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Skullcandy sGs GI Headset Review
Review Score:

The Skullcandy brand is recognised as one of the leading competitors in the headphone market. They boast an immense range of top-selling headphones that have set the market alive since the creation of the company in 2003. Focusing centrally on the extreme sports and music industries, Skullcandy have sponsored known performers like Snoop Dogg and Metallica. The Skullcandy products have a large appeal with the sheer variety of their headphones meaning there is a set for everyone. Following on from the success of the Turtle Beach line of gaming headsets for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC, Skullcandy have stepped out of their comfort zone to try and crack the ever-competitive gaming headset market.

At £49.99 (RRP; I’ve seen them going for £44.99 online) the sGs GI’s cost more than the critically acclaimed Turtle Beach X1’s. Taking on a successful product by charging more is a brave move for Skullcandy, but why are they more expensive? The answer is simple; Music. All of Skullcandys headphones are known for their excellent sound quality and the sGs GI’s are no different. As well as pumping the Xbox 360’s in-game sound through its 40mm power drivers, the GI’s can plug into any MP3 player, iPod, stereo or PC to play music. This is a great feature which really expands the products capabilities gives potential buyers another reason to part with their cash.

Skullcandy sGs GI Logo3 Skullcandy sGs GI Headset Review

The sound quality is incredible and the headphones truly squeeze every last drop of power from the 40mm drivers. Fortunately, the in-game sounds from your Xbox 360 offer just the same magnificent quality as that of the music. The headset splits the sound so an explosion on your left is heard through your left speaker, allowing you to track your enemy in online games such as the Call of Duty series. It really does give you a ridiculous advantage as an enemy sneaking to your right can be scouted and killed as they wonder how you knew where they were. This feature is probably the main reason for console gamers buying these headsets as they’re vital for participating in any gaming tournament.

Comfort is vital when deciding which headset is worth your money. The sGs GI’s creators obviously realised this and haven’t let themselves down. I have always found that when I wear on-ear headphones my ears feel strained after about an hour’s use. Skullcandy have been smart and put some very soft padding that cushions the cups of the speakers snugly round your ears, maximising comfort for long-time usage. The speakers themselves are cushioned by a soft layer off padding and can be moved to fit even the biggest and mutated of ears.

Despite all of this padding, the appearance of the headphones still manages to be gorgeous, they look genuinely stunning. Just look at the image below and you can instantly see how sleek the sGs GI’s design truly is. Arctic camouflage surrounds the under-band connecting the two speakers and a sort of denim pattern covers the top. The sides of the speakers are covered with a gleaming reflective black finish with the Skullcandy logo emblazoned in the centre. Some on-ear headphones are simply embarrassing to wear in public but Skullcandy ensure that you’ll look fashionable if you ever take them into the outside world.

Skullcandy sGs GI Skullcandy sGs GI Headset Review

As well as looking brilliant, the wiring from the headphones is kept to a minimum, unlike their rivals. Whilst the wired Turtle Beach X1s have an extraordinary amount of cable only necessary if you want to play your game from across the street, the sGs GI’s wiring is only long enough for a TV-soft gaming session. There is still enough wire to play a game from a considerable distance but the lower length allows the wiring to sit tidily and if an extension is required then extra cable can be purchased.

However, all is not perfect with this headset. Bizarrely, rather than utilize the good-quality mic and transmit voice through that using a separate channel, the sGs GI’s mix the voice with the in-game sound. This means that, in the midst of a game with loud noises, it can be excruciatingly difficult to hear teammates speaking. The Turtle Beach range of headsets increase the sound of the voice when in-game sound increases in volume automatically but Skullcandy have forgotten this feature and it genuinely lets the product down. Communication is the key to success for online gaming and it’s near impossible with this method of sound transmission.

As well as this, it can be complicated to set up and the instructions bundled with the headset are useless. Research is required to really figure everything out and, although only slightly annoying, it is an unnecessary problem that Skullcandy should really have sorted out.

Still, if you’re the kind of gamer that doesn’t require a lot of communication with teammates while in a hectic online match then this is the perfect headset. Although it’s a bit pricier than the Turtle Beach range it’s also a hell of a lot comfier and looks incredible. The fact you can use it to listen to music as well means that it got the nod over the Turtle Beach X1 for me but its online speaking flaws meant I only use it when not playing multiplayer.

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Rating: 8.1/10 (11 votes cast)
Skullcandy sGs GI Headset Review, 8.1 out of 10 based on 11 ratings
  • Mark S.

    The author of this review as never tried a Turtle Beach before and has extremely limited knowledge of headsets/headphones. Skull Candy is not known for “high quality” audio by any stretch of the imagination. Skull Candy only know how to make “cool looking” products. Their sound quality is very poor when compared to higher quality headphones/headsets.

    In NO WAY can the Lowrider compete with the X1. The Lowrider is a passive headset that has no pre-amplification at all. The X1 has a built-in amplifier that’s powered by the USB port on the XBOX. The X1 also has bass boost as well, so it’s low end is exponentially more than any Skull Candy.

  • https://?u=StevenTaylor Steven Taylor

    Mark S, I encourage you to read the review properly as I am not reviewing the inferior Lowrider headset but the sGs GI. Skullcandy are very much known for their high sound quality as well as their, as you say, “cool looking” products.

    The turtle beach does indeed boast a better sound quality then the sGs GI for the Xbox 360 but for music, which the X1 cannot be used for, its quality cannot be denied.

    I have owned a set of X1′s in the past so I know i’m talking about but please read my review and you will see that I have taken largely into account the GI’s ability to listen to music as well as there 360 support.

    Acknowledge that this is the review under the category of “Gadgets” & “Electronics”, not just their use on the Xbox 360 console so I have to into account the products full capabilities.

    Your comment is extremely bias for Turtle Beach and against Skullcandy and it is clear to me you have not tried the sGs GI’s as you would be pleasantly surprised by the quality they offer. I suggest that when you criticise a review you have full knowledge of the product at hand and, at the very least, name the product you’re criticising correctly.

    Until then, I do not even consider your opinion.

  • mike dean

    can u remove the mic

  • https://?u=StevenTaylor Steven Taylor

    No, but it folds very well around the speaker making it difficult to see. No-one has ever noticed it when I’ve taken it outside.

  • David Lemon

    How the hell do you set this puppy up? Can’t believe that there are no real instructions. Thanks for your great review of this product.. wish I’d read it before I bought…

  • https://?u=admin James Ireland

    Unfortunately the author of this article decided to leave on bad terms and subsequently cannot answer your questions.

    Kind Regards,
    The Editor

  • David Lemon

    Yeah the set up would be a good thing for someone to help with.. this is currently collectiong dust because.. I can’t figure out how to even get this worthless headset to pick up my voice so I can talk on my PS3… usless crap

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