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Skullcandy Crushers Brief Impression Review

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

OK! So before I start, I want to preface this by saying this will be an honest review. To be fair to these headphones I'm not really going to try comparing them to anything, because nothing I have listened to had the goal of these, which is mind numbing (or ear vibrating) bass. If I had a pair of Sony XB500s or Thunderpants or something then I'd have something to compare to, but alas, I do not.

 

Also, my impressions are slightly biased to positive due to thoughts being that these were going to be the Skullcandy Skullcrushers redux. Which in many ways they are, but these are  basically the Skullcrushers done right.


Impressions were done with Cowon J3 PMP at AC Gears in NYC for about 45 minutes total. All music was OGG -q8 or MP3 V0 or better.

 

Bass without the "Sensation55 Drivers" (aka the ear vibration function) - This actually surprised me, as I thought they were going to be bass machines, and they really aren't. There were some songs where I expected to hear the kick of a bass drum or the bass guitar and it was barely there (OK slight exaggeration, because it does kick, but still I was actually expecting more). For bass heavy music it was certainly there, so they aren't lacking bass, but if anything for what they describe, it feels like the bass is lacking. The positive part about this is that it doesn't impede on the other sound ranges. So overall the bass is good, as expected, perhaps a bit weak if you were expecting extremely hard hitting bass from these headphones without hitting the switch.

 

Bass with the "Sensation55 Drivers" - "Bass you can feel" is how they describe this. If there was ever an advertising line that was accurate this is it. These things vibrate your ears. I mean that literally. If you turn up the switch to 100% it feels like just your ears are up against a club monitor speaker. So if that is what you are looking for, these are your headphones. Unfortunately it does affect the other frequencies, but that is to be expected. And it isn't as bad as I would have thought. I personally think that full blast for the switch is far too much, but I can see people enjoying it. For me 50% was plenty, it gave some vibration but wasn't over powering and didn't harm the midrange or the highs as much, or sometimes not at all depending on the song to my ears. The amount of bass is still impressive though. Even next to the Sony XB series, these have a lot of bass. However there is a caveat, that switch under 50% almost does next to nothing, at least not that I could hear.

 

Midrange - The midrange is recessed and rather unimpressive. The vocals seem distant for some songs. I'll say this, it isn't BAD, but they are certainly recessed and didn't wow me by any means, but they weren't bad and were again largely unaffected by the bass for the most part. The biggest thing is that the midrange felt dull, and that is a word you'll be hearing again. Everything sounded rather flat and dull. 

 

Highs - The highs were unsurprisingly attenuated (big shocker). The highs also felt flat and dull. Nothing really sounded good for the highs. From guitars to trumpets, nothing sounded right. It either sounded dull or like frequencies missing. I should mention, while the highs are definitely the worst part of these headphones, I still can't say they are completely awful, because they aren't. 

 

 

Further impressions of the Sensation55 drivers - Let's face it, if you are looking at these headphones this is why. And I'll be honest, for what they are and what they do, they are actually good. You shouldn't be expecting the bass to be incredibly detailed or fast, but it is powerful and you will feel like you are in a club or movie theater. They react surprisingly well to bass amount  and volume as well. Bass light songs even with the dial turned up to max, barely vibrated, which is a huge plus compared to the Skullcrushers, which just gave you an awkward head massage. 

 

 

Overall - These are fair headphones. They aren't really good for any genre of music outside of what you would hear in a club, but they aren't awful for those other genres either. The only genre I completely didn't test because I knew it wouldn't be worth it was classical, and I didn't want to have something be completely negative. These are not for classical music and you don't really need to listen to classical to get that impression, and jazz is highly questionable, except maybe jazz fusion. What these really excel at is club music, and honestly I could see these being fantastic for movies as well and perhaps games.

 

These are as far away from audiophile headphones as I have listened to in a long while, but I could honestly see myself recommending these instead of Beats if that is the sound people are looking for. For the right music or right uses, these are surprisingly decent set of headphones. I feel like Skullcandy is really making the effort to up their game in the headphone market.

post #2 of 31

I've been waiting for a review on these new cans. Finally, someone has done it. They've been out some time on a few websites out there, so I would expect a review right around this time.

 

I have a few questions. First off, is the bass slider a real slider? (Like can you set it to 14%, 28%, 37%, 84%, etc.) or is there set amounts? Second, what I got from you is that at 50%, the bass slightly overpowered the highs, mid, and treble. Is that correct? Lastly, do these headphones have padding on the headband?

post #3 of 31
Thread Starter 

It is a real slider, yes. But the slider is basically ineffective from 40% and under. I'm not sure if that is due to the volume of listening (25/40 on the J3), because volume is a factor for that.

 

And yes, but it is not as bad as you would expect from literally vibrating headphones. I think it is because of the separate drivers to be honest. The vibration is what really does the bleed in though, at least I think so. Without it it doesn't really, even when it is just under the vibration threshold, it doesn't bleed in, at least not that I could hear.

 

And they do have padding, they were rather comfortable in fact. I only had them on for 45 minute so I am not sure of long term comfort, but they weren't unpleasant.

post #4 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyuuketsuki View Post

It is a real slider, yes. But the slider is basically ineffective from 40% and under. I'm not sure if that is due to the volume of listening (25/40 on the J3), because volume is a factor for that.

 

And yes, but it is not as bad as you would expect from literally vibrating headphones. I think it is because of the separate drivers to be honest. The vibration is what really does the bleed in though, at least I think so. Without it it doesn't really, even when it is just under the vibration threshold, it doesn't bleed in, at least not that I could hear.

 

And they do have padding, they were rather comfortable in fact. I only had them on for 45 minute so I am not sure of long term comfort, but they weren't unpleasant.

 

Alright.

 

So, let's say at 60% on the bass slider, would that decrease the SQ? Since it's two different drivers, I don't see why it would affect the SQ at all. If it does, it's probably just that the two streams of sound waves mix together once they get near your eardrums.

post #5 of 31
Thread Starter 

I'd say more around 70-80%. At 60 it is still nominal. For me 50-60% is really my sweet spot though.

 

And I'm not really sure. I think it was just the increased vibrations that did it. Which is probably why when vibrations were kept to a minimal level at 50-60% it wasn't bad if at all noticeable. But for every song I played I basically started at 0 for the slider, then slowly increased it to see if there was a difference and at 30-40% (approx) is where I heard the increased bass. At 50-60% you start to feel it depending on the song (lower bass quantity songs won't really do much at 50, but club mixes you feel). At 70-80% is where the vibrations become prominent. At 90-100, it is basically standing next to a club monitor and getting a nice ear massage. It is possible that my ears weren't use to the vibrating bass effect and the bleed into the other frequencies was my mind inserting what I thought should be there, which is bass bleed into the other frequency ranges. However I can only trust my initial impressions.

 

I also neglected to mention that these really aren't low volume listening headphones. If you want that vibrating effect, you need to be listening at a moderate volume. I usually have my J3 at 15/40 and there was little vibrations at 100% on the slider. Which is why I upped the demoing volume to 25/40.


Edited by kyuuketsuki - 3/30/13 at 12:08pm
post #6 of 31

So basically what you're saying is the sound quality sucks but you can feel the bass (only with the woofer that is)

post #7 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by zizz01010101 View Post

So basically what you're saying is the sound quality sucks but you can feel the bass (only with the woofer that is)

 

I'm thinking he means that the more bass you have on the slider, the more the sound quality sucks.

post #8 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zizz01010101 View Post

So basically what you're saying is the sound quality sucks but you can feel the bass (only with the woofer that is)

 

That's going a bit far. I'd say they are decent for bass headphones in the $100 price range. The mids and highs are lacking, but I sorta expected them to be.

 

What I didn't expect is that the bass is more lacking without the extra speaker activated than anything. I suppose that is for the best though since it prevents from harming the other frequencies. 

 

Really they were just not impressive to me. They weren't bad, but nothing about them wow'ed me. And the vibrating bass feature wasn't for me. Though if I was a basshead who loved club style music and the feel of bass shaking me to my core, I'd probably love these. That isn't the case though.

 

I would recommend them to some select people, but they aren't something I could recommend to everyone. They are slightly sub-par at the price range sonically. Unless you really like what they have to offer, which is literally the bass you can feel. And if that is what you are looking for, they are great!

 

They can have their uses, maybe for movies or something. But to consider them horrible is really unfair to them.

post #9 of 31

I gave these a try at a shop in the city and WOW with the bass slider all the way at max they were literally pounding my skull. I was expecting boosted sub-bass, but these things actually vibrate on your cranium. Then I continued listening and realized everything else sounded terrible... Oh well. If I had money to blow I would buy these for the sheer novelty.

post #10 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by PanamaHat View Post

I gave these a try at a shop in the city and WOW with the bass slider all the way at max they were literally pounding my skull. I was expecting boosted sub-bass, but these things actually vibrate on your cranium. Then I continued listening and realized everything else sounded terrible... Oh well. If I had money to blow I would buy these for the sheer novelty.
At 50% on the bass slider, how were the mids and highs? Also, do they have precise clarity?
post #11 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heitek View Post


At 50% on the bass slider, how were the mids and highs? Also, do they have precise clarity?

Not so good. Aaand no, but they sure were fun to listen to. I can imagine they'd cause a migraine after 20 minutes though.

post #12 of 31
Thread Starter 
They really don't have precise clarity at all, not that they were designed to be. My review was of these headphones comparing to the closest thing I could, which was the previous model. While they don't sound bad, they don't sound good either. However this headphone is leagues better than the skullcrusher.

Again, I'd describe the mids and highs as wildly unimpressive, not really "bad". That isn't the focal point of these phones, nor would anyone buy them for the mids and highs. They are livable if you want what these can offer which is club style bass that will literally shake your head.

Honestly, I'm somewhat impressed Skullcandy was able to recycle this insane idea and make it work to the point where they are fun enough to listen to so that people would buy them and actually be able to hear notes when the vibration feature is on. The Skullcrusher's are on my short list of worst headphones ever. I'm pretty sure that the $2 airplane headphones that Tyll reviewed sounded better.

I still think that these would work for movies and the like. I can imagine putting on an action movie with these and having a blast watching it.
Edited by kyuuketsuki - 4/29/13 at 10:06pm
post #13 of 31

Hi, im a normal user (not even close to be an audiophile) and i listen rap, thats the only genre that i love and i love the bass (yes i know, such a noob). The thing that i want to know is if i am the class of person who you probably recommend this headphones.

 

pd.: excuse me if i wrote something wrong, spanish speaker.

post #14 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawin09 View Post

Hi, im a normal user (not even close to be an audiophile) and i listen rap, thats the only genre that i love and i love the bass (yes i know, such a noob). The thing that i want to know is if i am the class of person who you probably recommend this headphones.

 

pd.: excuse me if i wrote something wrong, spanish speaker.


If you wanted club style bass, yes. If you just wanted excess amounts of bass at the same price there are probably other options.

Honestly, I'm not sure rap would shine on these because of the lack luster midrange. I'd be more comfortable recommending to someone who likes EDM.
post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawin09 View Post

Hi, im a normal user (not even close to be an audiophile) and i listen rap, thats the only genre that i love and i love the bass (yes i know, such a noob). The thing that i want to know is if i am the class of person who you probably recommend this headphones.

 

pd.: excuse me if i wrote something wrong, spanish speaker.

Yes. Absolutely. I like rap, EDM, you name it. Lil' John and wiz khalifa tracks sound CRAZY on these headphones. That's exactly what they're designed for.

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