Skullcandy Mix Master
Skullcandy Mix Master ($299)
Mix Master Mike is a west coast turntablist known primarily for his work with the Beastie Boys and winning the DMC World DJ Championships for three years consecutively. This type of music really isn't my cup of tea, but I do think the Beastie Boys are really good at what they do. Skullcandy's Mix Master headphone is a quite similar thing: not my cup of tea, but a really good headphone nonetheless.
The Mix Master is a full-size, around-the-ear, sealed headphone, and has a number of what I thought were pretty cool DJ features. The front of the right earpiece has a mute push button --- push to mute, push again to resume playing. Two cables are included. A 4.5 foot straight cable for use with smartphones with thin 1/8" mini-plugs at either end and iPhone compatible 3-button remote. For working in front of the turntables, a coiled cable that's 5 to 8 feet long is include that has beefier plugs --- a 90-degree 1/8" mini with screw-on 1/8" to 1/4" plug on the turntable end, and a straight large-body 1/8" mini-plug that screws into the earpiece on the other. The last DJ feature is when either earcup is rotated 90 degrees and held up to the ear, it monos both left and right channel into that earpiece so you can hear both left and right channels through one ear.
The design of the Mix Masters is not really up my alley. Its big, black, blocky, and high gloss plastic Darth/Stealth look just doesn't do it for me. The fact that they creek at the hinge when you swivel the ear pieces to their end stops just adds to the plasticky look and feel. However, the fit and finish of the rest of the headphone, cables, and carry case is really nice. Taken as a whole, it is a pretty sweet package for those with "take no prisoners" tastes.
The ergonomics of these cans are very good. The Mix Masters fit is extremely secure. The headphones hug your head and are light, so they don't develop a lot of inertia as you move. You should be able to jump around and head-bang to your hearts content. There is a top and two side pads on the headband to cushion and secure the headphones on your head. These are medium firmness memory foam pads covered with a very pliant pleather, and seem to surround my head nicely.
The earpads are very soft foam covered in very soft and pliant pleather. The depth of the earcup was just a tad shallow for me, however, and my ears touched the hard cover plate underneath and became a bit uncomfortable after a while. This is a fairly minor complaint, though. On the whole, remembering that these are DJ headphones and that need to stay on your head during vigorous activity, I thought they were very successful at their task and quite comfortable compared to other headphones that also successfully stay on your head.
Now to the really good part: the sound.