Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 Review

Sub Levels


The Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 Noise-Cancelling Headphones ($229.99) cost less and last longer than their predecessors, but their main draw is their ability to produce an incredible amount of bass. If this type of sound signature is what you’re looking for and you appreciate a comfortable, stylish design, you can end your search here. Note that competing headphones such as the $329 Bose QuietComfort 45 offer much better active noise cancellation (ANC).


understated style

Available in matte black, the around-the-ear Crusher ANC 2 headphones have a sleek, modern look. The memory foam on the ear pads and the upholstered headband ensure comfort for long listening sessions. The clamping pressure didn’t fatigue me, and my ears didn’t get uncomfortably hot during testing.

Inside, a 40mm dynamic driver provides a frequency range of 20Hz to 20kHz. The headphones are Bluetooth 5.2 compatible and support AAC and SBC codecs, but not AptX. Bose offers the same selection, but pricier alternatives like the Sony WH-1000XM5 ($399.99) and Sennheiser Momentum 4 ($349.95) include the more premium LDAC and AptX Adaptive codecs, respectively. .

Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 controls

(Credit: Tim Gideon)

The headphones feature a dedicated power button (red) and a set of push-button controls with a dial to adjust the bass effect on the left earcup. Skullcandy actually he employs two sets of drivers. One is the 40mm dynamic driver mentioned above, and the other is a pair of haptic drivers that produce vibrations tuned to frequencies around 10Hz to 150Hz (much like the passive bass radiators in Bluetooth speakers). Turning the dial up or down changes the amount of vibration, but does not affect the main driver. Press the button to toggle between settings of 20%, 50% and 80%. You can also adjust the sound with the app’s 5-band EQ by simply setting the dial to off.

There are three button arrays on the side panel of the right earcup. The middle button handles playback, calls, and Spotify Tap integration (depending on how many times you press or hold), while the outer button controls volume. Additional buttons next to these toggle between ANC on, ANC off and Stay Aware mode.

In terms of connectivity, the left earcup houses a USB-C port for the included USB-A-to-USB-C charging cable and a 3.5mm headphone jack for the included audio cable. It also comes with a hard-shell zip-up case with a fabric lining to easily fit your headphones and cables.

Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 Accessories

(Credit: Tim Gideon)

Skullcandy estimates that the headphones can last approximately 50-60 hours on a single charge (depending on ANC usage). However, normal volume levels also affect this number. According to the company, just 10 minutes of charging will give you four hours of playback.


Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 App Experience

The Skull-iQ app (available for Android and iOS) lays out a myriad of controls in a combination of easy-to-access tiles below the headphone image and battery reading on the main screen. The scope of the app can be a little overwhelming, but some sections are more important than others.

First, we have the Voice Control and Voice Assistant section. They should be part of the same tile, but basically you can choose either Alexa or the iHeartRadio voice assistant and change the language. The app also lets you use Skullcandy’s built-in voice control technology. When enabled, your headphones will hear the wake phrase “Hey Skullcandy” and will be able to perform basic actions.

EQ Settings in the Skull-iQ App

(Credit: Skullcandy)

[ボタン]Regions allow you to assign almost any control to most physical buttons. I like this level of customization. Especially since you can reset everything to the default layout with a single press.

The Crusher tile allows you to adjust the intensity of the bass effect. Tap the Hearing Modes section to adjust levels for ANC and Stay Aware modes. The EQ screen lets you choose from presets for music, podcasts and movies, or create custom signatures with up to 5 bands.

Skull-iQ App Advanced Settings

(Credit: Skullcandy)

Otherwise,[パーソナル サウンド]Select a tile to measure your hearing,[Spotify タップ]Select the option to configure the integration,[写真を撮る]Select a section to allow your headphones to act as a camera shutter trigger. Multipoint tiles allow you to set up connections with multiple devices at once. again,[タイルで検索]Options enable built-in location-based features that will help you find your headphones if you lose them.

The Settings menu allows you to disconnect your headphones, adjust the app language, update the app, and access basic customer support resources.


moderate noise canceling

In our testing, the 4-mic system provided decent noise cancellation. For best results, set the ANC slider to maximum level in the app.

The headphones attenuate some low-frequency drone noise, like airplanes, but you can still hear them quite a bit. A more complex recording of a crowded cafe didn’t make much of a difference with ANC on or off. Most of the mids and highs passed cleanly.

Simply put, the Skullcandy’s implementation of ANC falls short of the Bose QC45 headphone’s implementation in any of the above tests. Unfortunately, ANC mode also affects audio playback. Bass response is richer and fuller when ANC mode is active. You can enjoy this sound signature more, but ideally the noise canceling mode should not affect the sound signature.

Stay Aware mode doesn’t reveal as much environmental noise as other modes we’ve tested, but you can adjust the levels in the app, so you won’t have any major problems hearing your surroundings.


Bass response that overpowers all others

In our testing, the bass boost feature was one of the headphones’ main selling points, so we left it on. Additionally, with the headphones off, the bass loses a bit of punch. For reference, we mostly stuck with his settings around 50%.

On tracks with intense sub-bass content, such as The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” the drivers produce significant bass with dramatic vibrations. At full volume, the rattle is almost obnoxious. If you want to keep the balance, lower both volume and bass levels. Just to be sure, I tried it with headphones at maximum volume and bass at maximum level. Once I tried it, I immediately wanted to throw the headphones over my head. Bass vibrations at a concert are pleasant when felt throughout the body, but uncomfortable when only transmitted to the skull.

Interestingly, the duo can’t quite reproduce the deep bass of Kendrick Lamar’s “Loyalty” at 34 seconds. The final note of the descending bass progression is too low for the driver to handle. Something strange happens as a result. His first two notes get a lot of vibration, then the ringing fades away. Maxing out the bass level has the same effect on the deepest bass, but it pushes the drum loop forward so much that it’s less noticeable. All of this means that there are technical limitations to implementing bass at the lowest sub-bass levels.

Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 horizontal view

(Credit: Tim Gideon)

Bill Callahan’s “Drover,” a track with far less bass, has a better sound signature. The drum sounds ridiculous when the bass level is above 50% of his. They are so resonant that they overwhelm everything else in the mix. However, even at 10%, the drums still sound thunderous without losing the richness and definition of the vocals. Use these lower levels to keep his signature sounding more reasonable.

Orchestral tracks like the John Adams opening scene The Gospel According to Another Mary, sounds a little silly. At super-bass settings, these tracks are somewhat enjoyable, but above the 20% threshold, random audio artifacts (like unintended rumble) occur. Simply, this feature is not a good complement to typical stereo recordings of orchestral music.

The mic array worked well and I was able to understand every word in the iPhone test recording. The signal was strong overall, but other headphones offer slightly better clarity.


Bass beyond reason

The Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 headphones don’t cancel as much noise as their competitors, but that’s not what they’re really about. The reason you get these is because of their top-notch bass response. There’s some flexibility in setting bass intensity, but if you prefer a more reasonable sound signature, you’ll need to choose another option. The Boost QuietComfort 45 headphones, for example, offer best-in-class noise cancellation and deliver more enjoyable (but still bass-rich) audio, making them a great alternative, but at a significant additional cost. But if you just want to feel the vibrations in your brain, nothing we’ve tested recently compares to this crushing can from Skullcandy.

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