I implore anyone who is interested in Skullcandy following the introduction of the Skullcandy Aviators to please be overly cautious when considering buying the Skullcandy Hesh 2.0. It is quite literary the most uncomfortable and poorly designed headphone I’ve ever had the misfortune of wearing. That includes those cheap plastic VoIP headsets that are used by most consumers as well as those cheap headphones airlines give out. Yes!!! The Hesh 2.0 is that bad.
This all began when I made a stop at Best Buy to see what new headphones they had on display. That included the Hesh 2.0. At first sight, they look quite slick and an improvement over the original Hesh. “What could go wrong?” I try on a pair, and to my dismay, the headband greets me by drilling into my skull. I tried extending the headphones, but they didn’t have any decent balance on my ears without the headband also resting on my head. Trying to convert the Hesh 2.0 into either an around-neck or under-jaw set of headphones similarly yielded poor and unsatisfactory results. For those that have some lying around somewhere, take some of your old Legos and press them into the top of head with both hands as hard as you can. This is how the Hesh 2.0 feels. The ear cups were actually pretty decent. Decent, but definitely not great.
Just to give you a comparison, I tested the Skullcandy Aviators right next to the Hesh 2.0 and those were quite comfortable. The thin headband covering rested nicely on my head and was quite comfortable. The ear cups were awesome as well. Please don’t take this as an endorsement of the Skullcandy Aviators, since I would caution against anything Skullcandy with their trade-mark “Sketchy-Build-Quality.” The Aviators feel like the hinges will become loose and fall apart in no time at all.
I thought, “Well maybe these sound better then they feel?” I know that these were just store display models with probably poor audio players with poor DACs, but what I heard was truly unremarkable at any asking price, whether $20 or $60. This was the most boring set of cans I’ve heard in a while. Vocals stood out but had no life to them. Bass was kinda there but didn’t stand out. Maybe there were Highs, but they didn’t seem to want to intrude. Maybe there was a soundstage, but I’m not sure. No matter what volume, these headphones were just boring. Cheapo ear buds sound more v-shaped and dynamic than the Hesh 2.0.
I walked away in disgust thinking, “60 USD on over-ear headphones and they couldn’t spend $1 on padding.” Just then, some 10-year-old-ish kid walked up to the display case wearing a beanie. “Wearing a beanie, I thought, in 75 degree weather?” Just as my confusion overcame me, the kid put the Hesh 2.0 on his ears, over the beanie and proceeded to really enjoy himself. “Oh, that makes sense; you put a hat or some other head covering underneath these cans to feel comfortable.” So if any of you snowboarders/skateboarders out there on Head-Fi are considering buying these, they might just be your thing.
Oh, one more thing on the build quality. The whole headphone is made entirely of plastic save for the ear cushions, which feel like cheap pleather. The headband is inelastic and made entirely of hard plastic. The entire construction feels like it has numerous weak spots where it will snap in half at the slightest provocation. Don’t buy these if you’re looking at durability.
After watching and reading Tyle talk with Tetsuro Oishi at Innerfidelity concerning these, I was kind of pumped to try them out. “Utter disappointment!” is an understatement, to say the least.
So my buying advice is that you can find better headphones at the same or even half the price-point of the Hesh 2.0.
At this point, I’m changing my thread title to reflect my whole review in a short statement.
The NEW Skullcandy Hesh 2.0 – Bring your own padding
(BTW: How do you post a headphone review under the specific model here on Head-Fi? I'm pretty new here.)
Edited by lubczyk - 4/18/12 at 6:05am