There’s a series of beeps that flicker back and forth between Skullcandy earbuds when they successfully connect to Bluetooth, a sound I’ve come to hear as triumphant, because getting them connected can occasionally be a challenge. Aside from that single issue — which could be more of a user error than a real annoyance — stumbling upon these headphones last March via their partnership with Rico Nasty became a blessing for my listening habits. I’m still not fully sold on wireless earbud headphones, but their usefulness is unparalleled, particularly as a person who needs to be listening to music almost constantly.
Skullcandy is an independent headphones company based in Park City, Utah that specializes in earbuds and other wireless headphones, along with accessories, backpacks, and speakers. Their products are geared more toward athletes and the company was created by Rick Alden, a snowboarder who was sick of swapping his earbuds back and forth from his mp3 player to his phone while up on the mountain.
The ethos of accessibility while moving is definitely built into the product, and Skullcandy earbuds have become one of my go-to options when I need to listen to music while being active. Unlike AirPods, the shape of these buds actually seems like it was designed to stay in your ears if you’re running or otherwise moving quickly. And no matter how good a pair of wired headphones is, the wire will always be annoying or get in the way when I’m sweating.
Last year, the company began a twelve “moods” partnership with a series of different musicians, dubbing Rico the face of their “bold” colorway, a perfect pairing considering her breakout year in 2019 hip-hop. That pair is an aggressively orange style, but comes in their own carrying case that recharges the buds while they’re tucked away in it.
Now that it’s February, and their moods project has almost come full circle, the company is once again working with an artist who has been on my radar in a big way: Ari Lennox. Since it’s the season for pink and passion, Ari is the artist repping their “passionate” colorway, which is somewhere between hot pink and fuschia — they call it coral — and a much better fit for my personal style than orange is.
Obviously tied to Valentine’s Day as a gift idea, this version seems like Skullcandy’s most feminine headphone yet, and the Sesh is a different fit and make than the old ones I tried before, the Push. The case and the headphones themselves are smaller for the Sesh, and the fit is even more comfortable in my ears. The Push model is slightly more expensive ($99.99) with twelve hours of battery life and water resistance, another feature that makes them good for athletes or listening to music while being active.
For those of us who struggle with multiple options, the Sesh earbuds use a single button to connect to each other, and when they pair to devices like a computer and phone, which makes them very simple to use. This model is also almost half the price of the Push ($59.99), and has amped up the water resistance with IP55 protection (read more about that measuring system here) against sweat, water, and dust. The dust resistance factor is great for Angelenos, who might want to use headphones on hiking trails or at local spots like the Silverlake Reservoir, where dirt and dust is blowing up everywhere.
Since this iteration is repped by Ari Lennox, the first thing I listened to on them is her fantastic 2019 album Shea Butter Baby, and if you’re planning to set a Valentine’s Day mood this weekend and haven’t heard her record, add it to your playlist immediately. If you want to get the pink colorway, it’s another ten bucks for a still affordable price point of $69.99, and the set comes with a hot pink travel blanket. All the artist partnership colors are limited-edition offerings, so once they’re gone, they’re gone. The regular colors of dark blue, black, and burgundy for Sesh are also great, but the seasonal pink will probably not last long.
These would also be a great investment in yourself, if you’re trying to stick to a new resolution from January or adopt more active patterns, or even if you just want to get something nice to withstand the onslaught of straight couples imagery that we’re always inundated with during this season. As far as headphones go, they’re right in the sweet spot of affordable and high quality, and a pop of color is a welcome touch in the sometimes boring tech world.