If so, who cares what they look like or what the other products in the line are? Why do you care at all about Skullcandy's brand vibe, or that they have Hello Kitty cans?
I think your original post just shows the flip side of the problem: You think "the brand in itself is such a huge turn-off" without taking into consideration that the "brand itself" exists for you only in your head. "The problem" you describe is your problem. The problem I have with that is that it's an indicator of audiophile snobbery essentially. I have no problem with personal taste, but when it extends out of your personal realm and gets passed around as a sort of "group think" it's really just a form of elitism. A true headphone enthusiast would be enthusiastic about good headphones ... even if it isn't to their taste. This Skullcandy introduction is remarkable and good for the (sonic) good health of the headphone market.
And, sorry, I'm not really ranting at you, I'm trying to point out to the group that it's a very good idea to give every maker a fair shake and cudos when they produce something good.
Ever hear the Sennheiser "Bionetic" series cans of about 8 years ago? Holy smoke they stunk. Point is, even the "Lexus/Mercedes" brands screw the pooch every now and then; and I would never just assume because it had a good nameplate it sounded good as well.
Anyway, I think this move by Skullcandy is very relevant. It's an indicator that there is a connection between making/selling cheap plastic junk and gear that delivers a better experience at a higher price point, and companies can travel that road. The fact that Skullcandy is doing it legitimises the opportunity for upward movement of enthusiastic headphone listeners in the broad market. That's a damn good thing in my book.
Way better than the road they'll travel with the Monster brand. I wish they'd get their act together.
I talked to the Skullcandy design team in the booth for about an hour, and it's clear to me that they knew what they were doing when they put "art" on the outside of their cheap cans to attract the kids and gain big sales numbers; now they're demonstrating that they're also interested in the art going on inside their cans.
took the words right out of my mouth. To a true audiophile a good headphone is a good headphone disregarding what brand or logo is on it. If I slapped on the Skull Candy logo on a pair of Shure, Audio Techinica, Ultrasone, etc would it still be garbage? probably here at headfi