We have to hand it to Skullcandy, they know how to make a good looking pair of headphones. Especially, ones that are so well branded with skulls. Skullcandy’s latest set of cans are the Skullcandy Crushers… intimidating, right? Crushers are over-ear headphones with a built-in amplifier and adjustable bass that will induce skull-rattling.
The Skullcandy Crushers rock a pretty fierce look with tough looking details. Of course, there’s a small skull on each side, but you’ll notice there’s also a skull on the inside of both earcups, a few on the cable, and even a large one on the included carrying case. Crushers are over-ear headphones and should cover the largest of ears. The earcups are cushiony faux-leather that are so comfortable I’ve been using Crushers instead of earmuffs for this brisk New York weather. There’s also a really nice seal with the “ear pillows”. The build is plasticky; it looks great, but doesn’t feel so sturdy. It does, however, keep the build light and comfortable.
Crushers are collapsable and use the tri-folding method of becoming ultra portable. With both earcups folded in to the headband they become roughly 40 percent the size. Throw it in the included microfiber travel case and they should stay pretty safe.
Skullcandy is doing it right. Included is a standard removable audio cable, 3.5mm, that’s tangle-resistant, and even includes a microphone and a universal control button. There’s no volume buttons on the remote, but the button and microphone really well. With the universal button you can answer or reject phone calls, order around Siri (or other voice activation), and play, pause, or skip music.
There’s a trick up Skullcandy’s sleeve with the Crushers….they’re powered by a AA battery and have a built-in amplifier with adjustable bass control. There’s an adjustable slider on the left earcup that allows you to adjust the bass on the fly. You can go from zero to mucho. Nicely, there’s no power switch required, Crushers use a smart auto-on/off smart circuit.
The Skullcandy Crushers sound pretty great, and better than expected. The only gripe we had with our model is that the bass seemed buggy and could kick in at odd times—like when the headphones were tilted forward. This was hopefully just an issue with our model, and it didn’t kill the audio experience. When it worked, the bass adjustment really goes from light bass to as much bass as you could possibly want. There’s instantaneous feedback when you adjust the slider.
You should be able to tell that there’s a built-in amplifier because these headphones pack some extra oomph, especially with the bass cranked up. Audiophiles may find the sound a bit artificial, but all-in-all, it’s a really pleasant and rich audio experience. The mids and highs are detailed and well balanced. The earcups tight seal is great for noise isolation, so Crushers sound better than average on the plane or train.
Pricing in under $100, the Skullcandy Crushers are actually a great buy. They sound fantastic for the price. They’re not audiophile headphones, but if you’re not used to the-best-of-the-best, you’ll be blown away with the quality. The built-in amplifier and bass control makes a big difference. The design is pretty awesome looking, though you have to be into skulls. They’re really comfortable, but be careful, they’re also plasticky. The Skullcandy Crushers are currently available for $99.99 in white, black, or red.
The Good: Comfortable, Built-in amplifier, Adjustable bass, Lightweight, Cool design, Removable cable with ControlTalk+Microphone, Collapsable, Includes carrying case, Nice price
The Bad: Bass was a bit flakey on review model, Plasticky — not especially durable, No volume buttons on ControlTalk, Cord noise