Ear Buds: SkullCandy INK’d
I’m sitting here at my desk at my day job rocking out to some tunes waiting for a massive ftp site copy to complete when it occurred to me how impossible this day would be had I not grabbed a new set of ear buds. That original thought of death by lack of music during the work day lead to me thinking about all the times that I listen to music and how important it has become that I have a good set of ear buds. One of the situation in which I listen to music is while riding my motorcycle.
First let me say this, I absolutely love the sounds of a well tuned engine trumpeting the song of its people through a great set of high flow pipes, I love the sound to a level that might be creepy and unhealthy. If I could bottle the smell of exhaust as a cologne I would buy it for the rest of my life. That being said, after hour five I need a break. My father has been riding motorcycles since age 15 when he lived in Washington state and would ride to the coast on his little Yamaha XS650. Over the years my father has taken to putting ear plugs in for the longer rides and I know many people that ride and love the sound of their bikes that do the same. The goal isn’t to totally block out the sound of the engine or even the wind rushing past but really to take it down a notch and save at least some of your hearing for later in life. My dad doesn’t pump music while riding though, he once told me it was so he could be alone with his thoughts. For me, being alone with my thoughts is a bad thing, even a dangerous thing, however I would like to be able to hear what my son has to say in ten years. With that in mind I can be often seen riding my Harley Davidson Fatboy with my ear buds in place.
Over the years since I first started riding, on a Yamaha XS650 interestingly enough, I have gone through a lot of ear buds from the cheap to the mid priced… not expensive, I can’t bring myself to 80 bucks on something that small. Through those dozens of sets I’ve found one thing, most ear buds suck for riding. They don’t sufficiently seal to the ear canal to do much blocking of road noise making it worthless when acting as plugs while not aren’t rocking Escape the Fate, nor do they seal well enough to allow Godsmack to play at a comfortable volume, or… ew… heaven forbid Country Music if you like that crap. About three pairs ago I found Skull Candy brand ear buds and for the first time I didn’t have to crank the volume up full-blast just to hear even half of the songs that were pumped through them. The basic Skull Candy ear buds sealed well and didn’t interfere with my half helmet straps nor where they pressed uncomfortably deep while wearing a full face helmet. I rocked those cheapy Candy’s for awhile till I lost the silicone ear plug part on one side and they became useless. After a couple other cheap sets I found the Skull Candy Ink’d line of buds.
The Skull Candy Ink’d middle range ear bud is probably…. actually scratch that, is my favorite set so far, keep in mind that statement is made from a guy not willing to spend more than 30 bucks on a set of buds. The actual speaker portion sounds really great, the silicon covers are soft and comfortable and the whole assembly is shallow enough to not even come close to touching the helmet straps. To make the Ink’d line even better that cords are flat rather than round which might sound like a weird thing to remark on until you consider that its nearly impossible for them to get so tangled that they get knots, additionally the cords have a some what rubberized finish to them that makes them tangle resistant. So far the only downside I’ve found was when I first got them I kept hitting the button on the inline mic which caused my Android phone to try and initiate some action for hands free calling, simply learning to not hit the button solve the issue. If you are the type of motorcycle rider that likes a little flash and wanted a color version of the ear buds Skull Candy also make the product available in several colors… I’m not gonna list them hear because I prefer black or if they happen to be out of black ones, gray like those that I’m rocking now.
Summary: Skull Candy Ink’d ear buds rock.
Last point, this isn’t a product review in the sense that I wanna send you out to Walmart to buy some… click here for that… this is just a vote for the product from a fellow motorcyclist. If you ride and listen then these are a great choice.