Since Skullcandy’s rise to prominence as a major headphone brand, there has been a lot of debate online about whether or not their products break easily. Complaints about one of their most popular models, Skullcandy Hesh, has spun the poor impression that Skullcandy makes plastic garbage, unable to stand alongside competitors. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Skullcandy headphones are remarkably durable with proper treatment. While their rugged image may suggest that listeners can gallop off into the urban jungles, not caring if their headphones hit the pavement, a little common sense will go a long way in making an affordable pair of headphones last indefinitely. For starters, try to lift all over ear and on ear headphones off the ears and above the head in a straight line. This prevents unnecessary bending of the plastic parts where the speakers attach to the headband–often the weakest link. This is especially important for the Hesh model, which includes a large range of motion to adjust for comfort.

Storing Skullcandies the right way is equally crucial. When on the go, place your headphones in a slipcase or on top of your packed bag. This prevents them from getting crushed by clothes or heavier items, which may also weaken the plastic molding over time. Keeping Hesh headphones and other mid-level models away from temperature extremes can help preserve durability too. Many would be amazed at the microscopic warping that occurs inside plastic exposed to scalding heat or sub-zero weather.

And if all else fails and the headphones break anyway? Unlike other brands, Skullcandy is excellent at replacing shattered equipment. Their lifetime warranty extends to practically all products. Buyers only need to send in the broken pair to get a replacement or equivalent set absolutely free. Even in cases of the most obvious abuse that falls outside their warranty, sending in the wrecked headphones will net an online store credit, usually good for half off any other model. Sennheiser, Sony, Panasonic, and other manufacturers are not nearly as friendly to audiophiles with comparable warranties.

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Of course, Skullcandy could put these fears to rest by putting out new models with metal, rather than plastic, in connector areas, and by aggressively promoting their lifetime warranty. Hopefully, this will be a reality someday. Until then, do the research when someone bad mouths Skullcandy headphones because “they break easily.” If you accept their rumors without finding out the truth, you may be surrendering some fine headphones that offer equal durability, better style, and superior sound quality for less money than the others.

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