Skull Candy introduces FMJ, a reasonably priced well built , in ear headset that the delivers the bass, and a pretty good microphone too for the iPhone.
Skullcandy’s iPhone FMJ ($80), is an iPhone-specific redux of the company’s device-agnostic Full Metal Jacket, now featuring integrated microphone and control button functionality that enables the in-canal earphones to serve as a telephone call-ready headset for both the iPhone and Blackberry Curve. While the new FMJ won’t be right for everyone, it’s a strong option for users who prefer their music bass-heavy, and want a better than average microphone for their calls.
On a more positive note, the FMJ’s medium sized silicone tips fit our ears just fine, and with a proper seal, it’s obvious from moment one that Skullcandy’s not looking to present audio in a neutral way. Like Vibe, the emphasis here is on deep bass, bringing the low end of songs into the foreground and masking some midrange and treble detail in the process. It’s a clubby sound signature that makes for “fun” rather than critical listening, though the bass boost does actually let you hear low notes that you might have missed in other earphones. Clarity is par for good $50 earphones, and nothing special at the $80 price point.
Skullcandy’s package starts with metal-bodied earbuds that have a matching iPhone-ready plug at the other end, silicone eartips, and a carrying case. Here, you can choose from chrome, black, or matte silver versions, each a nice match for some part of the iPhone’s body, but unusually, Skullcandy doesn’t include multiple types of silicone eartips—there’s just one size, equating to medium on other companies’ scales, plus two sets of smaller Comply foam tips. Similarly, the carrying case is a little different from the others, as it’s the only one with a zipper to keep all the parts inside, and a mesh inner pocket to separate the loose tips from the earbuds.
The star of the FMJ show is the integrated microphone, which callers told us they preferred to the ones in Apple’s and V-Moda’s headsets, praising its crispness and intelligibility. iPhone FMJ’s mic is definitely amongst the better ones we’ve seen for the iPhone to date, and makes a positive first impression. The microphone and control button are found in the same neck-level chassis dangling near your mouth—here, on the left side.
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