It was only a few months ago that California-based mobile accessories manufacturer Incipio announced that it would be acquiring Utah-based Skullcandy in a cash deal worth roughly $177 million. However, that hasn't stopped the company from proceeding with new launches, and the Skullcandy Ink'd Wireless headphones were unveiled in July this year.
Widely available online at Rs. 2,999, the Skullcandy Ink'd Wireless is an upgraded version of the Ink'd 2.0, which can be bought for around Rs. 1,000 right now. This wireless in-ear headset is similar in essence to its predecessor, but there are some design changes to enable the new wireless functionality. We're reviewing the Ink'd Wireless, so read on to find out everything about the latest wireless headphones from Skullcandy.
Skullcandy Ink'd Wireless design, specifications, and comfort
Unlike the basic Ink'd 2.0, the Skullcandy Ink'd Wireless is designed with a lightweight neckband that contains the controls and the battery for the device. The ear buds are practically identical to those of the wired variant, but are now attached to this neckband and only have enough wire to stretch from your neck to your ears. The neckband is light and flexible, and you'll barely feel it around your neck.
The two ends of the neckband act as counterweights to keep the device in place around your neck. The function and volume buttons are on the left, along with the LED indicator light, Micro-USB port for charging, and the microphone. The volume keys can be held down to skip to the next or previous track from the headset itself, and the wires leading to the ear buds can be shortened by adjusting clips on the neckband.
The sales package comes with an extra set of ear tips and a short USB charging cable, but no power adapter. Connectivity is exclusively through Bluetooth. Battery life is claimed to be eight hours on a full charge, but we were able to go about 6-7 hours of usage time. The headset is excellent for use as a hands-free device, thanks to the comfortable fit, ease of use and well-positioned microphone.
Skullcandy Ink'd Wireless performance
We tested the Skullcandy Ink'd Wireless with our OnePlus 3 (Review) paired over Bluetooth. Focus tracks for the review were Jack U's To U, Funk Le Blanc's Work Your Body, and Oliver Cheatham's Get Down Saturday Night.
Starting with the dubstep track To U, we found the headphones to be very bass-oriented, in typical Skullcandy fashion. There is a noticeable sensitivity spike in the low end, with the sub-bass levels feeling intense and aggressive. The droning and powerful nature of the bass might appeal to a lot of listeners because of the undeniable excitement it brings to the sound, but this can get a bit tiresome and overly aggressive over time. The bass drop in the track was powerful and the headphones are well suited to bass-heavy genres such as dubstep and techno, but over time, the strong bass felt a bit excessive.
Moving on to Work Your Body, we felt that mids and highs were certainly a bit subdued in the face of the aggressive bass. The auto-tuned vocals in the track were often overpowered by the low end, and the highs were also a bit too soft. To some extent, the sheer loudness and high volume capability of the Ink'd Wireless means that despite being overwhelmed, the mid-range and high-end are still fairly audible. However, you are going to hear the lows louder and more distinctly than anything else with this headset.
With Get Down Saturday Night, we found that the soundstage was a bit too narrow, with very little in the way of spaciousness. The tonality of the sound didn't strike us as very good, and the entire sonic presentation felt like that of a budget headset. Although the Skullcandy Ink'd Wireless is reasonably priced for a Bluetooth headset, it's sound is essentially on par with the much more affordable Ink'd 2.0.
The premium you pay is going entirely towards the Bluetooth functionality and battery that allow for wireless use. However, the Bluetooth connection isn't always stable even at close range. There is occasional transmission lag, but this doesn't happen very often and is unlikely to bother you too much.
The Skullcandy Ink'd Wireless has a lot of potential, because this is a headset that checks the right boxes when it comes to the mass market. It offers the benefits of wireless connectivity, a bass-oriented sonic signature, comfort, and good looks - all at a price that is fairly reasonable for a Bluetooth headset.
The Ink'd Wireless is not without faults, though. Bass levels are certainly on the heavy side, which can get tiring over time. Additionally, the soundstage is narrow, mids and highs are easily overpowered by lows, and the Bluetooth connection isn't always stable. If you can bear some of these flaws and want a comfortable pair of wireless in-ears, the Skullcandy Ink'd Wireless is a good option to consider.
Price (online): Rs. 2,999
Ratings (Out of 5)