Skullcandy SLYR – their newest over-the-ear Xbox One gaming headset looks the part but how does it sound?
With a price tag of $69, the Skullcandy SLYR rocks, it comes in a sleek black and green design choice to match the Xbox One color scheme.
The Skullcandy SLYR is constructed primarily of plastic, though the headset looks sharp with a curved see-through strip on the cups and an attractive matte finish. The inner headband has just enough padding to keep them comfortable atop your head, and the earcups themselves boast memory foam cushions. All of this adds up to a light 8-ounce headset that won’t feel heavy after extended gaming sessions.
The SLYR also has a flip-up mic that can be considered “semi-stealth” in that it flips up into the headset but still protrudes about an inch above the cups. It has a nice rubbery, flexible feel to it, and I honestly prefer these to fixed, non-removable boom mics since I tend to use my headphones for movies and music in addition to gaming.
Skullcandy ships the SLYR with their own tweak on the Microsoft MSFT -0.02% Headset Adapter. The “GMX-1 Controller Mounted Mixer” has a fixed 3.5mm audio cable, with the entire unit disconnecting from the headphones themselves. A backlit Skullcandy logo doubles as the mute button, and here’s the most refreshing design choice: The audio cable sticks out from the back of the adapter rather than the front.
The BIG question, How Does It Sound?
These are without doubt tuned for gaming, with powerful and punchy bass. Gunfire in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has tons of impact, and the crack of sniper rifle fire in particular is downright frightening. Dialogue is crisp and doesn’t get mudled by the audio landscape around it. I watched the Blu Ray of John Wick and noticed the same traits, with the gunplay punctuating the soundscape and dialogue being easy to hear.
When switching to music, bass is equally satisfying and highs are pronounced. The drawback is that some of the midrange gets buried in the mix.
On the plus side, these babies get loud without distorting. Much louder than the Kingston HyperX Cloud II headphones I recently reviewed, and that matters to me especially when listening to music. They do exhibit a bit of sound leakage, but not enough to be a dealbreaker at all. And it’s expected in this price range so it’s more something to be aware of than to complain about.
The included microphone on the SLYR does an excellent job picking up your voice and suppressing just enough background noise to not be an annoyance to your teammates.
There’s something to be said for simplicity and affordability. Skullcandy’s SLYR delivers both without sacrificing much in the audio quality department. They’re made from plastic but they don’t look cheap. There are meaningful design touches that I appreciate. And perhaps superior to all other factors: They’re comfortable.
The price is right, the design is smart, and these are a great sounding pair of headphones for Xbox One gamers.