Whilst I was excited to try out a new pair of headphones, all the more after my particularly favourable experience with the Skullcandy Indy Evo earphones, I was a little worried with having a pair of Sony WH-1000XM3s and Sennheiser Momentum IIs at home that I was going to be hard pressed to find a substantial highlight. I sure was wrong.
The Skullcandy Crusher ANCs are well packaged, come with an easy set up guide. Their carry case nicely holds them, albeit it can take a moment to initially work out how you need to fold them to put them back in place. A natural sense of concern for not wanting to damage things, probably doesn’t help, as one doesn’t want to try to force them. I’ve subsequently found it easy though and haven’t found myself needing to think about it. It’s also handy that there is a compartment for the charging cable and for the audio jack cable that is neatly wrapped up and kept in place with a removable Velcro strip.
They are attractive looking and come in a variation of three colours – Black/Tan, Fearless Black and Deep Red.
The Crusher ANC are one of the most comfortable headphones that I’ve worn, but this certainly seems to be a very personal preference. The cups don’t squash my ears at all and sit gently, but snuggly on my head. The material on the cups and on the underside of the headband is pleasant and soft. Especially as far as headphones, they are easy to wear for long durations. The Skullcandy Crusher ANC cups have a fair greater degree of movement than other pairs that I’ve tried. The main advantage that I’ve found to this is that you can sit the cups either lying down, or face up, when you slip them off and put them around your neck. At least for me, that’s far more comfortable and convenient.
In Use and Features
So as mentioned above, I was a little concerned as to how enthusiastic I would be about the Skullcandy Crusher ANC headphones. After first connecting them to my phone and playing a song, I was beginning to think that my concerns were all a little too valid. By no means did they sound bad, but it wasn’t particularly spectacular either. I then thought it was a good idea to try out the Skullcandy app and to see what difference the settings made.
I went through the Personal Sound set up for both ears and whilst I wasn’t surprised to see a difference between both ears, it was interesting to see a graph of the difference between the two sides.
I then went on to listen to the same song with Personal Sound turned on. Straight away there was such a perceivable difference to the depth of the music. It immediately made for a much more enjoyable listening experience. At that point, I had the Haptic Sound entirely turned off, as I wanted to have a good baseline and understanding of how the Crusher ANC headphones performed, compared to other pairs that I’ve tried.
Turning on the Haptic Sound took a moment of adjusting to, due to the unfamiliar feel of the vibrations. After that initial adjustment period, it was simply incredible. It’s certainly the closest feeling I’ve gotten to being at a concert, or at a live music event, from the comfort of my home. I’ve actually now found myself feeling like I’m missing out on a dimension of music, when I grab other earphones.
Creating and patenting Haptic Sound is a move of brilliance on Skullcandy’s behalf. No matter the clarity or depth of sound provided by other pairs of headphones, it now always feels like there is an important element missing from the music. Haptic Sound truly creates an immersive experience that is unlike any other.
I’ve certainly also found that it’s of great importance that Skullcandy have left the Haptic Sound level as an easily adjustable slider. If it were not the case, it would certainly be overpowering for certain types of music and irrespectively, it at least allows individuals to easily select the level that best suits them.
Controls on the Skullcandy Crusher ANCs are easy and intuitive. On the left earcup’s side panel, there is the aforementioned Haptic Sound slider, as well as the power/pairing button and status LEDs. The right earcup’s side panel has a central play/pause button, as well as volume up/down buttons that, when held down for a second longer, skip forward or back a track, accordingly. Also with covering the outside of the left earcup with your hand, you can toggle between ambient and noise-cancelling mode.
Merely due to the size convenience, I more often than not find myself using my Skullcandy Indy Evo as the pair that I’ll take with me when out and about. That being said, I have again found myself consistently taking the Skullcandy Crusher ANCs to work, for an entirely unexpected reason. With COVID still well and truly in place, we are relegated to eating our lunches at our own desks. Strangely enough, I’ve found that even with food in front of me and having the Indy Evos in, people still felt that interrupting me with work related questions was still perfectly acceptable. Yet, with having the Crusher ANCs on, they seem to take one look, figure that I am not to be interrupted and back away. I wouldn’t have expected that a pair of headphones, rather than earphones would be so beneficial towards to preserving my sanity and boundaries at work.
I had otherwise written up this review and it occurred to me that I hadn’t covered battery life. Namely, this would be due to it not being an active thought; with the headphones easily lasting my average use over at least a couple of days. With most technology being rather power hungry, it is nice to not always be needing to reach for the charging cable with these. The Skullcandy Crusher ANCs are specified as having up to 24 hours of use time and I’ve consistently found that to be the case. Given the Haptic Sound, I was expecting the headphones to possibly not last as long, but haven’t found that to be an issue at all.
Lastly, the all-important Tile™ Tracker. Whilst with the size of these, I have found I’m far less at risk of leaving these somewhere that I can’t remember having put them, it is reassuring to know that I can find them with Tile™, if needed.
Whilst just a minor gripe, I have found that if I put the headphones around my neck, if I need to interrupt my listening for a while, that if the headphone cups are touching my skin, more often than not I can hear the headphones say “turning on ambient mode”, “turning on noise-cancelling mode” in cycles. So whilst hardly detrimental, is a little annoying if the main reason you took them off was to listen to someone, or something. Admittedly, I have found that it’s easily solvable by making the cups lie with the material side down, due to the movement that Skullcandy have designed in. (The Sony and Sennheisier do not have the same degree of movement). However, they naturally do want to sit with the material side up, so you do need to manually adjust them, as you slide them down around your neck.
Ironically, despite having ANC (active noise cancelling) in their name, I would not say that they are the best for it, by any means. Whilst it doesn’t ruin the listening experience, if you are expecting a pair of headphones that will allow you to tune out all sounds and conversations around you, without significantly turning the volume up, then this is not the pair for you.
Whilst the case fits the headphones nicely, it wouldn’t hurt if it were perhaps a little sturdier, or if there were at least another option available. With being a little accident prone at times, I would prefer a case that would seem to be more likely to withstand minor drops, or otherwise not too easily get crushed. To be fair, thankfully, I didn’t end up inadvertently testing out the case, so it may well perform better than I am expecting. In the same line of things, it being made of a water-resistant material also wouldn’t be the worst idea either.
If you’re looking for a new pair of headphones, or want to simply have a unique, immersive sound experience then it is well worth getting the Skullcandy Crusher ANC headphones. Again, with them having patented Haptic Sound, you won’t be seeing anything similar emerging amongst any of the competing headphones. Thank you so much to Skullcandy for providing this pair and for enriching my daily life with an incredible sound experience.
The Skullcandy Crusher ANC has a RRP of $599.95 and are available from Skullcandy Australia, JB Hi-Fi and other authorised dealers.
In recognition of just how much Jo loves her Crusher ANC, she’s giving it her first Pulse Award!
DRN would like to thank Skullcandy for their on-going support.
Headphone Type: Bluetooth® Over-Ear
Connection Type: Bluetooth® 5.0
Impedance: 32 Ohms ±15%
Driver Diameter: 40mm
Sound Pressure Level: 105 dB @ 1 KHz
Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20KHz
2 year warranty guide