Skullcandy isn’t a stranger to budget-oriented headphones. While they aren’t the best headphones on the market, they’re are still a fantastic option for value seekers. The headsets offer a lot of features under the hood for a great price.
Around $660 are two of Skullcandy’s most popular pairs. The Skullcandy Crusher Headphones with Built-in Amplifier and Mic, Black and the Skullcandy Hesh 2 Bluetooth Wireless Headphones with Mic, Camo both are inexpensive pairs of cans that offer a lot for the money.
The Hesh 2 Wireless’ do add Bluetooth. However, the solid performance of the Crushers in place of extraneous connectivity proves to provide a better overall experience.
|Skullcandy Crusher Headphones with Built-in Amplifier and Mic, Black||Skullcandy Hesh 2 Bluetooth Wireless Headphones with Mic, Camo|
|Weight||0.51 lb||1.04 lbs|
|Bass Extension Slider||Yes||No|
|Price||$99 Skullcandy Crusher Headphones with Built-in Amplifier and Mic, Black||$99 Skullcandy Hesh 2 Bluetooth Wireless Headphones with Mic, Camo|
The Skullcandy Crusher Headphones with Built-in Amplifier and Mic, Black don’t have as many features as the Heshs on paper. The obvious lack of wireless functionality makes them appear subpar at the same price point. However, in use, the Crushers prove to be a solid pair of headphones that, while lacking in wireless functionality, are built fantastic, matching the quality of the audio.
The main focus of the Crushers is the audio, and it shows. Despite being only $99 Skullcandy Crusher Headphones with Built-in Amplifier and Mic, Black, Skullcandy has managed to create a rich experience that pumps out quality audio on par with more expensive pairs.
The main reason for this is Skullcandy’s own Sensation 55 driver. This patent-pending driver extends the bass well into the subs, enhancing frequencies with subharmonic excitement.
The low-end is full, sometimes to a fault. The trend in most mainstream audio devices is loads of bass. However, the Crushers just seem to be a bit too much at times, occasionally overpowering the rest of
Thankfully, this can be fixed. A slider placed on the side of the earcup can be used to tune the bass response.This on the fly EQ is a fantastic feature, and, after a little tweaking, I easily found a sound I liked.
The main driver is Skullcandy’s REX40 driver. This 40mm driver is smooth, producing a frequency response that doesn’t sound thin or fake. The minimal distortion makes the driver feel like it’s worth much more than the asking price of only $99 Skullcandy Crusher Headphones with Built-in Amplifier and Mic, Black.
The midrange is defined, although slightly less present. Unsurprisingly, the headphones maintain a scooped characteristic.The midrange is there, and punches through. Don’t be surprised if they don’t sounds warm, though.
Still, the high end lacks. A little too much information up here can cause the headphones to lose clarity at extreme volumes. This is where the Crushers fall apart when compared to more expensive headphones. Despite that, at $99 Skullcandy Crusher Headphones with Built-in Amplifier and Mic, Black, the REX40 driver is still impressive.
All of this is turned up with the inclusion of a built-in class D amplifier. The amp (while not all that high quality) is nice to see in such an inexpensive pair of headphones. It helps contribute to an overall “beefy” sound that the Crushers put out.
Construction and Comfort
The construction of the Skullcandy Crushers is consistent with the price point. While certainly not bad, the plastic construction makes the headphones lightweight. They still feel like an inexpensive pair of headphones, not like a high end device. This has an advantage and a disadvantage.
The disadvantage is the lack of any metal reinforcement. The constriction is 100% plastic. The lack of extra rigidity is a shame when put up against pairs that are only slightly more expensive.
The advantage is that the Crushers are easy to take around. The articulating earcups and foldable design make them easy to pack up and go, protecting the subpar construction. The inclusion of a detachable cable as well ensures that these headphones will still connect after a few trips.
Thankfully, they still feel good. The earcups are comfortable, hugging around your ear. While the headphones may not be the best constructed, they do feel nice on the head.
The lightweight design, while feeling cheap in the hands, is a godsend when on your head. The Crushers float, feeling like music is just blasting into your ears.
The Skullcandy Crushers Overall
Overall, the Crushers lack in quite a few areas, but they hit it where in counts. The audio performance at only $99 Skullcandy Crusher Headphones with Built-in Amplifier and Mic, Black is exceptional, delivering smooth response across the frequency spectrum and loads of low end for those who crave it.
The combination of REX40 main driver and the Sensation 55 bass extension driver create a special experience at this price point. This performance overshadows the lack of wireless functionality of
However, the all plastic build holds the Crushers back. While they feel fantastic on your head, they don’t feel the best in your hand. A collapsible design makes them easy to transport, but I’m not confident that they will hold up for too long like this.
Skullcandy Hesh 2 Wireless
The Skullcandy Hesh 2 Bluetooth Wireless Headphones with Mic, Camo’ from Skullcandy tell a much different story than the Crushers. The headphones gain some buffs with wireless functionality via Bluetooth, but loses out on some key features that make the Crushers such a great performer.
The sound quality of the Hesh 2 Wireless’ carries over from the standard Hesh 2s. While this sound isn’t bad, it doesn’t please nearly as much as the sound does on the Crushers.
These headphones ditch the dual driver design in favor of a single, large driver. Powering the headphones is a 50mm driver in each ear cup. It, unfortunately, feels like a compromise when compared to
If those drivers were black and white, the single 50mm driver in this pair of cans would be grey. While everything is there, the definition in each area of the frequency spectrum severely suffers. A single range is never fully articulated.
What results is a mushy audio experience. That’s not overall bad, but it’s less comparable to a set of headphones and more comparable to a set of cheap earbuds.
However, it should be noted, that the 50mm driver does crank out a considerable amount of low-end. Despite this, the lack of slider found on the Crushers means that this extension sometimes feels overpowered, not exactly meshing with the rest of the frequency spectrum.
But, you have to pay for convenience. The Hesh 2 Wireless’ hallmark feature is Bluetooth. It works as expected, with relatively painless pairing and, of course, wireless functionality.
Skullcandy took it a step further though, separating the Hesh 2 Wireless’ from the wired counterpart. On the bottom of the ear cup are controls that would normally be found on a wire for control of volume, start/stop, and answering calls.
Overall, the Hesh 2 Wireless’ don’t sound bad. However, the lack of quality does become blatantly apart when put up against the Crushers.
Construction and Comfort
Surprisingly, the construction of the Hesh 2 Wireless’ doesn’t feel like a cut down version of the Crushers. In fact, it feels like a significant improvement.
Still sporting a mostly plastic construction, the Hesh 2 Wireless’ headband is now reinforced with metal. Skullcandy hasn’t specified which metal, but the fact that the construction was pushed further for this design makes up a lot in weight, literally.
The Hesh 2 Wireless are over double the weight of the Crushers, feeling much more substantial in the hands. While I wouldn’t call them hefty by any means, holding the two side by side makes the Crushers feel more like a toy and less like a pair of headphones.
Earcups inside of these headphones provide the same level of comfort as the Crushers, this time opting for a circular design over a rectangular one. While this design doesn’t fit my tastes personally, it lives up to the level of comfort established with the Crushers.
The Skullcandy Hesh 2 Wireless Overall
As a full picture, the Hesh 2 Wireless’ are an interesting pair of headphones. In the sound department, these headphones take a considerable backseat to the Crushers, lacking the same driver, bass sensation control, and built-in amplifier.
However, they do make up in wireless functionality via Bluetooth and build quality that well exceeds that of the Crushers. The metal reinforcement makes these headphones feel considerably more substantial in the hands and on the head, leading to a more premium feel.
Still, the sound being pumped out of them doesn’t tell the same premium story and, for some, that’s all that matters.
In the end, these headphones really do come down to preference. The tradeoff between the two is as clear as it comes, trading some audio performance for convenience.
For my money, I couldn’t help but stick with the Skullcandy Crusher Headphones with Built-in Amplifier and Mic, Black. While the build quality leaves much to be desired, the audio performance compared the the Skullcandy Hesh 2 Bluetooth Wireless Headphones with Mic, Camos is significantly better, adding much more value to the listening experience.
However, if you value convenience, than the Hesh 2 Wireless’ are probably the best bet. The convenience of Bluetooth, exceptional build quality, and optional cable mean these headphones can go where you go. When you get there, the sound quality may not be the best, but there isn’t much that can be expected at only $99 Skullcandy Hesh 2 Bluetooth Wireless Headphones with Mic, Camo.
Overall, both headphones are solid options at $99, the trade off between them truly being up to the user.
Further read: Top 9 Best Headphones for 2020 That Anyone Would Love