Skullcandy SK Pro
- Above average sound, Closed design works well for blocking out sound
- Mid range distortion, Clamping effect on the head
A solid pair of headphones that has sound quality belying their rather eccentric design.
Price$ 199.95 (AUD)
Skullcandy's line of extreme sports headphones float right on the edge between cool and just plain over the top and the noise cancelling SK Pro are no exception. With a unique aesthetic and a bass heavy sound, the quality of their audio surprised us, and while their balance isn't suited to all types of music, for certain listeners it will be quite satisfying.
The SK Pro aren't quite as out there in terms of design as some of Skullcandy's other models. They sport a fairly plain black motif, with cream coloured padding around the headphone cups. Of course they are still emblazoned with Skullcandy logos which look a little strange, but quite frankly we're just glad they don't replicate the white, padded, studded aesthetic of their sister model, the Ti.
They are quite comfortable thanks to plenty of padding and rotatable, extendable cups. However the noise cancelling nature of the design means they do put quite a bit of pressure on your head, so you may need to take a break every so often. We found they are adequately isolated from external noise, but they won't totally block out things like busy city ambience; the SK Pro don't have active noise cancelling technology, instead relying on their closed design to keep sound out.
Of course sound quality is the key element of a pair of headphones, and the SK Pro, while far from the best we've heard, manage to produce above average sound that will please a variety of listeners. They offer quite energetic presentation that we found best suited to fast paced music like dance and hip hop. It was also quite reasonable for rock music, although there was a bit of distortion present in the mid range which was most noticeable when listening to this genre.
Our rock tests also revealed that the SK Pro have quite a metallic sound, very evident in guitar solos. They are noticeably weighted towards the lower registers, with the prominent bass and low mid range giving them quite a warm tone. This was enhanced by the slow nature of the bass, which reverberated for quite some time after a note was struck.
The highs were vibrant and powerful without being harsh, which contributed to the energetic style of the SK Pro; they did however tend to get drowned out a little by the bass. There was great separation in the upper registers, but the mid range got a little congested at times, which again had an impact on complex rock or heavy metal. This is definitely a pair of headphones that is much better suited to some musical styles and not others.
We were a little disappointed by the SK Pro's soundstage; the one area this product seemed to really be lacking. The positioning of instruments felt quite fake to us, and it didn't create the immersion we're used to feeling when listening to other pairs of headphones.
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