Skullcandy Crusher Evo review: Still a special headphone in 2023?
Despite being almost 3 years old, the Skullcandy Crusher Evo are currently experiencing a lot of hype on social networks. Especially for fans of rich bass, the over-ear headphones want to offer something thanks to the haptic “Crusher Bass”. Whether that succeeds and also sounds good, clarifies our Skullcandy Crusher Evo test.
|Headphone type||Over-ear (closed)|
|Bluetooth codecs||SBC, AAC|
|Maximum operating range||14m (without obstacle)|
|Battery life||Up to 50 hours|
|Weight||414g (without cable)|
|Frequency range||20 Hz -20,000 Hz|
|Connectors||USB Type-C; 3.5mm jack|
|Scope of delivery||Skullcandy Crusher Evo, USB-C charging cable, 3.5mm jack cable, instructions, leather carrying case|
|Special feature||Haptic bass response|
|Price||€ 189.99 *|
Skullcandy Crusher Evo review: scope of delivery, design and workmanship
- Good build quality despite plastic
- Ear cups can be rotated and folded
The Skullcandy Crusher Evo over-ear headphones come with the usual accessories. In addition to the headphones and manual, the box contains a USB-A from USB-C cable for charging, as well as a 3.5 mm jack cable for wired use. The scope of delivery is rounded off by a leather carrying bag.
Regarding the design, we should first note that the manufacturer provided us with the colorful “All Love” special edition. It comes with brightly colored ear pads, headband and buttons. Normally, the Crusher Evo are also available in subtle black and gray.
In terms of materials, the headphones rely primarily on plastic, yet there’s not much to complain about in terms of build quality. With the exception of the physical buttons, which look comparatively cheap. Otherwise, the headphones look surprisingly robust and high-quality.
As for the design, the Skullcandy Crusher Evo present themselves quite classically in the test. Oval ear cups, a headband that can be adjusted to the head shape and size with a pleasant ratchet. The ear cups can be rotated in both directions and folding for space-saving transport is also easily possible.
Design with physical buttons
- USB-C and 3.5mm jack port
- Physical buttons and sliders
The controls span both undersides of the earcups: on the right, we find a total of three buttons that (from top to bottom) increase volume, pause or resume playback, or decrease volume. Additional functions reside in the buttons when pressed and held down and double-pressed.
On the left side, on the other hand, we find the on/off switch on the inside, which is also used for pairing devices via Bluetooth. Below that lies a special feature of the Skullcandy Crusher Evo and that is the bass control, which lets you adjust the intensity of the haptic bass by sliding it up or down.
On the bottom of the left ear cup sit the two ports: USB Type-C for charging and 3.5mm jack for wired use.
Wearability of the Skullcandy Crusher Evo
- Ear cushions interchangeable
- Suitable only to a limited extent for large ears
- Right low contact pressure
The Skullcandy Crusher Evo relies in the test on ear pads made of synthetic leather, which can be easily removed and replaced, should they be worn out. They are comparatively hard, but flexible and have a height of about 18 mm.
However, it can get a bit tight inside: 5.4 cm x 4.0 cm (height x width) are available for your ears. An average value, as a comparison with other headphones shows: 6 cm x 4.5 cm is the case with the Sony WH-1000XM4 (our review) and 7.5 cm x 5.5 cm with the Bose QuietComfort 45 (our review), both of which are better suited for large ears as well.
Nevertheless, the wearing comfort turns out to be quite good for smaller to medium-sized ears, which is due to the quite low contact pressure. Nevertheless, the headphones find a secure hold and do not slip. The Crusher Evo’s weight of 314 grams is also in the midfield.
However, there is criticism for the headband, respectively its size adjustment, because the latching is much too smooth, so you accidentally slip through the individual sizes too quickly.
Features and battery life
- No active noise cancellation
- Excellent wireless range of around 15m
- Tile integration to locate the headphones
The features of the Skullcandy Crusher Evo can still be quite respectable in 2023, although some exciting additional features of high-quality headphones are missing. An active noise cancellation (ANC) is just as little offered as its counterpart in the form of a transparency mode.
The wireless headphones still use the Bluetooth 5.0 standard, but still achieve an outstanding range of around 15 meters to the audio source without the connection breaking or dropouts.
As with most over-ear headphones, there is no IP certification. So you’d better not use the Evo for long in the rain. Bluetooth multipoint, i.e. the simultaneous connection with two audio sources, is also not offered. There is also no Smart Pause or wear recognition, which would pause the music when you take off the headphones.
What there is, however, is the Tile feature, which we already know from other models from the manufacturer such as the Indy ANC (our review). This allows you to find the headphones again if you forget or lose them somewhere. Unlike the in-ears, however, this is not done in the companion app, but requires the additional download of the Tile app along with an account.
Convincing battery life of the Skullcandy Crusher Evo
- Excellent battery life of up to 50 hours
- Rightly long charging time (3 hours)
However, the Skullcandy Crusher Evo score with a really strong battery life. We could even exceed the 40 hours according to the manufacturer’s specification in the test. At medium volume and without haptic bass, the over-ear held out for about 60 hours. If you push the slider to the limit, you still get around 50 hours of runtime.
The complete charging takes a comparatively long time of 3 hours. At least 10 minutes on the mains is enough for four hours of playback. If the battery is empty, however, the headphones can also be operated via jack cable.
The operation of the Skullcandy Crusher Evo
- Successful operation with the help of the buttons
As mentioned above, the Skullcandy Crusher Evo rely on button operation rather than touch control. I personally find this very good, as I still prefer this concept.
In addition, the button controls are kept extremely intuitive, while the individual controls are easy to reach. One press increases or decreases the volume, while the center play/pause button can be quickly felt thanks to a concave surface that curves inwards.
Holding down the buttons for three seconds lets you skip to the next or previous song, while the middle button can also be used to answer or reject calls and launch the voice assistant – though the latter didn’t work with Apple’s Siri in testing.
How good do the Skullcandy Crusher Evo sound?
- Unique feature due to haptic, noticeable bass
- Right cool basic sound, which lacks a bit of detail
The Skullcandy Crusher Evo come with 40 mm drivers that cover an impedance of 32 ohms at a frequency band of 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz. As expected, the focus is naturally on the low-frequency range, which are quite strongly emphasized. At least if you use the haptic “Crusher Bass”, which can be adjusted with the slider on the left side.
The slider has an enormous impact on the sound. If you completely deactivate the haptic bass, the Crusher Evo sound quite cool and airy, while the bass is almost non-existent. Nevertheless, the sound seems relatively clear and the trebles are also nicely accentuated, but they are rendered a bit exaggerated and sharp at high volumes. The sound also lacks a bit of detail and three-dimensionality.
However, the sound image changes due to the haptic bass. Basically, the sound becomes warmer and more compact, whereby the low tones – depending on the settings – definitely overpower the trebles and mids.
Fans of rich bass will definitely get their money’s worth with the noticeable “Crusher Bass” thanks to haptic feedback, because the headphones vibrate noticeably on the head here. The whole thing reminds me a lot of the Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense (our review) gaming headset, which also relies on haptic vibrations.
In the case of the Skullcandy Crusher Evo, however, the basses noticeably lack precision, while the lows quickly start to boom. You should therefore use the control rather discreetly, because in the lower third, the haptic bass can definitely have a positive impact on the sound image.
Basically, I like the headphones from a sound perspective quite well, but compared to many competitors in the same price segment, it lacks the last bit of clarity and details. It should also be mentioned that only SBC and AAC are available as Bluetooth codecs. High-resolution aptX or LDAC codecs are not supported.
Of course, you can also use the Skullcandy Crusher Evo as a headset for phone calls. However, this is only fun to a limited extent, because on the one hand the offered microphone quality is merely average, and on the other hand an audible background noise is always perceptible.
Ambient noise also penetrates quite strongly outdoors, which also has an impact on the intelligibility. It is sufficient for the one or other call or a voice message, but not for more.
App connection: Skullcandy
- 3 predefined EQ presets; no custom settings
- Individual sound pattern thanks to listening test
- Perceptible improvement of the sound possible
The companion app for the Skullcandy Crusher Evo is the namesake Skullcandy app, which is available for download for free via iOS and Android. However, this has comparatively little to offer.
Nevertheless, a download is recommended, because it is possible to influence the sound in three equalizer presets (music, podcast and movie), for example. In podcast mode, for example, voices (and mids) are noticeably emphasized, which improves the sound even more in my eyes.
Too bad: Switching between the settings is only possible via the app and an individual adjustment of the equalizer is not possible at all.
You can also perform a listening test in the app. Gradually, different sound frequencies are played for the left and then for the right ear, based on which the sound is adjusted to your hearing.
Afterwards, you can quickly switch between personalized and normal sound at the touch of a button to hear the differences immediately. Your own hearing profile is stored directly on the headphones. This personalized sound also has a positive effect on the acoustics of the headphones.
Otherwise, however, the app has little to offer and only informs you about the battery level, while you can also read about the most important functions again via a digital user manual.
Skullcandy Crusher Evo review: conclusion
The Skullcandy Crusher Evo presents itself in the test as a good over-ear headphone, which scores especially with the unique selling point through the haptic bass reproduction. For fans of bass-heavy music, this alone could be a selling point, since this feature is not available anywhere else outside of the Skullcandy universe.
Nevertheless, the slider should be used carefully because otherwise the sound suffers noticeably in terms of detail. Otherwise, the model has a good build quality and a convincing battery life on the plus side. A 3.5 mm jack is also rather rare.
On the other hand, there is little else that could set the Crusher Evo apart from the competition. The sound lacks some brilliance and detail, there is no active noise cancellation, the microphone quality is merely okay, and the companion app offers few useful features.
In the end, we are left with a good pair of headphones, but they lack unique selling points and thus ultimately a bit of a selling point. Some competitors in this price segment simply offer more for the money.
Value for money
The Skullcandy Crusher Evo scores with a convincing battery life, good build quality and unique haptic bass. However, the headphones fall behind the competition in terms of sound and features.
Skullcandy Crusher Evo (black) price comparison
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