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Skullcandy Link

Connect your phone to your music to your head

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Reg Review Skullcandy's Link is a simple product: a pair of over-the-ear headphones, a 3.5mm audio jack and a cellphone connector, all wired together. And that's it. Simple, yet incredibly useful.

Slip on the 'phones, connect your MP3 player and your mobile phone and away you go. Just down the cable from the 'phones is a microphone pod that also provides a volume control and a phone activation button. If your phone rings, you push the button to take the call and turn down the volume entirely or to any level that you're happy having as background to the call.

Link's microphone pod is larger than those of other hands-free sets we've tried - more like a music player's remote control unit, though alas it offers none of those features. We'd guess such things are too player-specific, and probably proprietary, but it would be handy to be able to pause the player at the same time as picking up a call, rather than have it play on in the background.

The pod can be clipped to your clothing, but we found it worked perfectly well just hanging free. The cellphone connector caused problems, however, on the two different Nokia 6310i handsets we tried. Despite locking positively with each handset, sometimes the connector wouldn't register with the phone, rendering the remote call activation button and the audio play-through inoperable. We haven't tried other handsets - Link supports a number of Nokia, Ericsson, Samsung and universal phone connectors - or other Links, so we can't say this isn't an issue with the much-used handsets we tried or the one specific plug on our evaluation Link.

As for the 'phones, we found the sound quality to be pretty good. Not up to our iPod earbuds, but a match for the cheapish Sony set we use, and definitely superior to some of the budget-priced sets we've tried in the past. The cables are sturdy not thin. Skullcandy also offers Links equipped with earbuds rather than the over-the-ear clip-on variety we tried. If you want to bring your own headphones to the party, Skullcandy now offers a version with a 3.5mm audio socket instead of integrated 'phones.

We've used Link for a while now and we'll continue to do so. Irritating issues with the cellphone connector aside, it's an invaluable asset when you're working on your notebook, listening to your iTunes library and talking calls on a regular basis. And about with an iPod it's good too. ®

Rating 75%
Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Great value
  • Good build quality
Cons
  • Plastic strap
  • We had problems with the Nokia cellphone connector
Price $29.95 with earbuds or 'backphones'; $24.95 with a 'phones socket. Skullcandy will ship internationally; postage varies according to location

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