The last pair of headphones we tried from Skullcandy were the Crusher ANC, which were great, that haptic bass would just rumble my entire body. Move forward a year and we’ve got the Hesh ANC, let’s take a look.
- Active Noise Cancellation and Ambient
- Upto 22hr battery
- Rapid charge (10min = 3hrs)
- Built in Tile support
- RRP £129.99
Within the box, you get the headphones, which comes within a soft carry case, plus a 3.5mm jack lead for a hardwired connection and a USB cable for charging (USB-C).
The headphones very much look like the Crusher’s, if you’re familiar with them. Big, over the ear cans, with soft spongy memory foam pads. Each can, can be adjusted 180degres and also fold in on itself. Plastic casing, an inner metal headband, which is fully adjustable and includes padding to the top as well. They have a lovely matte black finish to the cans, with satin or glossy highlights on the band and hinges. They look fantastic, it’s a very subtle look but that works for me. The case is quite nice, soft, double-lined with the inner part being like a microfibre fabric. It appears the Hesh only come in black at present, no other colour options available.
To the right can are the controls and ports. We’ve got USB-C and 3.5mm port to the bottom part, with the controls on the left-hand side, so when they are on your head, you can use your thumb to control. There are four pushbuttons total, all of which are detailed on an information card in the box. The middle button is power on, the very top is the ANC button and in between, plus & minus for volume and track controls.
Audio performance was very good, exceeding its retail price and for anything better, you’d be looking at paying over the £200 mark. Fairly well-balanced sound profile, although the bass is prominent, so will likely be favoured by bass lovers more than anyone. If I was being picky, I’d have liked a little more mid in some of the tracks I listened to. I listened to an array of tracks, my usual pop-punk and rock playlists, then some Tyler The Creator, just to mix it up. All of which, very enjoyable.
ANC or active noise cancellation was superb, some of the best I’ve heard in a long time in fact. Turn ANC on and you’re in the music, external sounds, unless significantly loud are removed, leaving you to enjoy your music in peace. I wore these around the house and while music was playing, zero distractions. I think the loudest thing I came up against was the vacuum cleaner, but it held up pretty well against that too. I found headphones came to life at the mid to high volumes. If Skullcandy could offer an EQ option via an app in the future, winner winner chicken dinner.
There are some very British voice prompts when turning on, off, switching ANC etc. Very pleasant.
The memory foam pads on each side are very soft, coupled with the cushioned headband (although not as soft), does offer a comfortable fit. The adjustable part of the headband was quite stiff to start with, which meant once I selected the right size, they never changed without force. There was plenty of flex or twist from the headband as a whole component. I happily had them on for an hour or so each time using them and I have no complaints. As it’s quite a secure fit, I would recommend these to joggers, I think they’d hold up just fine while running.
Battery life seemed good, 20+hours can be achieved. I went through one full cycle from 100% to 0% and It was circa 20hours total playback. Don’t forget, these do have Tile built-in. For those of you unaware, Tile is a device that allows you to track an item. So once set up, you can keep tabs on your headphones if you wanted to.
Once again, Skullcandy deliver. Great sound and build quality, very comfortable to wear, positive battery life and the carry case is a very nice touch. At £129.99, more than a fair price for what you’re recieving and It’s an easy recommendation from me. For more info, head over to the official Skullcandy Hesh ANC webpage.