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Again in 2019, I reviewed Skullcandy’s Crusher ANC headphones and got here away impressed — these had been over-the-ear cans ideally suited to film watching or video video games. I wasn’t going to make use of them on a airplane or day-to-day workplace listening, but when I wanted headphones for a real residence theater expertise, I had a really perfect pair.
Almost 4 years later, the audio model (which makes use of the tagline “We don’t need you to simply hearken to music. We would like you to really feel it.”) is again with the Crusher ANC XT2, which they promise gives a serious improve on the unique, bass-heavy headphones … at a lower cost. Yep, these cans launched at $230, or $70 lower than the unique Crusher headset. Facet notice: Whereas the packaging calls these the ANC XT2, the Skullcandy web site and the included instruction booklet solely discuss with the headphones because the Crusher ANC 2, which is how we’ll stylize it any more.
The specs promised some average upgrades, notably with battery life and customization of buttons and controls. The brand new Crusher appears a bit greater in packaging and lacks the colour of the unique headset — your selection of headphones is at the moment set at “black” — and there’s a brand new app to obtain. In any other case, as the image under showcases, you could have a fairly comparable setup, together with a bass slider (which is now a dial) and tactile controls.
Is the well-priced improve value me placing away the previous Crusher set? I gave it a whirl with some music and films.
Very simple: Obtain the Cranium-iQ app (there’s a QR code to make it simple). There’s additionally a small instruction booklet and printed instructions on the within of the headphone packaging. Connecting took two seconds and a listening to check on the app took about 5 minutes.
- 4 equalizer modes (music, podcast, film and customized)
- Customized sound listening to check
- Multipoint pairing
- Earbuds double as a distant set off on your cellphone digital camera
- Customizable buttons
- Constructed-in Tile expertise
- A one-touch button to launch Spotify
- Bluetooth 5.2
- As much as 60 hours of battery life
- Driver Diameter: 40mm
- The energetic noise cancellation successfully sealed me off from co-workers and a buzzing air conditioner unit. There’s a “Keep Conscious” mode that leaks in a bit exterior noise, however even when absolutely off I felt fairly remoted from the surface world. Perhaps don’t put on these if you happen to’re strolling exterior.
- These are nonetheless the perfect headphones for motion pictures or TV exhibits. Like I did in 2019, I watched components of Jurassic Park with these on and even with the “Crusher” dial (see under) at 20%, I may really feel the vibrations of the dinosaurs growling and stomping in my chest.
- The customized sound check immensely helped — listening to Turnstile with out this function felt somewhat distant and tinny. With it on? A lot brighter and punchier. Don’t overlook this a part of the setup.
What sort of works:
- The Cranium-iQ app, which is totally different from the app I used to be utilizing in 2019, gives a special method to management your music, together with fine-tuning some audio options (an equalizer, private sound settings, and so forth.) and product upgrades. It weirdly flipped between voice management being “on” and “off” a number of occasions after I paired, however in any other case provided one other and extra customizable method to management your audio.
- I used the left earphone scroller (the “Crusher”) to modify between three presets of bass. At 20%, I may really feel it in my intestine. At 80%, it acquired closely distorted. That is highly effective sufficient to maintain at low ranges.
- I love tactile buttons on headphones — or possibly I hate contact controls. That stated, the buttons listed below are somewhat noticeable and really feel a bit fragile/plastic-y. “Smooth” this isn’t.
- Whereas it excels with motion pictures, the headphones had been far much less immersive and balanced with music. Talking of…
- The Equalizer settings on the Cranium-iQ app had been odd — some music sounded higher on “Film” over “Music” mode, for instance (notably when it was one thing extra formidable, like “Welcome to the Black Parade”). In the meantime, some podcasts I listened to sounded fairly comparable on all the modes…and truly rather less wealthy and vibrant on the devoted “Podcast” mode.
What wants work:
- Aesthetically, these cans are a bit “loud” (possibly it’s the orange energy button) and the shiny plastic on the within of the headscarf seems to be a bit low cost.
- Whereas comfy, Skullcandy’s over-ear headphones have the identical subject as all different over-ear headphones — they’re not superb in summer time. In a heat room in late June, my ears had been burning and I used to be sweating with Crusher on for an hour.
- I couldn’t use Alexa, one of many provided voice assistant integrations, to play Spotify. To make use of voice controls on music, I wanted to say “Hey Skullcandy” (e.g. need extra bass? “Hey Skullcandy, extra Crusher.”) Since I hardly ever use voice controls basically, I’ll most likely stick with the app or the tactile headphone controls.
The Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 is, in contrast to my evaluate of the earlier mannequin, actually all about that bass. Even followers of the model agree (the feedback on Skullcandy’s website vary from “BASS BASS BASS” to the very particular criticism that “the audio chime heard from maxing out the bass wheel could be distracting when adjusted in the midst of a track”).
This audio setup works wonders for motion pictures and gaming — in case your superb residence theater setup entails a soundtrack which you can really feel in your chest, the Crusher 2 is a implausible method to replicate the expertise of watching an motion film in an precise movie show. As properly, the headphones are fantastic for music — audiophiles will definitely look elsewhere (Sony, Apple, and so forth.), however followers of bass-heavy music might go for the facility right here over a balanced readability.
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