Big fans of Skullcandy here at TechNuovo and we’ve been fortunate enough to try a number of their products over the years. Today, I’m looking at one of their more recent, top tier products, the Crusher ANC. They currently retail at £199.99 over on the official Skullcandy store and that’s a decent amount of money, I’m hoping they can deliver on performance. Let’s find out.

The Crusher ANC include a number of features including:

  • Adjustable Bass
  • Active Noise Cancellation
  • Personal Sound
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Upto 24hr battery life plus rapid charge
  • Built in Tile Tracker

First impressions are very positive and straight away I’m impressed with the packaging and how the headphones are presented. The headphones come in a grey hardcase, with some subtle branding, a carry handle and it’s very robust, so it will protect the headphones while in your bag or similar. The case is molded, so the headphones can only be stored in one particular way and there is a small dedicated area for the supplied cables. Two cables are provided, a USB C for charging and your standard aux lead so you can use the headphones wired if the battery runs out on you.

These headphones come in three finishes, Fearless Black, Deep Red and Black/Tan, and we’re looking at the black version. The overall design is very modest, with minimal branding and mostly a satin black finish with hints of gunmetal grey. It’s mainly constructed from plastic but the inner headband does include some metal framing and there is also padding to the headband. Each earcup includes thick memory foam padding, they also swivel 180degrees and can fold in on themselves. Generally, there is a good amount of flex and movement to enable a comfy fit.

On the left earcup is the pairing button with associated indicator lights, which also doubles up as ANC on/off once paired,  and a slider, which adjusts the haptic bass. To the right earcup is the USB C port and aux in, plus three buttons. These buttons have multiple functions, depending on whether you press or hold the button in and will change volume up & down, plus change track. The middle button can be used for answering or ending a call, plus activating the voice assistant. There are also voice prompts while connecting etc, a very British voice I should add.

I’ve been using these every day for a week, while working from home and they have been great! They are ever so comfortable to wear, for two minutes or two hours, thanks to that memory foam earcup padding. The default sound profile is pretty good and it’s fairly well balanced. I played through my usual tracks, a bit of everything and they all sounded great. Rich & crisp vocals, with piercing guitar solos \m/. The bass level is fair on default but we have that haptic bass slider, so you can adjust the bass level to suit your taste. There is a big difference between 0 & 100 with the slider, so take it easy and for me, I added just a little, maybe 20% or so, just to give it that little noticeable difference. Punch it up to 100% and it feels like the drivers actually rumble, vibrating your ears, which is an odd sensation and one I’ve not experienced with headphones before. I do not believe the drivers are actually providing this bass, I think it’s simulated by some other piece of tech within each earcup and Skullcandy have patented this tech too, so I’m sure this won’t be the last time we see it. It’s a completely personal preference on that extra bass but I wouldn’t go too high, as listening to Drake @ 100% bass was crazy, my cheeks are still shaking. That got me thinking, what about movies and gaming? In both, it added another level and I have a feeling that these would be great with VR for that haptic feedback but I’ll have to get back to you on that front.

I mentioned at the start about ‘personal sound’ and by this, Skullcandy will produce a sound profile based around you. This can be done via the Skullcandy app and involves a real-time audio test, which will produce a personal sound profile based on your unique hearing. That profile then gets stored onto the headphones to give you a better performance and I have to agree, I think It does. It was not the easiest to identify the differences between default and my personal profile but there is something there and the more I listen, I can hear subtle improvements.   

The active noise cancellation is very good. I have the headphones on while I’m typing this up and I cannot hear my mechanical keyboard. Likewise when walking around and although it’s quiet during this lockdown, the external sounds of cars, the wind and other people is dramatically reduced. There is an ambient option too, if you wanted to let just a little of the outside world in.

The controls and buttons work very well and they’re all well positioned and easy to reach. If you take the headphones off, your content will continue to play, as I know some will now pause your content but this wont.

Battery life seems good. I used these for about 1-2 hours a day and the battery level is decreasing but not hugely and confident in Skullcandy’s statement of circa 24hr battery life. The battery also allows rapid charge, which is fantastic and after just 10 minutes of charge, you get get something like 2-3hrs of playback. Heard of Tile? That is also included and built into the headphones, so once you’ve set them up via Tile and if you misplace them, you can locate them via Tile. I have mixed feelings over Tile, as last time I checked, it was P2P and out in the sticks, it didn’t work overly well for me.  

I have really enjoyed my time with the Crusher ANC and I cannot get enough of that haptic bass control, it’s great! Overall, a well-performing, comfortable and premium pair of headphones, complete with a couple of cool perks such as the bass control and Tile integration. For more info, head over to the official Skullcandy website.

My cheeks are still shaking and I love it.