Picking a good pair of headphones is always tricky. There are plenty of options out there and this makes it tough to find the one that fits your bill. After all, we can agree on one thing- Headphones are personal! We all have our preferences and there are a lot of things to factor in. This could be the kind of music you jam to, the amount of bass and treble your ears agree upon, the look and comfort of the gear, so on and so forth.
Well, if you belong to the bass-camp, then you might have come across Skullcandy’s Crusher series. Their newest arrival is the Crusher ANC, which brandishes an Adjustable Sensory Bass and Active Noise Cancellation. It is priced at Rs. 24,999 and that places it amidst the biggies. So, obviously, when Skullcandy sent us the review unit, we were on to test it to its limits. Its been over a couple of weeks now and as such, there are certain things you should know.
First things first, here are its specs:
Skullcandy Crusher ANC: Specifications
|Model||Skullcandy Crusher ANC|
|Impedance||32 Ohms ±15%|
|Sound Pressure Level||105 dB @ 1 kHz|
|Frequency Response||20Hz – 20KHz|
Now that specs are out of the way, here’s my experience with the new headphones. And hopefully, by the end of this review, you’ll have an answer for whether this is worth the price tag it carries. So, let’s get right into it.
Beginning with the box.
Skullcandy Crusher ANC: In-box Contents
I must say, Skullcandy has done an A+ job with the packaging as it oozes premium. The headphone along with the support accessories come in a hard-shell nylon casing. Here are the box contents:
- Headphones, duh!
- An aux cable
- A charging cord
- Instruction manual
- 2-year warranty papers
Skullcandy Crusher ANC Review: Design and Build
The headphones are out in two colors – Deep Red and Fearless Black. Ours is the red one, which leans more towards the burgundy hue.
Skullcandy has used a polycarbonate body for the most part as the headband is made of stainless steel. Even with the use of plastic, the headphone weighs around 308 grams. A bit on the heavier side. But that doesn’t weigh down on the comfort. One other thing to note is the absence of any kind of sweat or water resistance.
Speaking of which, the cushions on its swiveling ear cups are soft and comfy. But, there is no ventilation within them which could be unsettling during hot and humid weather. The color of the inner padding is also a bit tacky.
The earpads have buttons on the surface, which can be used for volume control, music navigation, invoking Google Assistant, and more. We wished the buttons had a bit more prominent tactile feedback. There is a physical slider for adjusting the bass. You can touch the outer earpad (left) for 5 seconds to trigger ANC and ambient awareness. Accidental touches shouldn’t have been a problem, but somehow it was. Perhaps a physical toggle would have worked better.
ANC uses anti-noise to cancel the external noise. It would suffice to say that I was satisfied using it indoors. You would notice the so-called white noise, only when you’re sitting in a very quiet environment. As for outdoors, the noise cancellation is no competition to the crowded streets and road traffic of Delhi. The ambient aware mode was also pretty pointless for the most part. I mean, it does the trick. But, I felt taking it off my ears was quicker than the 5 seconds stretch to the ambient awareness. If only there was an option to tweak this duration and the level of ambient noise permitted.
Overall, the design is sober and sturdy, and the Crusher ANC proved to be quite comfortable. But these headphones lack the oomph you expect outta premium pair of headgear.
ALSO READ: Realme Buds Wireless review
Skullcandy Crusher ANC Review: Sound Signature
Right off the bat, let’s say this – Skullcandy Crusher ANC stays true to its name. For the lack of a better word, let’s call it Skull-Crushing! It employs haptic sensory bass which amps the low-frequency sounds for a thunderous effect. Technically speaking, there are 40mm drivers that deliver a frequency range of 20Hz-20kHz. On the software front, it does support Qualcomm AptX HD codec.
If you’re a bass-head, then you will have a good headbanging experience. For the rest, the thump and boom could become headache-inducing – at maximum settings, that is.
Gladly, you can limit the bass output using the manual controls on the headphone. Lowering the slider brings highs and mids to the forefront, aiding a clear instrument separation. And when you drop the slider all the way down, it completely tamps down the bass.
Skullcandy has a dedicated app that lets you configure your personal sound profile. However, it’s too barebones. The software will guide you to attune the audio signature to your liking. C’mon a custom equalizer would have been appreciated!
Skullcandy Crusher ANC Review: Connectivity and Battery
Beyond music, these are good for phone calls too. No problems whatsoever. We also appreciate the inclusion of the Tile Bluetooth tracker, which lets you find the headphone if you lose it somewhere. Latency was also on point while streaming YouTube, Netflix, and Prime. Skullcandy claims an audio range of up to 30 meters (or about 100 feet).
It brings a USB-C on board, where you can dock the charging cable. Next to it lies a 3.5mm socket to connect it via a wire. However, you need to keep the headphone activated to use the sensory bass.
Skullcandy advertises a full day battery life on a single charge with Crusher, ANC and Bluetooth activated. There is an LED indicator denoting different levels of battery life. Our usage did for the most part line up to these claims. The wired option proves to be a boon when the battery dies on you. Lastly, you also get fast charging support, which is the icing on the cake. It touts up to three hours of listening time in 10 minutes of charging and a full refilling in around 2.5 hours.
Skullcandy Crusher ANC Review: Verdict
Vibrating subwoofers on the head – that’s what the Crusher ANC is in a gist. The sensory rumble would be euphonous to the bass-heads. If you love the effect of extra bass dimension while watching movies or playing games, these headphones offer a unique proposition. And if you aren’t much for the bass, there are several other popular options that you may consider instead. Similarly, the Active Noise Cancellation is also a great feature to have and it works reasonably well on the Crusher ANC.
The sound quality is well balanced when the sensory bass is turned off, and we could tune it to our liking with sensory bass turned to around 30 percent intensity. So overall, Crusher ANC is surely a premium headset – both acoustically and cost-wise, but you will be buying it for the Sensory Bass.
Skullcandy Crusher ANC is priced at Rs. 24,999 and is available for purchase from the company’s official website and Amazon India. At this price, would you blame me for desiring a feature-rich app and a flashier design?