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Skullcandy Rocnation Aviators - a brief review

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 

I'm writing this review in part because it seems there aren't any other reviews of these headphones.

Screen shot 2010-11-14 at 5.20.24 PM.png

 

I first noticed Skullcandy headphones in stores a few years ago.  Judging by the name and gaudy designs, it was apparent to me that Skullcandy headphones were more about "style" than sound, and I immediately ignored the brand.  

 

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, when I began my hunt for new headphones.  My search thus far has been limited to whatever happens available at local retailers: Radioshack, Best Buy, Bose, & the Apple store.

I've tried out display models and taken many pairs on test-drives to get a more encompassing perspective.  

 

 

Review summary: the Skullcandy Rocnation Aviators feature superb build quality, a trendy but not overstated aesthetic design, and open, detailed sound quality that will please rockers but leave bass-heads out in the cold.

 

 

Key details:

 

 

-They cost $150 and can be purchased online or in retail Apple stores

-These headphones fold for storage and come with a leather carrying case

-The cord features an in-line microphone with play/pause button volume control functionality

-These headphones do not dampen outside noise and likewise leak a lot of sound

 

Design & build quality:

 

These headphones are made predominately of metal and leatherette with comfy memory foam ear cushions and seem very durable.   The stitching on the inside of the headband is a nice aesthetic touch, as are the subdued logo placements - on the inside of each ear cup and on the headband near the foldable hinges.  The plastic shell on the outside is made of the same material used in sunglasses, an obvious testament to their Aviator inspired design.

 

 

Evidently these headphones are endorsed by Jay-Z, which came as a big surprise to me given their understated bass (especially compared to the Klipsch Image one).  As previously indicated, if you listen to rap/hip-hop or dance/electronica, look elseware, but if you like any kind of rock music these are absolutely worth a look.

 

The most impressive aspect of these cans' sound quality is how the drums sound in rock tracks: tight, clear, and punchy.  "Hysteria" by Muse never sounded so good and I've yet to hear better through a pair of headphones.  That said, when I write "drums", I mean all but the bass drum.  "Teardrop" by Massive Attack, for example, sounds somewhat lifeless through these cans even at higher volumes.  Setting the EQ to bass boost noticably improves sound quality for the most part, but still bass is where these cans are weakest.  Also, piano and guitar has more texture when heard through these cans than in other pairs I've heard, which for me is a huge plus (think Queen & Bob Dylan).

 

Long story short, unlike other headphones by Skullcandy, this set of cans is worth your listen.

post #2 of 35

Even if there better than earlier skull candies, are they worth the price tag? Over the 840s and m50s?

 

EDIT: I looked them up on there site, freq wise they say 20-20 which is not as low as there other phones go in that price range and ohm wise there 6x which is kinda high for skull candies also now we all know that doesn't really mean anything but wonder if this could be a turning point for skull candy.


Edited by juanharu4913 - 11/14/10 at 6:39pm
post #3 of 35

Thanks for the review, That's what got me to sign up at first, a headphone with no reviews.

 

Speculation:

If the 40mm mylar driver is anything like what they used in the Koss PortaPro they should sound quite good, but even then the PortaPro is 1/5 the price. Bass does not seem to be its forte? A good EQ would seem to come into play here, but seeing as how these are 'made for ipod' I really don't see that happening...  though maybe with a good home stereo + 5 band EQ it could work.

post #4 of 35
Thread Starter 

Are they worth it for the price?  Taking into consideration only audio & build quality and comfort, I'd say you can do much better for the money.  Though not to the same extent as the Dre beats, a lot of what you are paying for is their "cool" look, so that depends how much the look is worth it to you.  Unlike other Skullcandy cans, I do like their look.  However, I really don't care much how a pair of headphones look, so long as they're not plain ugly. 

post #5 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenswall View Post

Thanks for the review, That's what got me to sign up at first, a headphone with no reviews.

 

Speculation:

If the 40mm mylar driver is anything like what they used in the Koss PortaPro they should sound quite good, but even then the PortaPro is 1/5 the price. Bass does not seem to be its forte? A good EQ would seem to come into play here, but seeing as how these are 'made for ipod' I really don't see that happening...  though maybe with a good home stereo + 5 band EQ it could work.



I heard the Koss Portapros a couple of times almost a year ago at Bestbuy.  I remember being thoroughly impressed with their sound, especially given the $50 pricepoint.  The bass in the PPs was on another plane compared to the Rocnations.  I can't fairly draw any other comparisons though; its been too long since I've heard the Portapros.

post #6 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by juanharu4913 View Post

Even if there better than earlier skull candies, are they worth the price tag? Over the 840s and m50s?

 

EDIT: I looked them up on there site, freq wise they say 20-20 which is not as low as there other phones go in that price range and ohm wise there 6x which is kinda high for skull candies also now we all know that doesn't really mean anything but wonder if this could be a turning point for skull candy.


I really doubt it'd match the two top dogs (YMMV) in that price range. Aviator might sound better than most Skullcandy headphones, but I think a small fraction of it is still given to its looks.

post #7 of 35

Am I the only one who thinks these look alot better then the rest of skullcandies stuff? I mean they don't look immature at all. They have nicer lines much like a Denon.

 

I doub't their worth $150 on a completely superficial standpoint these are beautiful. I wouldn't drop $150 for them unless they sound that good though.

post #8 of 35
Those are seriously some sexy headphones I wouldn't mind being seen wearing, but that price tag is a bit ambitious for Skullcandy.

I can believe that they are trying to gain some real credit among real listeners, but they need to make it sell for half the price to make them seriously worth checking out. $150 is a bit hard to swallow for that brand.
post #9 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

Those are seriously some sexy headphones I wouldn't mind being seen wearing, but that price tag is a bit ambitious for Skullcandy.

I can believe that they are trying to gain some real credit among real listeners, but they need to make it sell for half the price to make them seriously worth checking out. $150 is a bit hard to swallow for that brand.


$150 seems a bit steep to me as well, but next to the Beats Solo HD which are $200, the price tag doesn't seem so bad, especially given how poorly constructed the Beats are.  I think the Klipsch Image One headset is the most direct competition.  I can't speak much on the sound of the Klipsch cans given that I've only demoed them in store, but they're definitely not short on bass.  In terms of style and construction though, the Rocnations are definitely on a higher level.

post #10 of 35

I think these look awfull but thats just me :P

 

*hugs 840's*

post #11 of 35
I think they are trying to target the Beats crowd with this. It's definitely a more refined look than their other offerings (and I actually don't think it looks too bad), and the price will have people thinking it's of the same caliber. I'd still be willing to bet that it is overpriced like the Beats, but having not heard these new SCs I will hold my judgment.
post #12 of 35

Eww.

post #13 of 35

Lol I paid $27 for my PortaPros brand new.

These are how much?

 

Good luck selling this to proper music enthusiasts Skullcandy.

 

xD

post #14 of 35

I think I would die if Scullcandy actually released audiophile grade headphones (and not just the audiophile named ones they already have).

 

Still though these look interesting. The semi-clear cups remind me of the Giger alien from 'Alien'.

post #15 of 35

How do they compare to ATH-FC700's?

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