I am a bass head and I’ve been drawn to bass heavy head phones. I’ve had AKG k550 and Pioneer SE-MHR5 before. Last week my Skullcandy arrived. It differs from all my previous headphones as it features a 40mm dynamic driver and a secondary 35mm haptic driver. If you are thinking about getting one, read on.
I’ll be brief with the physical aspects. Build quality is good and solid. Ear cup size is sufficiently large but can be one size larger. I usually tuck my ears in and have the cushion sit on my skull. Clamping force is stronger than all other headphones I’ve used. There is a good reason for it though. It isolates sound and delivers bass better. The 2 ear cups fold inwards to the center. Quite compact in my opinion.
Connectivity wise, the crusher wireless supports bluetooth and 3.5mm wired audio input. I compared the two connections and the difference is hardly noticeable. In some other headphones, wired connection can be substantially better.
Here comes the audio quality. The mids and highs are quite good for this price range. Sound signature is v-shaped. The lows and highs are more emphasized, while the highs can be a bit harsh. It’s also not the most detail sounding headphone.
For the bass part, I started off with the bass adjustment slider positioned to the lowest. I get slightly more bass than my previous bass-oriented headphones. Turning it up to 20% and that gives me the OMG. It really does sound like having a 10″ subwoofer in the trunk of a car. I can also feel the headphone vibrating or rocking my ears. Never heard anything like it before. Turning it up further to about 50%, the amount of bass becomes insane. It’s certainly fun to try but very quickly it becomes unbearable. Remember this is a close-back headphone. All that bass is going directly to my ears. I’ve only tried to turn the slider to the max once. It is too damn much. The sound is significantly distorted. The mids and highs are smothered. I doubt anyone would find it enjoyable, even for bass heads.
That gives you a good idea about the quantity of bass, As for quality, I find the frequency range to be limited. The very low ends could not be delivered at all. It’s like the haptic driver is cut off after 50-60hz. If I divide the bass range into 3 sections, the lowest section could not be heard. The middle section is sufficiently loud when the bass slider is at 10-20%. And then the upper section goes back to normal level. That’s actually my number one problem with this headphone. The sharp roll off or unevenness is quite unpleasant. It also prevents me from turning the bass slider any further up because that makes the contrast even larger.
I wish the crusher can deliver bass below 50 or 60hz. Those low ends are actually what I value the most as they are rarely available on most headphones. If there is a chance, I’d love to try the newer 360 Crusher. Skullcandy claims it delivers a wider band of bass. It goes all the way to 20hz! It comes at a much steeper price though.
Overall I find the Skullcandy Crusher Wireless very good with pop and rock music. The haptic driver does work. It will be good for games and movies. It’s relatively compact size and bluetooth connectivity makes it a good travel companion. It’s great value for the money. I got my pair from Amazon for a little over US$100. That’s quite inexpensive in today’s term.
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