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

Measurements Wired Haptic Off
Click on graphs image to download .pdf for closer inspection.

Had a little trouble with my Bluetooth transmitter so no wireless measurements, sorry about that. Like many wireless cans they did sound virtually identical in wired vs. Bluetooth operation.

In the plots above with the haptic transducer off you can see that the bass is elevated by around 10dB over its baseline level (at 600Hz), and the emphasis extends well into the midrange. This is an excessive bass response. You can also see that they are extremely sensitive below 60Hz to the fit on the ear with changes in position. I tried very hard to get a consistant seal, but they just wouldn't cooperate, so I let the measurements reflect the nature of the headphones.

Above 600Hz the rise to the 3.3kHz peak has about the right shape, but the level at 3.3kHz is about 15dB, which is 2-3dB too high. Response subsequent to the peak initially falls off nicely but then gets stuck at a level that's about 5dB too high at 10kHz.

30Hz square wave is a rather humped up affair due to the broad and somewhat excessive bass boost. A quick glance at the THD in the bass and you'll see that the quality of bass response is somewhat poor.

300Hz square wave is a bit too spiky initially due to the somewhat hot treble response, and the subsequent low level then upward tilt indicates the imbalance between the midrange and bass response.

The impulse response is not bad and tells me they're not too far off with these cans. I have to say I though they sounded a little better than the measurements might indicate.

Distortion plots are pretty miserable though. Power handling is quite poor, distortion goes up dramatically from 90dB to 100dB. And the bass distortion is quite bad.

The impedance plot shows a mild primary resonance hump in the bass at about 30Hz, watch it move as we add in the haptic driver.

Isolation is quite good for a headphone of this type.

Measurements Wired Haptic 30%

Click on graphs image to download .pdf for closer inspection.

High frequencies are largely unchanged as we add in the haptic driver so I'll focus on the things that do change as we increase its contribution.

The above plot is with the adjustment slider at 30%. Note bass response is still quite variable with headphone position changes. The large fearture at 50Hz is the haptic driver going through its high-Q resonance. Note that the level below 50Hz does seem to increase with the haptic driver extending sub-bass response.

30Hz square wave shape is a bit odd, but better than without. Also distortion, though still weird, does decrease slightly. This is an indicator of why I think this idea might have some merit with a much improved haptic driver.

Impedance plot does show the resonance hump now moving up to 50Hz with the reactive contribution of the haptic driver.

Measurements Wired Haptic 100%

Click on graphs image to download .pdf for closer inspection.

Yowza! Bass goes through the roof. A huge spike in impedance appears at 50Hz due to the haptic driver's high-Q resonance. Distortion goes through the roof. In my book there's simply no need to have this amount of bass or vibration.

Oh well.

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COMMENTS
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

wiinippongamer's picture

The driver does look very similar to some Yamahas'. Dissappointed not to see a suspension headband though. I'll give them $500 for it, tops. $3800?, typical Final Audio ego-wanking pricing, they can shove it up their snobbish behinds.

mariscosyketchup's picture

That's because Yamaha helped Final to make them, they're the successor of the Yamaha HP-1, of course they're similar...just use common sense.

It's expensive because it has a novel damping system that gives them complete control over the diaphragm without the use of foam or air-tight sealed earpads, the complete opposite of all the other planar headphones in the market right now.
They'll launch a complete planar line, prices from 300€ to 5000€, so there'll be a model for every price segment.
I agree that their other headphones (I've heard the Pandora Hope 4, Sonorous X and Sonorous VIII) sound like shit, BUT, this one is the real business, extremely neutral and full bodied at the same time.
Final's founder passed away 4 years ago, and this headphone is made with different objectives in mind and in collaboration with Yamaha and NH labs (Sony), so it's a different story. To be honest, a great headphone from Final was the last thing I could imagine, but...surprise, it's awesome.

wiinippongamer's picture

Hifiman has been using velour earpads on their planars with good results for a long time now.

mariscosyketchup's picture

Hifiman uses hybrid earpads for the high end models, and with non porous foam inside, so they qualify as earpads that produce an air-tight seal. Same with Audeze, their full velour earpads produce an air-tight seal due to the use of non porous materials inside. Both (Audeze and Hifiman) use damping sheets and foam to tame the resonances of the drivers, so nothing new.

Again, the Final D8000 uses fabric earpads with porous materials, so it's the opposite. Also, it doesn't use foam or damping sheets for the driver, insted, they use an air film, like some high end Ribbon studio microphones.

It's VERY different.

wiinippongamer's picture

Are these: https://www.amazon.com/HIFIMAN-Velour-Earpads-Headphone-replacement-HE40...

also a non-porous material on the inside?

mariscosyketchup's picture

I don't know about those pads, those are used in their low end models, and everyone keeps changing them for their Focus pads (hybrid). Their lower end models are conventional planars with bar magnets and damping foam for the drivers, what is so hard to understand?. Chifiman high end models (HE-1000, HE-6, Susvara) use hybrid pads with non porous materials.

I suggest you to read what I've wrote another time.

Finally (pun intended) someone release a high end headphone with sound, build quality and R&D that corresponds to the high price point.

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 ...

Kaitykatedn13's picture

Thank you for a detail review. I can know clearly about this headphone :"> I will buy one next week. cool things

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