JBL vs Skullcandy: In-Depth Comparison

Both JBL and Skullcandy are well-known companies in the audio sector, and they both provide a range of speakers to meet the demands and tastes of various clientele. An extensive comparison of several features of JBL and Skullcandy speakers is provided below:

JBL vs Skullcandy Comparison

AspectJBL SpeakersSkullcandy Speakers
Sound QualityBalanced sound with clear mids and highsBass-heavy sound profile
Design and BuildProfessional and durable designTrendy and youthful design
PortabilityCompact and lightweight optionsPortable options for travel
ConnectivityBluetooth, AUX-in, multi-speaker pairingBluetooth, basic connectivity
Battery LifeDecent battery life across modelsCompetitive battery life
Price RangeWide range from budget to premiumGenerally more affordable
Brand ReputationEstablished with a focus on qualityBold designs and recognition

Sound Quality

JBL: JBL is well known for its well-balanced sound, which features sharp highs, powerful bass, and clear mids. Many JBL speakers use cutting-edge audio technologies to provide music of the highest quality.

Skullcandy: For listeners who want more pronounced low frequencies, Skullcandy speakers frequently emphasize bass-heavy sound characteristics. However, there may be some sacrifice in the overall clarity and balance of the sound as a result.

Design and Build

JBL: JBL speakers often have strong construction and cutting-edge designs. They are appropriate for a variety of settings because they frequently have a professional aesthetic.

Skullcandy: Skullcandy speakers typically feature a younger, trendier appearance with distinctive colours and patterns. However, their construction may not necessarily be as durable as some JBL models.


JBL: JBL provides a variety of portable speakers made for use while travelling. Numerous variants are portable and light, making them ideal for excursions and outdoor activities.

Skullcandy: In a similar vein, Skullcandy provides portable solutions that are useful for outdoor use and travel. They frequently make their speakers small and portable.


JBL: JBL speakers often come with a wide range of connectivity choices, such as Bluetooth, AUX-in, and occasionally even integration with smart assistants. Some versions might additionally provide stereo sound through multiple speaker connections.

Skullcandy: Skullcandy speakers support Bluetooth and work with a variety of gadgets. However, compared to JBL speakers, the selection of features can be a little bit more constrained.

Battery Life

JBL: Across their entire product line, JBL speakers are renowned for having respectable battery life. Depending on the model and usage, the battery life varies, although it typically falls within the average range.

Skullcandy: Skullcandy speakers are competitively priced and offer extensive playback times on a single charge, meeting the needs of users.

Price Range

JBL: JBL speakers come in a variety of pricing points, from affordable options to high-end versions with cutting-edge capabilities. The higher price tags are frequently justified by the brand’s reputation for quality.

Skullcandy: Skullcandy speakers are frequently chosen by consumers on a tight budget because they are typically more reasonably priced. However, this can entail giving up certain premium benefits.

Brand Reputation

JBL: JBL has a lengthy history in the audio sector and is well-known for its premium goods and cutting-edge technologies.

Skullcandy: Skullcandy is renowned for its daring and cutting-edge designs, which frequently appeal to a younger audience. Although it is not as well-known as JBL, it has grown in popularity.

My Experience with Skullcandy

I’ve had the opportunity to test out various Skullcandy speakers this summer, with the Terrain XL being the largest model. Overall, I’ve been quite impressed with the quality, ease of use, and sound performance, especially considering the price point. However, in comparison to their smaller speaker offerings, the XL version has left me a tad disappointed. This is particularly noticeable since the market competition is fierce at this price range.

For me, personally, when I evaluate a speaker that’s priced around $80, my expectations differ significantly from what I’d anticipate for a speaker half its cost.

Similar to the rest of the series, the Skullcandy Terrain XL delivers unexpected volume considering its compact size.

The audio is clear, reasonably balanced, and satisfactory, though not exceptional.

While I do appreciate high-fidelity sound, I can make do with good sound quality in a portable setting. Yet, given the $80 price point, I do hold higher standards than just “adequate” sound.

In this price bracket, many competing speakers provide features like lossless Bluetooth (aptX, LDAC) and greater versatility, such as the ability to use USB drives, SD cards, or aux input. Moreover, several portable Bluetooth speakers within this range offer notably superior audio quality. Hence, while I find the Terrain XL to be a commendable speaker, I do expect more given its price.

The inclusion of an IPX7 rating on a speaker lacking a port cover is somewhat surprising to me. Although this is acceptable (though not ideal) in dry conditions, I’ve seen videos of speakers with an IPX7 rating being tossed into pools and continuing to function afterwards. However, I wouldn’t be as willing to subject a speaker with an exposed port to such conditions. While I’ve never actually thrown a speaker into a pool, I reside in a tropical rainforest environment.

Today, I was enjoying the outdoors when it began to rain. I promptly brought the speaker indoors, unsure if it would have endured if left outside. Given this, if I were heading to the beach, going hiking, or embarking on a camping trip where immediate shelter from rain wasn’t possible, the Terrain XL wouldn’t be my speaker of choice due to the unprotected USB port.


In conclusion, both JBL and Skullcandy offer a range of speakers with their own strengths and target audiences. JBL tends to focus on overall sound quality and versatile features, while Skullcandy often emphasizes aesthetics and bass-heavy sound profiles. Your choice between the two brands should depend on your preferences for sound quality, design, portability, and budget.

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Cian has 7 years of experience in the musical instruments industry. His press and research articles are published in many well-known journals. Cian is part of our product testing team so he knows the criteria for the best products. Here at sound keen cian covers how to set up instruments and selection criteria for new products.

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