Today we’re going to check out VERY unique headphone that has delivered one of the most WTF moments of my headphone experiences, it is the Skullcandy Crusher Evo, and it is my first Crusher headphone, so I didn’t know about the special feature of this lineup. That special feature is what Skullcandy calls ‘Sensory bass’, and what that means is that these headphones have additional vibration motors inside them that vibrate to deliver a very sensory experience so you can literally feel the bass on your head. Not just your ears, but your complete head.
So the first time I tried these I had a really mind blasting experience, but these headphones cost around 200 US Dollars, or 14,000 Rs. in India, so you are paying a serious amount for them, and while they are really great for the kind of buyers that Skullcandy is targeting, these are definitely not for everyone.
There’s just a lot to talk about these headphones, because they are one of the most interesting pair of headphones that I have used.
We have a fairly interesting unboxing experience with this headphone, inside it you get the instructions to operate it on the box, then some papers for support and warranty, we get a 3.5mm audio cable along with a USB type C cable to charge them, and finally we get to the headphones that come in this very interesting carrying bag that you have to buckle up to store them,
and it also has pockets inside to carry your cables.
DESIGN & FEATURES
The design of the Crusher Evo is really great. They look very modern, but without overdoing it,
and they just have a lot of interesting stuff going on with them like the fabric covering on top of the headband that looks very unique with their grey black theme. The headband cushion is made of silicone with this unusual 2 point design, and they have a matte coating on their body with which I also liked. They’re also available in a grey color but I think black version looks better.
On the right earcup, you have 3 buttons which will let you control the playback of your music, switch to different tracks, adjust the volume, and call Google assistant with a double press.
On the left side, you have a 3.5mm port for wired playback, a USB C port for charging, the power button has a nice orange accent to it,
and then you have this very special slider that lets you control the strength of the Sensory bass, or the vibration motors on these headphones.
The headband size can be adjusted in steps, and this mechanism is made of metal so it feels premium. The earcups offer a 180 degree swivel, which is really nice,
and the earpads on these are also really great as they have memory foam inside,
and they can also be removed if you need to replace them.
One feature I really appreciated on these is that the sensory bass also works when you play this in wired mode. You have to turn them on after you connect them with wire for this, so this is going to consume battery, but they also work while being powered off in wired mode, but then the sensory bass won’t work.
The comfort on the Crusher Evo is decent. My ears are bigger on the bigger side, and for me the earpads are just on the edge of being too small, but I still find them to be comfortable. They have memory foam inside, which keeps them comfortable, and even though their headband creates a pressure point on the center of your head, they are light in weight so you can wear them for some time. When you’re playing music on them, the vibration of the earcups actually increases the comfort as the whole headphone vibrates, which I think also lets some air in. You also get a head massage while listening to bass heavy music on these, and it actually feels kind of relaxing after some time.
For wireless connectivity, they have Bluetooth 5.0, and they have Google Fast Pairing feature so they do connect almost instantly after powering on. They don’t seem to have AptX or LDAC support, but they do support AAC, and that should be good enough for the quality of drivers we have on these.
[Watch video for Mic Test]
The battery life on these headphones is also really exceptional, Skullcandy claims that they deliver 40 hours of playback time, which is really long, and I also played music on this for 22 hours and the battery life shown on my phone was still at 80%, so I really think they will deliver the claimed 40 hours of runtime. They also support fast charging if all that is not impressive enough for you.
Finally coming to their sound quality, they just work in a completely different way than any other headphone that I have reviewed, so it is kind of complicated to explain how they sound.
The target audience for these headphones are the people who want to have free minded fun with their music, and I can completely see the appeal for these headphones, as they do deliver on that promise very well. It is really fun to make other people try these headphones and see their jaws drop as they get confused about why they’re feeling what they’re feeling while wearing this headphone, and it really is one of the coolest party tricks that you can have on an audio device.
There is a certain use case for these headphones that I won’t go into the details of, but let’s just say that the Snoop Dogg people will be willing to pay any price for these headphones.
So while they are an excellent choice for people who want to feel their music in this sensory way, I also have to cover how they sound as a normal headphone, and it is going to be a long explanation.
The vibration motors on these headphones are a part of their sound delivery, so this system works along with their regular sound drivers to deliver all the frequencies, so the extreme low frequencies in bass are delivered by the vibration motors, and I think over 100 Hz, the sound is handled completely by the drivers.
The slider on these headphones also allows you to control how strong the vibration motors are, so you can either go into the full head massage mode, or you can completely turn it off and only hear the sound from their drivers. But I think most people will have the slider set to somewhere in the middle, because the sound drivers are designed to work with the motors, so if you completely turn it off, they sound bright and thin.
So with their slider set to around 40%, they have a V shaped sound signature, meaning that the bass and treble is boosted. This is something I was expecting because these are tuned to make modern music sound fun.
For the tech that they have tried to achieve here, it works pretty well. The motors integrate with the sound drivers very well, and I think this is why most people who try these headphones for the first time may not even realize that they have additional vibration motors inside.
So the bass experience is not only of sound, but also of the physical vibration that Skullcandy calls ‘Sensory bass’.
This really gives you a totally different experience when you listen to EDM or other electronic music, as you feel the earcups vibrating along with the ‘kick’ that you have in electronic tracks, and these are really designed to listen to bass centric music, so you do feel your music in a very literal sense on your head.
But from a purely sonic perspective, the result of this technology is that the bass can sound quite loose. It can completely overpower the mid frequencies, but the slider allows you to lower it very easily, so you can balance it according to the track that you’re listening to.
But still if you’re looking for the best sonic experience in this price range for bass, these headphones may not be the best, because they are meant to be used for fun and headbanging to EDM instead of critical listening where you try to examine how well defined the bass is.
People compare their bass to that of a subwoofer, and their vibration motors do deliver a surprisingly effective sense of deep bass, but this bass is just meant for enjoyment and feeling it through the vibrations of the headphone, as it will sound very loose to someone who wants to have a serious listening experience with their music.
If you completely turn the sensory bass off, they actually still sound nice, their drivers are decent, but they again become bass light and bright without the sensory bass, so turning it off is only a good idea for when you are listening to something that you don’t want the vibrations with.
Another thing to note here is that they work fine if you wear glasses, but without glasses you get a better experience as they seal your ears better, and the vibrations don’t travel in the best way through your glasses.
Coming to their mids, they sound recessed because of their V shaped sound signature. The vocals on these sound decent, but these are not exactly the headphones that you will buy to listen to vocal centric music. The upper mids of these headphones have an emphasis, so the vocals don’t have the fullness to them that you may find even with other cheaper headphones like the Sennheiser HD 4.40BT, but again, these are targeted for a very different use case, and the Sennheiser’s were just too uncomfortable for me to recommend.
Now skullcandy also has an app available for these, and before I used it, they sounded a little too bright for my taste, but the app allows you to add a personalized equalizer preset by asking you whether you are able to hear different frequencies or not.
I really thought that this was a gimmick, but the preset that this app set on these headphones actually made them sound significantly more balanced,
and it also made the bass from vibration motors integrate better into their sound, so I’d highly recommend using the app and using this feature if you buy these headphones.
So after this optimization, the treble sounds pretty good to me, even if it still retains some emphasis in it. I think this emphasis is kind of required with these so that the treble can keep up with the power and vibration of the bass, but it still sounds good. They do sound detailed, and for what they are aiming to do with these headphones, I think that the treble is executed very well.
The soundstage on these headphones is also nice, and they don’t sound congested. For gaming they should also work very well, as you will feel the bass on your head, and their V shaped sound signature will let you hear the details.
They also have something called Tile support, which will help you in finding these headphones in case you lose them.
So in conclusion, the Skullcandy Crusher Evo is a product that I think is executed very well. It is a specialty product that has been designed for a specific crowd, and for those people, it really provides an experience that no other headphone I’ve had delivers.
They are designed very well, they’re comfortable, the battery life is outstanding. The integration of sensory bass is also really impressive, but it is definitely not a conventional headphone, and if you’re not looking for this kind of an experience for your music, then I would not suggest that you go for this.
These are also mostly suited for modern music, so genres like EDM and pop which have bass drums and kicks, and they won’t be the best for stuff like classical or vocal centric music.
But for people seeking a really fun experience, this is something I can easily recommend, as this product is really in its own category, so even for someone who already has good headphones, this can be a really fun addition.
⭐ Buy in US: https://amzn.to/3rpY1Gh
⭐ Buy in India: https://amzn.to/2O5ZMKp