Skullcandy Crusher Supreme Sound Review

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Skullcandy Crusher Supreme Sound Review

While MajorHifi has been delving into more audiophile gadgets as of late, today I’ve uncovered a pair of Skullcandy Crushers on my desk, just begging for a listening session.  At just $99, these headphones seem too lo-fi for the critical listening crowd, and just a tad expensive for the casual consumer.  So who are they for?

Skullcandy Crusher Supreme Sound Review

Skullcandy Crusher Supreme Sound Review

The Crusher Supreme Sound comes with a removable cable and one AA battery.  An in-line mic and remote compliments the sturdy cable.

A small green tab located at the top of the right earcup allows the user to access a battery compartment.  The battery powers a second driver which, according to Skullcandy adspeak, creates “extreme bass experience through your nerves.”  Essentially, it’s got a bass boost function, adjusted by means of a sliding mechanism on the rear of the left earcup.

Padding is generous, with deep pleather ear cushions and soft rubber teeth on the headband allowing for hours of enjoyment.

Comprised almost entirely of plastic, the feel of this headphone is still a reassuring one.  The band seems particularly thick, and nowhere near as cheap as other Skullcandy models.  And despite this solid feel, the Crusher Supreme Sound remains collapsible, easily folded for storage and travel.

Specs

Frequency Range:  NA
Impedance:  32 ohms
Sound Pressure Level (SPL):  ???
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD):  <0.1%

To say the least, the specifications supplied by Skullcandy are a bit lacking.  While no frequency range is given, it’s probably something along the lines of 10-24,000 Hz.  The impedance of 32 ohms is fine for portable devices and computers.  Volume is decent, and though a sound pressure level isn’t given, I’d guess it’s somewhere between 115 and 120 dB.  The harmonic distortion rating supplied by Skullcandy seems to be marketing BS – there is definitely more noticeable distortion on this model, and I’m guessing the THD is closer to <0.5%.

Low End

The low end plays host to an okay level of detail, but suffers some poor control.  Resultant bleeding mars more intricate tracks, but can still please casual listeners who aren’t searching for it.   Obviously, the most noticeable thing about the Crusher Supreme Sound’s low end remains the bass.  Sounding perfectly natural without being boosted, the Supreme Sound feature can compliment some tracks, but detracts from others just as easily.

Mids

Slightly distorted, the midrange presents itself as mediocre at best, from a critical standpoint.  Surprisingly, the lacking upper mids compliment the bass-heavy low end in an odd way, leading to a leaden sound that seems perfect for bass-driven hip hop and some rock and roll.

Highs

The Crusher Supreme Sound sports a fairly pleasing high-end.  Surprisingly, the sound never wanes too bright or uncomfortable, with an overall smooth sound that meshes well with the intense low end.  The final product is a sound that boasts smooth highs and a heavy low end. While nowhere near acceptable for classical tunes, it proves itself again and again for rock and hip hop staples.

Soundstage

With plenty of depth but lacking in placement, the Crusher’s sense of soundstage craves more development.  While adding some depth to the casual listening session, it still falls short of offering a truly immersive experience.

Other Observations

I can’t recommend the Crusher for most listening tastes, but the Hip Hop Head inside me is digging the fat low end.  Paired with bass-heavy tunes from Kid Cudi, Azealia Banks, and Kanye, the low end becomes hella fun.

Sadly, I have a love-hate relationship with the bass-boost feature.  On some tracks, it’s a godsend, giving you that much-wanted “oomph” in the low end.  However, on other tracks with an already-present bass, the boost function becomes aggravatingly boomy, leading immediately to a dull, throbbing headache.

Recommendations

For those who want a headphone solely for critical listening, forget this headphone and opt for the $99 Audio Technica ATH-M40x instead.  You’ll still have a removable cable, but you will lose the in-line mic and remote.

Casual listeners who are looking for a headphone that does it all (and who aren’t admitted bassheads) would probably do better to consider the $99 Sennheiser HD 4.30 – which also sports the removable cable and in-line mic and remote.

However, for proud bassheads, or for those headphone junkies who want a bassy and fun consumer model for their collection, the Crusher Supreme Sound knocks the socks off of its competition.  Without the bass boost function, the sound remains pleasing, but assumes a whole new character thanks to the Supreme Sound feature.

Final Analysis

Not for everyone, the niche Skullcandy Crusher Supreme Sound delivers a bombastic low end and smooth high end.  This rich, dynamic sound easily compliments rock and hip hop tracks in ways few other headphones can.