Skullcandy Crusher ANC (review)

Last year Skullcandy released the Crusher 360, a headphone that featured what was called “Sensory Bass,” which opened the user to experience their music by overloading them with bass that they can feel. But for Skullcandy, that wasn’t enough. They knew that to truly experience music, you”ll need more than just adjustable bass. The Crusher ANC headphone is the latest in the “Crusher” series, which packs every bit of technology that Skullcandy has. But does this headphone pack a punch with all of its features, or does it fall flat in the world of premium headphones?

Skullcandy’s penchant for keeping things minimal and simplistic carries over to the Crusher ANC. The profile of the headband is sleek and streamlined with touches of detail that give it a bit more character. Beveled edges add a bit of definition, while the reflective Skullcandy logo adds a taste of panache. And if you look closely, you’ll find coordinates etched into the headband for the location of Skullcandy’s headquarters.

The headband incorporates aluminum for structural strength and flexibility, while the plastic shell makes the headphones light and durable. Foam line the headband and earcups for comfort, then wrapped in synthetic leather that keeps the foam from absorbing any sweat or moisture. For added comfort, the Crusher ANC adds a divot on the headband, which makes them ideal to wear with most hats. 

On the left earcup is where you’ll find your power button and the adjustable bass slider, which is a change from the Crusher 360’s touch-sensitive panel. This change in the slider makes it easier to adjust the bass while giving you much more precision. The right earcup will house all the physical buttons that will let you play, pause, and skip musical tracks, as well as adjust the volume, answer phone calls, and activate your smartphone’s assistant. 

Packing a pair of 40mm drivers, the headphones deliver a wide and complex range of tones that gives your music some layers. The lows are broad and deep that will really drive that bass right into your ears. Mid and highs are crisp, sharp, and clean that are both well balanced with the lows, working well together so that they don’t outweigh either one. The volume can get very loud, which is optimal when you want to drown out any outside noise. And surprisingly it has little to no distortion at all. 

The Crusher ANC features three of Skullcandy’s technologies that will elevate your music, which will encompass you in a whole new experience. The sensory bass will give you the option to adjust how much bass you want to feel. Turning this up will really rattle your ears with some bone-shattering bass, which might sound unpleasing at first, but when you get to feel your music, it really opens you up to a different perspective. 

If you want to dive yourself into your music or movies without being bothered by the surrounding noise, the ANC (active noise cancellation) will give you just that. Even in loud environments such as the gym, the ANC did a wonderful job of eliminating distracting noise to leak through the headphones. The headphones also allow you to deactivate the ANC with a hidden feature on the left earcup. Placing your hand over the earcup will activate the “ambient” mode, which will let you hear outside noises while your music can still be heard at a respectable level. 

To complete your musical experience, Skullcandy launched an app to go along with the Crusher ANC that personalizes the headphones. The app will tune your headphones to the exact way your ears register sound. It takes a few minutes to set up that includes a series of auditory tests, and once it’s all said and done, you’ll instantly notice the difference. For myself, the app brought up the low end and maintained the levels of the mid and high. What really surprised about the app, was it showed me how different my ears were when it came to processing noise. It wasn’t a big difference but it was still good to know that they act differently. You can turn on or off this personalization through the app, but in all honesty, once I had set it up, I never bothered to turn it off.

Final Reaction

Listening to music is one thing, but to actually experience and feel your music brings you to a whole new level of appreciation. With a price tag of $319, the Crusher ANC is meant for the serious audiophile. But what you get is three different technologies that give you the options to experience music at its most optimal levels. When that’s grouped with a 24-hour battery life, built-in Tile tracker technology, and a foldable compact design, then you have the making of a pair of headphones that will masterfully deliver audio goodness right to your ears. 

Score 5/5 Atoms

*The Crusher ANC was provided by Skullcandy for review purposes

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