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Get to know the Hesh headphones from Skullcandy.

HATS-Front Image
HATS-Side Image

Dressed and ready for game time, the 's speaker element is guarded by a mesh reminiscent of the fabric used for basketball jerseys.

The s display their chosen design on a smooth convex canvas that is otherwise known as the backs of the ear cups. In this instance, the logo for the best basketball team of all time bar none is shown here, silly things like stats and championships won notwithstanding.

Continuing the theme of the Boston Celtics basketball team, the s have a jersey-like fabric on the band, as well as an embroidered logo and the name of Rajon Rondo on there.

A feature that is very welcome for durability's sake, the 3.93 foot cable of the is detachable, punctuated by a microphone, and has a very run-of-the-mill termination.

Electrifying but not all that enthralling, the 1/8th inch plug can be found on every headphone meant for mobile use.

Though the cord guards on the aren't all that robust, should you elect to do so, you can buy a new male-to-male 1/8th inch cable with as thick protection as you want.

Backing up the headphones in the box is a carrying pouch, the removable cable, and assorted documentation.

Despite the awesome longevity a removable cable offers, the rest of the headphones are housed in a very cheap plastic, and will likely give you the willies should you drop them. Thankfully they're not hundreds of dollars to replace, but it would still be a huge pain if they broke.

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Despite having a bland, uninteresting and relatively featureless canvas to paint on, Skullcandy offers buyers of the several patterns and designs to choose from. Tested at our labs was the Rajon Rondo version of the , which is fairly attractive, though in more of an in-your-face way than other headphones.

Ouch. Maintaining bass frequencies, the s drop most of their mids and high notes precipitously after 1kHz. For reference, that means the entire highest third of a piano will sound muffled, as well as almost half of a guitar's notes. Unless you only care about bass, these are bad headphones in the frequency response department.

Frequency Response Graph

Low notes loud, high notes almost not even there.

[Click here for more information on our frequency response test.](/content/How-We-Test-149.htm#Frequency_Response) Passable marks here, though there is a bit of distortion in the high end, though you're unlikely to hear it given the frequency response problems noted above.
Distortion Graph

Somewhat high general distortion, but not enough to be completely audible.

[Click here for more information on our frequency response test.](/content/How-We-Test-149.htm#Distortion) In addition to a bad frequency response, the wild channel shift to the right ear in th eonly frequency range you can hear well is just _bad_. Terrible, even. You will definitely notice your music sounding louder in one ear than the other.
Tracking Graph

Your right ear may see some extra wear and tear after listening to these headphones.

[Click here for more information on our frequency response test.](/content/How-We-Test-149.htm#Tracking) Due to the materials used and the difficulty in getting a good seal, the does not offer very good attenuation, and you'll notice a bunch of noise from the outside world getting into your ear canal. For example, engine noise and low voices will get right through.
Isolation Graph

These headphones block out some sound, but not much.

[Click here for more information on our isolation test.](/content/How-We-Test-149.htm#Isolation) These headphones also leak a large bit of noise as well. We wouldn't recommend listening to anything in the car, bus or subway that would embarrass you, as music at moderate to high volumes can be heard within a few feet of the units. [Click here for more information on our leakage test.](/content/How-We-Test-149.htm#Leakage) Despite the theoretical capability of the to bump music at a level over 120dB (well over the max for an iPod), we caution listeners to [not destroy their hearing](https://www.reviewed.com/headphones/News/Noise-Induced-Hearing-Loss-and-You.htm) by doing this. It's a very sad thing to do to yourself, so try to protect what hearing you have. [Click here for more on our maximum usable volume test](/content/How-We-Test-149.htm#Maximum Usable Volume) In the short term, the headphones aren't all that uncomfortable, though those of you with larger ears are going to have a hard time getting the ear cups to fit the way you'd like.
Short-Term Use Image

Over time, if the fit isn't working perfectly, it's only going to get worse, as these things trap heat like its their job. Additionally, the clamping force on these are a bit tight, so expect some fatigue over time.

About the only thing you can do to customize these cans is to either replace the cable, or buy a pair with the design you want. After your purchase, you're pretty much set with what you can do to them, so plan accordingly.

Though they come with no adapters, you shouldn't need one for the , as just about every mobile device we've seen uses a 3.5mm (1/8


If you want to stow your cans while you're out and about, there's a neoprene carrying pouch that you can drop your cans into. The headphones are a bit bulky, but if you have a messenger bag or backpack, this should be of no consequence if you have room in there.

Thankfully, maintenance with the s is easy. If you get a gunky buildup of earwax on the mesh, simply wipe it down with a rubbing alcohol-soaked cloth. If you cable breaks, you can head on over to your local electronics store (or amazon) and grab a male-to-male 3.5mm audio cable to replace it.

Remote & Mic

Though nothing special to look at, the remote on the is a very simple thing. If someone is calling you, all you have to do is pinch it and it will answer your call (at least it should on an iPhone), and you can use your headphones like a headset for your smartphone.

Despite their snazzy looks and general appeal to those youngins who think appearances matter more than performance, we're forced to play the part of grumpy old men and pooh-pooh these headphones. They sound terrible.

However, far be it appropriate for us to try to say that someone's predilections are somehow objectively bad, as there are all sorts of differing preferences out there, but these headphones have an inexcusably bad performance in terms of audio quality. Possibly their only saving graces include the removable cable, and the value brought by aesthetics if that matters to you.

If you don't care so much about audio quality, and more about how you're going to look on the street with your slammin' new cans, the s are probably your go-to for the entry level. However, if you're looking for at least passable audio performance, you'd do well to keep looking.

Meet the tester

Chris Thomas

Chris Thomas

Staff Writer, Imaging


A seasoned writer and professional photographer, Chris reviews cameras, headphones, smartphones, laptops, and lenses. Educated in Political Science and Linguistics, Chris can often be found building a robot army, snowboarding, or getting ink.

See all of Chris Thomas's reviews

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