Skullcandy is not the first brand we think of when good sound quality is mentioned. Focusing on a colorful exterior and price tags just below the competition, they have rather profiled themselves as an alternative for those who are willing to compromise on sound quality and save some pennies.
After a first look at the Grind, the company’s latest headphone, it seems to continue down that road. The price tag lands at around $60 – an amount that normally tends to mean a sh*tty sound. Therefore, it is especially gratifying that the Grind exceeds our expectations.
Superficially, the Grind does not offer anything advanced construction-wise. There are two pieces of padded plastic cups and a metal headband. Once on the head the comfort is really good. The material on the metal band does a good job at not chafing against the head, unlike many other headphones in the same price range tend to do. The cups feel slightly cheap and can not be adjusted (tilted, swiveled or folded), which means that they are not as convenient to take with you on trips or wear around the neck.
In contrast, Skullcandy at least gets half a thumb up for the built-in functions on the left cup. It has a microphone to use for phone calls. Although it is not the best quality, it is nice that it is placed on the ear cup and not on the cord. It eliminates particularly disturbing noise from the cord.
Furthermore you´ll noticed a button that, among other things, can change the music. A single click lets you pause and a double-click allows you to skip to the next track. Unfortunately, it is a bit difficult to get the technique right and all but two very quick clicks results in pausing the music rather than changing the track. It takes some practice. To further remark on the details, we miss a volume control.
Sounds Good For Its Price Range
Features and comfort aside – the most important thing with a headphone is of course the sound itself. And this is where the Grind does surprisingly well in comparison to more expensive models. Foremost, the bass is clear without taking over too much, and both midrange and treble are well balanced. It sounds best feeding the headphone with more contemporary pop, like the one you´d normally hear on the radio. On more bass heavy music it sounds a little thin, and with intense metal music we noticed that the sound becomes a bit muddled. It sounds far from bad but we have difficulty in distinguishing the finer details in some instruments.
Unfortunately it also leaks a lot of noise. If you travel a lot by public transport and do not want to disturb your fellow travelers while listening to loud music, it can be a good idea to look into more soundproofed headphones.
For less than 60 bucks, there´s not many things to criticize to be honest. Skullcandy´s Grind is simply a really affordable headphone with lots of good things going for it. Had we not known about the price in advance, we had probably guessed that it cost much more.
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- Current Price: $11.67
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- Current Price: $29.99
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- Current Price: $27.99
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- A button on the outside of the ear cup lets you take calls, play or pause and switch tracks easily.
- The Grind headphone produces attacking, powerful bass; warm, natural vocals and precision highs.
- Get back to the basics with the sleek, low profile look of Grind.
FULL CONTACT COMFORT
- Plush foam ear pads create a perfect seal and provide hours of listening comfort.