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
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!
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! ) 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.