jogging I found that the volume control is so light that you won't notice it at all. So even if you are someone who doesn't need this (in my opinion very useful) feature you still wouldn't be annoyed by it. The headphones themselves are in a metal alloy casing making them very robust but still very light. The cables are colored white what makes it perfect for iPod users since it fits perfectly to their design. The cable seems to be very durable and has a texture that reminds me of rubber (not elastic though). This makes it sometimes a little difficult to disentangle them since they "stick" better. The audio jack is gold plated for perfect sound and long life.The Skullcandy logo is printed on the earphones as well on the volume control (as mentioned above these headphones are thought through into the last detail). There are various color options to choose from, which are all in a metallic finish. I think from the design this product is more for the younger crowd and I read that this brand is especially popular in the skateboarding community.




Sound Quality

After trying out these headphones, the first thing I noticed was the amazing sound quality. You get a 3D-like sound experience and the bass sounds especially good. As in the previous earphone review I loaded up songs from different genres (Hip-Hop, Pop, RnB, Rock, Punk, Classic,...) to check wether there are sound frequencies that dominate. After listening through all the selected songs i had the impression that these headphones reproduce the sound very well. I had no need to set any EQ settings to compensate any dominant frequency regions (one might argue that the FMJ's are slightly bass-heavy but I personally was happy with the EQ turned off). Since I now also own the iPod Touch I tested the sound while watching movies, TV Shows and video Podcasts and again was blown away by the amazing quality I got out of the earphones. The voices were crisp and very easy to understand, the action scenes with things blowing up had amazing bass and it felt like having a subwoofer standing next to me. The FMJ's seal off very good reducing the ambient noise and hence making them especially useful in noisy surroundings like in the bus, train or on the streets. Compared to the standard iPod headphones I don't need to turn up the volume as much as I used to what resulted into a noticeable increase in battery life.




Final thoughts

I think these in-ear headphones are especially interesting for the younger generation: Not only do the FMJ's deliver exceptional sound quality, there is also so much thought put into the design of these headphones making them eye-catching fashion items. As an iPod user I am very pleased with the white cord and how the metallic color fits perfectly. Given the good ambient noise reduction I also understand why they are especially popular in the skateboarding community. The price tag of $59.95 (+ $20 for the 11mm version) seems to be absolutely justified for the quality you are getting. If you are someone looking for high quality headphones with a unique urban style I can strongly recommend the FMJ's. There is also a iPhone version with an integrated microphone you might want to check out. As mentioned above I tested only the 11mm speaker version and cannot give any pros and cons whether to get the 9mm or 11mm version: The design will be the same but I assume there will be some difference in the sound. I personally would go for the 11mm since those additional $20 are an investment worth it in my opinion.


Specs

FMJ 9 mm

* Speaker diameter: 9 mm
* Frequency response: 18 Nz-20z Hz
* Impedance: 16 ohms
* Max input power: 5 mW
* Cable type: TPE
* Cable length: 1.4 m
* Plug type: 3.5 mm gold plated
* Weight: 13 g


FMJ 11 mm

* Speaker diameter: 11 mm
* Frequency response: 16 Nz-20z Hz
* Impedance: 16 ohms
* Max input power: 5 mW
* Cable type: TPE
* Cable length: 1.4 m
* Plug type: 3.5 mm gold plated
* Weight: 13 g

MB-switcher

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

sweet helped a load thanks

deals2000 said...

I love the products from Skullcandy. We have the Hesh and they sound awesome.

Steve

www.skullfullofcandy.com

Anonymous said...

This was very very helpful! Thank you so much!