Review: Skullcandy XTplyo

xtplyo-intersection-skullcandyby Alex King-Harris

I’ve worn a lot of different sport earbuds in the past few years.  Almost all of them either wouldn’t stay on during peak activities, or they delivered sub-standard sound.  Sometimes the sound was good but over time the earbuds would work loose and the bass would drop significantly.

skullcandy-xtplyo-in-ear-earbuds-black-gray-gray-headphones Skullycandy has developed what they refer to as the ‘Triplelock™” system “Skullcandy’s trifecta of proprietary technologies that work together to keep your earbuds securely in place – no matter the activity.”  The main mechanism which keeps the bud inside your ear is fairly simple: a small protruding rubber arm that tucks underneath the ‘Crus of helix’ part of your ear. (The ridge of cartilage just above your earhole).  The rubber piece presses up gently into the ridge and keeps the earbud in.  This combined with the Skullycandy ‘Stickygel’ silicon makes for a comfy yet solid fit even when sweating.

The other beauty of this design is that it doesn’t protrude around your ears, so it’s super comfy and minimal.  Having an arm strap with your mobile device and a pair of these on you can do most movements without having to mess with your setup.  The one drawback is the lack of volume control on the remote, which would be a solid improvement for a future version.

So far i’ve practice yoga, worked out at the gym, gone running, and danced with these on and they haven’t even come close to slipping out of my ear.  The silicone they use is super comfortable to the point where I sometimes forget I’m wearing them and actually enjoy the noise reduction that occurs in high traffic industrial areas of town.

skullcandy-sport-performance-earbuds-xtplyo-3662c9feecb55a6fb38b8a5542dd90f3The Skullcandy sound is focused on producing strong bass, but I also find the mids and highs to be quite clear. The KTplyo’s weigh in at $59.99 CAD, or you can go wireless bluetooth for $129.99.  Also if you’re like me and you loose a pair of earbuds every 4-6 months, then the low price is attractive. Cell phone remote, a small carrying case and a standard selection silicon tip sizes.  They also come in a cool array of color options.

I also own a pair of Grinds that I love, and also used their in-helmet system for skiing which rocks.  For me they’re both a good combo of price, comfortable fit and sound quality.  For you hard core yogis out there I’d recommend not being dissuaded by the edgy brand.  While ‘Skull Candy’ might be targeting a slightly more hard core demographic, it’s an obvious opportunity to not judge a book by its cover and instead experience the sweetness that comes when you dawn a pair of these and press play.

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