Tuesday, March 8, 2016

SkullCandy UpRock

My SteelSeries 4H headset served me well for years until that fateful day when the wires ripped away from the in-line volume control after some Halo 5 based exclamations were made. I'm now in the market for a nice moderately priced set of SteelSeries Siberia replacements (preferably in neon orange). However, in the mean time, I picked up the SkullCandy UpRock to use in the interim.

Not a review, not an endorsements, just my thoughts...

I've always thought of SkullCandy as a Monster/Beats by Dre/Bose also ran. Somewhere between overpriced fashion wear and flashy gamer cans, but never anything that would actually sound good. I can now say that these new headphones have totally made me a believer. They actually sound really good and for their price I was quite impressed. I picked these up after spending some time with a $10 set of SkullCandy earbuds which turned out to be much better than expected so I gave the UpRocks a chance. For $20 on sale at Office Depot it was a low risk gamble anyway.

The UpRocks sound great with music and they do well with the simulated surround sound while gaming. Maybe they are a little bass heavy but the middle and high end sound good despite that. All of the little details in the sound environments pop... From the quiet moody moments in Halo 5 to the epic firefights of Destiny. They all sound great with these. 

My biggest issue with these is the fit. It is impossible to wear these for any extended period of time because they sit so tight on your head your ears just get crushed by them. The foam ear cups are soft but they don't flex enough to relieve any pressure on your ears. They are adjustable but still very tight. I've started pushing them forward on my head closer to my temples to avoid that pressure, and it works but I lose some of that audible fidelity. They may fit better for kids, and maybe that's their target audience since you can get this headset in a ton of different colors. My daughter has these in a clear/purple color scheme and she loves hers too, also has no complaints about the fit. Its all plastic construction too, so I can't speak on its durability long term but so far so good. 

The UpRock sports an in line microphone that sounds pretty good and picks up well. I certainly prefer the extendable/adjustable boom mic on the SteelSeries but this one works as advertised so I can't really knock it. It's no Blue Snowball but for an inline mic it does alright.

I've been using it connected to my Xbox one controller for a few weeks and it's been a great stereo headset out of the box. The SkullCandy UpRocks are great for their price point, and the construction is nice except for its tight fit. It hits all the marks for me and SkullCandy's surprising build and sound quality have made me a believer. 

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