Welcome to our first review EVER on a wireless in-ear headphone solution, we have reviewed many audio products but this will be a first for us. Skullcandy were kind enough to send us a few of the recently released products, so firstly a big thank you to them. Now let us start this review off by saying what awesome products we have had in the past, products like the Skullcandy Strums and the Skullcandy Grinds. Those products exceeded my expectations, but the Skullcandy Smoking Buds are an entirely different product range, in fact they are so special they don’t require any cables to connect to your phone.
Whether you’re walking down the street or gaming on the couch, Bluetooth functionality makes it possible to take your audio anywhere you go. Wireless freedom also means no tangling cords and makes for easy storage when you’re done listening.
6-HOUR BATTERY LIFE
Enjoy the comfort and sound of your earbuds for a full 6 hours, without having to worry about recharging. Carefree listening is yours wherever you choose to take your soundtrack.
Unlike other bulky and stiff products on the market, this low-profile collar is made of moldable plastic that gently hugs your neck, and can be removed entirely if you prefer. Use the notches in the collar or the provided “S” clip to adjust for the perfect fit or keep cables secure in place.
Take calls and navigate your playlists with the easily located microphone and remote just under the left earbud. Use the + and – buttons to adjust volume or switch up music tracks. Press the middle button to answer/end calls or play/pause the music.
No ear canal is a perfect circle, so why should your buds be? The Smokin’ Buds 2 feature an angled and oval-shaped nozzle that aligns better with the natural shape of the ear, improving comfort and noise isolation.
Experience attacking bass, crisp vocals and precision highs, so you can hear your music with the highest quality possible.
Upon removing the Smoking Buds 2 “wireless” from the packaging you’ll notice something very interesting, wires are a thing of the past with the Skullcandy Flex Collar which is designed to be lightweight and sit closely to your neck avoiding any annoyance with those pesky cables. I actually really liked their take on how to make in-ear headphones usable with a wireless design, you can also adjust it to be lighter by removing this part of the headphones entirely (although I really liked it without following this step).
Out of the box you can see the charging port located at the bottom and the nice Skullcandy branding Please note you can basically remove everything that is white in the following picture as explained above, although it is quite tricky to put everything back together so I would consider keeping it this way. Not to mention the cables will be more prone to damage without this additional part to the headphones.
Personally, I think that Skullcandy have created something that looks really cool, but not only does it look like something out of the space age – it feels incredible to wear. I’m usually not a fan of in-ear headphones, mainly because I hate the cables and accidently ripping headphones out whilst doing sporty activities or taking a bag on and off. The Plantronics Backbeat Sense I reviewed surpassed my expectations because of the weight, and I think the Smoking Bud’s 2 Wireless are the counterpart to the over ear headphones I felt so strongly about.
And lastly the buds themselves, which are seriously comfortable. When I reviewed the Skullcandy Strum headphones a while back I was really impressed with the quality of the actual buds and how they feel inside your ear, and the Smoking Buds follow a similar path when it comes to providing exceptional comfort to the user. All of these things really do add up and what we are left with is a sublime product in terms of “design” but I’m sure you are all dying to hear what my thoughts of the sound quality are.
PERFORMANCE AND TESTING
My favourite part of the review, I get to listen to music for hours on end and try to compare the sound to other products on the market. Skullcandy claims that the Smoking Buds offer “Experience attacking bass” and “Crisp vocals”, which I hope is the case. Now with cheaper headphones usually the audio quality actually becomes very flat and dull, so we look for audio that is rich, almost warm. For those that listen to audio across a range of platforms you’ll know what I mean by this. Lastly, we want audio that doesn’t feel overwhelming, bass that is subtle yet lifts the vocals into existence.
So do the Smoking Buds offer meet any of my criteria? They are definitely rich, bringing songs to life which is a rare thing in the headphone industry. However, these headphones definitely run an equaliser to balance the audio out then tweak the bass to be a little on the edge for me. I’m a bass junky, but I did feel slightly overwhelmed using the product for a long period of time. And this extra bass really brings down the overall crispness of the treble, my conclusion is a little less bass would be perfect, balancing out the audio and letting the drivers work on a little more sharpness. In regards to the bass? I think these are probably the most bass heavy in-ear headphones I’ve reviewed thus far, making it a nice treat – but I don’t know if everyone will enjoy it, you have been warned – Skullcandy definitely delivered on the bass promise.
However with this said they are by no means bad, in fact I think that if you love bass? These are going to rock your world, but if you prefer cleaner more subtle audio you might want to consider another pair of headphones. But the Smoking Buds 2 “Wireless” are a fantastic little set of headphones which also produce zero distortion (I even ran these through some of the most crazy songs I could find). Now whilst I seem to suggest them far too much in my reviews, the CX300’s from Sennheiser set the perfect example of perfect audio with an affordable price tag, if you fancy yourself as more of a classical / folk music listener the Buds might not be for you.
At the end of the day the Smoking Buds 2 set you back a massive £44.99 on Amazon, which is a large investment. Now the comfort was the first thing I really loved about this product, they feel light but secure which makes them ideal for using in sports or those days you don’t want wires in the way. The audio was impeccable, really only let down by the overwhelming bass, albeit some people will enjoy this incredible bass potential so this isn’t a negative about the product. Other features? A six-hour battery life plus handy controls create a very usable product on a day to day basis.