Skullcandy Navigator headphones review: Strong design, decent sound for $99

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The Good The relatively compact Skullcandy Navigator on-ear headphones have a slick retro-future design, offer a comfortable fit with decent sound for $99 headphones, and their detachable cord has an Apple friendly inline remote/microphone.

The Bad Some headphones in this price range sound better; some of the inline remote features won't work with non-iOS devices.

The Bottom Line While they don't quite measure up performance-wise to some competing models in this price range, the Skullcandy Navigators score points with their eye-catching design and comfortable fit.

7.1 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 7
  • Performance 6

Skullcandy makes some very popular headphones, but I can't say I'm a huge fan of them -- I've always found them a bit "style over substance." But when the company sent me its new Navigator headphones, I was hoping they'd be different, and I'd finally make a love connection.

Not quite. But I did like the Navigator, the $99.99 on-ear sibling to the bigger, over-the-ear Roc Nation Aviator, which editor Justin Yu reviewed positively.

Like that model, the Navigator, which comes in white, blue, and black, has a retro-modern look and an eye-catching glossy finish on the exterior of the earpads. Despite the fact that my black version had a tendency to show some fingerprints, it's a good-looking headphone, and I also liked how it folds to fit in the included not-so-swanky cloth carrying sack.

The Navigators have the same glossy finish as the larger Aviators. Sarah Tew/CNET

The headphones seem fairly sturdy, and while I don't like the fit of a lot of on-ear headphones, the Navigators are comfortable and snug, as well as being relatively compact and lightweight (they seal out a decent amount of exterior noise).

Another plus: The cord detaches and there's an inline remote/microphone for making calls. Since this is a "Made for iPhone" product, some the remote features won't work with non-Apple devices.

A cloth carrying case is included. Sarah Tew/CNET

As for sound, it's pretty decent. I didn't find the Navigator quite as aggressive a headphone as the Aviator, so it's slightly warmer and serves up a good amount of bass without completely over-accentuating it. Detail is good but not great.

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