Skullcandy Ink’d Review

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Reviewed Nov 2009

Details: Skullcandy’s Entry-level IEM
Current Price: N/A (discontinued) (MSRP: $19.95)
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 16 Ω | Sens: 100 dB | Freq: 20-20k Hz | Cable: 4.3’ I-plug
Nozzle Size: 5.5mm | Preferred tips: Generic bi-flanges; Comply T400
Wear Style: Straight down or over-the-ear

Accessories (1/5) – Silicone single-flange tips (3 sizes)
Build Quality (2/5) – Housings are plastic and feel quite cheap. Nozzle filters are metal and the cable is nicely rubberized and thicker than much of the competition. Driver flex is annoying
Isolation (2.5/5) – Isolation is a little below average as far as straight-barrel dynamic IEMs go; Comply tips help but cost more than the earphones
Microphonics (3.5/5) – Low when worn over-the-ear; bothersome otherwise
Comfort (3.5/5) – The housings are very light and the small strain reliefs make these easy to wear cord-up or cord-down

Sound (3.2/10) – Compared to my other sub-$15 IEMs the Ink’d buds impress with the deep, smooth bass that is more controlled than one might expect. The rest of the sound signature is fairly boring but the layered bass adds a badly needed dimensional quality. There is not much warmth and the sound is a bit thin in general. The treble is reasonably extended but definitely lacks the smoothness of the low end – it is quite harsh and often bright.

Value (5.5/10) – Surprisingly balanced for a Skullcandy product, and can be enjoyable for a $10 earphone. The Ink’ds make great disposable earphones that can be purchased at electronics stores and gas stations alike.

Pros: Easy to find, fairly inoffensive sound, reasonably comfortable and isolating
Cons: Poor build quality, harsh treble, no L/R indicators (note: L/R indicators were added in later versions)


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About Author

Living in the fast-paced city of Los Angeles, ljokerl has been using portable audio gear to deal with lengthy commutes for the better part of a decade. He spends much of his time listening to music and occasionally writes portable audio reviews across several enthusiast sites, focusing mostly on in-ear earphones.

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