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Industry Audio, action sports
Founded 2003
Founder Rick Alden
Headquarters Park City, Utah
Products Headphones
Audio equipment, audio accessories

Skullcandy is a Park City, Utah-based company that markets[1] headphones, earphones, hands free devices, audio backpacks, MP3 players, and other products.[2] The company was founded in 2003.[3]

Skullcandy's products are targeted at the outdoor action sports demographic (snowboarders, skateboarders, etc.) and general consumer market.[4] Skullcandy products are sold through retailers, specialty outlets, and their online store.

Company history[edit]

Skullcandy's Park City headquarters features a mini ramp for employees
Skullcandy Hesh 2 Wireless

Skullcandy was founded by Rick Alden in 2003. The first Skullcandy product, the Skullcandy Portable Link, was introduced at the 2003 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada. The LINK system combined headphones with hands-free cellular technology, allowing users to both listen to music from a portable audio device, while making and receiving calls through their cell phone. In 2003, Alden sold the first products to Milo Snow & Skate, an action sports shop in Utah. The Skullcandy logo was designed by Jef Ingram.

Alden was named one of vSpring Capital's "Top 100 Venture Entrepreneurs" of 2008,[5] and holds a patent for technology that integrates mobile phones and music players, LINK technology.[6]

In December 2008 the company was named "the world's coolest ear bud," by Fortune magazine. In addition, the company received local standing in 2008, placing in the Utah Business Fast 50, featuring the top 50 best and most innovative companies throughout the state.[7] The company has quickly jumped to its place as the third most-sold headphone in the U.S. marketplace.[8] In 2005 the company had $1.3 million in annual sales, while its 2009 ranking puts it in place to hit the $100 million mark. As quoted by the Salt Lake Tribune, "We're gunning for No. 1," said Andrus, Skullcandy's President.

In April 2011, Skullcandy purchased fellow headphones manufacturer Astro Studios (Astro Gaming). The reason for doing so was to exchange information for the planned second generation of Skullcandy gaming headsets.

On January 28 2011, Skullcandy filed for initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission.[9] This announcement was met with some criticism from financial press.[10][11]



Known for its relationships with various action sports industries, Skullcandy currently sponsors professional athletes in snowboarding, skiing, skateboarding, wakeboarding, motocross, and the biking communities. Working with athletes such as Terje Hakonsen, Louie Vito, Clay Marzo, Balaram Stack, Mark Frank Montoya, Kevin Durant, and Derrick Rose has spawned some of Skullcandy's signature action sports pieces including the Terje Nine and MFM Pro. They have also released a wide range of NBA color themes, and are sponsoring several NBA teams. In 2012 supermodel Kate Upton was recruited to help promote their various sports lines, and has been largely successful with promoting the company.[12]

American football[edit]


Bicycle motocross[edit]

  • Canada Drew Bezanson
  • England Harry Main
  • ItalyUnited StatesAlessandro Barbero
  • United States Mike Clark
  • United States Rob Wise





  • Finland Eero Ettala
  • Japan Kazu Kokubo
  • Norway Marcus Kleveland
  • United States Bode Merrill
  • United States Dan Brisse
  • United States Danny Kass
  • United States Zak Hale
  • Canada Joel Dalacker



Rick Alden, CEO and founder of Skullcandy, making the largest one-time donation to Boarding for Breast Cancer.

Skullcandy is involved in supporting Boarding for Breast Cancer (B4BC), a nonprofit, youth-focused education, awareness and fundraising foundation designed to increase awareness about breast cancer, the importance of early detection and the value of an active lifestyle. Skullcandy announced their 2007 donation of $36,723.80 to Boarding for Breast Cancer at the 2008 SnowSports Industries America (SIA) Snow Show, making their contribution the largest one-time donation the organization has yet to receive. A B4BC supporter since 2006, Skullcandy donates 5% of all pink products sold to support the organization’s efforts.[citation needed]

Promotions with artists[edit]

Skullcandy features artists that endorse their products with special designs. They worked in partnership with Jay-Z to design Roc Nation Aviator headphones, advertised mainly by UK singer Rita Ora and also produced two designs of Skullcrushers featuring rapper Snoop Dogg themed designs.

Skullcandy collaborated with Metallica in conjunction with the band's ninth album release, Death Magnetic, released two variants of limited edition themed headphones (hesh and low rider model) and a card with an access code to legally download the album from a website developed by the band's label, Warner Brothers.



Skullcandy has a wide range of headphones. They come in a wide range of colors, graphics, and designs from over-ear headphones to on-ear headphones such as the Mix master (over-ear), the Aviator (over-ear), and the Titans (in-ear). The company also has several docks for iPhones, iPads, and iPods (Pipe and Vandal). In 2012 Skullcandy unveiled their first gaming headset in several years, entitled SLYR. The initial launch was met with mixed reviews, and several months later they successfully launched a higher priced headset titled PLYR 2. The company's most recent releases are the $179.99 Dolby Surround Sound PLYR 1 headset, and the sub-woofer utilizing $99 Crushers. The former of which was highly publicized through promotions with many athletes and artists, who appeared in roughly 30 reaction videos when subjected to the headphone's "Sensation 55" subwoofer-like drivers.

Product Line[edit]

Ink'd 2[edit]

Claimed as the "#1 selling bud in America", SkullCandy's entry level product is also their #1 selling product. Available in most retailers and in a wide assortment of colors, the ear buds feature 11mm drivers, a flat cord, and an inline Mic 1.

Smokin Bud[edit]

The Smokin' Buds are a mid grade model of ear buds from SkullCandy featuring a 9mm drivers and a Mic 1. The current model, Smokin' Buds 2, feature a flat tangle free cord. Like most other entry level products from SkullCandy, the Smokin' Buds 2 feature a wide assortment of color schemes. A wireless version of Smokin' Buds 2 is also available.

Hesh 2[edit]

Hesh 2 is SkullCandy's flagship over-ear headphones. Like many other SkullCandy products, Hesh 2 is available in a large assortment of colors. A wireless version of Hesh 2 is also available.


  1. ^ Gardiner, Bryan (2010-08-24). "The Secret Scam of Cheap Earbuds". Gizmodo. Retrieved 2015-08-27. 
  2. ^ Johannes, Amy (2008-02-20). "Rymax Marketing Partners with Skullcandy for Incentive Products". Promo Magazine. Retrieved 2008-04-05. 
  3. ^ "Investor Relations". Skullcandy. Retrieved 2015-08-27. 
  4. ^ "Skullcandy adds Scot Carlson as vice president of finance". 2008-04-01. Retrieved 2008-04-05. 
  5. ^ Marketwire (2008-03-16). "vSpring Capital Releases Its List of the 2008 Top 100 Venture Entrepreneurs". SYS-CON Publications. Retrieved 2008-04-06. 
  6. ^ Cannon, Karl R. (2007-04-03). "20 patents include core brace". Deseret News Publishing Company. Retrieved 2008-04-06. [dead link]
  7. ^ Copeland, Michael (2008-12-30). "The world's coolest ear buds". CNN. Retrieved 2010-05-23. 
  8. ^ "Skullcandy Feeds Your Head". Salt Lake Tribune. 2008-04-20. Retrieved 2009-04-20. 
  9. ^ "Form S1 for Skullcandy, Inc.". 2011-01-28. Retrieved 2011-02-15. 
  10. ^ Berman, Dennis (2011-02-01). "Skullcandy IPO? Check Your Head". Retrieved 2011-02-15. 
  11. ^ "The Game: Skullcandy IPO is a Headscratcher". The Wall Street Journal. 2011-02-01. 
  12. ^ Peterson, Tim. "Kevin Durant Takes Kate Upton to Work in Skullcandy Ad". Adweek. Retrieved 14 January 2013. 

External links[edit]