Wireless skullcandy crushers: Skullcandy Crusher Wireless review – Sound Guys

Skullcandy Crusher Wireless review – Sound Guys

Some people want the very best sounding pair of headphones, full stop. While everyone perceives sound differently, trained ears definitely have a few favorite go-to brands and pairs of cans they’d recommend. For everyone else, there’s Skullcandy—and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The company is probably one of the most well-known audio companies due in no small part to them being available in everything from electronics stores to the local drugstore. Today, we’re looking at the Skullcandy Crusher Wireless one of its more interesting headsets.

Is it good or just good for “most people”? We spent two weeks with the Crusher Wireless to find out.

Editor’s note: this Skullcandy Crusher Wireless review was updated on August 4, 2022, to address the product’s discontinuation and what alternatives are worth considering instead.

  • Commuters will appreciate this set of non-noise canceling headphones as it has plush earpads that do a fine job of blocking outside noise.
  • Anyone on a budget with a little patience should watch the price of these headphones. You can get the Crusher Wireless for $99 or less, if you wait long enough.

What’s it like to use the Skullcandy Crusher Wireless?

The Skullcandy Crusher Wireless headphones have folding hinges for a more portable way to carry.

Skullcandy isn’t exactly known for its—ahem—luxury build. While the Skullcandy Crusher Wireless is made of cheaper plastic, it’s still sturdy. The matte black coating resists fingerprints, and the headphone and headband faux leather padding is pretty substantial. The combination makes for a fairly comfortable pair of headphones. People with glasses might find the clamping force is a touch too strong.

The buttons along the bottom of the headphones feel cheap, but the tactile response is almost perfect. There’s also the bass slider on the left ear cup, which is a bit stiff, and inside each ear cup is a low-end driver setup that only provides haptic feedback. This slider lets you control how much (if any) extra bass you want.

On the headband is a small cutout that makes the rubber plastic headband way more comfortable for long listening sessions.

The padding on the bottom of the headband is made of a similar cheap rubber that you’d find on something like the Beats EP. This kind of rubber pulls at hair constantly and can be a literal pain. Skullcandy minimizes this problem with a small cutout.

The only branding you’ll find is a discreet logo just above either ear cup. The all-black option we’re looking at here is also understated enough to wear on a commute or around the office without a problem. I can see just about anyone rocking these, which is something that can’t be said for many headphones in this price range.

How do you control the Crusher Wireless?

The headphones have plenty of plush padding that makes them fairly comfortable.

Playback controls are all fairly simple as well, with three buttons on the right ear cup letting you pause/play music, adjust volume, skip between tracks, and access your phones personal assistant. My only problem with them is that they’re a little too loud when you click them and you can even hear them over the music in some cases. On the bright side, there’s no noticeable audio lag when watching videos so if you tend to watch a lot of videos you don’t have anything to worry about here.

How do you connect to the Skullcandy Crusher Wireless?

Pairing to the Skullcandy Crusher Wireless may not be as seamless as some Beats headphones with the fancy h2 chip, but it still isn’t hard at all. If you’re pairing to a device for the first time simply turning the headphones on by pressing the circular multifunction button will enter pairing mode. You’ll know you’re in pairing mode when the tiny LED begins flashing between blue and red. From there just go to the Bluetooth settings on your source device and select the headphones. If this doesn’t work for you then it might be a better idea just to reset the headphones completely.

There are only three playback buttons on the right ear cup and a bass slider on the left.

The Skullcandy Crusher Wireless runs Bluetooth 4.1 (so, no multipoint here) with a solid connection in everyday use. There is some notable skipping once you’re teetering around the 10-meter limit of the Bluetooth range which is to be expected. If you prefer a wired connection there’s also a 3.5mm input on the bottom of the left ear cup.

Keep in mind that the Crusher Wireless only uses the SBC codec, which given the choice between the usual AAC and SBC found on many headsets, we’d say pick SBC if you’re using Android. For iOS users, it’s a bit of a downer, as AAC tends to perform better than SBC when paired with an Apple iPhone.

Follow these directions to reset your Crusher Wireless if you’re having issues.

  1. Go into the Bluetooth settings of any devices that are paired with the headphones and click to forget the Crusher Wireless.
  2. Power off the headphones by holding down the middle button.
  3. Power them back on by holding down the same middle button and continue holding the button for a few more seconds until the headphones enter pairing mode.
  4. Then hold down the + and sign buttons simultaneously until you hear two beeps.
  5. Now you should be able to find the headphones in the Bluetooth settings of your device.

How’s the battery life of the Skullcandy Crusher Wireless?

On the bottom of the left ear cup are a 3.5mm input and a microUSB charging port.

Skullcandy claims a battery life of roughly 40 hours of constant playback, which would be fairly impressive all on its own. However, in our objective testing, it surpassed even that clocking in at 57 hours, 28 minutes. To be fair though, this was with the bass slider turned all the way down, so if you think you’re going to be using pumping bass often you should expect a little less.

The biggest downside here is that in order to charge them you’re going to have to use an older microUSB cable instead of the newer USB-C. While that may not be a problem for most people now, it will get a little more annoying in a few years when everything is USB-C. On the bright side, 10 minutes on the charger will give you roughly 180 minutes of constant playback.

How’s the isolation of the Skullcandy Crusher Wireless?

While the isolation isn’t great in the low end, these do a decent job at blocking much of the higher frequencies.

Passive isolation is the name of the game with the Crusher Wireless. Over-ear closed-back headphones typically do a pretty good job of this, through sealing off your entire ear from the environment. As demonstrated in the graph, high-pitched noise will get blocked, while low sounds will still reach your ears. You’ll still hear airplane din and air conditioners, but at least babies crying on the bus will be quieter.

How does the Skullcandy Crusher Wireless sound?

The Skullcandy Crusher Wireless put a slight emphasis on the lower end, with another dip around 600Hz as well.

For the sake of testing, we kept the bass slider turned off. That said, they still have plenty of low-end emphasis which makes these great for bass-heads, especially considering that you can adjust the bass even more with the slider. If you’re looking for Beats-level bass and then some, crank that slider all the way up. Be aware: doing so causes severe auditory masking, and makes it hard to hear mids and treble notes.

Lows, mids, and highs

This can be heard throughout the song Patient is the Night by The Blasting Company where the bassline masks the soft strumming of the guitar in the background. You can barely hear the chords as the lacking clarity because of the loud bass notes.

Treble notes never sound too loud, but the soft hi-hats through the chorus of You’ve Got Me Running in Circles by Sonny Cleveland don’t really sound the way they should compare to everything else going on. This is likely due to the fact that most headphones with a consumer-friendly sound tend to boost frequencies in the highs to compete with the ranges of emphasis elsewhere, but the Skullcandy Crusher Wireless doesn’t quite do that here.

Should you buy the Skullcandy Crusher Wireless?

Well, the Skullcandy Crusher Wireless is discontinued, but you can still find it from certain vendors like Amazon. Unfortunately, it’s no longer on Skullcandy’s website. The company has so many headsets the choices are dizzying, but if you want something similar to the Crusher Wireless, we recommend the Skullcandy Hesh ANC. The Hesh ANC features very good noise canceling that makes low frequencies sound one-half to one-quartier their perceived loudness, making it a great ANC headset that costs just $99 USD. You don’t get any water resistance here, but few headphones carry that kind of durability anyway. Bass heads who want good noise canceling, go ahead and read our full Skullcandy Hesh ANC review.

Skullcandy Crusher Wireless

All prices listed in USD unless otherwise specified. Prices may change over time, and vary by region. Unfortunately, we cannot list Amazon prices on the site, as they vary greatly by currency.

See price at Amazon

See price at Target

What are some other options to consider?

The Monoprice BT-600ANC doesn’t have a mobile app.

If you want to stick with Bluetooth options, then you should check out the Anker Soundcore Life Q35. It also emphasizes bass notes, perhaps a bit too much, but you can equalize the sound in the Soundcore app. It supports SBC, AAC, and LDAC streaming, which is unique for headphones that cost $129 USD.

Another great option is the Monoprice BT-600ANC. Like the Skullcandy Crusher Wireless, this also costs $99 USD. With Monorpice’s headset, you get very good active noise canceling and aptX HD support, along with Bluetooth multipoint. Sure, it isn’t the flashiest headset but it works very well. If you want to see some other headphones that are sub-$100 and have made it through our review process with flying colors, check out our complete list.

Frequently asked questions about Skullcandy Crusher Wireless

Yes! Connect like you would any other Bluetooth device.

Yes, like most Bluetooth headphones the Crusher Wireless uses the A2DP profile.

We haven’t tested the Skullcandy Crusher ANC, so we don’t have measurements for its frequency response. Unlike the Crusher Wireless, the Crusher ANC has a companion app with custom user EQ, which means you can adjust bass. The Crusher ANC also uses aptX HD codec which provides higher resolution audio, so it wins in that department.

Skullcandy Crusher Wireless Headphone Review: An exceptional, thrilling, value-packed portable Headphone | by Alex Rowe

7 min read

·

Nov 9, 2016

UPDATE: Skullcandy has just announced the Hesh 3, if you’re looking for something like this headphone but a little cheaper and without the Crusher feature!

Skullcandy just completely broke my upcoming “Holiday Headphone Buyers Guide” article. This $200 over- ear headphone is hard to beat, and leagues better than the original Crusher.

Look at this slick-looking business! It has the premium feel to match its look.

Earlier this year, Skullcandy released the Grind Wireless. It took the already-great Grind headphone, and added good Bluetooth functionality, and kept the price relatively cheap.

It was brilliant.

Now, here we are again!

Same concept, higher level of execution.

The Crusher Wireless takes the goofy haptic bass feedback idea from the original Crusher, throws everything else out in favor of a new ground-up design…and ends up being one of the best value wireless headphones I’ve ever used.

Other premium headphone makers named Beats should be scared. This hits their target sound and market at a cheaper price point.

Two things to talk about here: sound with and without the haptic bass feedback turned on. (It’s controlled by a slider on the back of the left ear cup.)

Without the bass slider on, the Crusher presents a lovely, slightly warm sound, with plenty of detail throughout the frequency range. Soundstage is decently wide for a closed-back headphone, and highs are present and detailed without any grain or fatigue. You could use them like this forever and be totally happy with their sound quality.

Or, you can slide that little slider up and go to crazy awesome stupid bass town.

Each ear cup contains one of Skullcandy’s in-house designed 40mm drivers…and a second 34mm driver that kicks in when you use the bass slider. I think that slider is actually controlling a crossover system, similar to how you’d feed a subwoofer in a home theater. As you push the slider up, the bass frequencies slowly transfer from the main drivers to these bass-specific drivers.

The bass that the haptic drivers produce is intense, controlled, punchy, and sometimes amazing and hilarious. The box for these says “Bass You Can Feel,” and it’s true. Especially when cranked all the way, you’ll feel the bass in your body a la a traditional speaker system. It works exactly as advertised. And then some.

I tried the original Crushers a few times in stores, and I found the bass feature to just be an unsatisfying rumble/vibration gimmick. The Crusher Wireless takes it to a whole other level, and executes this idea properly. If you’re a bass-head, you’ll be in heaven, and if you’re not, these still sound great with a little slider tweaking.

For the record, I think the area near the center of the slider is a good happy medium. You still get some of the nuanced bass texture from the main driver, and a good bit of thump from the secondary system.

So the sound is good. With or without the bass feature.

Fortunately, everything else is pretty good too.

The Crusher Wireless takes the subtle design language of the Grind and runs with it. Gone are the flimsy plastic, lacking adjustment sizes, and awkward proportions of the original Crusher.

Instead, everything here screams premium value.

The headphone is made of plastic parts with metal reinforcement, like basically everything else.The earcup backs have a nice soft finish on them, a great detail. The top of the headband is leatherette, and the bottom is a cushy rubber, with a little cutout to help prevent a hotspot forming on the top of your head. It feels good.

I think the ear pads are probably Skullcandy’s best effort at pad design so far, in any of their headphones. They’re big ovals, with a soft leatherette covering on the outside, and a ring of high- quality cloth on the inside to help prevent sweat build-up. The padding is memory foam, and even though the clamping force of the headphone is rather tight (probably to help bass response), these pads stay cushy and comfy for long sessions, no problem. Just make sure you get a balanced fit, or that clamping force is going to bug you after a while.

Isolation is exceptional for a non-active pair. I’m using them in a loud room right now, and while they don’t isolate nearly as well as something like the QC35 or MDR-1000X, they still do a great job. I’d rate their isolation at the top end of the market for passive pairs.

The overall look is classy, subtle, and elegant, and just plain cool. I think it’s the nicest-looking headphone in Skullcandy’s stable.

Features/Extras

This is where the Crusher Wireless really sticks it to the competition, particularly for their price. The battery life is rated at 40 hours. Yes, awesome!!! That matches the industry-leading Beats Solo 3 Wireless.

Bluetooth range is not as good as that model. But then, most headphones don’t have the Solo 3’s range. I tested the Crusher at a Class 2-standard 30 feet before losing signal.

Also, the core Bluetooth chip seems to be similar to the one used in the Grind Wireless, meaning it doesn’t support any fancy codecs like AAC, AptX, or LDAC…but who cares? I don’t really care. I don’t expect that in this price range, and sound quality is great. Pairing is handled manually and completes quickly. If you’re an audiophile, the wireless transmission probably won’t be quite up to snuff for you, but as these are really cheap for the number of features you’re getting, I think it’s an okay trade-off.

Okay, more good stuff. The Crusher Wireless folds down for easy transport. It includes a tough drawstring canvas bag with a soft cloth interior. Seriously, the interior is so nice to feel. It feels like a teddy bear. It’s strangely nice and kind of unnecessary. The inside of the bag also contains two pockets to hold the two included cables.

The folding mechanism is stiff and solid-feeling, but it doesn’t click. If it clicked it would be better.

The first included cable is a standard micro USB for charging. The second is Skullcandy’s “Mic 1” cable, a 4-pole 3.5mm cable with a single-button remote and micrphone.

Thank. Goodness. For. This.

SO MANY Bluetooth headphones come with a secondary cable that doesn’t have a microphone. Meaning, if you run them using the cable, you can no longer use them to take phone calls. This is a problem even at the highest-priced end of the market. Your battery dies? You want to use the cable for any other reason? Enjoy having less functionality! I don’t get this at ALL.

I’m looking at you Bose QC35. And MDR-1000X.

The port for the 3.5 mm cable is 100 percent standard, so any typical replacement cable you’d like to use will work, if you don’t want to use the included one. Excellent!

Oh and get this: The haptic bass drivers still work when you run the Crushers powered off, using the cable. I thought they’d need to draw power from the battery, and that they’d only work in Bluetooth mode, but Skullcandy surprised me. This headphone is feature-complete whether you use it wired or wirelessly. And I love it for that. Everyone else please pay attention.

The cable enables basic chat support on both the PS4 and Xbox One through the controller jacks, and the button and mic work on both Apple and Android devices. You’ll have to mute the mic on Xbox through the software, and on PS4 you’re out of luck because Sony still doesn’t have a dedicated mute button in the OS. Aside from the bass slider, the Crusher Wireless features three other buttons for controlling the headphones in Bluetooth mode. There’s volume up, volume down, and a play/pause/answer call button. The volume buttons can also switch tracks. These are the same buttons used on the Grind Wireless, and just like on those headphones, they’re the only component that seems a tiny bit out of place, due to their chunky design. They’re chintzy and a little cheap feeling.

At $200 you’d be really hard-pressed to find a better-sounding, better-built, more fully featured wireless headphone. I’m not sure that there is one right now. UPDATE: Sometimes the Sony MDR-100ABN has been on sale for around 200 bucks. That’s insane, and a much better deal than this Skullcandy. Just saying.

This is a better value for the money than every Beats product on the market(unless you need to use your headphones 100 yards away from your device). It competes well with Bose and Sony’s higher-priced models, as well as those from many other audio companies. It has the premium touches to warrant its price compared to lower-end models, while still presenting an amazing value for the money.

And no one else has the fun, energetic, stereo haptic bass feature. Which you might hate. But it’s fun to play with.

This is a best-in-class/market- leading sort of headphone, and I got so excited about them after just a few minutes of use, that I spent the rest of the night pushing them through all my usual audio tests to bring you this review.

If you are considering a headphone purchase in the $200 range, here you go. Decision made. Especially if you like bass…but even if you don’t, it’s nice to have that slider there just in case you need to disappear into a dance club inside your head for a bit.