Skullcandy Smokin’ Buds 2
Although they aren’t as well-liked in recent years, headphone manufacturer Skullcandy enjoyed an impressive status in the past as one of the most popular brands of headphones and earbuds for the youth. With their low-profile design and an appealing logo graphic, Skullcandy’s Smokin Buds were a common sight on any high school or college campus roughly 10 years ago. Although their status as the quintessential youth listening device has been usurped by Beats in recent years, Skullcandy has remained a part of this industry and continues to build upon their most popular designs.
The Skullcandy Smokin’ Buds 2 is a true sequel to the original in the sense that they offer more of what people enjoyed from the first one while also providing new features that improve upon the previous model. The most notable addition to this design is its wireless functionality, although the microphone and inline remote are also new additions. This new version of the time-tested earbud design also boasts noise isolation properties and a removable neckband, providing a solid earbud offering at an extremely reasonable price.
- Fantastic sense of style
- Impressive battery life
- Ergonomic design
- Reasonable price
- Unremarkable sound quality
- Mediocre noise isolation
- Overall, for the price, most buyers are impressed by the quality.
- These provide a clear, balanced sound.
- The microphone works well for phone calls and gaming chats.
- It's easy to clean the earpieces.
- The shape of the cord helps prevent tangling.
- The angled earbud design gives a better, more secure fit than the previous version.
- Many buyers like the color options.
- Versions with an L-shaped jack increase the durability.
- These provide decent noise reduction for earbuds.
- The buttons and microphone are conveniently placed.
- The oval-shaped earpiece provides a natural fit.
- Many buyers claim these stay comfortable even after hours of use.
- Some positive reviews come from runners.
- For the price, these have a good level of sweat resistance.
- A few buyers note that their Smokin' Buds 2 have lasted through a few accidental washes.
- The design fits comfortably for people with cauliflower ears.
- The limited button functionality is a common complaint. There are no volume or mute buttons.
- For some reviewers, the buttons require too much pressure to activate conveniently.
- There are reports of durability issues.
- The material of the cord cover tends to catch on certain materials.
- Versions with a straight jack are reported to lose clear sound connection faster.
- There are some claims of dud pairs which stopped working within a few weeks. For most people, this was resolved with returns or exchanges.
- Although the sound quality is praised, it is not the highest quality on the market.
- These are not recommended for people whose main focus is premium sound quality.
- Excessive activity may affect the sound quality.
- There have been some issues buying through third party sellers.
- For some, the design is better but the overall quality is worse than the previous version.
- Although rare, there are some claims that the connection can disrupt phone and computer use.
Because of these additions, the range of activities in which these headphones can be used has expanded greatly. While the originals were able to handle running and cycling without any concern, the thin and fragile cable could get in the way when performing other exercises, such as weight training or calisthenics. Fortunately, this wire has been removed from any high-impact zones and further protected due to the removable neckband. Because of this, virtually every form of physical exertion that doesn’t involve being submerged in water can be accommodated gracefully with the Skullcandy Smokin’ Buds 2.
The most noticeable change in the Smokin’ Buds 2 from the original is its wireless functionality. Instead of connecting to the wearer’s listening device via the headphone jack or Lightning port, these Skullcandy headphones pair to any compatible device with Bluetooth. While some individuals may be disappointed by this change, since it prevents legacy MP3 players and iPods from being compatible with them, the vast majority of customers won’t be affected if they plan on listening to their music through a smartphone. Additionally, these wireless earbuds offer a conveniently long battery life, meaning that charging this product is less of a hassle than some customers may expect.
Aside from this, the other advanced feature of this product is its neckband. This small plastic band is meant to wrap around the back of the user’s neck and can house any excess slack from the earbud wires in a safe and protective manner. Some earbuds that have a neckband like this will use it to attach powerful electronics for the purpose of noise isolation, but the lack of these superfluous features means that this product’s neckband is completely removable without any loss in audio fidelity or functionality.
Another comfort-related amenity introduced to this version of the Skullcandy Smokin’ Buds is a neckband. This small plastic band wraps around the back of the wearer’s neck and can contain any excess cable that would otherwise hang past the wearer’s shoulders. While this feature is comfortable enough to not cause any issues, the manufacturer designed it to be removable in case any issues do arise with it. Because of these aspects, the Smokin’ Buds 2 can be considered some of the most comfortable earbuds on the market.
While their status has since faded in lieu of Dr. Dre’s popular headphones and earbuds, Skullcandy has kept up with modern design trends while still retaining the features that made them stand out. The multiple color options are still present, as are the small earbuds adorned with their familiar logo. However, the inline remote and neckband are more in line with modern headphone design, since they provide extra protection and smartphone functionality. The inline remote is small enough to not cause much concern for most wearers, but the neckband can come across as somewhat tacky. That’s why Skullcandy stresses the fact that this portion of the Smokin’ Buds 2 is removable, stating on their website that it’s “low on the nerd factor.”
Ease of Use
- Detachable plastic neckband for carrying extra cables
- Wireless design with Bluetooth connectivity
- Approximately seven hours of battery life
- Multiple colorways to choose from
- Different sized ear tips for customizable comfort