30th October 2022 – Written by Nick Rowe @ Technuovo.com
Skullcandy has come back to the gaming market with a new range of gaming headsets, including the SLYR, SLYR Pro and PLYR. We got the entry-level SLYR headset, which retails at just £59.99. It looks fun, the colours, it’s certainly got that gamer vibe to it but how does it perform? Is it a good entry-level headset? Let me run my thoughts.
The unboxing experience is very gamer, the imagery, the colouring, it’s hitting all the right spots. The headset itself comes in black, but then the accent colours come in three different colours, pink (the one we got), plus green or blue. Thick, memory foam’esk ear cups, plus a little bit of padding to the headband too. The headband is adjustable, the cans swivel and there is a good amount of flex overall. The colouring looks good, with subtle branding, subtle colours, matte and glossy black, and some brushed metal effect too, to the headband. Visually, it’s ticking the boxes and will appeal to many.
As for buttons, it’s limited, which was expected in this price range. There is a scroll wheel for volume control, plus the left-hand can, and the outer casing acts as a mute button. It’s clicky and very easy to use. You’ll know you’re on mute as the microphone has a little indicator light that will go red when on mute. Also on the left can, the aux input for the cable and the mic input. The microphone plugs in, so it is removable if you didn’t want to use comms. It is flexible but it doesn’t hold its shape very well. This model is a wired connection only, universal so it will work with any console and the required cables are provided. For me, PC, it was the old school pink and green cable, into my PC, then there is an additional cable you plug into it that plugs the headset. It’s crude, the cable is just about long enough as my PC is on my desk. If it was on the floor, I would probably struggle.
As for specs and features, nothing special. Skullcandy are labelling it to have ‘supreme sound’, advanced microphone via 50mm dynamic drivers, all-day comfort, multi-platform (PC/Xbox/Playstation/Switch/Mobile), mute and volume control,
Audio Performance is not too bad, for this price point. There are no EQ or profile options which is a shame but the default sound profile is more than enough to enjoy a game. I’ve been playing alot of Overwatch 2 and it’s been fun. Footsteps, shots, and explosions are well-defined so although it’s not a stealthy game by any means, it is useful knowing where the action is coming from the headset does a good job of showcasing this. As an entry-level headset, the audio performs well.
For the microphone, I jumped into Discord but didn’t tell anyone I had changed headsets and my friend’s first comments were “you’re quiet today”. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, friends had just adjusted my volume on their end to suit my old headset. I would also say the microphone sits further away from my mouth with the SLYR too. Generally, everyone I spoke to with the microphone said I came through clearly, and we would happily chat for hours. The microphone doesn’t bend all that much, you bend it into place and then it flexes back, further away from your mouth.
As for comfort, it’s not too bad. The cans are very comfortable but the headband could be better. There is plenty of adjustment so it suits any sized head and it’s not tight in any way, I would have just liked to have had the same amount of cushioning on the headband as there is on both cans.
The buttons are limited and there is no way of adjusting multiple audio sources. Perhaps I’ve been spoilt but with the Steel series headset I’m using, I have the ability to adjust game audio and discord on the fly, while I’m in-game, which I’ve actually really missed while testing these out. The volume control is for all sources, so if I turned down the game sound, discord followed which meant I had to minimise mid-game to adjust discord audio so I could hear my friends OR reduce the in-game volume. This is just my observation, my other headset is more expensive and I wouldn’t have expected features like that to be available in an entry-level headset like this.
There is no software associated with these, so you can tweak EQ’s, profiles for games or content consumption.
What about the other two headsets? The SLYR Pro looks the same but Skullcandy is using different words to perhaps make them sound better performing but if you look at the audio specs, they’re identical. However, the Pro does come with software, allowing you to customise the experience to suit you, which is a bonus. The top-of-the-range headset is the PLYR and again, audio specs look the same on paper but this headset is wireless, so you can connect via Bluetooth and game. Battery life is stated at around 24hours. The PLYR also looks slightly different, it has a different type of headband which may be more comfortable. The PLYR is compatible with a 2.4GHz wireless transmitter but that is sold separately.
Again, the SLYR retails at £59.99, SLYR Pro is £89.99 and the PLYR is £129.99.
At this price point, the quality is good enough and it’s comfortable as well. I would recommend this, over some unknown brand that may be cheaper. Skullcandy is a solid brand, they’ve produced a decent budget headset that looks fun and will get you chatting and playing with friends, very easily. Would I use this, no, probably not because there are better-performing headsets out there and that’s what I’m used to. This does come at a cost though, probably at least double, which may not work for everyone.
To find out more, head over to the official Skullcandy website! If we can get hold of the PLYR, we will, as that is the premium headset, it would be good to see how different the two are.