In 2019 we find the market with littered with earphones from a wide range of brands that fit the ‘sports’ category. Being an avid gym-goer I am always on the prowl for sporty earphones that provide me with a great audio quality along with being sweat resistant and have a secure fit.
In our line of work, I am fortunate to test a wide range of earphones and put them through the test in various conditions — be it going for a jog in the rain, sweating it out in the gym or doing some CrossFit exercises in an open environment.
This year, the latest pair of earphones fallen into my lap is Skullcandy's Set 2 or Set Sport. These in-ear monitors are targeted at the more active folk out there and they fall right in my alley of products that I eagerly look out for.
The Skullcandy Set earphones come with a variety of features, chief of them being the IPX4 water resistance making them an ideal gym companion. The product doesn’t come cheap — priced at Rs 2,999 let's see if they are worth it or if you should give them a pass.
The Skullcandy Set is a regular in-ear headphone that features a sporty design. These are not wireless but are a regular 3.5mm audio jack-type that’s compatible with a wide variety of smartphones available in the market. However, if you do happen to own the latest iPhones or other Android smartphones that don’t have this port, then you’re forced to use the dongle.
The Set is available in four colour options — Black/Red, Speckle/Black/White, Speckle/Black/Mint and Vice/Grey. In for review, we received the latter option and though it’s named grey it’s more of a white with maroon accents.
As far as the overall design goes, it’s a pretty standard affair and nothing really jumps out at you. That is until you see the in-ear monitors. These buds are definitely designed to be sporty as they feature the Skullcandy logo emblazoned in the maroon hue on the outside. The ear tips are also dressed in the same colour scheme which offsets the entire look. Attached to the buds are ear fins which the brand has dubbed FitFin Gels. These help them stay securely locked in the ear without budging.
Also, the in-ear monitors are angled to output sound directly in the ear canal. These are the minor attention to details that we love. While there isn’t any sort of ANC here, the FitFins and ear tips provide a passive noise isolation feature that virtually blocks out any ambient sounds. This is great for focusing on your workout as you can be sure that the earbuds won’t fall out no matter how strenuous your movements are during workouts.
The Skullcandy Set is water resistant with an ingress rating of IPX4. These make them sweat and rain resistant allowing you to have an intense workout without worrying about any water damage. However, it's best not to use this during torrential rain as there is a chance they could get damaged — better safe than sorry.
There's an in-line microphone with a single button layout that can be used for answering and receiving phone calls as well as pause and play audio tracks.
Lastly, the cable is built quite strong this ensures that even if it gets snagged on gym equipment and such; they won’t break. The gold-plated 3.5mm audio jack is placed in an L-shaped housing which helps keep the cable intact when your smartphone is in your pocket.
Overall, the Skullcandy Set is designed for activity and you can be sure that it will survive any accidental snags or pulls.
As mentioned earlier, the earbud tips have a design that fires sound directly in the ear canal. This helps in providing a detailed audio experience without the bother of interference from outside noises. Based on this design alone; makes the Set a pair of earphones that’s worth your consideration.
Being a Skullcandy product, you get signature Skullcandy bass that’s rapidly grown to be a trademarked feature. The brand claims that the lower frequencies jump at you as soon as you hit play. While I am inclined to agree with the aforementioned statement, I found the bass to be slightly muddy at higher volumes. This, however, did not put me off and the audio quality was overall quite enjoyable.
Elaborating on the bass I found that it had the desired punch and pronunciation and as the brand claims it has been customed tuned to play their iconic sound. Even though the bass is powerful, it does not drown out the other frequencies as there is separation noticed. I found the mids to be well represented with a very slight bass bleed but nothing so much to complain about. While highs do have their pronunciation, they are lacking a bit as they don’t have that desired sparkle that’s observed on earphones that’s more expensive.
To sum up this section of the review, the audio quality is pretty great but if you are an audiophile, this may not appease your standards and its best kept at a distance.
At Rs 2,999 the Skullcandy Set is an expensive pair of earphones. The design is good and the audio quality is pretty solid; however, we find it a bit difficult to recommend these only because of the higher price. For the same amount of dough, you can get the trusty 1MORE iBFree Sport wireless and a few others in the similar price bracket. The 1More iBFree Sport also comes with water resistant properties making them an ideal gym audio companion. With all that being said, if you do want a solid performer that’s wired and have the cash to spend, then the Skullcandy Set is something you can consider.