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Skullcandy Hesh 2.0 Impression: Skullcandy is Finally Getting Serious

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I know many people have a firm belief that Skullcandy is utter garbage, but it looks as if the popular headphone company is actually looking to increase its reputation with audiophiles, with products such as the Mix Master Mike and the Roc Nation Aviator, along with the new Hesh 2.0. Looking at the companies website, they have dropped many models or revamped some models, with a new "Superior Sound" campaign.

 

Quick note, I'm a teenage kid that loves music. I picked these up because I heard Skullcandy was trying to improve their overall quality with their headphones. Found them for 60$ at Best Buy. I also own V-moda M-80, Philips "The Stretch" as portables.

 

Among the revamped models is their "Hesh" model, a product that was commonly known for sounding below average and breaking easily. It looks like Skullcandy finally saw that the Hesh model wasn't really doing it for anyone other than your teenager fresh off Apple or JVC earbuds, and decided to do an update. I've never owned owned an original Hesh model, but looking at the criticisms for that model, it seems Skullcandy has taken a pretty big step forward with the Hesh 2.0. Featuring a detachable cable, dense rubber headband, and metal adjusters, it seems like the new model beats the older Hesh model right off the bat. However, there's still a very important part of the headphone that you can't judge by looking or holding the headphones, the sound. But I'll get to that later, here are my initial impressions.

 

NOTE: Sorry for the poor quality and sideways pictures. I'll retake them when I get the time.

 

PACKAGING: Wow, looks like Skullcandy figured out that nobody likes near impossible to open plastic packaging.

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Back:

 

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A nice, pretty simple cardboard box. Also comes with a soft carry pouch that doubles as a cleaning cloth.

 

BUILD:

20120530_201514.jpg

 

As I said before, the build is actually pretty good, and pretty damn good for a Skullcandy product. The cups and "arms" are made out of a black glossy plastic on my pair, that actually feels quite sturdy to me. It's no substitute for aluminum, but it feels alright. The headband, which has been one of the main reasons so many Skullcandy products have been ruined (Snapping, cracking, etc) is made out of a dense rubber, like an Ultrasone. It's flexible and feels strong, an awesome upgrade to the usual plastic bands found on other Skullcandy models. Also, the actual adjustment bar is metal, though I'm not sure what it was on the original model.

 

20120530_201342.jpg

 

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The cable is detachable on the left ear cup, a welcome upgrade from he usual fixed-cords on other models. The included cord is thick, has a rubbery feel, and retains little memory character after the first couple uses.

 

The pleather pads are a bit stiff at first, but are softening up and are quite comfortable. They are fully circumaural for my ears that stick out a bit.  The headband is not padded, however, but It actually gets more comfortable as time goes on.

 

They actually have a hefty feel to them.

 

ISOLATION: Seems a bit below average, might get better as the pads soften.  Unsure about leakage, haven't tested it yet.

 

SOUND: I've only been playing music through these for about an hour, so this are just my quick sound impressions.

 

Overall, it's a fun headphone, with impactful, punchy bass that isn't bloated or overwhelming, with mildly recessed mids compared to the bass, and a sparkly, rolled off treble. It's very easy to listen too, and I find it works great for Alternative rock.

 

More specific:

 

Highs: The Highs have a bit of sparkle and don't sound recessed to my ears. It is rolled off up top a bit though.

 

Mids: Feel slightly recessed, nothing too bad though. Male vocals that have a gravelly sound feel a bit off.

 

Bass: Punchy without being overwhelming.

 

Soundstage: Decent, nothing special, but not terrible either.

 

These are just my quick impressions, I'll put up a review after some more time with them. I just wanted to share that it really seems as though Skullcandy is really trying to step up their game in the headphone business. Lets hope they continue to improve.

post #2 of 13

While I don't really like Skullcandy sound-wise, I love the brand and designs of their products!

 

Anyway, how's the clarity? Most Skullcandy Earbuds I've used (50/50, Heavy Medal) sound somewhat muddy. These any different?

 

I have a Sony XB500 right now and I'm considering these if they're only $60. Or I might just keep on saving my money and get Shure SE215 or Audio Technica M50.

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Clarity is surprisingly good. Vocals come through good and the bass stays low enough to avoid messing up the mids. They sound better than my Philips "The Stretch" which has crazy bass reverb and muddy mids in comparison. Instrument separation is decent, though it can sound a bit congested on really busy tracks.

 

As I said before, they work great for Rock and Alternative Rock. No sibilance in cymbals or in the upper mids, which I often have a problem with.

 

Also, for portables, these work great. Not sure if the SE215 would be better, but if your going for portability, then SE215 or Hesh 2. M50 is bulky.

 

(Really nice taste in music you got there too. Sum 41 is awesome.)


Edited by Extra - 5/31/12 at 1:26pm
post #4 of 13
I was hoping this thread would get some more opinions / reviews of these Hesh 2.0's because I'm considering them for my son to replace his broken Senn HD428. I'm leaning toward something with a detachable cable (ex Hesh 2.0) or a lifetime warranty (ex Koss DJ100). Since I've heard the Koss need an amp, these Hesh 2.0 may be the ticket.
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonC View Post

I was hoping this thread would get some more opinions / reviews of these Hesh 2.0's because I'm considering them for my son to replace his broken Senn HD428. I'm leaning toward something with a detachable cable (ex Hesh 2.0) or a lifetime warranty (ex Koss DJ100). Since I've heard the Koss need an amp, these Hesh 2.0 may be the ticket.

All Skullcandy Headphones/Earphones have a Lifetime Warranty.

post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Angels and Air View Post

All Skullcandy Headphones/Earphones have a Lifetime Warranty.

I didn't know that - thanks. My son isn't outright abusive of his equipment, but he's rougher than an adult, so lifetime warranty or at least a replaceable cord is nice.
post #7 of 13

I was thinking of doing the exact same thread as you and pick up a Hesh 2.0 for same reasons and put it up against XB500 especially and see which of them is better budget basshead can. Tyll for example was of the opinion that Hesh 2.0 is better and it also measures extremely well for its price (look at those beautiful 300Hz and 30Hz square waves which compares to highend headphone's square wave figures and the impulse response is unusually snappy so bass should be of the punchy type and not sloppy)! BTW the headband isn't padded ONLY on the black version which you got, for example "Carbon Black" does have paddened headband as well as the other hippy designs heh. :p

 

I think it should be similar to XB500 and have good EQ potential as fundamentals seems to be rather fine, just needs a little better balancing across the frequency response range.

 

Didn't expect to see it put in the portable headphone section but "full-size" section though as I'd concider this headphone more a fullsize than portable so therefore I didn't see this thread until now.

 

In europe the availability is a bit worse so far still and would have to order directly through their homepage so I'm waiting to see if I can save about 10 EUR or so still from some other etailers before picking one up.


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 6/2/12 at 12:45pm
post #8 of 13

It's nothing but logic they use to make crap,they got more sense now and they make better ones, so good for them right and what i don't get is just look at beats and how they suck really bad doesn't anybody listen before they buy....??!! if skullcandy wants to keep selling they have to do better......

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post

I was thinking of doing the exact same thread as you and pick up a Hesh 2.0 for same reasons and put it up against XB500 especially and see which of them is better budget basshead can. Tyll for example was of the opinion that Hesh 2.0 is better and it also measures extremely well for its price (look at those beautiful 300Hz and 30Hz square waves which compares to highend headphone's square wave figures and the impulse response is unusually snappy so bass should be of the punchy type and not sloppy)! BTW the headband isn't padded ONLY on the black version which you got, for example "Carbon Black" does have paddened headband as well as the other hippy designs heh. :p

 

I think it should be similar to XB500 and have good EQ potential as fundamentals seems to be rather fine, just needs a little better balancing across the frequency response range.

 

Didn't expect to see it put in the portable headphone section but "full-size" section though as I'd concider this headphone more a fullsize than portable so therefore I didn't see this thread until now.

 

In europe the availability is a bit worse so far still and would have to order directly through their homepage so I'm waiting to see if I can save about 10 EUR or so still from some other etailers before picking one up.

Honestly, I don't think the bass on these qualifies as "basshead" quality. I don't listen to music like dubstep and techno, so maybe I'm not giving the bass the chance it has to really come out. I listen to mostly Rock and Metal, where the bass on these works well. Punchy without being bloated. I actually have a pair of XB500's that one of my parent's uses at their office, so I'll ask to have it back for a bit and compare. If you have any suggestions for songs that are good tests for bass I'd be happy to test them.

 

Also, even though the headband on my version isn't padded, it's actually pretty comfortable.

 

While the Hesh 2 is an over the ear headphone, I use it as a portable, which makes sense to me because of the soft carry bag and looks.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonC View Post

I was hoping this thread would get some more opinions / reviews of these Hesh 2.0's because I'm considering them for my son to replace his broken Senn HD428. I'm leaning toward something with a detachable cable (ex Hesh 2.0) or a lifetime warranty (ex Koss DJ100). Since I've heard the Koss need an amp, these Hesh 2.0 may be the ticket.

The Hesh 2.0 should work just fine. I'm a teenager myself, but I don't torture my gear nearly as bad as others my age. I just put these in the bag they came in and throw them in my backpack, and they seem rugged enough for that. And yeah, detachable cables work great for teenagers, it's the main problem with other kids my age other than snapping the headband, which isn't easy on these due to the rubber headband.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dailysmoker View Post

It's nothing but logic they use to make crap,they got more sense now and they make better ones, so good for them right and what i don't get is just look at beats and how they suck really bad doesn't anybody listen before they buy....??!! if skullcandy wants to keep selling they have to do better......


Yeah, I'm glad Skullcandy is actually working to improve their headphones. While I'm sure many will look down on them no matter what due to the brand, it's good to see them putting out products that teenagers like the looks of but actually sound good too.


Edited by Extra - 6/2/12 at 6:41pm
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Extra View Post

If you have any suggestions for songs that are good tests for bass I'd be happy to test them.

 

The motto by drake

post #11 of 13

Bassy tunes

 

livemixtapes.com

 

Check out: Juicy J - blue dream & lean, Gucci Mane - im up / trap back, Wiz khalifa - cabin fever, Ace hood - body bag 2

 

those are jus off the top my dome

post #12 of 13

they are uncomfortable after about an hour though

post #13 of 13

This apparently isn't the popular opinion, but I find these headphones to be extremely comfortable. Got my set around Christmas time this past year, and just happened to stumble across this review while shopping for new phones. I admit I'm looking to upgrade to something much more serious (at much higher price range) but I have been very happy with the hesh. I wear them for over six hour sessions pretty regularly and my only complaint is that they can get a little warm after a while, common with any closed over-the-ear headphone. I do a lot of live audio work, and while these are no replacement for my flat response monitor headphones, I prefer these for their comfort and tone when at leisure. The bass is true, not too boomy, and the brilliance in the highs was better than I would have expected. Listen to a lot of rock electronic, and naturally lean toward the "rock" eq with a slightly exaggerated bass and treble, which skullcandy is notorious for. While I don't wear them in public, (looking like a high-school kid with skulls on my head isn't really my thing) I like the way they look, and the construction is solid.

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