Today we are going to take a look at a product aimed at music lovers from Skullcandy called the Pipe. The Skullcandy Pipe is a very small audio bazooka that produces some big sound. If you like to take your iPod, iPhone or other MP3 player on the road and want speakers for it this is the review for you.
The Skullcandy Pipe has an output of 5.2 Watts and the speakers measure 1.97 cm long x 5cm wide x 4.6cm high. The Pipe overall dimensions are about the diameter and size of the cardboard tube inside a paper towel roll minus about 2 inches. The frequency response for the Skullcandy Pipe us 100Hz to 20kHz. Total distortion is 0.7% and input impedance is 4k.
The Skullcandy Pipe can get power from an AC adapter and a wall socket or from a quartet of AAA batteries for use on the go. Three color choices are offered—black, chrome, and wood grain. The Pipe also includes a wireless remote that controls the volume of the speakers and allows you to navigate the menus of the iPod or iPhone.
I tested the Skullcandy Pipe with my iPhone and it worked well. The Pipe doesn’t include an adapter to take up the excess space around the iPhone when it is docked. The quarter inch gap around the iPhone allows for movement back and forth which isn’t ideal. I would like to see an adapter than made for a snug fit with the iPhone.
Visually the Skullcandy Pipe is tiny and when I took it out of the box I wondered how something so small would produce good sound. As soon as I popped my iPhone into the Pipe those skepticisms went away. The sound that comes from the tiny speakers and small dimensions is very impressive.
Highs are crisp and well defined, mid range sounds were well defined and the only thing that was a bit weak for my tastes was the bass. Turing the bass boost EQ setting on my iPhone on helped bass levels, just don’t expect booming base that you can feel when your music plays.
The remote control is nice and you can navigate the menus of the iPod or iPhone with the remote. The range is 6 meters and in testing I got about that much—as long as I was in front of the Pipe. If you move to the side of the Pipe very much the remote doesn’t work at all. You have to have a clear line of site for the remote to operate.
The finish on my test unit was wood grain and while it was attractive, it was a bit cheap feeling. The wood grain is basically a sticker that reminded me of that paper my wife uses to cover the inside of the cabinets. I would opt for the chrome or black versions and forgo the wood grain sticker.
The Skullcandy Pipe is set for release on June 1, 2008 for a MSRP of $69.95. If you like to listen to music on your iPod at home, in the office or on the go and don’t want a huge dock sitting on your desk the Skullcandy Pipe is perfect.
- Charges while it plays
- Small size
- Great sound
- Battery or AC power
- Remote sensitive to position
- Cheap looking wood grain finish
- iPhone doesn’t fit tight in dock
The small size of the Skullcandy Pipe beguiles the big sound that comes from the speakers. Don’t expect booming base and you will love the Skullcandy Pipe. This could well be the perfect portable iPod dock.