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SKULLCANDY PLYR 1 Headset

50% Positive Reviews
Rated #1127 in Headphones

Posted

Pros: Excellent 7.1 Surround decoding/encoding, solid industrial design and feature set, cinematic immersion

Cons: Quite clampy and uncomfortable at times, could benefit from larger cups, charging requires manual USB plug

Heya peeps,

 

Thought I'd chime in now that I've picked up a set of Skullcandy PLYR1 phones to replace(?) my existing Sennheiser RS180 setup (also a fairly recent purchase...), based on Jude's recommendation in the Summer 2013 Head-Fi Buying Guide.

 

First, some personal wireless headphone history (feel free to skip this paragraph if you wanna get to the comparisons). I'm a bit of a Sennheiser fan so naturally, while on the upgrade hunt for my Sennheiser RS120(OG!) wireless phones, the Sennheiser RS220 became my target. I almost picked them up; just couldn't move past all of the reviews citing bad signal dropouts. The signal strength of the RS180 Kleer tech seemed to be much more stable and with the price being roughly half of the RS220, I eventually decided in favor of the RS180s. This was about 3 months ago, and long story short, I haven't been able to spend a lot of time with them for various reasons (life stuff, no dedicated chair in my media room yet lol, etc.). During the brief listening sessions with the RS180 I was able to experience, it became apparent that the sound wasn't quite as vibrant and immersive than I had hoped it would be, although the physical comfort level and build quality was exceptional. Fast forward to 2 weeks(?) ago when I watched Jude present the Skullcandy(?!) PLYR1 as an affordable, relative SQ choice to the RS220, and looking to find that bridge between price point and fidelity, I dove in!

 

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 75

 

After A/Bing for a couple of nights with mostly Apple TV & OTAHD based media (American Horror Story : Asylum, Arrow, iTunes Radio, Masterpiece Theatre, Austin City Limits etc.), I've come to the conclusion that SQ favors the PLYR1, while the RS180 wins handily on the comfort front. If only these two would date...perhaps fall in love...have a child-(erm...)-phone?

 

Anyhoo, the 3 switchable tone settings built into the PLYR1 offer welcome variety in the signal, although 'Supreme' is probably destined to be my personal goTo for movies/TV. Every once in a while I would switch over to the Bass Mode to get some of that explody-boom on (they sure like to blow sh*t up in some of those last couple Arrow-sodes! :wink_face: ) but for the most part, Supreme is my huckleberry. The bass levels are 'controllable' via this triad of settings and all of the presets seem to offer a more balanced and cinematic sound than the RS180s, which have decent staging but lackluster definition over the spectrum in comparison to the PLYR1.

 

For cinematic sources, another advantage of the PLYR1 is the built-in Dolby decoding and encoding. In order to even utilize the RS180s For OTAHD broadcasts, this necessitates the inclusion of an external decoder (the FiiO D07 works wonders for this, BTW) in the chain, to convert the digital signal from my Panasonic P50ST60 optical output. This isn't necessary for ATV streams or any of the other HDMI connected media device outputs, as far as I can tell - just the feed from my OTA HD antenna. The end result of the RS180 output is a rather middling, 2 channel experience with no real surround emulation going on. The PLYR1 has built in decoding/encoding of 7.1 Dolby and this is where the separation between the two sets becomes most apparent. If you're in this for the headphone surround experience, the PLYR1 comes out on top.

 

Charging the headsets is kind of a push, although I rather prefer the Sennheiser model that charges while resting on the stand. The Skullcandy set includes a base/stand combo as well that initially led me to believe that they would have a similar resting-charge design. Instead, the PLYR1 has to be manually plugged in via a tethered USB cable that inserts into the stand. Sennheiser wins this round - user experience and overall build/design is typical Senn magic.

 

 

Now, let's talk comfort. My main use for these will be movies, TV, some gaming, etc. and that usually means fairly long, late night, (Islay!) scotch addled sessions. So far, after 3 nights of moderate use, the PLYR1 set is still ever so clampy and always initially difficult to find good placement around my ears. Admittedly, my head is probably large-ish (have to fit all the brainpowerz in there, amirite?!) compared to some other elves around, though not overly so. The Senn RS180, on the other hand, is lighter and fits WONDERFULLY, which makes me hesitant to completely switch over yet until I can determine if the PLYR1 will start to ease up on the cranial-vice action. We'll see if this gets better over time; I really hope that it does, but for now I wouldn't consider the PLYR1 a comfortable set in comparison.

 

I realize that these phones are targeted towards the gaming market (they come from a fusion of Astro Gaming and SkullCandy tech after all), and you may have noticed that I haven't mentioned the mic at all. The reason is simple; I haven't used it yet. Although I used to be a relatively hardcore gamer, my time alotment for battling alien hordes and driving recklessly through the streets of Paris has been seriously cut down by the usual suspects re: adult life. That being said, I do plan on hopping aboard the next-gen of consoles after the initial holiday rush. I don't know for sure if the PLYR1 will maintain compatibility going forward into the next generation of consoles (although they do claim to work with the current-gen - x360/PS3 and PCs), but Skullcandy seems like a very forward thinking company so I have high hopes that they might still be useful in the 2014+ gaming ecosystem.

 

Sound quality is where I live and breathe with headphones and for this measure the Skullcandy PLYR1 comes out with higher marks from cinematic sources than the RS180, although the long-session comfort of the Senns is a difficult quality to ignore. With better overall fidelity and immersion however, the PLYR1 wins this battle by a thunderous boom in the distance.

 

Your move, Sennheiser.

Posted

Pros: Good Sound.

Cons: Made for children.

I called ahead and was told it had mic monitoring. And guess what? It doesn't! Just got it for my wife. Went against my better judgment and got her a "gamer" headset (she insisted). Not intended for a full grown male; kinda dinky (not that I'd ever use it). But good sound from a wireless set. Says she's cool with it. But she does miss monitoring. Instructions were a bit vague, but got it going quickly with no problems. A little disappointed with S.C.'s customer service though. Never buying kiddie crap again.

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SKULLCANDY PLYR 1 Headset
Description:

Gaming the Skullcandy way. Premium throughout and engineered for a high-volume home theatre experience, the PLYR 1 combines the immersive accuracy of Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound with the best in gaming functionality, including wireless freedom, the Flip-Up Mic Mute system, onboard Voice Balancing and Xbox 360, Playstation3 and PC compatibility.Features:Multi-Platform - ready to connect with Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PCs natively, so you can jump straight into play2.4 GHZ Wireless Headset - fully wireless headset operates on the 2.4 GHZ spectrum for interference-free, cordless freedomDolby 7.1 Surround Sound - will decode a Dolby Digital 7.1 input from Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, and Blu-Ray/DVD players, while also supporting Dolby PLIIx for non-digital inputsDolby Headphone Encoding - encodes Dolby 7.1 into a rich and realistic audio environment, using only two drivers for uncompromised sonic fidelityOver Ear Design - provides the perfect seal and eliminates ear fatigue during epically long play sessions3 Position EQ Switch - Get the most out of all your games and media with the PLYR 1's 3 Position EQHigh Sensitivity MicHigh Sensitivity Flip-Up Mic - picks up your voice clearly without broadcasting background noiseVoice Balancing - Cranking the soundtrack or talking trash with your teammates couldn't be easier with the PLYR 1's onboard Voice BalancingTransmitter Stand - features USB ports to charge up your headset in style, plus the option to hook up other audio devices with Toslink Optical Digital inputs for the highest-quality connection and pass throughTechnical Specifications:Magnet: NeodymiumDriver Size: 44mmImpedance: 29 omhsSPL: 104dB (+/- 5dB) 20hz-20khz

Details:
DetailValue
BindingElectronics
BrandSkullcandy
ColorBlack
EAN0878615061606
FeatureSkullcandy PLYR 1 with Boom Mic Gaming Headphones Color: Black Size: One Size
LabelSkullcandy
ManufacturerSkullcandy
ModelSMPYFY-003
MPNSMPYFY-003
PublisherSkullcandy
StudioSkullcandy
TitleSkullcandy PLYR 1 with Boom Mic Wireless Gaming Headphone - Black
UPC878615061606
Item Weight2 pounds
Package Height4.8 inches
Package Length11.9 inches
Package Weight2.2 pounds
Package Width9.4 inches
PartNumberSMPYFY-003
ProductGroupCE
ProductTypeNameHEADPHONES
UPCList - UPCListElement878615061606
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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