Skullcandy Crusher Evo review: tooth rattling bass

"The bone-shaking bass makes the Crusher Evo a solid choice for bass heads."

  • Crazy powerful bass

  • Great battery life

  • Good sound quality

  • Effective sound personalization

  • Tile tracking

  • Mediocre call quality

  • A little hard

  • No bluetooth multipoint

Skullcandy's original $ 150 Crusher headphones introduced the company's Sensory Bass feature, which places a secondary, dedicated bass driver in each ear cup. With an adjustable slider that lets you adjust how much of that head-rattling bass you want, the feature came up next on the $ 300 Crusher 360 and $ 320 Crusher ANC.

Hoping to prove that good things come to four, Skullcandy tweaks the Crusher formula again with the $ 200 Crusher Evo. By eliminating Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), improving how Sensory Bass works, and using the Crusher ANC's custom EQ feature, the Crusher Evo seeks to occupy the goldilocks zone in the Crusher range. Here's how they work.

What's in the box?

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Skullcandy Crusher Evo "class =" m-Karussell - Bild dt-lazy-no "src =" https://icdn3.digitaltrends.com/image/digitaltrends/skullcandy-crusher-evo-00006-640x640.jpg "srcset =" https://www.digitaltrends.com/data:image/gif;base64,https://www.digitaltrends.com/R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP//yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Skullcandy Crusher Evo "class =" m-Karussell - Bild dt-lazy-no "src =" https://icdn4.digitaltrends.com/image/digitaltrends/skullcandy-crusher-evo-00005-640x640.jpg "srcset =" https://www.digitaltrends.com/data:image/gif;base64,https://www.digitaltrends.com/R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP//yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

In the large product packaging you will find the Crusher Evo, a USB-C charging cable, an analog cable and a carrying case. The box itself is heavily coated with specially printed surfaces and has a front flap with a magnetic closure that makes recycling difficult, if not impossible. The internal black plastic shell is made of polystyrene which may also be difficult to recycle depending on the facilities you live in.

design

If you're a fan of Skullcandy's Crusher line, the Crusher Evo, available in matte black or matte gray, is instantly known. Visually, they look identical to the Crusher ANC, with the same deeply padded faux leather ear cups and the same folding design that allows you to store them flat or simply folded.

The Crusher Evo's bag is the best I've seen.

They also use the same physical controls: large, easily accessible play / call / volume buttons on the right ear cup with an on / off switch and the Sensory Bass slider on the left.

They have the fully integrated wiring of the Crusher ANC which keeps everything super clean, but they also fall back on the original Crusher to grab the model's fabric-covered headband.

I am particularly impressed with the tote bag. Usually these items (if they are included at all) are more of an afterthought – just a thin bag to protect your headphones from scratches.

The Crusher Evo's bag is the best I've seen. The outer shell is made of durable nylon fabric, while the inside has a deep plush lining that leads me to believe that it would not only protect the cans from scratches but probably also from bumps. Inside there are two mesh pockets for the included cables, which is a nice touch, but it's the closure design that deserves special praise. No drawstring here. Instead, you get a snap buckle that is combined with a double flip-over opening to keep these headphones really safe.

The bag specifically says it is not waterproof and that's true. The nylon is not coated with a waterproof layer, so it will absorb moisture when it gets wet. However, if you take it out of the bag as soon as possible, you should have no problem protecting the Crusher Evo from the occasional accidental splash.

Control, convenience and ease of use

Skullcandy Crusher EvoSimon Cohen / Digital Trends

Weighing in at 11 ounces, the Crusher Evo are a bit heavier in terms of wireless headphones – likely due to their amazing battery life (more on that in a moment) – but they remain reasonably comfortable. The headband offers a lot of clamping force and the ear pads find a nice balance between softness and support.

The only thing that keeps them from feeling comfortable for hours is their relatively shallow depth of the ear pad. My ears tend to protrude more than some people, so your mileage may vary, but I found that after about an hour and a half of use, the edges of my ears became tired of being pressed against the inner surface of the ear cups.

The controls are perfect for me.

On the plus side, the Crusher Evo offers a completely smaller minimum size when the headband sliders are fully retracted, so those with larger than average heads are likely to find these headphones will fit them when other models don't.

The controls are perfect for me. They're well placed, well spaced, and large enough that you never have trouble finding the button you want quickly. You can access the volume up / down, watch the jump forward / backward, answer / quit, and voice assistant access (Siri or Google Assistant).

The operation is very intuitive, especially if you are working with the Sensory Bass slider on the left auricle. I love that there are endless customization options, from nothing to pounding your skull and everything in between.

One thing that would have been a great convenience – especially for those of us who jump back and forth between phones and computers – is Bluetooth Multipoint, which allows you to pair two devices at the same time. Unfortunately the Crusher Evo doesn't have it.

Battery and charging

Without an ANC function to discharge the battery, the Crusher Evo can last 40 hours on a single charge. It's very impressive. The RB-M700 from Panasonic, which has a similar bass module, only has an operating time of 20 hours – and then the bass reactor function is deactivated.

The quick charge function with a four-hour boost after just 10 minutes of charging is just as impressive.

We've seen on-ear headphones like the excellent Jabra Elite 45h that can last up to 50 hours, but when it comes to over-ear cans, the Crusher Evo are some of the best.

Tile tracking

Skullcandy has started adding tile-based tracking to their headphone products, and it's a fun and practical feature. After pairing with the Tile app, you can use it to view the last known location. As long as the battery is not empty, you can trigger a high-pitched, birdsong-like melody played by the Crusher Evo and physically locate it.

Personally, I think this feature makes sense with a smaller product like the Skullcandy Vert that can easily get lost between a set of sofa cushions. I'm just not convinced it's as valuable to something as big and obvious as the Crusher Evo.

But it works and it's free. So if you're the kind of person who misplaces anything that isn't bolted down, it's a good thing.

Call quality

Skullcandy Crusher EvoSimon Cohen / Digital Trends

The calls to the Crusher Evo were very clear, but only when the voices didn't have to compete with background noise. Even light traffic or a brisk breeze presented a challenge with a lot of additional noise. There is no sidetone feature when calling, so your own voice sounds muffled to you, which is sometimes off-putting.

They are good for occasional phone calls. However, you should find a quiet place if you want your callers to hear you clearly.

Sound quality

Skullcandy Crusher EvoSimon Cohen / Digital Trends

The Crusher Evo's Sensory Bass System is the main reason to consider these headphones over other wireless models in the same price range. However, according to Skullcandy, the personal audio tuning feature is just as important to the headphones' performance. Personalization was developed with Audiodo, a Swedish company with deep roots in digital signal processing, and is done through the Skullcandy app. After a series of tests that register your ability to hear specific frequencies at different volumes, you will be given a custom EQ setting that you can toggle on or off.

According to the app, my hearing is pretty much “optimal”, but the graph that shows this doesn't explain the frequencies on which I need help.

The Crusher Evo sounds really good without interfering with the EQ settings.

Unlike almost every audio personalization feature I've ever tried, turning it on and off while listening to music has significantly improved the clarity of the Evo's base EQ.

To achieve this, the high frequencies were raised significantly, and I suspect that if Skullcandy had offered a full set of EQ adjustments, I could probably have gotten results similar to this myself, but considering how easy it was to take the test, why bother?

But even if you don't want to use the personal audio setting (or happen to have optimal hearing), the good news is that the Crusher Evo sounds really good without messing around with the EQ settings.

While these headphones aren't as subtle or precise as expensive high-end models like the Sony WH-1000XM4, they offer a really appealing mix of low, mid, and high frequencies. Your sound stage falls into a middle ground that is just wide and deep enough to give you a good sense of space.

My favorite aspect, however, is the sensory bass slider. With judicious use of the controls, you can bring in just enough extra low end to feel the deep roar of a hand-plucked bass in a jazz quartet.

Slide it on and start your favorite action movie and get ready to let your teeth chatter.

On the high end, it's ridiculous to have the ear cups practically pushing away from your head as they try to absorb the bass drivers' extra air movement – but why not? You can always dial down if your vision becomes blurry.

Our opinion

With exceptional battery life, a sound personalization feature that isn't just a gimmick, and unholy amounts of bass, the Crusher Evo are great wireless headphones for those who want the chance to loosen up their fills while jamming on their favorite songs .

Is there a better alternative?

For the same price, you get better comfort and sound quality, plus active noise cancellation from the Sony WH-CH710N, but you certainly won't get the Crusher's crazy bass. Another option for similar boom sizes is the Panasonic RB-M700, valued at $ 150. However, it cannot keep up with the battery life of the Crusher, the practical folding design or the practical carrying case.

How long will they last?

The Crusher Evo comes with a two-year warranty from Skullcandy – twice as much as what is normally found in this category. They are solid and well built and made from decent materials. If you put them in the included bag when you are not using them, they should last for years.

Should you buy it?

If monstrous bass is your jam, then the Crusher Evo has to be in the running for your next set of headphones.

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