Skullcandy Crusher Review
The over-ear headphones Skullcandy Crusher Evo attract with long battery life, search function, and fat bass. Tech stage tests what the headphones sound like with a bass shaker.
In this individual test, we dealt with the medium-priced Crusher Evo from Skullcandy. Despite the moderate price, the on-ear headphones have some interesting features on board. We test whether the purchase is worthwhile.
- Really Comfortable
- Long battery life
- It can be used as a voice headset
- Get heated after a while
- Controls are not so good designed
- Bass can be extremely loud
Design & scope of delivery
The Skullcandy Crusher Evo arrives at the customer’s place in a gray fabric bag. Contrary to what the design suggests, the pouch with a skull print is not waterproof but protects the headphones with fluffy padding. The two ear cups are foldable and rotatable and allow a compact pack size. The quality is good and does not give rise to any complaints. The rubberized surface looks good and has a pleasant feel, but the plastic quickly becomes greasy.
The black and gray on-ear headphones made of rubberized plastic look largely unspectacular apart from the neon-orange power button. Even the Skullcandy logo is only discreetly visible on the side parts of the gradually adjustable headband. The inner workings of the headband are made of plastic and metal. The combination ensures good tension and stability.
The headband is covered with rough synthetic leather on the top and rubber padding on the underside. This gives the headphones additional hold without sticking to the hair uncomfortably. There are three round buttons on the back of the right earphone. There is a power button, status LED, bass slider, USB-C socket, and 3.5 mm jack input on the left earbud.
The headphones weigh a full 313 grams. For comparison: the test winner Sony WH-1000XM4 weighs just 255 grams. In addition to headphones and a protective case, the scope of delivery also includes a USB-C charging cable and a jack cable.
At first glance, the features of the Skullcandy Crusher Evo are not very exciting: Bluetooth 5.0 or jack cable and the Bluetooth codecs SBC and AAC. Active noise cancellation or latency-free AptX are missing. Only the references to sound personalization, vibration, and Bluetooth tracking function make you sit up and take notice. While the adaptation of the sound to your hearing is still fairly common, the vibration and tracking function may cause some frowns.
The vibration is the so-called bass shaker function intended to amplify the sound by gently shaking it. In short, a kind of subwoofer for the head, which only provides the vibrations, not the additional sound. The following picture shows how hard the vibration motors work in extreme cases.
The search function comes from the manufacturer Tile. He usually uses it for his Bluetooth key finder, such as the Tile Pro (test report), and licenses this technology. In practice, this function makes it easier to find lost or blocked headphones. An alarm function and the ability to display the location of the headphones on a map help. More on this in Article 14 Bluetooth key finder in a comparison test.
First, we test the headphones in the standard settings and with the lowest level of the bass shaker. The well-coordinated sound, which warmly caresses the ears of Matt Berninger’s One More Second, is immediately positive. However, at high volume, we only find the peaks of the high notes slightly exaggerated. The midrange, on the other hand, convinces with clarity, with all volume settings.
Electronic music, like Yeah I Know from 1975, is also pleasant to consume without bass reinforcement. So here we turn the bass shaker up a little as a test. The result is a heavy, unnatural thump and downright twitch with every bassy sound – interesting but not nice. So it’s time to turn the vibration down and enjoy.
It looks completely different from the next electronic track, Sun by Christian Löffler. A well-dosed bass shaker sends us emotionally straight into an underground techno bunker. The even hum of the bass in combination with an otherwise distinguishable sound conjures up a fat grin on our faces. With Say You Love Me by Chris Brown & Young Thoug, the result is similarly cool. The vibration should only be used discreetly here, but then the nod of the head occurs all by itself. Even classics like Blowback by The Killers benefit from the bass boost.
However, it quickly becomes apparent that the effect works very differently from song to song and requires different settings. While the maximum dose of bass is just good for one song, a very slight addition of vibration is enough for the next song. Otherwise, the experience ends in a wild orgy of shaking. Ultimately, you have to put together your playlist accordingly or readjust it regularly with the slider.
With the right song, the effect of the vibrating headphones is simply awesome. The sound and especially the bass are really fun. Since the headphones tempt you to turn up the volume and the upholstery itself is already well shielded, we don’t miss an ANC, even in noisy surroundings.
Despite the lack of an AptX codec, the Skullcandy Crusher Evo is suitable for occasional television enjoyment, as the latency is barely audible. The additional vibration comes into its own in explosion-riddled combat scenes. With Black Hawk Down, the noticeable bass creates a real open-plan cinema feeling – firefights and rotating rotor blades rarely sounded better with headphones – and that without any surround sound.
The headphones are also suitable for occasional calls. The transmission of the voice is relatively clear and sufficiently loud. However, the microphone does not filter out background noise.
Comfort and ease of use
Thanks to the soft ear pads and the padded, adjustable headband, the headphones are very comfortable to wear. Due to the relatively high tension between the two headphones and the high weight, the Crusher Evo sits very present but comfortably on the head. The ventilation of the ear cushions is sufficient, and we do not sweat even after several hours of use. It will be warm, however, which is typical for on-ears.
The operation is uncomplicated and works reliably. Once you have got used to the positions of the buttons and the bass control, you will find your way around intuitively. For example, you can control the volume, go back or skip a song, start the voice assistant and start and stop playback.
The pairing between the smartphone and the Crusher Evo works without any problems – at least as far as the sound transmission is concerned. Unfortunately, the connection to the Skullcandy app is not quite as stable in the test, and so we have to reconnect the headphones over and over again. This works without any problems, but it shouldn’t be. When the headphones and smartphone have connected, the app should also notice this.
In addition to the option to start the key finder function, the app offers various sound profiles for music, cinema, and podcasts. The user can also adjust the sound to suit their hearing. To do this, the app plays different pitches one after the other at different volumes, and the user has to confirm whether he (still) hears them. The sound profile determined from this sounds a little better subjectively in our case. However, the difference to the standard profile is only slight with us.
Battery & range
The Crusher Evo achieved a stable range of almost 15 meters in the test. With many other headphones, the end is already at about 10 meters.
According to the manufacturer, the battery lasts 40 hours; Experience has shown that the real value is between 35 and 40 hours, depending on the bass boost function. Thanks to the Quick Charge function, 10 minutes on the power supply are enough for three and a half to four hours of sound enjoyment.
The Skullcandy Crusher Evo sounds good and leaves a positive overall impression despite the lack of ANC and AptX codec. Anyone who likes throbbing bass, whether in the techno basement or the cinema, will have a lot of fun with the headphones with bass shaker. Even if the sound cannot keep up with high-priced models such as the WH-1000XM4 from Sony (test report) or the Momentum 3 from Sennheiser (test report), the Crusher Evo does very well for 160 euro headphones.
The overall neutral sound, the good battery life, and the switchable vibration function make the Crusher Evo an ideal companion for friends of bass-heavy sound. No headphones have given us so much pleasure and caused such a big grin in a long time. The additional tile feature with the search function is a nice gadget, but we never needed it in practice.
However, if you are looking for headphones with active noise cancellation, you need an alternative. Here we advise you to take a look at our list of the best ANC headphones.