Skullcandy Crusher Evo review: High-end headphones revamp a noughties-favourite brand for the modern age

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Skullcandy has been a staple of the audio scene ever since the mid-noughties. The go-to headphones to listen to the ‘American Idiot’ album or anything from The Killers on the iPod Video.

They’ve been remembered more as a fashion statement for teenagers rather than a brand for comfort and high-fidelity peripherals. But the company wants to finally move away from this, and introduce some high-end headphones in the form of the 'Crusher ANC' and ‘Crusher Evo Wireless' headphones.

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Visit the Skullcandy Crusher Evo product page on Amazon

With the 'Crusher Evo' peripheral, Skullcandy have seemingly gone all in on how headphones can justify themselves at £149.99, and they’ve almost done it, almost.

With that, here’s a review on using them in the last few weeks, and whether it’s time to turn your head back onto a company that one couldn’t avoid in the mid-noughties.

Design - Score 93

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The headphones are coated in this matte black finish, with some great padding at the top so any head will not be prone to discomfort after a period of time. The audio cups are just the right fit for the ears, so there's no chance of the headphones sliding off. Everything feels firm, secure, and comfortable.

Across the two cups there are a few controls, such as volume, play/pause and a slider to control the amount of bass. At first it can be confusing to tell which button is which, as there's no 'plus' or 'minus' for the volume, but it quickly becomes muscle memory, and everything is placed just right for when you need to answer a call or pause that David Bowie song.

They are also collapsible, similar to the Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones, and they also come in a protective bag-case with a strange 'clip' to close it, so you can throw them into your bag for the commute when the time comes.

Finally, there's even 'Tile' compatibility, which enables the headphones to be recognised by the app and able to be found, wherever it may be, thanks to this technology.

There's plenty to like here, and you get a lot of bang for the buck. Add to this, the four day battery life I constantly experienced with these, and you've got some fantastic headphones here.

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Sound - Score 96

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First of all:

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The bass.

The bass. The

buttery biscuit bass

of these headphones will be the first sound you hear. A sliding switch on the left cup will enhance or reduce the effect, depending on the video or music you play.

I tried a few examples, such as:

  • Licence to Kill Opening Titles
  • Streets of Rage 4
  • Tomb Raider Suite - Skidoo
  • Day of the Doctor
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Every time a drum or a sound-effect rang, the headphones would reverberate thanks to the bass. Admittedly it did enhance the sound in most situations here, but sometimes it would reverberate the wrong sound, such as the humming of a ship, or the engine of a boat, almost drowning out the voices and music during a scene.

But the slider-switch alleviates any issues. The sound as a whole is fantastic. It’s clear, it’s loud, and it’s able to finely tune any treble, volume and bass into something that really helps when in a game or watching something on YouTube.

Thanks to the Skullcandy app, you can also finely-tune the sound to a level you prefer, just in case the default settings aren't up to expectations. The app itself is well-designed, far better than Sony's effort, but it would be nice to see the app gain native support for iPad when pairing the headphones to the Apple tablet.

As these are meant to be taken with you, the button mentioned in the 'Design' section also enables Siri, Alexa or another assistant that’s your default, alongside any phone calls. When calling a friend, they heard me fine, as well as the assistants.

Price - Score 96

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At £149.99 it certainly positions itself as at the low spectrum of the high-end group of headphones. But with integrated-Tile and personalised bass features, with the comfortable design, it justifies its price.

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You do get a lot of value here, and the elegant design and the crystal-clear sound, alongside all its features, it almost feels as though Skullcandy have undervalued these headphones.

But when compared to Razer's, Sony's and Apple Beats' products in this price point, Skullcandy had to make an impression on the price here, and they succeeded.

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Visit the Skullcandy Crusher Evo product page on Amazon

Our Score

Pros

  • Fantastic, clean design
  • Buttery Biscuit Bass makes an impression
  • Long-lasting battery at a great price
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Cons

  • App could be updated to work for tablets
  • No noise cancellation compared to the Crusher ANC

Skullcandy had to make its presence felt here. After years of aligning the company with the cheap £49.99 headphones you would usually see in stores like HMV and Argos, they had to make an impression on the high-end of headphones.

They have delivered for one of these from us. For these high-end headphones, we have no problem in recommending these if Sony's or Razer's don't appeal for now. The bass may put some off, but that's easily fixed.

You will get a good few years out of these, we only wonder what could be next for this line to make it three. We're looking forward to the next home-run of Skullcandy's high-end range here.

LEARN MORE:

Visit the Skullcandy Crusher Evo product page on Amazon