contact | advertising
  home | rss/xml | reviews  
Skullcandy Link Backphones Review
A pair of headphones and a cell phone headset all rolled up into one
Date Created: 01/09/2005 Last Updated: 05/28/2006 Authors: Jason Caparaz & Jon Accarrino

From the invention of the Swiss Army Knife to the Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine, gadgets of all kinds have enriched our lives. Some have been purely recreational while others have become a necessity.

Ten years ago, the thought of carrying around a cell phone was nothing more than a rich man or cool guy's pipedream (hell, most of us we're just getting accustomed to having beepers). One of the first teenagers I ever saw who had a cell phone was Zack Morris from the TV show Saved By the Bell. I remember how awesome it was when he opened up his backpack to reveal the clunky brick-like-monstrosity that was his cellular telephone. Zack Morris ? the essence of 1980's cool.

Today, most people own a variety of gadgets and gizmos that they have deemed essential to their daily lives. It's not uncommon to own a Palm Pilot, cell phone, and an iPod. In fact, many people wouldn't be able to make it through the day without these inventions of electronic wizardry. However, carrying around all these devices everyday presents us with a new problem ? electronic clutter.

A company called Skullcandy has come to the rescue with a way to help combine two common items in our already over cluttered lives. They have created a pair of audio headphones, the Link Backphones , that also feature an integrated cell phone headset. It's basically a pair of headphones with two plugs at the end; one for your iPod or MP3 Player, and one for your cell phone.

Skullcandy has also managed to integrate the basic functions of both a pair of audio headphones and a cell phone headset into one handy in-line controller. The controller has a microphone, volume controls and a multifunctional "Turbo" button. The Turbo button on the Link Backphones isn't as cool as the Turbo button in the TV show Knight Rider, but it does make your life easier. When you receive a phone call, just push the Turbo button to automatically lower the music and answer the phone at the same time. To hang up, just press the Turbo button again. However, my favorite Turbo button function is the voice-activated dialing. If your phone supports voice dialing, just press and hold the Turbo button and say the person's name into the microphone to give them a call.

NERD ALERT: Pushing a button on your chest and talking into it may make you feel like a crewmember on the starship Enterprise.

Beyond integrating your iPod and cell phone into one pair of headphones, the Link Backphones are also lightweight and comfortable.

Earbuds, while compact and inconspicuous, are just not comfortable for everyone. Achieving a proper fit with a pair of earbuds really depends on the size of your ears. Personally, I prefer headphones over earbuds - me with my smaller elfish ears and all. The Link Backphones are lightweight and soft on your ears. They aren't too big so your ears won't get hot or too small allowing outside noise to ruin your listening experience. They fit just right.

Unlike most headphones, the Link Backphones wrap around the back of your head and not over the top like a teenage girl's headband. There's nothing worse than showing up at work with a dent in your finely coiffed, funky Paul Mitchell Tea Tree styled bed head. While these headphones aren't the first to feature wrap-around backphones (many other companies make headphones that wrap around the back of your head instead of over it), the Link Backphones have a curved contour that wrap very nicely around your neck. The only thing I didn't like about the Link Backphones was the cord length. While walking to work, I like to keep my iPod and cell phone in my messenger bag. With the voice-activated dialing feature and the Turbo button I don't even need to physically handle my phone anymore. However, the only problem with keeping my phone and iPod deep in my bag, sometimes the headphone cord feels a little taught. An additional six-inches or so added to the cord length would have been perfect.

For $30, the Skullcandy Link Backphones are a pretty good deal. Purchasing a separate pair of headphones and a cell phone headset can easily cost you $50 or more. This headphone/headset combination is great and helpful for situations ranging from the morning commute to skateboarding through the park.

Simple, practical, and affordable, these headphones not only sound good but they look great too. Bottom line, for only $30, the Skullcandy Link Backphones aren't the greatest pair of headphones you will ever own during your lifetime, but they will help you reduce electronic clutter and have a nice fit.

Plus, how many headphones can you name that have a Turbo button?

This item is available for purchase from

Any iPod; cell phone with a headset plug

Audio/Visual Resources

Sound and Vision Magazine
Electronic House
The Absolute Sound
Headphone Reviews
Audio Review
Audio Ideas
Home Theater Mag
Stereo 411



Music Blogs

Done Waiting
Largehearted Boy
Arjan Writes
Live Music Blog


[an error occurred while processing this directive]
links™ 2006. All rights reserved.