Skullcandy Aviator Headphone Black, One Size - Reviews
Pros: Very comfy, lightweight, feels durable, decently open for a closed back
Cons: no noise isolation or cancellation, these cans leak, lacking bass and low mids.
This is my first review and I'm mainly writing it because the headphones are lying right next to me and I've been getting into the whole "audiophile" thing recently (though I don't currently have the money to go crazy with the really serious cans). These replaced a pair of DJ headphones I had gotten on the suggestion of my bass teacher a while back and it sent me into a couple months of research on headphones and stats and reviews and all sorts of nonsense that distracted me from my school work. These aviators thoroughly surprised me. As a pair of skull candies I expected an unbalanced bass head pair of headphones meant purely for looks. They do look good, and because of their design they feel very durable. The frame never feels fragile and has maintained its shape perfectly especially considering that I usually keep it in a backpack with some heavy books and such.
 
These headphones sound pretty good. The treble is nice and stands out which is the opposite of what my earlier headphones were. It stood out but wasn't ear piercingly sharp. I think part of the treble standing out did come from the complete lack of bass. I listen to quite a lot of music so these were put through the wringer.
 
I used "fish don't scream" by Serj Tankian to really test the bass sound and instrumental separation.
-the bass was incredibly lacking especially when compared to the Sennheiser HD518s or the AKG K7xx (way out of price range but its the other pair I have so its the pair that I can best compare to)
-the bass wasnt very clear or impressive and just doesnt sound as good as the HD518s which, for a cheaper pair of headphones, had a much clearer bass sound that really sounded like a stand up bass.
 
I used "at the edge of time" and "a night at the opera" by Blind Guardian to see how they preformed with large and impressive bands.
-Again the highs are pretty good but the lows lack, especially when compared to headphones like the ATH M50Xs that just have great bass (you may start to notice a pattern that the bass on these things isn't so good)
 
I used every single SOAD song to see how they did with modern metal songs. 
-the guitar riffs were great, the separate vocals could easily be differentiated from one another and didn't blur together, the percussion sounded great and even the intro to ariels sounded wonderful so bravo to these cans for making my favorite band continue to sound amazing.
 
I used "friends on mushrooms" by infected mushroom to see how they did with some energetic and heavy EDM.
-shrill highs of electronic music sounded great but not ear piercing or overly sharp
 
I even used some of the bastion soundtrack (which I highly recommend listening to) to listen to how it sounded with more interesting instruments.
-These headphones actually separated the wide variety of instruments used in the bastion OST surprisingly well. The cellos stood out nicely and the varying percussion all sounded unique and apart from each other. Most importantly the varying high string instruments such as banjo, mandolin, etc. were all separated instead of being muddied together.
 
 
Over all its actually a pretty great headphone, I've listened to all sorts of genres and bands from Viza and Darren Korb to Infected mushroom and Pendulum to Powerwolf and Blind guardian all the way to Techn9ne and OFWGKTA and it all sounds pretty good. I'd say a really weak genre for these would be jazz and old blues, the bass simply isn't good enough for genres that so often have such prevalent bass parts. Would definitely recommend these for the price, especially if you aren't a bass head, a decent equalizer can somewhat remedy the bass issue so if you have a equalizer on whatever device you use then these would be perfect. For their price they're a great pair, sadly once you move on you wont want to look back, its frighteningly easy to hear the lack of bass on a good jazz track if you're going from the HD518s back to the Aviators.
 
Sorry if I tend to ramble a bit, its my first review and I don't really know what I'm doing, I just like a good sounding pair of headphones and a lot of music so I thought I'd bring some interesting taste to this forum.
Pros: Trendy design, comfy, portable, detailed forward mids, capable of engaging bass, clean treble, wide well utilized soundstage, non fatiguing
Cons: Closed in sound, no depth, very quiet bass and treble unamped, dull treble, blurry bass, little isolation
To be honest I’m usually a bit iffy about mainstream headphone. Not because they are inherently worse than their audiophile counterparts or are overpriced (case in point, the headphone I’m reviewing today) , but I generally don’t like the styling and typical sound signatures of such headphones. But with the aviators at 31 cad, I just couldn’t resist picking one up.
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Unboxing
Pros:Carrying case with cloth, nicely designed box
Cons: Sleeves hard to take off
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The packaging is pretty nice reminding me of beats packaging (say what you will about the sound quality of beats, but the presentation is pretty good). Taking out the outer cover/sleeve does take some effort, but then you’ll be greeted with the double door like cover, with the skullcandy logo cutout in the middle. Open that up, and unzip the carrying pouch that contained inside, you’ll get your aviators and a cloth to clean them.
Burn in
Cons: Utter muffled garbage initially
Pros: Gets way better after that
If you’re the type to not believe in burn in, you’ll probably not give the aviators a chance. On first listen, the sound was to put it bluntly horrible. Muffled, slow and congested are the initial impressions I would give to them. But after even a few hours, the sound clears up considerably. Enough that I thought, hey they actually sound good!
 
Design and portability
Pros: Trendy looks, small and portable, folds, removable cable
Cons: None

 
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Most mainstream headphone usually gets this part right, and so does the Skullcandy. Nice design with the ear cup design referencing aviator sunglasses (hence the name). The brown/brass colour scheme is pretty classy. Throw in the small foldable design and removable cable, and these are ideal for on the go listening.
Build
Pros: Decently sturdy, reinforced with metal
Cons: Plastic parts are cheap, flimsy and slimy, doesn't stand too well against drops, meh cable
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The build quality is a mix bag, on one head the metal reinforcements makes the headphones quite sturdy with minimal flexing and no creaking. But the plastic cup and rims are cheap slimy fingerprint magnets with one drop scratched the brass rims and opened a gap between the seam and the cup. I'd be careful with these.
Isolation and leakage
The aviators aren't great at this front. It’s far more isolating and leaks far less than your average open backed headphone, but it’s below average for a closed back. It only manages to muffle outside sounds and at loud volumes it leaks more than it should. However even at a crowded bus or subway you can still find a good volume level that block outside sounds but isn't loud enough for others to hear.
Comfort
Pros: Very comfy with soft pads
Cons: It’s more on ear than over ear
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These are very comfy and are easy to put on however, despite it supposedly being a over ear headphone, the wear more like an on ear, with most of the apd sitting on my earlobe.  Not a big deal as the pads are very soft.
Wired unamped sound quality (no fi)
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Pros: Mids!!, surprisingly wide soundstage
Cons: A bit flat sounding, quiet bass and treble, no depth whatsoever.
Plugged into my z ultra, my first thought was this could tuned any further form the typical mainstream sound. Where as most of these types of headphone has big bass sometime to the poit of muddying the sound. These are very mid forward. Vocals are a particular treat, smooth sweet forward.. The entire middle spectrum is particularly detailed, surprisingly so. The mis are at least in the $200 territory. The bass and treble however are IMO almost nonexistent. If the bass lines are already pretty quiet in a song, you’ll likely not hear them at all with the aviators. The high hats and cymbals fare a bit better, but are still pretty back in the mix. Moreover the relative lack of bass and treble leads to a sound without much body or air. Umamped it’s a decent choice for mid heads, but is not particularly well rounded.
The soundstage is not actually very wide in open standard, but for a small closed portable, it’s pretty impressive. And the imaging while a bit left/rightish still utilizes the width quite well. Just htat there’s no depth whatsoever.
With E07k dac/amp (low fi)
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Pros: Same pros as unamped, with a more dynamic sound, engaging bass, cleanish treble
Cons: lacks air, blurry bass, dull and splashy treble
Honestly without an amp, I didn’t really like the headphone much at all. But amped via the e07k with full bass boost and level 6 treble boost fixed alot of the problems. The treble louder without being harsh. And bass got a lot more engaging. It hits decently hard and can rumble a bit when called for. It also remians pretty undistorted even at loud volumes. The sound now has a lot more weighty, dynamic and textured. However the treble is bit dull and splashy, and the bass are bit blurry or “one note”  The soundstage is still pretty much the same, and is still pretty closed sounding.
With a Fostex HP-A4 dac/amp (mid fi)
Improvements :increased overall clarity, more forward mids, nice vocals, spacious sound, 
Cons: less bass quantity
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With a smoother mid forward amp and better dac the increase in overall clarity is noticeable. The mids get even more forward while the bass quantity is decreased but can still slam/rumble at loud enough volumes. The vocals while already good before is now something special. The treble remains the same but the overall soundstage has gotten lot more spacious, making the e07k a bit congested sounding. It’s not warm sounding either unlike the eo7k,
With WA6 amp and HP-A4 dac (high fi)
Improvements: More detailed, warmer punchier sound, slightly more bass quantity while keeping the same clarity
Con: Mids are less forward
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Honestly my favourite right here (but it should be, considering how much the wa6 costs), it now warmer, bassier while being clearer and more detailed, offering the most dynamic sound yet. The mids are more inline with the rest of the sound which can be good or bad depending on your taste.

 
Conclusion
The conclusion is quite simple. Even at it’s typical street price of 50-100, it a good great headphone. Me buying it for 31 cad is just a bonus. If you like a mid forward presentation with a portable form factor at a low price, these should be on your radar. If you have an amp with bass boost, these can be great all rounders. But even with a high end amp and dac, don’t expect extended sparkly treble, detailed bass, big soundstage and an open sound.
 
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Ivabign
Ivabign
Nice review. I was in a Target recently and FTHOI decided to try some of their headphones on display. There were some Beats, some Sony's and two pair of Skullcandy. Out of all of them, the only one that sounded the least bit musical was the Aviator - everything else was muddy as hell. Plus they looked okay. You never know - if I find a pair at some freaky low price, I might end up with two skulls sitting on my shoulders.
HAMS
HAMS
I'm more of IEM guy but admitedly that looks pretty cool!
Pros: Fun Youthful Sound, Bass Is Tight, Pretty Mid-Section, Extremely forgiving, For 60 bucks you can't really beat it
Cons: Not neutral at all, Very artificially colored in the upper treble, Weak Bass for most,
I had this headphone for 2-3 months before purchasing more serious cans.
 
 
I found these to be better and less conjested than my ATH m50 ....... (Oh boy I said It!)
 
They seem to provide a nice mid section and a colored treble that sounds ok but does not extend as deep as some cans will. Infact, my HD 558s have more bass than these (and the 558s are an open can, This proves the aviators are NOT a bass-head can)
 
For 60 bucks though, they deserve 5 stars because they really sound like 100-150$ pair of headphones to my ears.
 
I absolutely recommend this headphone to begin getting into better audio since they are so forgiving they literally smooth up highly compressed, highly annoying music as much as realistically possible on portable devices.
 
5/5 
Pros: Such a happy sound, clear and balanced, Treble is colored a bit but actually sounds nice, They look good
Cons: Could have a bit more detail,
I own 
 
-ATH m50
-GRADO sr 325is
-HD 558 (Modded)
-Skullcandy Aviator
- HD 600
 
Of all the headphones these don't have the best detail. But IMHO the sound is very balanced and they sound so cheerfull. Especailly with a DAC/AMP. They are forgiving during bad recordings and sound great directly plugged into my iphone 4s.
OMGLadyGaga
OMGLadyGaga
You forgot to mention that they look sweet too. Shame about the bass tho
Pros: Good sound, good comfort, stylish, portable
Cons: poor noise isolation, doesnt feel durable
I remember years ago all the kids in my middle school would say skullcandy's are the best and it would irritate me since i knew they sucked. Now 4 years later I may have to change that.
 
I knew that the Aviators and Mix Masters were for the most part well received here. I tried them on before but they didnt impress me. Since I was looking for some portable headphones i decided to give these a shot. 
 
Look
These look really nice (to me at least). While style is at the near bottom of the list of things to look for in a headphone i can't deny i like the look of these unlike many other gaudy skullcandy products. 
 
Durability
So these are just ok in this department. These feel more cheap than they look. The headband seems fine. I cant imagine it breaking or anything. What i am worried about is the adjustment mechanism and cable. The adjustment mechanism feels cheap and like the cups will just slide over time. The cable is pretty thin and nylon braided. It is detachable though but skullcandy doesn't seem to sell the cable by itself so that kind of defeats the purpose of that. Skullcandy does have a lifetime warranty thats pretty good but since i live in Hawaii i could imagine the whole warranty process and shipping to take more than a month or two.
 
Comfort
These are really comfortable. It doesnt seem like it would be because of the weird shaped ear pads but for me they are really comfy and i could wear them for hours.
 
Isolation
These don't isolate well at all. If you need isolation don't get these. These almost dont block out noise at all. For me though i can handle it when in school or just walking around which is where id use them most. Oh and at home.
 
Travel
So these are pretty compact. These fold up nicely. The included carrying pouch is a bit small and its a bit hard to cram stuff in there but you get the hang of it after a while.
 
 Sound
So getting to the part 90% of you care about and just skipped to is the sound. These were pretty surprising to me. These after some burn in become a nice warm sound. At first they were a bit harsh and sibilant but i noticed a difference. The bass isn't overpowering but i find it's just about perfect and it can thump if the song calls for it. Although the sub bass is definitely lacking. The mids are the best part. I heard details i never heard in my music before. This is coming from an owner of the m50's. I truly feel like im hearing all of my music which is awesome! Mids are nice and smooth. The treble is slightly recessed but still gives nice detail and i like it like that. It's not harsh or anything like that after burn in.
 
Overall i like these quite a bit. Like i said there are things that could be improved like the build and isolation and Skullcandy actually selling replacement cable (like whats the point of having a detachable cable if you still cant buy a replacement???). But i will be keeping these and feel like its almost worth $150. The sound is what makes me like these a lot. Thats awfully weird considering im talking about Skullcandy.
RaymondLeggs
RaymondLeggs
Any decent headphone will not sound its best when not broken in!
Pros: Good sound quality for Skullcandy, decent looking headphones, mildly comfortable, available for pre-purchase listening some places.
Cons: Not impressive sound quality for $130, not super comfortable.
These headphones are the first from Skullcandy to be focused more on sound quality than appearance, and they're suprisingly good-sounding. However, for $130, you can find better headphones.

I would describe the sound produced as having acceptable but not impressive bass, somewhat better mids, and harsh highs. So basically what you would expect from skullcandy.
Pros: Comfort, style, sound
Cons: Weight, smudge factor
When I bought these headphones, I was looking for something different from the norm. Something that would set me apart from everyone I knew with the type of head gear I used. I have a few pair of Skullcandy headphones and was very impressed with the sound they produced and when I saw the Aviators I thought a premium set of headphones from a company I have come to expect great quality and sound from. 
 
Although they are not the "premium" cans that most people would think of, I have had no major issues from the sound produced and the quality of workmanship. Some things I wish there was more of was weight, the plastic ear cups do make them feel a bit cheap and can smudge rather easily, if you're like me and wear them all the time. I skate quite often and sometimes thats my mode of transportation though the city so style was important as well as comfort, durability, and sound quality. 
 
I have read many of the reviews on this headset and I have experienced almost all of the good and bad, I cannot turn them up too loud around others because they hear just as much as I do, but when they are up they have a great sound and feel. I did have an issue when I first purchased the pair, I thought the sound was weak and felt like something was missing, but as Ive worn them there has been a full turn around, so if your on the fence about grabbing a pair, just go for it.. but be sure to give them a bit of time to break in. 
Pros: Style with comfort WITH sound!
Cons: Surroundings leak into the experience sometimes. Sounds like crap until broken in.
I got the Brown ones from Skullcandy.com. They are very stylish, light, soft, and comfortable. I know Skullcandy gets a lot of flack from Audiophiles but for style and sound. I don't know anything like it.
 
Now my first impressions were very bad. When I put these on. I could notice great range and I heard things that I never heard with my Skullcandy Titan's, but I could no detect too much difference between the two. This disappointed me GREATLY. Bottom line: They sound like CRAP out of box and I've read many reviews before buying these headphones and 50% turn them away out of the box. And who can blame them! They sound like CRAP!
 
Now, this was a big purchase for me and I am new to the whole, Audio realm thing ya'll got going here. I read some great reviews by 2 noted audiophiles. Jude of Head-fi and Tyll Hertsens of InnerFidelity. So I stuck with the Aviators and "broke them in". I did this not by letting them play all day and all night, but by listening to them constantly. Yes, I did do one all nighter leaving them play while I slept but I also slept with them on a few nights because of their comfort. And what do you know. When I went back to my Titans, they started to sound cheap and pathetic when I once preferred them over the Aviators. 
 
So in conclusion, I think that people should not pass up Skullcandy's attempt into legitimate sound quality because people preferentially sidestep the name. Try these for yourself, don't let the status quo lead you. Blaze your own trail. They might not have WOW factor off the get go but they will wow you later on. Burn em in and enjoy them!
 
UPDATE:
It's been quite a few months since I've had these and in that time. I've had the opportunity to listen to some amazing phones when I re-cabled them. Specifically the Beyerdynamic DT770.
 
Now I compared these two and I can honestly say I like the Aviators as a all around package. I did not like the fit of the Beyer's and the bass gave me headaches. When I switched to the Aviators, I noticed the narrowness of the sound stage compared to the Beyer's. Both are superb but I still love the fit and feel of my Aviators. SQ wise, both are sameish, if you get over the bass on the DT770 it would sound better, but I enjoy my bass deficient Aviators.
 
Anyway just a update!
Cain
Cain
I had the same experience, but with the iBuds => HD 25-1 II. To the inexperienced listener, huge quality bumps might not look "worth it" at first, specially if one is coming from crap. That's because you are taught to expect a world changing difference from $20 to $200 and while the difference is there, when you listen to quality for the first time, you can't notice (well, I couldn't) it at first. How come I paid 1000% more and can barely hear a difference? Are my ears bad? However, like all good things, quality is an habit. When you spend weeks listening to the good stuff and go back to iBuds or similar...., well, you just can't stand it anymore. I would rather go without music now than listening to anything<$80, and when I got my HD 25-1, I could hardly ABX them from $30 IEMs.

My take is that hi-fi is for everyone, but you need to train your ears first. And it's definitely worth it :)!
Pingupenguins
Pingupenguins
Yup. I think that burning the Aviators in is a must because I have read multiple reviews about users loving the in store sound then ordering them to be completely disappointed. If I remember the review I will post it.
Thanks for reading Cain!
zandm7
zandm7
Totally agreed. I was somewhat disappointed by my Aviators at first (not unduly so, but it just wasn't as wowing as I thought it would be) but looking back on my old Skullcandy/iBuds, the Aviators are a HUGE step up. And my brother just got new Aviators and doing a comparison, these are definitely headphones that need breaking/burning in.
Pros: Microfiber cloth, light
Cons: Can hear everything around you, people hear your music, smudgy plastic on cans
Though the best Skullcandy has to offer won't immerse you in music bliss, these are more for you being seen, than audio quality. Such as outdoors, on the bus, walking etc. They are light and you can wear them for hours.  I myself wore them on a roadtrip driving, as to not disturb others. Problem is you can't turn your music up too loud because everyone else can pretty much hear the same volume as you.  Plus you'll probably look and ask yourself, "where does $150 go into these?" And it most likely goes into the RocNation logo, sort of like Beats, but the Aviator offers more genres you can listen to.  However, I believe Skullcandy has made a decent effort to provide decent headphones with its street styling they are known for.
 
I recommend you buy yourself some Aviator sunglasses while your at it to experience full styling, it is weird how they match up, and make you look cooler.
Pros: Bass isn't overpowering, no distortion, looks very nice
Cons: None of the spectrum floors me, cord is thin and wrapped in fabric.
I was very surprsied to read Jude's inital thoughts on these headphones when he first reported that Skullcandy was looking to change up their headphones and when I first saw the Aviators and read the good things about them, I was just about sold. I had forgotten about them until I recently saw them at Best Buy out for demo. I gave 'em a listen through my iPod and tracks that sounded pretty sharp and nearly painful to hear (such as Fool on the Planet's loud guitar paired with Yamanaka's vocals) were, well, not painful. It sounded nice and that was enough of a change for me. Another track that really surprised me on these was Climbing the Roof, also by the Pillows. Previously I hadn't really heard the bass presence in the song, but it really comes through on these headphones.
 
Build:
These headphones aren't built too cheaply from what I can tell. I really don't feel like I'm ever going to break them and my main concern, if I had one anyway, would be cracking the plastic housing on the ear cups themselves. However, I can't think of a scenario where I would allow that to happen. I have no complaints about the build quality. It's sturdy and nice and they are by no means heavy, either.
 
Sound:
The sound is what surprised me the most about these headphones. Everything is really smooth on these and nothing seems bloated or too sharp, either. My favorite part has to be the bass. Whereas I was expecting the bass to be a subwoofer attached to my ears, I would describe them more as a soft landing pad for the rest of the music to fall onto. It's nice and has a little punch to it, but by no means takes away from the rest of the music. The highs and mids sound fine to me as well, though I can't exactly compare them to anything as I've never had the opprotunity to listen to more hi-fi branded equipment. I'll say that they do work here and I'm not disappointed in what I'm hearing. However, because I wasn't exactly thinking to myself that the mids or highs are exceptional and my mind wasn't blown by them, I can't say they're five star material. In comparison to my JVC HA-M750s, I have found myself picking these up more than I would pick up them. The JVCs absolutely have more bass than the Skullcandys.
 
Conclusion:
Overall, I'm happy with my purchase. I don't feel as if I bit into more than I could chew and I'm not disappointed by the sound. Perhaps the price is a bit steep, but I'm willing to take the hit.
 
4/5
Recommended.
 
JamesMcProgger
JamesMcProgger
I am very ekeptic about these, for that money you can get any of these ATH M50, shure 750dj, shure 880, denon hp700, denon d1001k..... all closed cans, and many more open ones. the list goes on, they have a lot of contenders to beat ta that price.
my question is: are they really a good option considering the price?
psiness
psiness
i think they're a great option and constantly find myself reaching for them.

jude
jude
JamesMcProgger, if you have an Apple Store anywhere near you, call them to make sure they have it in stock, and then (if they do) head in to listen to it for yourself. It seems to me that your skepticism won't be dealt with (one way or the other) any other way than to hear the Aviator for yourself. To answer your question: Yes, the Aviator is a contender at it's price, in my opinion. It doesn't offer much isolation, so keep that in mind. That in mind, I think it's a very good headphone at its price. But you're not going to take my word for it, so, again, I suggest you go listen to it. This is a headphone that can probably be auditioned by a great many Head-Fi'ers with a 30-minute drive to the closest Apple Store.
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