SkullCandy Ink'd $9.99us @ FYE.....Impressions...
Mar 12, 2008 at 9:53 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 16


Headphoneus Supremus
Jun 11, 2004
Ok,so i was in the Mall and wandering around aimlessly enjoying my day off and trying to listen to my Zune > Portaphile > Igrados, but it was very noisy in the Mall and while in FYE i saw the SkullCandy Ink'd IEM's on clearance for only $9.99usd. Ok, i know in general SkullCandy sux, but for some isolation on the cheap, i figured id try it for curiosity's sake, and my IEM's were at home.
So i forked out the money and got a Starbuck's over-priced coffee and sat out in the middle of the mall and hooked up the SkullCandys directly to my Zune.
I was waiting for the plasticy dollar-store cheapy sound to scream into my ears..... but really it wasnt as bad as i thought. (Better than Koss - THE PLUG!!!).

Ok for the usual price of $29.99, theyre over-priced...but for $9.99usd , theyre not so objectionable for a throw-around IEM.
They do nothing great. No exceptional detail, no great soundstage, no extention of highs or lows, i dont hear anything outstanding.....

.....but ya know what? I also dont hear anything bad either!
Theyre not honky, or tinny, or bloated, or muffled per se, and theyre easy to drive, and for what they are theyre kinda balanced actually.

I can play songs anywhere from number 1 to about 9 on my Zune depending on the song and whether i want to hear it as backround music or foot tapping volume, not that these IEM's really get your foot tapping or anything, and they reject noise well.

Also, the wire feels better than the Igrado, even though the microphonics are killer, and theyre easy to insert with my ears. No fighting them for a seal.

Personally theyre worth $9.99, but not $30....but still not half the rip-off of Bose and Bang n Olufsen.

If the full-sized cans sound balanced, i can kinda see how kids wouldnt notice the quality lacking from them, especially if they havent heard better. I do find them less annoying than the Ibuds, abiet less detailed, but at least theyre not tinny and screaming in my ears.

I think ill use these on the boat this summer with my $20 Centon 1gb player for a knock-around that i dont have to worry about, just in case they fall into the ocean.

Oh,,also i must add, they dont have any indication of left or right side!!! Idiots!!! So find a familiar cd and listen and determine which is the right and left and put a mark on it with a sharpie marker or nail polish or something.
Mar 12, 2008 at 10:02 PM Post #2 of 16
Yeah, I must admit these, are the best <$30 IEMs I've used. I liked them even better than my EP-630's.
Mar 13, 2008 at 12:10 AM Post #3 of 16
OMG,This is scary! I been listening to these things on and off all day to get used to them (brain burn-in)...and now i got Primus "Sailing the Sea of Cheese"........and they almost sound good.

Ok, someone smack me with a wet trout, i must be loosing it.

Maybe its just because Primus is recorded well and has alot of cool sounds in it. Yeah thats it.
Mar 13, 2008 at 12:14 AM Post #4 of 16
Ok,,i just added my Portaphile amp........they respond to amping and got a bit more punchy with slightly better sound stage.

Im gonna stop. Cheap axx things. Why would they need an amp? I can actually listen low with them with my Zune on number 1 !!!
Mar 13, 2008 at 12:23 AM Post #5 of 16
Ok,,i didnt stop....i wondered how my C&C Box+ would sound compared to my Portaphile, and its kinda faster and punchier in a way. This is bad. Yet again i kinda like the little Box+ anyway.
Id like to get a black 8gb Zune for it ,for a small portable.

Ok,just tested it against my Maxxed V2^2 Portaphile,and its not better than that one....but it is close to the regular V2. Hmmm.......,well on the Ink'd it is.

Yeah ok, im bored and trying everything here. Day off from work and all.
Mar 13, 2008 at 1:19 AM Post #6 of 16
Wow, you must be bored, 3 posts in 13 minutes!
Anyway, the Ink'd are actually not bad little buds for $9.99. I actually keep a set in both of my cars in case I need something while away from home. The general response on this board is the knee-jerk reaction against all Skullcandy stuff, but the Ink'd are good, cheap, disposable buds.
Mar 13, 2008 at 1:33 AM Post #7 of 16
Guys there are 4 types of the IEM's from SkullCandy the 9.99 jobs (inked ) <--- not even on their website and the 29.99(smokin buds) then you have full metal jacket and some other thingy..

If you guys mean the Inked than I agree they sound really airy and nice and a nice backup to my 530se's and M8's... The smokin buds sound god awful I cant even put them on I actually was using my soldering iron for a soic chip and purposely stuck the soldering iron right thorough the left side of the smokin bud it was a nice death for those junks

Mar 13, 2008 at 4:11 AM Post #8 of 16
Lol...and Circuit City is offering the HAFX33s for 8 bucks. I think these two models are competing, somehow...I might pick up the candies myself and compare.

So far the 33's sound good, even out of the box (though a forewarning, I'm using a cowon D2 so the bass isn't as bloated or pillowy as many have described).

I know the feeling of being scared by cheap gear, though. They're already competing w/my E4cs, though the definition and separation isn't as hot. Comfort's an issue as well, as the plugs are just so dang big.

Burning em in. I suggest you do the same with your buds, and see how they turn out later. You never know if it can just be a fluke.
Mar 14, 2008 at 10:31 AM Post #10 of 16
funny, I have been meaning to do something like this but about my Full Metal Jacket 11mm pair. They are the top of the line skullcandy buds. I actually regretted the order after I completed it, but they are pretty nice. I went with them for the warranty which seems dumb but at the time seemed like a good idea. Im tired now, but maybe I will post impressions some day. It will be in very little detail though, Im a newb and usually spend $30-40 on buds. I got the FMJ to replace a broken set of JVC air cushions. I discovered Skullcandy when a friend got me some smokn buds for $10 at FYE over a year ago and I wasnt even going to bother when I saw the price tag
Jun 7, 2008 at 10:45 PM Post #11 of 16
I listen to/watch my portable music and video on an ipod nano gen3 and my well-loved Sennheiser PX200s are just about on their last leg. Thanks to my cats, I have had to repair the cord three times and since they are over 5 years old, the pleather on the pads is shredded. Anyhow, I am probably going to be buying myself a pair of Senn PX100s soon to replace them.

Yesterday, I was out window-shopping and saw the Ink'd Smokin Buds at Staples for $11.95. I have seen the SC phones around at various shops but being a long-time Sennheiser lover and having tried some high-end Etys a few years ago and not liking the in-ear feel, have not considered buying any others. But for 12 bucks and a couple days off to play with them, I thought what the heck.

I popped open the package, tried all three tips and settled on the medium as they gave me the best seal. On first listen they were quite warm and wooly sounding with bass a bit boomy but with a promise of potential punchiness on some tracks. The mids were a bit dull and recessed as expected and the treble kind of shrill and smeared. But, overall for a phone at this price point they were worth going the next step with.

The ipod has an equalizer that I set on "Acoustic" as this setting has accented mids as well as amped bass and treble. I put my ipod on shuffle and let it run the Ink'ds for about 20 hours at a level a bit louder than I usually listen to. I put them on about two hours ago and have been listening to many types of music. The initial burn-in has definately made a noticable improvement. The hinted-at punchiness of the bass is indeed present and the mids have come forward with much more detail. The treble has smoothed a bit with more resolution in the overall sound. I also used them to watch an episode of Nip/Tuck on my portable DVD player and they were very satisfying with alot of detail, richness and realism. It will be interesting to see what another 30 hours or so does for them.

I like the lightweight and rubber feel of the cord and the overall fit in my ear is quite comfortable. Any microphonics are taken care of by wrapping the cords around my ears. I am alot more comfortable with these than I remember being with the etys I tried.

I still plan on getting my PX100s but I will certainly reach for these little puppies when I need isolation or just less can to tote around. I plan on buying a second pair to have in reserve. I also am eager to listen to some of the "more-loved" in-ear phones that have been introduced since I have been away from this forum

Jun 7, 2008 at 11:05 PM Post #12 of 16
The Ink'd are the actual IEM that led me to this site and there went my wallet
. I wasn't really into the whole head-fi stuff and I saw these on sale for $8 so I said why not. I tried them out and WOW they were so much better than the stock ibuds. After that I decided to try the smokin buds but those were total crap. So I started searching online and now Im on this site with a pair of HD580, PX100, KSC75, and a pair of im716 on the way and don't even get me started on the amps
. I liked the ink'd buds. They had a lot of bass and was overall a great bargain for the price.
Jul 3, 2008 at 5:56 AM Post #13 of 16
I just got a pair of the Ink'd the other day and so far I love them. In the lower priced IEM category they're pretty good. I prefer the silicone sleeves to foam tips. Three sizes are included and I'm currently using the larger ones(although the medium ones worked effectively as well.)

Comfort is great too. I wore them for a few hours doing yard work and they didn't become uncomfortable.

I can't comment on sound quality since they are new and not burnt in yet, but they did not sound bad.

Isolation is excellent. In the ultimate test against the weed whacker the whacker was reduced to a soft buzzing in the background of the music.

They are pretty great for the price. The Skullcandy brand really deserves more respect.
Jul 3, 2008 at 6:00 AM Post #14 of 16
I told people from the getgo they were awesome. Quality is hit and miss though, because my left earbud gives a crinkle noise (from day one) when inserting.

And yeah, the microphonics are SUCK. SOOOOO LOUD. If you can manage them to go around your ear, you're good to go....otherwise, the microphonics are BRUTAL.
Jul 3, 2008 at 6:24 AM Post #15 of 16
I have that crinkle noise too. I heard it in both ears when inserting the medium tips. I changed to the large ones and I don't hear it as much during insertion but I do get it when I take the right one out. I'm currently "auditioning" the two tips for isolation.

I agree they are awesome. I did a search and saw they really got a ripping on here
They are respectable for the price.

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