Headphone brands like Beats Audio and Bang & Olufsen may be popular today in terms of style, but none of them attracts your attention as a pair of Skullcandy headphones. Not only the striking colors and the different appearance; Skullcandy is also known for his love that he is not shy about excessive bass. Heavy bass isn't necessarily for everyone, but you'll find plenty of people who want it with a pair of headphones.
Enter the ANC Skullcandy Crusher. As an upgraded version of the Skullcandy Crusher headphones, this pair of headphones has a well-known bass slider that lets you set exactly how many jacks you want, as well as a great addition – active noise cancellation. Price in Rs. 27,999, Skullcandy Crusher ANC against two great weapons in this segment, the Sony WH-1000XM3 and Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700. Does the ANC Crusher have what it takes to challenge today's champions? Find out in our review.
Skullcandy Crusher ANC design and specifications
Skullcandy has a distinctive aesthetic that tends to focus on the color and logo of the different faces of the skull, not cutting edge designs or build quality. ANC Crusher clings to this and closely resembles Crusher's wireless headphones. There are several key differences that distinguish the two, such as the small bump on the earpiece and the noise-canceling microphone on the new model.
Although there is nothing wrong with how these headphones look, it is not exactly what you expect from a premium headphone. In our opinion this seems quite cheap and ordinary compared to options like Sony WH-1000XM3 and Jabra Elite 85h. We also don't particularly like the maroon color of our review unit, but there are other color options, black and black / brown, which in our opinion seem a little more sophisticated.
The headset is large and comfortable. It really covers our ears when we wear it, offering decent passive noise isolation and minimal sound loss even at high volumes. We had no trouble wearing headphones for hours, thanks to the thick ear cushions around the ear muffs and under the headband. The headphones are folded for easy storage and are equipped with a carrying case, a listening cable and a USB Type-C cable.
The Skullcandy Crusher ANC right earbud has volume and playback controls in the form of physical buttons, as well as a USB Type-C port for charging and a 3.5mm plug to connect the audio cable to listen to the cable. Double-pressing the play button activates a voice assistant on a paired smartphone.
On the left earcup is the power button (which also controls two-touch noise cancellation) and the sensory bass slider. This allows you to adjust the intensity of the bass sound and only works when the headphones are on, regardless of whether you use Bluetooth or an audio cable to connect to the source device. Finally, the outside of the left earcup has a touch sensor that controls the surrounding mode. This disables noise cancellation and allows sound from external filters to enter the headphones.
Although the ambient mode feature allows some outside noise to enter, we don't like how easy it is to accidentally activate it. Often times, when we use the bass slider or adjust noise cancellation, our hands accidentally rest on the left earlobe and activate the ambient mode, which means that we must be very careful when using the controls.
ANC Skullcandy Crusher headphones use Bluetooth 5 for connectivity.It has dynamic 40mm drivers on each side and a 20-20,000Hz frequency response range. There are a couple of additional drivers that are responsible for the powerful bass. Although these are not subwoofers, they work in much the same way as great ride and driver flexibility.
This headset is compatible with the Qualcomm aptX HD Bluetooth codec. The sound quality is naturally better when using this, and it is still decent when using AAC. With the basic SBC codec, there is little jolt and loss of detail across the entire frequency range.
Skullcandy has an app (available for iOS and Android) that displays the correct battery level in the headphones and allows you to create various custom sound profiles for different users. Sounds are adjusted based on what the app thinks is best for you based on a short test, and this has a positive impact on us. ANC Crusher feels much more detailed to us after creating a sound profile.
The Skullcandy Crusher ANC promises to last up to 24 hours of battery life, but in real conditions we find it much lower. With noise cancellation turned on and the slider set to a reasonable level, we can hear 17 hours, which is not bad, but not very good considering Rs. 27,999 price tags. Skullcandy also claims that charging 10 minutes will give you three hours of listening time. The full charge took about three hours when we connected to the laptop.
Skullcandy Crusher ANC Performance
When it comes to sound quality and performance, ANC Skullcandy Crusher is unique and unlike any other in this price range, thanks to its hardware and software. An additional element of 'sensory' bass gives the headphones a completely different sound that might be considered blasphemous for Puritans and audiophiles, but makes relaxing listening that much more enjoyable.
We used OnePlus 7T Pro (Review) with Skullcandy Crusher ANC for most of these reviews, relying on the Qualcomm aptX HD Bluetooth codec. While a very strong bass is very entertaining, it does cause a bit of fatigue for the listener, and sometimes we need to lower the bass slider to give it a break.
Sensory bass is the biggest party hack we've seen on a pair of Bluetooth headsets lately, and it's very effective. Shifting musical tastes and user preferences to strong low-end responses in headphones makes the promise of strong bass appealing, and Skullcandy Crusher ANC delivers on this promise.
With a slider of just 25 percent, the ANC Crusher offers what is easily the weakest, most intense bass we've ever heard from a pair of headphones. Changing it slowly makes the low-end response more aggressive, tight and detailed, so we can really feel the headphones vibrating in our heads. The bass controller in the headphone is mounted with a good amount of flexibility, allowing the same type of travel you would expect from a decent subwoofer.
Listening to the 9000-mile high-resolution version of the Pendulum with a slider bar of about 50 percent is an unbeatable experience. The combination of aptX HD with the FLAC file format is made for aggressive bass that maintains detail and tone precision, making this already powerful drum and bass track what you expect to hear if you see the Pendulum in concert.
When the bass is set too high, it exceeds all frequency ranges, despite the dual driver setting. Fortunately, you have the option to decline it, and we found a level 20 Ideal Percentage. This allows the main driver's response to be heard clearly, while adding a bit of reverb and low-class thumps. Listening to Gotye Art at this level is made for clean, detailed and interesting sounds.
Moving on to Dirty Sexy Money by David Guetta, with the bass slider set to zero, we can hear the details and shine a decent amount. The low ends are a bit 'turbocharged' even at this level, but the highest ends remain with themselves. The midrange is significantly suppressed due to the V-shaped sonic signature and sensory bass unit, but it's not too bad and doesn't affect our ability to hear voices clearly. While sensory bass primarily characterizes sound, headphones stop even with this feature rejected.
Price in Rs. 27,999, Skullcandy Crusher ANC fights off some of the best headphones in space, including the Sony WH-1000XM3 and Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700, both known for their noise-canceling capabilities. ANC Crusher doesn't live up to those expectations when it comes to noise cancellation, it just doesn't cut as much noise as it should.
Although it cuts some of the noise it should be, like the hum of the air conditioner and the roar of the cruise ship's engine, it is not enough to cut it as cleanly as competitors do. Usually we hear a ruckus with loud cancellations, which are not completely covered by music. Basically, active noise cancellation only makes a small difference in listening ability, without offering the supposed silence.
We also tested these headphones on voice and video calls, and although the sound was quite good on both ends, we found that the caller's voice was too soft.
The Skullcandy Crusher ANC is an impressive headphone offering. Although we weren't particularly impressed by the style, some controls, and active noise cancellation, ANC Crusher is more than just swapping everything with a truly unique sound approach. This pair of headphones takes the idea of strong bass to a whole new level, offering clean sound combined with strong, subtle aggression.
What makes it so unique is that everything is under your control – you have to decide whether you want too much bass, enough or not. However, if all of this is worth Rs 27,999 is the big question here, and for the most part, we must say no.
Options like the Jabra Elite 85h, Sony WH-1000XM3, and Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 are better value for money, offering better style and superior noise cancellation. These are better options in the premium segment, in our opinion, and will offer a better overall experience.
On the other hand, if you are looking for the upbeat type of bass Skullcandy has to offer, it may be worth a try Skullcandy Crush Wireless. The price is only around Rs. 9,000, these headphones offer similar sound quality and specifications, but have no active noise cancellation.
In conclusion, although we really enjoyed our time with the ANC Skullcandy Crusher, we 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 insulation
- Underneath it can be destroyed earthly
- AptX HD codec support
- Clean sound and detail
- Ordinary appearance
- Ambient mode is easily accidentally activated
- Unpleasant active noise cancellation
Rating (out of 5)
- Design / comfort: 3.5
- Audio quality: 4
- Battery life: 3.5
- Value for money: 2.5
- Overall: 3.5
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