Last week at MajorHiFi, we received the brand new over-the-ear wireless model from Skullcandy, the Hesh 3. I know that Skullcandys are usually held strictly in the consumer market, and for $129 it seems like these will be again. With that in mind, let’s open the box and conduct a Skullcandy Hesh 3 Wireless Headphone review.
The box opens up to the monochromatic presentation of the Hesh 3. The all black interior, only interrupted by the the Skullcandy logo and simple connection instructions, is very slick and clean looking. It is more mature than some of the other models of Skullcandy headphones I’ve seen. Right in the middle of the packaging is a small box with the Skullcandy logo containing a micro USB cable for charging the headphones, a 3.5mm aux cable for listening wired to a listening device, a Quick Start Guide, and warranty documentation. They look great! Let’s see how they feel.
Build and Design
My first reaction to picking up the Hesh 3 is that they are light and smooth. They collapse easily into a folded position, making them great for taking on the go. As I outstretch the plastic headband, making it longer and then shorter, I can’t help but be a little worried that they might be fragile for long term use or for careless carrying. But alas, there is a nice cushion underneath the headband and it is coated with a smooth poly material.
As I place the headphones on my head I notice right away that the fit is tight, immediately blocking out a lot of outside noise without being noise cancelling. It is a fairly comfortable hug but I could see the tightness becoming uncomfortable for long duration usage. The ear pads themselves are soft and smooth. They are the same material as the headband cushion.
As I look over the box for any details I may have missed while opening the box, I notice these wireless headphones, which of course require a charge, have an impressive playback life. Ten minutes of charging yield four hours of playback! This is the best I’ve seen in this department and again I find the power of technology exciting me. Enough of my exultations! Let’s take a listen to the Skullcandy Hesh 3!
Right now I have some jazzy hip-hop cued up on my iPhone and right away I notice the bass is pumped up and thick. It seems more like a low-mid bump (maybe somewhere around 150-200Hz). It would certainly be off-putting for an audiophile looking for a flat frequency response, but I’ll admit that it is kind of fun. For those consumers who find themselves boosting the bass in their cars or on their home sound systems, you might enjoy this low-mid boost.
The mids are thick sounding too. It seems like there might be a little dip around 1kHz-3kHz or so, helping the headphones avoid harshness while maintaining the bombastic standard that the bass has created. I’ve switched my music to some folk/rock and the electric guitars sound particularly driving. The vocal seems to sit a little bit lower in the mix than I’m used to which brings us to the high frequencies.
The treble sounds less exciting than I was expecting. I suppose I was expecting the typical “smiley face curve” (boosts in both the bass and the treble) of other consumer headphones. I think the thickness in the mids has the adverse affect of making the highs less exciting. It’s not that they are particularly unclear, in fact, compared to what I was expecting to hear they are actually a bit more pleasant sounding. But, they seem to be missing some of the snappiness or crispness that I imagine someone might want if they are interested in learning more about these headphones.
I would recommend the Hesh 3 to casual listeners who are looking for a pair of headphones to wear on their short daily commute. They fit snuggly, and as a result are great at blocking outside noise from getting in, especially for not being noise-cancelling headphones. For those that like grandiose low/low-mids to enhance their music, you will not be disappointed. These headphones are not for audiophiles seeking a flat frequency response. They are not for more advanced listeners who want to listen for long durations.
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