Review: Skullcandy Agent

Karl R. de Mesa

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Headphone collectors, take heed!

NOT BAD, NOT BAD at all. The Skullcandy Agent headphones is for any music lover's delight.

MANILA, Philippines – There seems to be a school of thought about headphones that says the higher-end models need to bleached of attitude and street style.

Not so with Skullcandy.

Exhibit A being the mid-range priced Agent headphones.  

Here’s a look at the specs:  

  • 40mm speaker drivers
  • Magnet type: NdFeB
  • Frequency response: 18-20K Hz
  • Impedance: 32 Ohms
  • Max input power: 30mW
  • Cable length: 1.2M
  • Plug type: 3.5mm gold-plated
  • Contoured head frame
  • Stashable and foldable travel design
  • Soft leather-touch over-ear pillows
  • Satin travel pouch

Here’s what we think:

1) Of particular note are the 40mm drivers that power the ear pillows. That’s a lot of oomph for what are, really, what I call a mini set of headphones.

See, they’re smaller than the more expensive SKPro, and bigger than the cheaper SK Uprock — but with the kind of frequency response that’s closer to the pro headset of the former. 

2) The ear pillows themselves seem to be made to embrace girls’ ears or smaller guys with similarly-sized lobes, since they’re much too small for mine.

But they’re really soft and pretty light weight, meaning you can likely wear them around an average of 3 or 4 hours a day and they won’t give you a headache like those huge, pro-DJ headphones will.

The weight, though not “light” by any stretch, isn’t enough to wear down your neck as well. 

3) They’ll get more comfortable with wearing frequency, as they conform to your noggin.

I myself have a relatively large head, and they were a tight fit at first, but I could feel them expanding.

4) The ear muffs themselves are foldable and are constructed so the thing can be stashed inside a black satin carry pouch that comes with the package.

Nifty, that. 

5) Don’t let the compact size fool you; this thing packs a wallop.

I had to keep my mp3 player’s volume to a maximum of 3 if I wanted to listen to a 5-minute song without my eardrums getting exhausted. 

6) Probably one of the best designed and ergonomic mini-headphones I’ve tested, the Agent is a great cross-pollination of high-performance audio and visual imagination.

The Japanese anime Tokidoki design might seem a tad too hipster for the gritty street style that we’ve gotten used to in SK’s products, but if you can get past that then you’re golden.

Besides, there are other designs and colors to choose from if the black and gold theme doesn’t float your boat.  

7) Oh, the sound clarity.

While it’s not as wowee zowee as a pro-headset ever will, the Agent acquitted itself quite ably.

We threw in some dance and classic rock in there and it had quite a full and deep bass response, albeit a bit lacking in the higher frequencies of the low end. Still, that thing was rich and undistorted bass.

It’s also great for hip-hop and rap, by how Eminem and Ludacris fared with flying colors. 

8) The thing is, it also tends to be weak and sissy in the treble department.

If you have no equalizer option, then the boom of the low end can truly drown out the highs.

But that’s quickly solvable by downloading a 3rd party equalizer program and tweaking the mids and highs.   


9) Some cons to think about, though, include:

  • The black, circular wire that tends to tangle and is quite long
  • The leatherette head band (though always nicely illustrated with a graphic) is a dirt and sweat magnet
  • The expanding, retractable parts that adjust the band over your skull really do stick out at an angle — which means it may snag or scratch if you press too close to a wall 

Still, I really like this one, especially since the pillows don’t go all the way around your lobe and you can still be aware of what’s around you, what with some external sounds being able to seep in.

Not enough to distract you from the music but just a tad so you can hear and dodge the bus that’s barrelling down on you with a blaring horn. –

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