I love Music: melodies and lyrics speak to me on an emotional state, not a technical one. I’m not an audiophile in any way and you could spend hours explaining to me what Bass or Treble is but I’ll never care or even be able to notice them when listening to a song. One thing though that I do care about is a decent pair of earphones. I just want them to be super comfortable, durable, and to deliver good music to me. 3 years ago, I tried the Sennheiser CX series and I was immediately hooked: I knew I would never buy anything but in-ear headphones.
However, a few months ago, MobileFun proposed I review the SkullCandy Chops. They looked super cool with a nice behind the ear design, that I decided to give them a go and see if that design can work for me.
SkullCandy Chops Design Tour
The SkullCandy Chops come in various colors that could fit any taste. I got the Black/Pink ones (hey, I’m a girl!) and I have to admit they’re a nice change from the 2 dull white and black Sennheiser sets I normally use. However, if you prefer sobriety, a Black/Chrome color set is available and looks really classy.
The Chops design marry an earbud system and an over-the-ear hanger. The earbud is covered with a rubberized material to help take the edge off while using them. The hanger, also rubberized, swivels in all directions, making it easier to get the Chops over your ear and then adjust them according to your liking. For example, you will be able to either slide the buds inside your ear or leave them just outside if you prefer a less intrusive method. In both cases, the buds will hold well in place thanks to the hanger.
The materials used look to be durable, and I have been using my unit for over 2 months without any issues at all.
One of the downsides of the Chops, however, is that their cable is only 1.2m long. While this may be enough for using them when sitting in front of a computer, or using an armband for your iPod or music player while exercising, it starts feeling a bit too short when you slide your player in your pocket or get a few steps back from the computer. But the cable is symmetrical (a design I’m now preferring over asymmetrical headphone cables) and has a small sliding holder. Just pull it up, and your Chops cable will never get tangled. This is a small detail, but you wouldn’t believe how many manufacturers forget it: even my Sennheiser CX-500 don’t have it. And yet, it makes stashing away the headphones and picking them up later ten times easier, as you won’t worry about tangles.
SkullCandy Chops Comfort And Quality
When it comes to the comfort and music quality of the Chops, it’s a very subjective issue. As I mentioned earlier, I am an in-ear design lover, and earbuds just don’t work for me. I tried to be as objective as I could with the chops, and I noticed that I could wear them for 90 minutes approximately without any major concern. They held well on my ears, whether my face was sweaty during exercise or whether I was sitting watching a movie. The sound quality was good, but you could still easily hear surrounding noise, as they don’t even cancel it one bit. However, past the 90 minutes threshold, they’d start getting uncomfortable and then downright painful. This is one of the reasons I prefer in-ear designs now, as there are various sized plugs to fit my small ears.
Nonetheless, I am not the majority here, and every person in my entourage, friends and family alike, prefer the buds design and say that in-ear headphones give them horrible pain. I gave the Chops to one of these friends and asked her to test it for me, and she said it was one of the best she has tried. It stayed well in place thanks to the hanger, it gave her choice as to whether to have the bud in her ear or just outside like she prefers, and the sound quality was great.
To Buy Or Not To Buy?
The SkullCandy Chops are obviously not for the audiophile. They deliver a good quality of music and are comfortable enough for daily use. The materials and the sliding holder give them a nice edge over some of the competition, and the over-the-ear hanger makes sure they stay in place even when you’re sweating or moving your head frantically. I would suggest getting a small 1m extension headphone cable though, in order to be able to use them without much distance constraints.
If you’re looking for a replacement for the default buds that come with your music player or phone, these are a great choice for the price you’re paying. However, if you’re used to and a fan of in-ear headphones, I’d suggest you look at other SkullCandy products like the SkullCandy Titan: they will probably meet your taste better.
The SkullCandy Chops are available for £20.91 or €25.09 over at MobileFun and if you’re looking for something else, you can drop by their full iPod Touch headphones category for a more extensive choice of prices, brands and designs.