The Skullcandy Link headset
The Skullcandy Link is
a fascinating and easily implemented solution to the problem
of too many headsets.
It feeds inputs from
both your cellphone and any music source to a single set of
Here's a simple, sensible and
inexpensive solution to the 'headset clutter' that can be a
problem when trying to both listen to music through a personal
music player and occasionally use the phone, too.
What You Get
The Skullcandy Link is
simply packaged in a small drawstring carry bag. Nothing else
comes with the unit, but nothing else is needed. My review copy
didn't even have an instruction sheet with it (full instructions
are on their
if you need them).
The unit does not need
batteries. It has a brief 90 day warranty, but the manufacturer
seems to have no return policy. Fortunately, it is a simple
product that simply works as you'd expect it to, so there's
little need for a return policy.
The Link connects a
cellphone and an audio source, feeding both outputs into a
single set of headphones. Typical audio sources might be a CD
player or an MP3 player, or perhaps your computer at work or
In addition, it has a built
in microphone so, when used with your cellphone, you can both
speak and hear.
There are two controls on
the unit. One is for volume - this adjusts the volume of the
music that you hear through the headphones. Normally you'd have
this at a comfortable listening level, and then, when a phone
call comes in, you might turn the volume all the way down to
'off', or you might still leave the music playing quietly in the
background. Whatever you set the volume level at, the person on
the other end of your phone call can't hear your music, so the
fact that you're listening to music as well as speaking to
someone on the phone remains safely your secret!
The other control is a
command button that some cell phones use. Sometimes a cell phone
will use a press of this button as a command to answer a call or
to start a new call - its use varies between different phone
makes/models, and does nothing at all when used with my Motorola
The Link is available with
three different headphone configurations : No headphones at all,
just a standard plug into which you can plug any headpones; or
with a set of lightweight over-the-ear 'backphones' designed not
to fall off while you are engaged in 'active sports'; or with a
set of small in-the-ear buds.
There are also five
different model options depending on the type of phone connector
plug you need. You need to decide which model phone you want
your Link to work with, and, if you subsequently change to a
different phone type that requires a different connecting plug,
you would need to buy a new Link unit.
The unit is brilliantly
simple. Plug in your preferred headphones, your music source,
and your phone. Start enjoying music. Take phone calls when they
come in. Nothing is complicated or difficult.
There was no appreciable
loss in sound quality by feeding it through the Link. And, using
my Plane Quiet headphones, callers
coming in through the phone sounded amazingly clear and much
better than they ever would through normal headphones or the
phone's own tiny speaker.
The microphone was much
better than the microphones that dangle from most cheap phone
headsets. A problem I invariably have with these other types of
microphones is that, much of the time, they end up facing away
from my mouth, rather than towards it! But because this
microphone is on the front of the control box that one would
normally clip to one's shirt or collar, the direction it faces
in can be carefully controlled. Callers said that I sounded
clear and close when I spoke in a normal voice.
There's something really
rather fun about being able to listen to music 'secretly' while
also speaking to another person on the phone. I love this little
A very long (4') cord runs
from the control box to where it then splits into two short (8")
leads to plug into the audio source and phone. The two leads
are, alas, too short, while the 4' cord is often annoying long!
I typically have my
cellphone in a pocket and my MP3 player located somewhere else,
this is not easy with these two short leads. Or, when I grab my
phone to dial a number, while the Link is also connected to my
laptop computer, I end up ripping one of the plugs out of one of
The actual control unit is
very light and small (2" x 0.75"). But it feels 'cheap', a
perception aggravated by the phone control button which
annoyingly rattles on it.
Of slight concern is that it
seems impossible to contact anyone at Skullcandy. I have
tried to use their website's live support feature, but it is
never on. I have sent email, and left several voicemail
messages, but nothing has resulted in a return phone call.
If you buy one of these otherwise appealing gadgets, you should
figure on being very much on your own if you have any support
Summary and Recommendation
Priced at either $25
(without headphones) or $30 (with) this is not a major purchase.
It is an ideal gadget to give to someone who is already
surrounded by other gadgets, or a great gift for yourself if you
also fit that description!
It is simple, effective, and
foolproof. Recommended. It can be purchased directly from the
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5 Dec 2003, last update
19 Dec 2013
You may freely reproduce or distribute this article for noncommercial purposes as long as you give credit to me as original writer.