Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 Wireless Headphone Review
Over-the-ear headphones with and app that helps find a customized sound experience for your ears.
At GearBrain, we have tested many types of Skullcandy headphones, such as the Crusher Evo, Burton Crusher, and Hesh headphones. Over the past few months, we have been testing the second generation of the company's successful Crusher ANC headphones. We were highly impressed with the sound and fit and all the new features in their app that allow users to create a truly customized sound experience. Here is our review of Skullcandy's Crusher ANC 2 Over-the-Ears Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones.
Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 Wireless Headphone unboxedGearBrain
The Crusher ANC 2 is Skullcandy's latest over-the-ear wireless headphones, and they are the successor (or 2nd Gen) to the popular Crusher ANC headphones but with several improvements. The Crusher ANC 2 comes with adjustable 4-mic active noise canceling, the famous Crusher Adjustable Sensory Bass feature, personal sound by Mimi, Multipoint pairing, and a 50-hour battery life with rapid charge. They also come with several accessories, including a carrying case, a USB-C charging cable, and an audio cable.
The Crusher ANC 2 has two listening modes: active noise cancellation (ANC) and stay-aware modes. ANC blocks out unwanted noise so that you can focus on your music or other activities. The stay-aware mode is similar to the ambient mode found in many earbuds and headphones with ANC. This feature lets you hear noises around you so you can be aware of your surroundings without turning off your headphones. What is unique about these settings is that users can adjust each mode's intensity level by either using the app or with voice commands.
Hearing modes in Skull-IQ appGearBrain
If you have read any of my headphone reviews, you would know I like headphones or earbuds with an app to customize the sound. Today, many of these apps also come with a hearing test so they can accurately calibrate the headphones to accommodate your hearing and offer the ultimate immersive sound experience. If you search for the Skullcandy app, know there are two apps. One is the Skullcandy app, used for earlier versions of Skullcandy products like the Crusher ANC, Indy Fuel, and Dime XT earbuds. The newer app is called the Skull-IQ app, and it is available for both iOS (App Store) and Android (Google Play) devices. This is the one you need to use with the Crusher ANC 2. If you have Crusher ANC (1st Gen), you will continue to use the Skullcandy app.
Skullcandy's original app does not support Crusher ANC 2. You need to use Skull-IQ appGearBrain
This new app has many excellent features and settings, including Personal Sound. This feature is a personal hearing test that optimizes the audio from the Skullcandy headphones to provide a unique hearing experience. The test is similar to other hearing tests we have taken, meaning you have to listen for sounds and push buttons when you hear tones. However, this is the first hearing test we have done that is powered by Mimi Hearing Wellbeing. For those of you who don't know Mimi, they are a company that develops audio technology to improve hearing health. They offer several products and services, including a hearing test app that can be used to assess your hearing ability and a sound personalization platform that can be used to adjust the sound of audio devices to your hearing profile. Their hearing test or Personal Sound feature is only in the Skull-IQ app and takes a few minutes to complete. Just make sure you are in a quiet place when taking the test.
Welcome screen to Skull-IQ app
Homescreen for Skull-IQ app
Personal Sound feature in Skull-IQ app
Another cool feature in the Skullcandy Skull-IQ app is the voice assistants. Users can activate Amazon Alexa or iHeart by enabling these two features in the app. We activated the Alexa feature, and once set up, it was easy to use voice commands, even when there was an Amazon Alexa speaker in the room.
And how would you like to adjust the button settings on your Crusher ANC headphones? Now you can using the Skull-IQ app. User can create their own actions for the wheel press on the left earcup, the volume up, the main function button, or the volume down button on the right earcup. There is a list of commands you can assign to each button if you want. These commands include Play/Pause, Previous Track, Spotify tap, and more.
Lastly, other features in the Skull-IQ app include "Find with Tile," take a photo, Spotify Tap, and custom EQ, which some audiophiles will like. The custom EQ allows you to select pre-determined settings like music, podcast, or movie. You can be an adventurist and set your sound settings. And there is also a command for taking a photo. Yes, you can use a button on your Crusher Headphones to act as a remote for the camera on your smartphone.
You can customize the controls on the wheel of the headphones GearBrain
Setting up these headphones is relatively easy. First, you need to make sure your Crusher headphones are charged. Once you know it's charged, turn them off and download the Skullcandy Skull-IQ app. Once the app is installed and you have opened an account, turn on your Crusher headphones. Then, hold the power button for 3 seconds until the LED indicator flashes blue. This will put your Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 in pairing mode by pressing and holding the power button for 5 seconds until the LED indicator flashes red and blue. The LED indicator will turn solid blue once your Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 is connected. Now check your Bluetooth settings on your mobile device and click "Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2" Once connected to your device, you need to go to the Skull-IQ app and select the "+" in the top left corner. This will start the pairing of your headphones to the app. The total set will take only minutes.
Skullcandy's latest Crusher ANC headphones have a list price of $229.99 and are available on the company website, Amazon, Best Buy, QVC, Walmart, and other online retailers. The headphones only come in one color. Black.
After testing these headphones for several months, they delivered a quality immersive sound well. I used them to practice playing the drums, commuting on a train into the city, and just hanging out at the beach. The sound was excellent, and I could even hear my drums and the music I was playing at perfect levels.
The Personal Sound feature was new, and I found it to be more detailed than any sound test we have taken from other manufacturers of headphones and earbuds. Most of the other sound tests had you press a button on the app when you heard the sound. The hearing test by Mimi had you set the background noise level and the beeping sound. Then you had to press a button each time you heard the beep over the noise and let go once you didn't hear the beep anymore. It was rather extensive, but the results were good. We got the sound that was right for my ears. I recommend that all first-time users take the test before playing with the headphones. You will hear a noticeable difference. However, if many people use the headphones, you need them to take the test, but in the Skull-IQ app on their mobile device. This will ensure they have the correct hearing levels for their ears and devices.
Here are my hearing test results in the Skull-IQ appGearBrain
I also liked the new Skull-IQ app. This app is the most robust app I have seen from a headphone manufacturer. It comes with many features that can be customized to fit your listening needs. The Skull-iQ Smart Feature Technology was different. It allows users to select up to 5 different languages to control certain functions like play, pause, or play the next track. You can also connect your headphones directly to Amazon Alexa and IHeart. We were surprised no other voice platforms were included in the app, like Bixby (Samsung), Siri, or Google Assistant. But you can use these voice platforms if your smartphone is nearby and can hear your voice command. We tried asking Siri to play music, and she did. She also responded to our voice commands to turn our smart lights on and check on our other smart devices.
As for the hearing modes, the ANC worked as we expected. Since we have tested many Skullcandy products, we know how their ANC works, and it was no different with these over-the-ear headphones. It was easy to switch between modes, and the stay-aware mode was friendly when we were out walking around town and needed to hear the sounds around us.
We did experience a few problems when testing these headphones. First, we had issues with multipoint pairing. We had difficulties connecting our headphones to our MacBook. We followed the directions, but our headphones never got into pairing mode to connect. Not sure why but something to be aware of if planning on using them with your computer. Also, we had no issues with pairing the headphones to other smartphones.
Alexa integration with the Skull-IQ appGearBrain
Another issue we had was when using voice commands with Alexa. We had an Amazon Echo Dot in the room. We were testing the headphones; sometimes Alexa would respond via the app, and other times, the Echo Dot would respond. We noticed when we said, "Hey Alexa," there was a beep from the Skull-IQ app. We tried to say the command after we heard the beep, and sometimes Alexa responded from the app, and other times the Echo overrode the Skull-IQ Alexa. If you plan to use Alexa voice commands with your Crusher ANC 2 headphones, make sure there is no Alexa-enabled device nearby or in the room.
As for the design, the Crusher ANC 2 is lightweight and comes with a comfortable fit. The headphones are foldable and easily packed away in the convenient carry case. The padding on the earcups is excellent and provides a good seal when listening to music. It is not weatherproof or waterproof, so be careful if you plan to use these headphones while working out. They are not designed for sweatproof or listening to music in the rain.
Lastly, the battery life for these headphones is good. Crusher ANC 2 comes with up to 50 Hours of Battery Life with ANC turned off. And it has a rapid charge, giving you up to 4 hours of playtime in 10 minutes.
I was impressed with their sound after listening to music, podcasts, movies, and even homemade videos on Crusher ANC 2 headphones. Right out of the gate, these headphones had a full sound, and when we made adjustments, it was impressive. The battery life was good, ANC cut out the noises around us, and the stay-aware mode was effective when walking around outside listening to music. And having voice commands built-in to the headphones was an excellent addition, even though the Alexa device took over. But the Skull-IQ app turns these high-quality but affordable over-the-ear headphones into a good buy, especially for that person who is looking for a full sound with a deep base that can be adjusted to their ears. That alone is worth the price of these headphones with the sound of high-end wireless headphones with ANC but at a fraction of the cost.
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