Skullcandy is known for high quality cans and earphones that go back to the old adage form follows function. Up until now, speakers haven’t been down their particular alley, but that is set to change with the Bluetooth audio streaming Skullcandy Air Raid, retailing at $149.99. The company brings it’s own style of cool to the portable speaker market. As far as the design is concerned, it’s great — the robust, water-repellant shell looks good and they manage to really pull off a good looking set. For the most part, they deliver a clear sound space, and they provide excellent textures and depth in the lows.
The Air Raid has large buttons for volume and pairing (on the front) and a power button on the left-hand panel. The dimensions are 3.5″ x 7.3″ x 2.5″ and they weigh 1.8 pounds. The rubberized shell protects the plastic frame but can also be removed. The front-facing 2-inch, 5-watt drivers are fronted by circular, plastic grilles. The pairing switch serves several functions; as a battery status indicator, you can skip forward or backward on the track if you press it at the same time as the volume controls, and play/pause if you just press it by itself.
The micro USB is on the back panel for charging (an adapter is included), in addition to the 3.5mm auxiliary input.
Skullcandy estimates battery life to be around 14 hours per charge. Practically speaking you get more like 5 hours at max, and 10 hours with quieter levels.
On bass-heavy tracks you will find a degree of distortion when played loud. It’s perceptible, but it doesn’t ruin the experience. Basically, don’t expect deep bass from these units at high volume.
Being larger than some comparable portable Bluetooth speakers, it’s still has a manageable footprint.
For its size, the Air Raid delivers lows and low-mids with excellent textures, with the higher frequencies bringing clarity and brightness making for a balanced feel. That said don’t get these confused with deep bass speakers. At this size you won’t find overall better quality.