Headphone brands like Beats Audio and Bang & Olufsen may be popular these days when it comes to styling, but nothing is as eye-catching as a skull candy headphone. It's not just their striking colors and clear looks. Skullcandy is also known for his fearless love of excessive bass. Strong bass isn't necessarily for everyone, but there is a significant number of people in headphones who want just that.
Enter the Skullcandy Crusher ANC. These headphones are an expanded version of the Skullcandy Crusher headphones and have the well-known bass control, which allows you to set exactly how much impact you want, as well as a great addition – active noise cancellation. Priced at Rs. 27,999, the Skullcandy Crusher ANC competes against the two big guns in this segment, the Sony WH-1000XM3 and the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700. Does the Crusher ANC have what it takes to challenge the current champions? Find out in our test.
Design and technical data of the Skullcandy Crusher ANC
Skullcandy has a typical aesthetic that focuses more on colors and the distinctive skull face logo than on angular design or build quality. The Crusher ANC sticks to it and looks quite similar to the wireless Crusher headphones. There are some key differences that distinguish the two, such as the slight bulging of the ear cups and the noise reduction microphones of the new model.
While there's nothing wrong with how this pair of headphones looks, it's not exactly what you'd expect from a premium headset. Compared to options like the Sony WH-1000XM3 and the Jabra Elite 85h, it looks a bit cheap and ordinary in our opinion. We didn't particularly like the maroon color of our review sample, but there are other color options – black and black / brown – that we think look a little more sophisticated.
The headset is large and comfortable. It completely covered our ears when we put it on, and offered decent passive noise isolation and minimal sound loss, even at high volumes. Thanks to the thick padding around the ear cups and at the bottom of the headband, we had no problems wearing the headphones for hours. The headphones can be folded in for easy storage and come with a custom-fit carrying case, a cable for wired listening and a USB cable of type C.
The right ear cup of the Skullcandy Crusher ANC headphones has volume controls and playback controls in the form of physical buttons, as well as a USB-C port for charging and a 3.5 mm jack for connecting the audio cable for wired listening. Pressing the play button twice triggers the voice assistant on a paired smartphone.
The on / off switch (which also controls the noise suppression by pressing twice) and the sensor bass control are located on the left auricle. This way you can adjust how powerful the bass sounds. This only works when the headphones are turned on, regardless of whether you are using Bluetooth or the audio cable to connect to a source device. Finally, the outer part of the left auricle has a touch sensor that controls the ambient mode. This deactivates the noise suppression and directs the sound from the external filter into the headphones.
The ambient mode feature allowed some outside noise, but we didn't like how easy it was to accidentally trigger it. While we were using the bass control or adjusting noise cancellation, our hands often accidentally rested on the left ear cup and triggered the ambient mode. Therefore, we had to be particularly careful when using the controls.
The Skullcandy Crusher ANC headset uses Bluetooth 5 for the connection. It has a dynamic 40 mm driver on each side and a frequency range from 20 to 20,000 Hz. There is an additional pair of drivers that are responsible for the powerful bass. Although these subwoofers are not real subwoofers, they function almost the same and offer a high degree of driver friendliness and flexibility.
The headset supports the Qualcomm aptX HD Bluetooth codec. The sound quality was of course best with this setting and still decent when using AAC. With the basic SBC codec, there was some shrillness and loss of detail in the entire frequency range.
Skullcandy has an app (available for iOS and Android) that shows the exact battery level of the headphones and allows you to create multiple personalized sound profiles for different users. The sound will be adjusted based on what the app deems suitable for you based on a short test. This has had a positive effect for us. The crusher ANC felt much more detailed to us after creating a sound profile.
The Skullcandy Crusher ANC promises a battery life of up to 24 hours. However, it is significantly lower under real conditions. With the noise canceling turned on and the bass control set to a reasonable level, we could hear about 17 hours, which is not bad, but not very good considering the Rs. 27,999 price tag. Skullcandy also claims that you can listen for three hours after 10 minutes of charging. A full charge took about three hours when connected to a laptop.
Skullcandy Crusher ANC performance
In terms of sound quality and performance, the Skullcandy Crusher ANC is unique and, thanks to its hardware and software, differs from all others in this price range. The additional element of the "sensory" bass gives the headphones a completely different sound that may seem blasphemous to purists and audiophiles, but casual listening is much more fun.
We used a OnePlus 7T Pro (test) with the Skullcandy Crusher ANC for a large part of this test and used the Qualcomm aptX HD Bluetooth codec. The incredibly powerful bass was very entertaining, but it made the listeners tired and we occasionally had to turn down the bass control to give ourselves a break.
Sensory bass is undoubtedly the biggest party trick we've seen on Bluetooth headphones lately, and it's very effective. By changing the taste of music and the user preference for strong bass reproduction in headphones, the promise of a powerful bass becomes tempting and the skull candy crusher ANC keeps this promise.
With a slider of just 25 percent, the Crusher ANC delivers the most punchy and intense bass we've heard from headphones. The slow cranking up made for an increasingly aggressive, yet tight and detailed low-end response, so we could literally feel the headphones trembling on our heads. The bass drivers of the headset are mounted with a certain amount of flexibility, which enables the same kind of excursion that you would expect from a decent subwoofer.
To hear a high-resolution version of 9,000 miles from Pendulum with the bass control at around 50 percent was an incomparable experience. The combination of aptX HD with the FLAC file format ensured aggressive basses that retained detail and tonal accuracy, making this already powerful drum and bass track what you'd expect if you saw Pendulum live in concert ,
If the bass is set too high, the rest of the frequency range will be overloaded despite the setting with two drivers. Fortunately, you have the option to decrease the value, and we found the 20 percent value to be ideal. This allowed the primary drivers to hear the reactions clearly, while only adding a little bit of low-end reverb and punch. Listening to Gotyes State Of The Art at this level ensured a clean, detailed, and responsive sound.
When we moved over to David Guetta's Dirty Sexy Money and set the bass control to zero, we were able to hear a decent amount of detail and sparkle the sound. The low end is a bit "turbo charged" at this level, but the highs keep parallel. The mids are audibly suppressed by the V-shaped sound signature and the drive of the sensory bass, but this is not so bad and does not affect our ability to hear the vocals clearly. While the sensory bass largely characterizes the sound, the headphones can still keep up with this function.
Priced at Rs. At 27,999, the Skullcandy Crusher ANC is faced with some of the best headphones in the world, including the Sony WH-1000XM3 and the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700, both of which are known for their noise cancellation features. The Crusher ANC doesn't quite live up to these noise cancellation expectations – it just doesn't cut as much noise as it should.
While it does reduce some of the noises it is said to cause, such as B. the buzz of an air conditioner and the engine noise of a cruise plane, but does not cut as clean as the competition. We usually heard a hissing sound with the noise canceling turned on, which was not completely masked by the music. Essentially, active noise cancellation made little difference in audibility without providing the desired silence.
We also tested these headphones on voice and video calls, and although the sound was decent on both ends, we found the callers' voices a little too quiet.
The Skullcandy Crusher ANC is an impressive range of headphones. Although we weren't particularly impressed by the styling, some controls, and active noise cancellation, the Crusher ANC more than made up for all of this with its completely unique approach to sound. These headphones set new standards for strong bass and offer a clear sound in combination with a refined yet powerful aggression.
What makes this so unique is that you have everything under control – you can decide whether you want too much, just enough or no bass at all. The big question here is whether all of this is worth 27,999 rupees, and for the most part we have to say that it is not.
Options such as the Jabra Elite 85h, the Sony WH-1000XM3 and the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 offer much better value for money, a better design and excellent noise reduction. In our view, these are all better decisions in the premium segment and would offer a better overall experience.
If you're looking for the earth-shattering bass that Skullcandy has to offer, try the Skullcandy Crush Wireless. Priced at around Rs. 9,000, these headphones offer similar sound quality and specifications, but have no active noise cancellation.
Conclusion: Although we really enjoyed our time with the Skullcandy Crusher ANC, we simply cannot recommend it at this price, especially since some of the best options in the same category are now available for less than Rs. 28,000.
Price: Rs. 27,999
- Comfortable, good passive noise isolation
- Earth-shattering adjustable bass
- aptX HD codec support
- Clean, detailed sound
- Ordinary appearance
- Environment mode can easily be activated accidentally
- Unterhelming active noise cancellation
Reviews (of 5)
- Design / comfort: 3.5
- Audio quality: 4
- Battery life: 3.5
- Value for money: 2.5
- Overall: 3.5