Skullcandy Crusher Wireless Over-Ear Sealed Headphones with Haptic Bass Drivers

For those of you who just stumbled across this InnerFidelity review as you were looking for information about the Skullcandy Crusher Wireless, welcome! InnerFidelity is a website for hard core headphone enthusiasts and it's likely you've never read headphone reviews like the ones here. I'll be going on in some detail about the technicalities of this headphone and that will probably bore you. So, I'll save you some time. I don't think the Crusher is a good sounding headphone, even for bass-heads. Let me recommend you take a look at the InnerFidelity reviews of the comparably priced Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT ($149) and the more expensive but better sounding Beats Solo3 Wireless ($299).

For the rest of you headphone geeks, I'm sure you've not been chomping at the bit for a Crusher audition, but given the haptic (vibration) transducer intended to produce the feeling of low bass response, I think it's a headphone worthy of a little satisfied curiosity. Let's have a look.

Skullcandy Crusher Wireless ($149)
The Skullcandy Crusher Wireless is actually the third in a series of Skullcandy headphones with a second driver in the headphone designed to deliver low frequency tactile information in an attempt to give you not only the sound but the feeling of sitting in a room with a subwoofer. Devices that produce information felt by touch are called haptic transducers; Skullcandy calls this feature in the Crusher "Haptic Stereo Bass" and there is a haptic driver in each earpiece.


Skullcandy's haptic bass headphones, left to right: Skullcrusher by Snoop Dogg (2010); Crusher (wired, 2014); Crusher Wireless (current).

First thing that comes to my mind seeing this new release—and all the latest Skullcandy releases—is that they've left behind all the wild color schemes. Given the firm's focus on 15-25 year old demographic and the fact they rank among the top five headphone makers in the world, I've got to think we're seeing a change in design sensibilities for the youth market.

The Crusher Wireless is certainly a subdued, and quite sensibly styled headphone that would appeal to a broad audience. It is available in both black and cream/brown color schemes. The Millennials must be maturing. Or maybe the explanation is that Skullcandy thought the kids want bling and discovered that it simply wasn't true. In either case, I do think the new headphones are markedly better looking than previous offerings.

Other than the headband arch and the adjustment sliders—that appear to be of spring or stainless steel— the headphone is an all-plastic build, which is to be expected at this price. Given the feel and look of the nicely matching bits, I would have guessed it was priced higher. This is a really nice looking headphone.

The headband's steel arch is covered with pleather on the outside and has a silicon molded headband pad over some foam on the inside. The pad is molded with some relief space in the top center to help prevent hot spots on the top of your head. There is a hinge on the headband ends to fold the cans for storage and transport. Headband ends slides in and out of the yoke tops for adjustment. The friction fit is nice a firm for a secure hold; there are no detents.

Yokes allow up and down tilt of the ear capsules, but no forward and back rotation is available. Earpads are pleather covered with a breathable panel on the inside wall; pads are removable. Opening is about average at 60mm x 40mm. Overall the fit is cozy and comfortable, above average at this price.

The 48" cable is just the right length for a portable headphone. The flat "tangle free" cable seems a bit flimsy, but that's the norm at this price. Cable is terminated with a 3.5mm TRS plug that inserts into the left earpiece. The plug body is square and does fit into a shallow hollow for some strain relief. The cable has a one-button mic/remote, and is terminated with a straight 3.5mm TRRS plug with square plastic body at the player end.

A rather short 20" USB cable is included for charging the headphones and is the only other accessory include with purchase. The USB connector is mounted directly adjacent to the 3.5mm jack on the left earpiece. The jacks are too close together to insert both cable simultaneously; the headphones do not work wirelessly when charging either. From what I can tell, the headphones are completely passive when wired---they won't turn on with the cable inserted, and I can see the impedance change when the haptic drivers are engaged. Battery life in wireless mode is claimed to be 40 hours!

The manual is very thin on the working details of the Crusher Wireless. The .pdf manual on Skullcady's site is completely unreadable; if you want a look at the manual I did find a readable copy on another site.

Controls are very simple and act as expected. The right earpiece has a "+" and "-" buttons with a circle button between on the rear of the bezel, which are easy to identify and affect with the tip of your right thumb. These buttons do double duty as volume and pause buttons when pushed once, track forward and back with long pushes, and as phone answer and volume controls during phone calls. The left earpiece has a sliding control to adjust the amplitude of the haptic low-frequency driver.

Allrightythen, let's get on to the haptic drivers and sound quality.

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gefski's picture

...for exploring and explaining all types of cans. Didn't know what a haptic driver was. My wife says her Apple Watch has that tech also. I expect my grandkids will be "crushing"!

Phoniac's picture

The king of haptic drivers is said to be implemented in the Taction Kannon headphone, covering a range of 12 to 120 Hz. Its dynamic driver seems based on the ATH-M50. Why is Tyll reviewing an obvious failure when the much more interesting stuff is already there?

UtzY's picture

Gosh, I would like to see Audio Technica MSR7SE reviewed by this site (Tyll) with measurements and all. (Because now these headphones are well priced on many places)
+ we can see what different set of drivers do on the same enclosure. :D

UtzY's picture

As for the Crushers...nice and very informative review, as always! Thx!

RPGWiZaRD's picture

You should give Taction Kannon headphones a look, those guys deserve some exposure for their work to bring higher quality haptic experience out there.

RPGWiZaRD's picture

Perhaps the only issue I see with tactile response rather than pure bass pressure is the challenge of bringing an even experience across the whole range, Kannons do this much better than Skullcrushers but still fall short for the Hardstyle genre with its pitched bass response as the varying frequencies put varying amount of vibration sensation to the skin. I hoped it would be solving that issue for me but it's not the lack of frequency response but rather the nature of haptic drivers that would need to work dynamically harder the longer you go from ~50Hz or so which seems to be the most sensitive frequency for the skin.

potterpastor's picture

I really wasn’t looking forward to a Skullcandy review, but I got to say, you did a very thorough job and gave these cans every consideration, and showed why a review featuring haptic drivers might be noteworthy.

mariscosyketchup's picture

First of all, great idea, I'm sure this will act as a gateway review to introduce more people to this website, that's fantastic!

Now, on a more serious note, please try to review the new Final D8000, it's everything you've been waiting for in a headphone, I'm sure it'll shake the wall of fame upside down.

I always hated Final Audio headphones (the Hope and the Sonorous series sound like CRAP), but this new planar isn't even made by the (the company has a new owner and even a different name "S'NEXT"). It's the spiritual successor of the same people Yamaha HP-1 and was co-developed with Yamaha and NH-Labs.

mariscosyketchup's picture

*isn't even made by the same people

ronakpatel's picture

This is a best review about all, thanks for sharing great informative details.Keep sharing it. web design services

MattH's picture

You're doing a disservice to everyone by not reviewing and your trademake passive-aggressive and excentric behaviour towards something as essential and prominent - no, blatant - as the AKG K712 Pro.

YOU'RE JUST GETTING ON MY NUTS AFTER ALL THESE YEARS, and there are no two ways around it or excuses for this kind of weirdness (which is what it is).

Martin.'s picture

You're doing a disservice to everyone by not making your comment legible. Getting on your nuts? I think you'll find most people are uninterested in your nuts.

Argyris's picture

Maybe they're a squirrel? They've usually got dozens of nuts to their name (they keep leaving walnuts in the corner of my front door), and I imagine the other squirrels are very interested in these nuts.

zobel's picture

The nut crusher. It has an attachment that shakes your nuts with low frequencies. You can feel the beat anywhere you place it. Yes,use your imagination. It can be enjyed by either sex.

zobel's picture

These are sold separately, or with headphones. Several models are being offered, some for home use, and some portable 'pocket' types.* The units can attach almost anywhere on your body, where vibrations at low frequencies are best enjoyed, that being a personal choice, and one of discretion, when using in public.

*Not reccommended for use while operating a motor vehicle.

Courtney McDaniel's picture

I like the realization of these headphones and the sensitivity of the bass. It`s exactly what I need and quite an adequate price if you think about it. Well truly convenient for me to listen to music while I'm processing files with the help online pdf editor in addition to the fact that I have many tasks to create documents for signing, I still have to correct other people's mistakes, page numbers and so on. I think you understand that music is the only and main anti-stress that I can afford during working hours ...