When it comes to bass-heavy headphones, nothing beats the products from Skullcandy. The brand lately has been pumping out quality products at very affordable prices in the country. Skullcandy products are well known for their design, sound signature, and the exotic colors they come in.
We have the Skullcandy Crusher ANC with us which is a slight upgrade over the Skullcandy Crusher headphones and add Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). These go head-on with the likes of the Sony WH-1000XM4 and the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700. Priced at INR 16,999 as of writing this post, they look very promising.
We have been using the Crusher ANC for close to a week now and does Crusher ANC have what it takes to take down the current market forerunners? Let’s find out in our full review.
Skullcandy Crusher ANC Specifications
Before starting with the Skullcandy Crusher ANC headphones review, let’s have a look at the phone’s specifications.
- Headphone Type: Bluetooth® Over-Ear
- Connection Type: Bluetooth® 5.0
- Impedance: 32 Ohms ±15%
- Driver Diameter: 40mm
- Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20KHz
- Weight: 308.66gms
Here’s a complete list of items you get inside the box:
- Skullcandy Crusher ANC headphones
- USB-C charging cable
- AUX Cable
- Travel Case
Build & Design
When it comes to design, Skullcandy Crusher ANC looks similar to the Crusher wireless headphone. Usually, Skullcandy products tend to have too much going for them with the exotic colors and shapes. The Crusher ANC in this regard tried to mimic its closest rivals. The headphones come in a bunch of shades and the Maroon ones look too good.
The headphones are big yet comfortable for the most part. These are over-the-ear style headphones and they fit as expected. The earcups are big and should fit the majority of the users easily. They have an ample amount of cushioning both the cups and the headband. During our review period, we had no trouble wearing the headphones for hours at a stretch. The headsets fold inwards making them quite compact.
The Crusher ANC comes with a pretty nice travel case, where-in you can store the headphones and the bundled-in accessories. Moving on to the button placements, the right earcup of the headphones has the volume and playback controls in the form of physical buttons, the USB Type-C port for charging, and a 3.5mm socket to connect the supplied audio cable for wired use. The playback button serves two functions, double-pressing triggers the voice assistant.
The left earcup has the power button which also triggers the active-noise cancellation with a double-press action and the sensory bass slider that lets you bump up or down the bass. The outer part of the left earcup has a touch panel that controls the ambient mode. This is the same implementation we see on the Sony XM3’s and XM4’s. In the ambient mode, the noise-cancellation is turned off and the outside noise is filtered in.
Overall, the build quality of the Crusher ANC is top-notch and the brand has nailed the weight balance. The material choice is decent as well and we didn’t QC issues with the product.
In the sound quality and performance department, the Crusher ANC has some nifty features up its sleeves. The first is the Sensory Bass slider, this is something unique to the Skullcandy products. While it may sound like a gimmick at first, but it actually works. Cranking up the slider can be fun and will be particularly pleasing for the Indian audiences that enjoy heavy bass.
The Skullcandy Crusher ANC uses Bluetooth 5 with support for Qualcomm aptX HD Bluetooth codec, as well as AAC and SBC support. There are a pair of 40mm dynamic driver on each side with a frequency response range of 20-20,000Hz. For better optimized use, Skullcandy has a companion app that is available for both Android and iOS.
The app lets you create multiple personalized sound profiles and runs a small test to determine the best possible EQ settings for each user. The app also lets you check vital information like the battery percentage, level of ANC, and Ambient mode.
Since the low-end performance is the USP of these headphones, playing with the Sensory slider can yield excellent results. Pair the headphones with an upper-tier smartphone with aptX HD support and you’re sorted. During our testing period, we paired the Crusher ANC to a number of flagship smartphones and the combination of aptX HD and FLAC files did wonder for us. Keeping the Sensory slider at 30% yielded the best results to the point that the bass wasn’t overpowering nor was it underpowered. The mids and highs are crisp were crisp as well.
Moving to the Active noise-cancellation part, the Crusher ANC was announced at a hefty price of INR 28,000 for that amount of cash, the ANC performance is simply not up to the mark. For the sub-INR 25k market, Sony WH-1000XM3 and WH-1000XM4 are the best ANC headphones you can get. But since the price of these has been significantly slashed to just INR 16,999, the ANC performance is somewhat acceptable.
While it does reduce some of the noise, some low-end noise like the fan and AC humming still gets in. If you’re someone who travels more and need a good pair of ANC headphones to block that airplane engine roar, these aren’t the best option for you. It’s not like ANC doesn’t work completely, it does but not to the extent you would want it.
Coming to the call quality, the calls made with the Crusher ANC were decent with the mic quality being reported as excellent. The Skullcandy Crusher ANC promises a battery life of up to 24 hours, but in real-world use, that number is much lower. Without putting in a lot of stress and the sensory bass slider kept to a minimum, we got around 18 hours of use out of these.
- Adjustable Bass slider
- aptX HD support
- Good Quality carry case
- Active Noise Cancellation performance could be better
Verdict- Should you buy it?
The Skullcandy Crusher ANC is an impressive product when it comes to pure headphones. While we found the ANC performance somewhat lacking, the sound signature and the adjustable Bass slider were the star performers here.
The sound stage is good, and the bass boost is a nifty party trick. If you are getting the Crusher ANC for solely Active Noise Cancellation, this would not be the best choice for you. For that we would recommend, shelling out a little more cash and getting the Sony WH-1000XM3 or the latest Sony WH-1000XM4. But if you’re someone on a very tight budget and require a good pair of headphones with average ANC performance, the Skullcandy Crusher ANC can prove to be a good buying decision.