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Skullcandy Aviator Review$149.99
The Aviators draw attention, but don't fly very high as performers.
Meet the Aviators (MSRP $149), Skullcandy’s flagship mobile headphones. While they make you look like a Maverick, their somewhat cheap construction and high price tag might make you feel like a Goose. To their credit, they have fair audio quality, but their impedance is a bit mismatched for most mobile devices, holding them back in some cases.
Comfort Design & Features
The Aviators use a comfortable soft leather padding, but they're not very portable despite coming with a case.
If you haven’t seen it already, the Skullcandy Aviators look like, well, aviator sunglasses. As you can tell by the name, it’s intentional, but the brown ones in particular looks like it came out of a World War II movie. In terms of durability, these cans are a mixed bag: while their construction is mostly cheap plastic with leather and brass accents, the removable cable adds considerable life to the unit, as cords are usually the first thing to go on any set of headphones. Treat them with care, but don’t worry too much about the cord.
The Skullcandy Aviators have a soft leather (or leather-like) material where the cup meets your cranium, and the resulting fit is very comfortable. Over time, you won’t necessarily forget that you’re wearing headphones, but the experience isn’t an uncomfortable one.
As previously mentioned, the included cable for the Skullcandy Aviator is punctuated by a remote with a microphone and volume control. It’s made of the same cheapish plastic as some of the accents, so be wary of this breaking in the future. It's also very worth mentioning that the sensitivity of these cans is relatively low, so they may not work with all mobile phones or music devices, and you should try them in person with your device if possible.
While better than Skullcandy's previous products, the Aviators don't stack up that well against away game competition.
Overall the Skullcandy Aviators reproduce sound along a frequency spectrum fairly well within our ideal limits. You shouldn’t notice many obnoxious mufflings of certain instruments. Still, there are those out there that don’t exactly like a flat response, so if you are listening to music on your phone, see if you can’t mess around with an app that allows you to equalize your frequency response during listening sessions.
In the lower frequencies, the Skullcandy Aviators seem to have a slight distortion problem, but it’s still low enough that you probably won’t hear it. Further, any shifts in channel preference for the Skullcandy Aviators are mild, so you’re unlikely to hear them.
In the arena of isolation, the Skullcandy Aviators do block out a bit of noise in the higher end, but they let in low-frequency noise almost unimpeded. This will annoy you if you’re listening to music out on the street, and a large vehicle goes by.
The Aviators don't sport bad audio quality, but it really feels like you're paying for the style effect.
Certainly visually impressive, the Skullcandy Aviators offer middling performance for a mobile set of headphones, but they certainly are far from ideal for the price you’d pay. Despite their fashionability, they have quite a few concerns that warrant pause before buying something.
Namely, they are not well-suited for a mobile phone due to their higher impedance of 65 ohms, making their performance hit-or-miss depending on your model. Additionally, their durability is suspect due to the cheaper plastic casing, though you can replace the cables if you end up wrecking the included cord. They are also not well-suited to the at-home setup, as there are far better options for less money in terms of performance.
If you’re looking for a very fashionable set of headphones and you’ve checked your specs enough to know that these cans will do you well in the outside world it would be hard to say no to the Skullcandy Aviators if you like the look. They certainly have their issues, but they definitely will turn some heads on the street.