The Skullcandy brand has long been associated with skateboarding culture and urban chic. Founded in 2003, the company targets outdoor enthusiasts as well as general users with their quality headphones. While they offer a range of products to suit different needs, the Skullcandy Crushers are designed especially for bass heads. The name should give you some inkling about what these headphones are about – they are, indeed, a huge pair of cans.
Meghan Trainor would approve, because it’s ‘all about that bass’ with the Crushers. Just like the Beats, they work best with bass-heavy genres such as electronic dance music, pop and techno. But unlike the Beats, which tend to have a muddied sound when turned up to high volumes, the Crushers pack a punch with minimal distortion and muffling.
Without the built-in amplifier activated, the headphones run on standard REX40 drivers with acoustical porting, which deliver a smooth frequency response and clear audio. Performance is decent, but if you want bass, you’ll have to amp it up. That’s where the patent-pending Sensation 55 bass extension drivers come in. They double the power of the bass, allowing users to really feel the thump and pounding at low frequencies – like having a car subwoofer over their ears. Usually, this might overwhelm other frequencies, but the Crushers deliver without compromising on the mids and highs.
The drivers automatically activate when connected to a power source, and the level can be adjusted according to preference using a bass control slider. The headphones can be amped up to ridiculous levels: when pushed up high, users will even feel the vibration of the cans against their skull. While there’s no reason to turn it up to maximum, as the audio will become distorted and muddied, the ability is definitely there.
The headphones have a frequency response between 20 to 20,000 Hz, so despite the boosted bass they don’t quite dip into the depths of some sub-bass tracks. They have a low impedance rating of 32 ohms, making them suitable for portable audio devices such as tablets, PCs and smartphones, as well as home hi-fi systems.
Design and Build
With their huge over-the-ear cups, the Crusher is an intimidating pair of headphones according to some Skullcandy Skullcrushers Headphones review. Their bulk threatens to envelop not just your ears, but your entire face. They only come in one size, so they’re probably not the best choice for people with smaller faces. The good news is, the cups seal off noise really well so that your music stays where they belong: in your personal space. They are also good at passive noise reduction.
Despite their enormous size, the Crusher is relatively lightweight at 14.1 ounces. Sporting an ergonomic design for better distribution of weight, users should not find them uncomfortable to wear, even for extended periods. For added comfort, the cups are covered with three-panelled cushion padding wrapped in high quality synthetic leather. Compared to its predecessor, the Skullcrushers, the cups are more breathable and are less likely to build up heat.
Made from quality materials, the overall build is sturdy and robust: from the plastic body to the hinges, which tend to be the parts that wear out the fastest. They should be able to handle some degree of abuse.
Because of their huge bulk, some users might think twice before wearing them outdoors. Nevertheless, users who don’t mind toting them around will find that they store away easily, thanks to foldable hinges that break them down to 40% of their original size.
Skullcandy fans will know that style is just as important as substance, and the Crushers offer loads of options to mix and match. They come in a multitude of colors to go with the user’s personalized look: solids include the black, grey cyan and black, grey and hot lime, as well as red and black. Fans of patterns, who are looking for something that will stand out from the crowd, can go for the Koston Snake, Leopard and Real Dark Tree Tan. The headphones sport the signature Skullcandy logo on the earcups.
The star of the headphones, the built-in amplifier, is powered by premium AA batteries that provide up to 40 hours of playback time. The amp comes with an auto-on and off smart circuit, so no power switch is needed. When unplugged from a source, the amp simply powers off within 10 seconds to conserve energy. Without batteries, the headphones will still work like any regular wired headphones – just without the bass boost.
Also included is an in-line mic with universal phone and volume controls, so users can answer and make calls on their headphones without having to reach for their devices. It is also a convenient feature for gamers who need to communicate in-game. The mic’s sound quality is decent and picks up voices well whilst blocking out environmental noise.
Unfortunately, the cord is standard and not Kevlar-reinforced for extra protection, so users should be careful not to snag them against items. It ends with a standard gold-plated 3.5mm audio jack.
• Built-in amplifier, made for bass
• Superb bass performance without overwhelming mids and highs
• Bass control with a slider, turn it off and on as needed
• Comfortable, breathable ear cups
• Good noise isolation
• In-line mic and controls
• Folds down for easy storage
• Distortion at high levels
• Flimsy cord
Skullcandy Skullcrushers Headphones Review: Verdict
The Skullcandy Crusher headphones offer a customized experience with their built-in amplifier, allowing users to boost the bass when they feel like it, or use them like regular headphones. They are a good mid-range alternative for bass lovers that can even rival some more expensive bass-heavy brands on the market.