We’re defiantly fans of Skullcandy in the office, they usually offer a good quality, mid-range product, with an attractive price tag. Their latest instalment, the ‘Venue’ headphones, a pair of Bluetooth cans, complete with ANC and Tile integration. With an RRP of £149.99, they are one of Skullcandy’s more expensive items, so I hope this price is justified.
The headphones come in two different colours, black or a white/crimson red combo. These are over the ear headphones, with thick, squishy padding on each ear cup, plus a padded adjustable headband. The design is minimalist, there isn’t much to them, but that works for me, as I prefer subtle over standing out. They are mostly constructed from plastic, with faux leather to the headband and ear cups, offering a somewhat ‘premium’ feel to them. They are flexible and with the adjustable headband, you can get a comfortable fit on your head. Controls-wise, on the left cup, is the power on/off & ANC on/off buttons, plus a battery indicator. The micro USB and 3.5mm input are also located on the left cup. On the other ear cup, is the volume/playback control, plus the pairing button. The headphones come complete with a semi-hard case, including USB and aux cable.
The headphones come complete with ANC or Active Noise Cancelling, meaning it will block out the background sounds, so you get a better audio experience. ANC is controlled via a button on the left ear cup, so you can toggle it on and off, whenever you want, allowing you to keep your headphones on when you need to listen to the outside world. The second notable feature is from the built-in Tile product. In brief, Tile is a tracking device, which allows you to pair the headphones to your Tile account, so if you ever lose track of them, the Tile app will help you locate them. I’d understand with something like the Apple Airpods, I can see them getting lost a lot, but these, I’m not sure. That being said, it’s a handy feature and might be used by some people.
As for performance, it was very good, with the ANC prooving better than I expected. Skullcandy products tend to be quit bass heavy, but that’s not the case here. The Venue offers a well-balanced sound, suitable for many types of audio, thanks to the 40mm driver in each ear cup. There is some passive noise cancellation from just the padded ear cups, but by using the ANC option, it adds another level. Testing this in the busy streets of London, the odd honk from a van or rumble from a lorry would get through, but otherwise, most sounds were cancelled out. Battery life is very good, I used these for around 6/7 hours, and was no where near needing to charge up again, and when you do charge, you can utilise the fast charge feature, giving you a few hours of playback from 5/10 minutes of charge. Fear not, if you run out of battery, grab the cable from the carry case and continue listening to music via the corded option.
Overall, these are a very comfortable pair of mid-range headphones, with good quality audio and decent ANC. I say mid-range, as if you are a real audiophile, then I don’t think these would quite be up there on the performance you want, and if you spent a bit more money, you may get a pair of headphones with hi-def audio. For everybody else, I would highly recommend these. For more information, visit the official Skullcandy webpage.