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on July 4, 2010
Note: These have an excellent, no-hassle warranty. Skullcandy will replace them for any reason, whenever - just go to their website, register your product, and fill out the warranty form. You will receive CREDIT for their website that you can use on whatever you like, as well as free shipping. The amount of credit will depend upon the current price of your product on THEIR website - so for the standard INK'D buds, you will get a $20 credit. You do not need any proof of purchase, and it does not matter how much time has passed - just pop the broken buds into a small envelope and you're good.

Firstly, I want to mention a few important tidbits that you should know.

1. Pay attention to the L and R (engraved on the stem) on these earbuds, which can be hard to see. Do not reverse them, as doing so can affect fit and sound quality. I find putting a piece of colored tape on the right cord makes life easier.

2. Don't assume you know which gel size will fit you best; make sure you try on all 3 gel sizes that come with these, as using the wrong size can dramatically decrease sound quality and comfort. If your earbuds are uncomfortable or the sound quality does not meet your expectations, then you likely have the wrong size gel installed. For myself, I automatically went with the smallest size because my ears are small, but those made the earbuds sound like cheap garbage. It wasn't until I tried the next size up did I get the full quality of sound that these are designed for. So pay attention to this, since it really matters.

3. These have a straight plug, not an L-shaped plug. So you will need to be extra careful as a straight-plug design increases the amount of pressure both on the plug, and the headphone jack of your player. This leads to frayed wires or a loosening of the headphone jack, or both, which ultimately lead to the classic problem of only one side having sound.

4. The cord is long - measures approximately 4 feet, 5 inches.

5. Burn-in works with these. Slightly.

Now, as for the build quality - I'm impressed. They are not cheaply made earbuds, despite their low price. The wires are nice and solid, and feel very well made - not flimsy or plastic-y. The silicone gels (tips that go in your ear) are very soft and pliable, and even have the Skullcandy logo engraved on them. Nice touch.

They feel good, too. Really good. Both the material, and the way they fit my annoyingly small ears. And they don't fall out constantly, although I do sometimes get the sensation that it's getting sucked into my left ear.

And yes, these come with 3 different size gels.

Sound is great. These handle bass extremely well for mid-tier earbuds, and highs aren't so shrill and piercing as with other comparable brands. Some of this really depends on your player, too. Even between iPods, sound quality does differ.

As far as functionality goes, I find I am able to run with these with no problem. The wires do not get tangled, and you can easily adjust the split in them with an attached slider (that has 'Skullcandy' written on it in the corresponding colour), which I find very convenient. I do not hear this thumping sound that others claim to hear from wire-movement, so I can't confirm that.

The only things I dislike are the straight plug, and the lack of a case. Otherwise, I am thoroughly impressed with Skullcandy. The craftsmanship, the quality of sound, and all the little extras that Skullcandy does that really lets you know that they are paying attention, and that they care about their products and end-users.

Worth every penny.

UPDATE 12/31/2011 - My current pair has seen daily use for over a year now with no issues.
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on July 7, 2010
Purchased the headphones about a week ago and I'm very pleased. I previously had the JVC Marshmallows and loved those headphones, but one of the earbud sleeves came off and the new JVC's are designed differently so I decided to give these a try. They produce very clear sound with solid bass. I was also surprised by the fit on the silicon caps that come with these. I have a difficult time finding silicon caps that will stay in my ear so I usually stick to foam, but these headphones came with three different sizes of caps and the smallest size fits and stays in without a problem. I will also say that I bought the Comply Foam Tips recently and am currently using those on these headphones (since I already had them) but once these wear out then I will stick with the silicon tips that came with these headphones because they will probably last longer. All in all, great purchase!
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on July 1, 2010
I purchased my Skullcandy Ink'd ear buds almost two years ago, and now that I need to lay them to rest I thought I would write a review on them.

First off, don't think that they are cheaply made because mine broke. From what I have been reading, two years is a good deal of time to have working headphones, especially at the low price of under 20 bucks! If I have to say, I provably contributed to the heavy wear of the jack that plugs into my computer (it is in the front of my laptop, so when the computer slides close to my lap the jack gets pinched).

Construction:
--
Being my first pair of non-stock earphones, I don't really have much to say in terms of construction, but as previously mentioned they lasted a helluva long time, so that should carry some weight. Speaking of weight, these buds feel light, but not so much that they feel cheap. Even after a couple of years the wires are intact, and I have had no problems with them up until a couple days ago (one ear bud stopped working, probably due to abuse). The only problem I would say has carried any weight in this department has to be the the fact that the rubber coated wires make a noticable sound through the buds when tapped or rustled (almost sounds like a heartbeat). This could probably be fixed with some comply foam tips instead of the stock silicone ones.

Sound Quality:
--
I listen to a variety of music genres through these things, and I can safely say that the sound quality is great across the spectrum. Anything from the highs and mids from classical to the deep undulating bass from dub-step can be heard clearly. They might not hold in a battle against some $100+ buds, but for this price they are awesome.

All in all, I am rating the Ink'd buds a 4/5, only because of the sound producing wires (see 'Construction'). If I could give it a 4.5 I would.
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on September 13, 2010
just bought these today after my senheiser cx 300 II died recently.

First of all can I say could people PLEASE stop whining about noise being transmitted through the cords to your ears, this is the same principle as a tin can connected with a taught piece of string, it is not the earbuds fault!

Appearance wise these buds look pretty cheap and flimsy compared with the Senheisers. The cord looks rather 'old school', and not the silicone type material I'm used to. I'm not sure they will last that long, although the Senheisers only lasted 9 months and they cost about twice as much, so who knows...

People complaining about poor bass performance have either destroyed their hearing already with 'bass heavy' phones in the past, or they have not got a good tight seal in their ear. I actually replaced the gel things it came with, with the ones from my Senheisers, as they fit my ears perfectly, thus improving the bass response no end.

Tonally these buds can be a little harsh when turned up really loud, but at normal to quite loud volumes they are fine, with tight bass, transparent mid range and crisp highs. I must say that dynamically these are better than the Senheisers, which were too bass heavy, and lacked clarity in the high end.

These buds are pretty cheap, so I can't complain too much about the poor build quality, apart from this draw back they are a worthy replacement for my previous phones, I just hope they last longer!
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on October 5, 2010
First, if you bought these and can't find the "R" and "L" markings, look very, very closely on the flex connector to the earbuds and you'll see the marking in tiny, tiny embossing. You will probably want to put a black dot on the top or side of one of these buds to quickly tell them apart, because the factory markings are darn near invisible and I had to Google to find a thread with the markings location.

I'm not an audiophile, but I am kind of a "purist" or "minimalist" - which is to say I like speakers to be neutral (no sloppy bass or artificially boosted trebles) and I play my music with all the tone controls flat. I assume that's how the recording studio engineers monitored it and so that's the way I want to listen to it - if the engineers had wanted more bass, they would have put it into the actual soundtrack (but I'm all in favor of accurate tweeters to bring out all of the treble, and subwoofers to bring out all of the actual bass).

These inexpensive Ink'd earphones have a nice sound. Which is to say, I quickly stopped trying to hear the specific characteristics of these earphones and started enjoying the music itself.

Compared to the $9.95 Jbuds JBuds Hi-Fi Noise-Reducing Ear Buds (Black) these sound "clearer" and more "detailed." The inexpensive Jbuds sound muted in comparison, at comparable listening levels (subjective listening levels, not volume control setting). I also have the more expensive Jbuds with the inline microphone JBuds J3M Micro Atomic In-Ear Earphones with Microphone (Jet Black, iPhone Compatible) which sound a lot better than the $9.95 Jbuds, but not qualitatively better than the Ink'd. Finally, all of these are much better than the Apple earphones, for the simple reason that the quality of sound is SO much better when the ear canal is completely blocked off by a silicone surround earpiece. The sound is MUCH tighter and more solid, and not just in the bass range, which is where you would expect it to sound better. The one disadvantage of snug fit style earphones is that even at moderate listening levels, it's hard to hear people trying to talk to you. Great for late night or airplane listening, not so great for biking or walking.

If this is going to be your first set of "post factory" earphones I highly recommend these Ink'd for the following reasons:

1. Come with snug soft fit silicone ear pieces. Essential for good audio, very helpful for noisy airplane cabins.

2. Come with two additional sizes of silicone ear pieces - essential for getting the right fit, and the right fit is essential for sound quality.

3. Look quality, nice logo, gold plated connector.

4. Much better quality than stock earphones, "good enough" for enjoying your favorite songs, not so expensive you have to think twice about them.

5. Ink'd has a good reputation and is a volume producer - the odds are you'll get similar performance whether you buy now or later. They also seem committed to predictable model names and price points. Some makers, like Philips, use odd model designations that are harder to track and compare.

6. Adjustable "yoke" length (the split "Y") via a slider.

Negatives:

A. Cord is way too long. But I recycled the twist tie that came with them to coil up a part of the cord.

B. Some cord "rustle" (you can hear the cords slide over zippers and make other noises on almost all models to varying degrees of annoyance). These aren't bad.

*******11-8-10 update: upgraded stars to "5" based on value for dollar at current sub-fifteen dollar price point. Experiment with the different sized silicone tips to get a good seal - a good ear canal seal is critical to sound quality. For a softer-tone earphone, try the JLabs line or Griffin Ear Thumps.
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on January 15, 2011
First off, these are probably the fifteenth in-ear headphones I've gone through this year. I wear them out SO quickly. I usually buy super-cheap ones, and they usually break within a week. These have lasted me so far, and they seem really well-made! The sound quality is amazing, compared to the old ones I used to have. They block out noise around you, which is wonderful. Songs sound true and nice. They also increase the volume on my iTouch, and that's a plus since before it never went loud enough for me. They are also very nice because people around you usually can't hear your music. They look super cute, and they fit in any size ear perfectly ;) Try all of the sizes on and you'll find one that works. I wear a medium size and even when I'm running they never fall out. They are very comfortable to lie down/ sleep with, too. I fall to sleep with music on usually, and these feel good. Some people complain about a noise when you bump some part of the headphones. I haven't noticed anything like that, with these.
So, Pros: great sound quality, stay in your ear, stylish, comfortable, and they don't get tangled up too easily.
I don't really have anything bad to say about these. You should totally buy them (:
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on April 19, 2011
Mine started to crap out so i had read the reviews stating theyd replace them without a hassle...WRONG! They wanna know how and why they broke.I have to pay to ship them back. And they wont send me a replacement they'll just give me a voucher good to spend on their website. Jlab sends me a knew pair no questions asked...and no I do not work for jlab!
These earbuds do have wonderful rich sound but with customer service like this skullcandy can shove em you know where ;)Do yourself a favor and pick ya up some jbuds instead.
UPDATE:5-16-11 Finally got my coupon code to use on their website.Had to pay 4 cents diff but got the new riots.I'd havta up it a star. I still like jlabs warranty better and their sound is much more crisp. These inkd r bass heavy which i like if the mids and highs r crisp and clear too but thats not the case with these. I'd pay a little more for the jlab j3s
UPDATE:9-1-11 Stick with skullcandy. Jlab just emailed me that their warranty has changed for the worst. They are requiring you send in your defective units at your cost after 3 warranty claims. And it's only for a year! I own about 20 diff pair throughout the family. Such a shame.
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on May 24, 2011
What I like:
1). Snug fit - They come with three different sized earbud attachments so you can be sure they will fit nice and snug (I personally prefer the small ones)
2). Noise cancellation - They cancel out a decent amount of noise. I was able to tolerate a fire alarm easily with these on and no music playing
3). Good sound quality - The sound quality is excellent for cheap headphones
4). Color variety - They come in almost every color to match your iPod or Zune's color.
5) Length - The cord is exceptionally long which allows for good reach from desktops
6) No left right earbuds - It doesn't matter which side you put the headphones in as they are identical.

What I hate:
1) Earbud attachments - I always seem to accidentally and eventually lose the
earbud attachments they come with. They can come off on accident without you knowing.
2) Tangling - The cord will get tangled quite a bit and is cheaply made.
3) Durability - I have owned 2 pairs of these headphones and both broke in the same manner. First the sound went out in one bud then in the other. Though they are ideal for running as they dont fall out (i myself ran a half marathon in them) they will only last a few months if you try to do so.

They are great headphones for the price but the durability is too much of an issue, especially for runners. I am quite disappointed in buying two of these headphones and having them both stop working in the same manner. If not using them for running then i would still recommend them as they seem to have lasted long for my friends who own them. If you do get them be very careful not to lose the earbud attachments though.
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on January 31, 2012
These earbuds should come with an expiration date for christ sake. This is the THIRD pair of Ink'd earbuds I have owned and the third pair that has become non functional within 3-4 months of light use. The rubber right before the wires go into the male auxillary socket somehow has the tendancy to disconnect either one or both of the earbuds from their connection to the AUX. This results in hearing music in only one ear bud or neither unless seriously manipulating the cord to an angle in which contact can be made - which is literally impossible to maintain. I will be contacting skull candy to hopefully see if there is some sort of warranty they can provide for this product. But for now, BUYER BEWARE!
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on November 20, 2011
The price was right and the fit was good. The sound quality was great as well but broke about two months after purchase and I contacted Skullcandy for a return but heard nothing back from my email. I sent over a couple more emails to get a generic response saying they weren't covered by factory warranty.

Bummer but at least they were cheap.

Brian C
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