Crusher Evo, fast-charging wireless headphones from Skullcandy, offer outstanding battery life and combine the company’s in-house haptic bass response technology with flexible sound adjustment via an app. It offers EQ settings for music, podcasts and films, as well as its own sound profile based on a listening test provided by the Swedish company Audiodo.
The portable design of the Crusher Evo features ear cups that tilt, swivel and retract for space-saving transportation and adjustment. Since the bendable headband can be adjusted over a wide range, these headphones are suitable for all head sizes from petite to larger heads. The fit is designed to be tight rather than loose so that they stay on if you break into a jog. The rather solid design is primarily made of plastic, but appears robust and impeccably finished. Due to the design of the closed system, a certain amount of heat develops around the ears and this must be tolerated, but it is within acceptable levels.
With an impressive runtime of more than 72 hours at higher levels, these over-ears are recommended for longer journeys, especially as the quick-charge function provides battery capacity for four and a half hours after just ten minutes of power. A full charge via the existing USB-C port takes three hours and 20 minutes. These headphones are also equipped with a 3.5 mm audio input so that wired use is a possible alternative. A mini jack cable and a USB-C to USB-A charging cable are included in the package of accessories.
These wireless headphones support Bluetooth standard 5.0 and, in combination with various Android and iOS devices, distinguished themselves with a stable, high range wireless connection, which was up to 14 metres and did not break even through several rooms. Pairing is done by holding down the power button on the left cup, which switches the over-ears on and puts them into pairing mode. Once a connection has been established, an easy-to-use 3-button remote on the right-hand side is available for controlling the device, the middle button of which is used to start and stop playback and to answer and end telephone calls. In addition, voice assistants are activated by pressing twice. The volume can be adjusted with the upper and lower buttons, and by holding down the plus button, you can jump to the next track and back to the previous one with the minus button. While the remote control reacts reliably and without delay, speech intelligibility during telephone calls appears somewhat limited, since the treble on both sides tends to overload and your own voice is accompanied by a background noise.
The Crusher Evo’s down-to-earth, warmly rounded basic sound has fullness and a powerful bass response with depth, which appears compactly framed, with the foundation sounding a little dull. The upper end is very clear, with present highs that do not fall off, but can develop a certain sharpness with increasing volume and tend to exaggerate sibilants. The mids, on the other hand, which are also clear and full of detail, appear somewhat more reserved, even though vocals and lead instruments have enough room to unfold and voices are reproduced with a good intelligibility. All in all, the virtual stage does not seem to be too narrow, has depth and a spatially expansive staging. The Bluetooth standard SBC and the higher quality AAC format are available as audio codecs. However, support for aptX has been omitted.
The Sensory Haptic Bass, a kind of bass booster that uses vibration patterns to create a haptic bass perception, can be added using the slider on the left side of the headphones. And this has a strong effect on bass-orientated productions because these over-ears permanently vibrate quite strongly! However, as the vibration patterns almost overturn the headphones, the effect is sometimes uncontrolled and arrhythmic, and the high intensity can cause headaches. In addition, the low frequency range is amplified in such a way that the bass quickly starts to boom and rumble, while the mids are increasingly obscured. A grown-up can decide for themselves how many shocks are healthy for their own brain. However, because of this function, these headphones do not seem suitable for children and teenagers.
App connection with hearing profile and EQ settings
The free Skullcandy App for iOS and Android systems offers three pre-configured EQ settings. While Music mode is the default setting, Podcast mode reduces the bass range noticeably and increases the intelligibility of voices, resulting in a brighter sound image. The tuning in Movie mode, on the other hand, is intended for action-packed media and enhances the upper bass and low tonal range. However, switching is only possible via the app and cannot be done on the over-ears themselves. In addition, there is the option of generating a personal sound profile via a hearing test, which compensates for imbalances between the left and right ear. A good feature here is that the sound profile can be activated and deactivated, which allow you to make a direct listening comparison. It can also be used independently of the app, as the sound profile is stored on the Crusher Evo, this is especially good as several profiles can be created and deleted for different people. All in all, the sound profile makes the sound clearer, cleaner and more direct. The bass reproduction appears more precise and a little slimmer, which means that the low bass range loses its dullness.
As well as the sound-specific functions, the app connection also provides a battery status display, a user guide and instructions for setting up the optional tracking function via Tile App, which is designed to help you find the headphones quickly when needed. However, there is still room for improvement at this stage, as there are connectivity and stability problems. Using the Skullcandy app requires patience, but this should be remedied with an update.
Skullcandy’s Crusher Evo scores with an enormous running time and well thought-out handling of sound profiles, which enhance the contemporary tuning, but in the lower bass range they have a slightly dull sounding basic sound. These robust over-ears cover a wide range of applications thanks to the three available EQ modes. The special haptic bass effect, on the other hand, will only provide listening pleasure when used very discreetly.
- Ear couplingOver-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)20 - 20.000 Hz
- Impedance±15%: 32 ohms
- Sound pressure level (SPL)95~100 dB
- Weight with cable326 g
- Weight without cable312 g
What's in the box
- Mini jack cable
- USB-C to USB-A charging cable
- Carrying pouch
- available in black and grey
- BT codecs: SBC, AAC
- BT version: 5.0