At a certain point in the early 2000s, there was a shift in the headphone world. In what felt like a flash, affordability, portability, and fashion charged to the forefront of consumers’ minds. At a moment’s notice, the old staple headphone companies like Sony were soon being replaced by up and coming brands, the biggest being Skullcandy.
With a striking name and unique looks, and distribution from local gas station isle caps to displays in the front of BestBuy, the eye-catching brand caught on like fire, leaving a lot of listeners with pretty reasonable questions.
With the influx of new, possibly more affordable competition, is it worth jumping ship? Do old standbys like Sony still have it? Is Skullcandy worth checking out? Ultimately, which headphone brand is better, Skullcandy or Sony?
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Sony vs Skullcandy: Which Brand is Better?
The easy answer here is neither. Sony and SkullCandy are two companies that both have strengths and weaknesses.
Skullcandy headphones are generally more affordable, have much more pronounced bass across the board and are arguably more stylish, while Sony is a trusted brand with a ton of research and development, more choices, and a better overall sound.
Here are some Pros and Cons for both.
Wide range of Headphone choices
Sony is the biggest name in headphones today. That’s because they have the most variety.
Nicest Headphones in the game.
You can expect to pay a couple for their nicest headphones, but they have 70mm drivers and all the goodies money can buy.
Some of the best noise cancelling headphones available.
It’s well known that nobody does noise-canceling quite like Sony
Quality across the board
There is a reason all the pros wear Nike, and that’s the same reason a lot of audiophiles go with Sony. The big brands have the R&D to deliver a quality experience across the board.
Sony offers headphones with a variety of sound profiles.
Many companies offer one, often flat, sound profile. Sony features a variety of sounds focusing on acoustic and heavy bass versions.
Sony offers a mobile app for their Bluetooth headphones.
Sony lets you get the perfect sound through your wireless connection with a customized app.
So many choices make it hard to find the perfect pair.
Ever scroll through Netflix for hours on end? Choice Overload can leave you never knowing which pair of headphones to get or feeling like you made the wrong purchase.
Even their lower-quality headphones can be a bit pricey.
There can be a bit of Brand value when it comes to some of Sony’s lower quality products. It can be hard to tell if you’re paying for the name or for quality.
Their lower-priced headphones lack the features of their higher-end models.
With such a broad range in headphones and prices, you may be drawn to Sony expecting to get one thing, like incredible noise-canceling, only to find that feature a few tiers above your price range.
Their high-end headphones are the best but cost the most.
Sony offers some of the best headphones around, but you’ll find those can cost quite a bit more than comparable headphones from other companies.
Skullcandy offers stylish designs.
Skullcandy delivers fashion-forward headphones. They are always on the cutting edge of what’s in and leading all of the trends.
Most of Skullycandy’s headphone lineup comes in an affordable price range, making them an excellent choice for younger or budget-conscious consumers.
Availability in every market
You can find them everywhere! Like, everywhere.
Easily identifiable names
The name of your headphones is an often overlooked spec, but have you ever asked someone what Sony headphones they’re wearing. Get out a pen and be ready to write down a few letters and zip codes combined. With names like Crusher and Hesh, Skullcandy cuts the confusion.
Depending on who you ask, bass-heavy listening can be a positive or a negative. For a budget headphone, though, you can’t beat Skullcandy’s bump.
Less than perfect construction
The build quality of most of Skullcandy’s lineup is a bit lacking. You may save some Denaro, but that’s because, most of the time, you’ll be getting plastic headphones.
Bass-heavy sound profile
Bass can either be a positive or a negative. If you’re looking for broad, acoustic, or even flat sound, though, you won’t find it in your Skullcandy headphones.
Overall sound quality
True audiophiles won’t love the overall sound quality of Skullcandy. Skullcandy headphone are made more for the casual music listener who wants something reasonably reliable and good-looking.
Once upon a time listening to the music you wanted to, the way you wanted to, was frowned upon and even considered counterculture. However, with the advent of the internet and a rapid pace of consumption, enjoying the music you want the way you want without judgment is no longer a thing of the future.
If you’re the average consumer still learning the audio basics and looking to enjoy their music and do it in style without breaking the bank, Skullcandy may have a pair of headphones for you.
If you’re the listener more focused on sound quality and features, someone who wants the best of the best and is willing to spend a little more for what you know you want, maybe Sony headphones are worth considering.
Either way, take pride in your music and rest assured, there is no right headphone; there are only headphones that offer various advantages; price, quality, looks, features, etc.
What matters is what you want. In the end, the choice is yours.
Jarrett Ziemer is a published author, guitar player and professional procrastinator based out of Snoqualmie, Wa. He is a headphone geek and loves to play around with whatever audio gear he can get his hands on. Find out more and reach him at jarrettgziemer.com.