Skullcandy is a popular company within the audio accessory market, selling headphones and speakers as well as other audio-centric products.
Lots of people may remember Skullcandy’s original branding was quite bold and colorful, back in 2008 Fortune magazine branded their headphones as “the world’s coolest earbuds”.
However, they have recently re-emerged in this market with new sleeker and subtle designs. And while they used to be marketed towards the outdoors sports market for skateboarders and snowboarders, etc, they now have more of an audiophile market that competes with the likes of JBL and Shure. This is likely due to the company moving hands in 2016 for around $196m, which has created more money to create new products.
Skullcandy generally makes mid-range audio products that certainly have some cool designs and color choices, but are a challenger company that seeks to create alternatives to other premium brands, so don’t expect studio quality audio.
We have created a guide to some of our favorite Skullcandy products that are perfect for any audiophile, read on to find out more.
Skullcandy’s Crusher is a riff on their Hesh model. These over ear headphones have a wireless bluetooth connection that can connect to your phone. This is pretty common on over ear headphones these days, as the technology has become commonplace in this market.
For those involved in outdoor sports, this can be pretty useful, but for the lay audiophile, this can be a bit of a novelty.
Although, in addition to their noise cancelling features, these headphones are ideal for a commuter who takes the subway everyday. Simply slap these on and enter your own world – they will enable you to dip, dodge, and dive from all the commuters you want.
These also have a foldable design, like the Hesh, that is useful for travel and mobility but can potentially be the cause of the bad build design.
Their main focus, in terms of sound engineering, seems to be on having a resounding bass quality.
The main engineering feature here is what is called ‘haptic bass technology’. Simply, this is a vibrating mechanism that allows a sort of four dimensional quality to the bass on the headphones. You literally feel the bass because the headphones will vibrate mildly.
While this may make you actually feel the bass, by no means does this increase the actual sound quality of the bass. Minus this feature, the sound quality is pretty comparable to other headphones in this market – in other words, they aren’t studio quality. You can adjust this haptic technology with a slider on the headphone.
- Super long battery life that charges quickly
- Noise cancelling features
- Haptic bass provides a 4D feel.
- Haptic bass is potentially gimmicky
- Not studio quality audio, but still good for the market
- Practical and easy to use buttons and sliders
Skullcandy’s Indy Evo is their answer to Apple’s AirPods. Most headphone companies have had their go at this popular piece of gear and Skullcandy have some interesting options.
Like most of Skullcandy’s wireless headphones, the Indy Evo has a pretty long battery life at 30 hours, and will also charge them up in no time.
One useful feature is the 3 equalizer presets they have for music, podcast, or movie. This can be great for those using these headphones on the go, and will solve certain pesky audio issues with switching between these 3 modes of audio.
Skullcandy also has Tile technology in these headphones, which is an app you can download that will help locate your headphones if lost and can track battery life, etc. This is another useful feature that solves issues customers have with non-Apple wireless headphones.
If you want exciting color and design, Skullcandy has you with some cool and bold looks to rival the monochrome Apple products. Sound quality isn’t awful for this product, we wouldn’t recommend using them in a studio, but do the job for casual daily use.
Many users report that the mic quality leaves much to be desired as it doesn’t pick up your voice very well. There are also some customer reports about bad fit, a potentially unergonomic design causes the headphones to fall out a lot.
- 3 EQ presets for music, podcasts, and movies
- Lots of colorful designs to choose from
- Practical app linking to locate lost headphones and monitor battery life
- Great battery life and recharging speed
- Reports of bad microphone quality
- Reports of unergonomic fit
- Singularity of each headphone can cause connectivity issues
These are some of Skullcandy’s better reviewed wireless headphones that have been designed for active use while exercising.
While they are certainly wireless, they have a joining cable between the two earphones that rests on your neck. This is a common design for active wireless earphones, it prevents you losing one if they fall out, and also allows you to take one out and leave the other one in.
Although, each earphone is magnetic to the other, which means they can attach around your neck so that you won’t lose them or fiddle with a box if you are on the go.
These headphones come with interchangeable earbuds for comfort and also an ergonomic ear hook that prevents them falling out too easily. Water resistance and the link with the Tile app also helps make these headphones a practical buy.
While there are other models within the ‘Method’ range, these particular models focus on ANC which is Ambient Noise Cancellation. This type of noise cancellation actually ‘listens’ to audio on the outside of the headphones and inverts the soundwaves into your ears.
Essentially, the technology takes ambient noise from the outside and quiets it in your ear; if the ambient noise from outside is +2, this ANC technology is -2 so that in your ears you only get 0.
This ANC is for everyday usage, so don’t fear that the ANC will be so powerful that it becomes dangerous to use while running.
If you want some running headphones that are ergonomic, have long battery life, and have audio features that work and are practical for running, these aren’t a bad choice.
- ANC technology that works
- Ergonomic design means they won’t fall out
- Joining cable, magnetic earphones, and Tile app link means you won’t lose them easily
- Quick battery recharge
- Battery life is less than others on the market
The Hesh 3 is Skullcandy’s most recent riff on their most popular over-ear headphones. In comparison to the Crusher we reviewed before, the Hesh is more of an all-rounder for the wireless headphone customer.
Skullcandy again is providing a product to challenge the premium brands. They have a slightly more balanced sound quality than the Crusher, a lighter and potentially more comfortable design, but have less battery life.
Reports from customers suggest the build quality is worse for the Hesh 3, but both the Hesh and the Crusher have the same foldable design, which will be what causes ‘bad build quality’.
The main difference between the two is that the Crusher has the Haptic bass technology, whereas ironically, the sound is better on the Hesh 3, but is less customizable without the bass slider we see on the Crusher. The Crusher has almost double the battery life of the Hesh 3, though, which is considerable.
- Good reported sound quality in comparison to other Skullcandy over-ear headphones.
- Collapsible design
- Battery life is less than other Skullcandy over-ear headphones
- Reported bad build quality
These wireless headphones, or earbuds should we say, seem marketed towards ease of use and being unnoticeable.
These aren’t really engineered for active use (Skullcandy has headphones for that), but they seem targeted at casual music listening for those users who don’t want a bulky unit around their head. For this purpose, they seem to be okay.
Noise cancelling fit means you can focus on the music, but aren’t effective in loud environments by any means. Customers report that they fit well, but as the weight seems to be focussed in the ‘bud’ part, they could easily fall out when running.
These headphones come with their own charging case, which can enable up to 14 hours of charge. The great thing about the charging case is that they will charge when they are docked, so the battery life has some mileage on it.
One drawback is that many customers report sound issues, not with equalization, but rather with volume. If you want AirPods, but aren’t into their bulky design and want something more low key that you can dance around your kitchen with and wear on the subway, these aren’t a bad buy for their pricing.
- Small and subtle design
- Noise cancelling fit
- Decent battery life
- Charging case
- Fit isn’t ideal for active usage
- Volume has been reported as an issue