Skullcandy Crusher Evo Review: Brain-Rattling Bass

Rating: 9/10 ?
  • 1 - Absolute Hot Garbage
  • 2 - Sorta Lukewarm Garbage
  • 3 - Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 - Some Pros, Lots Of Cons
  • 5 - Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 - Good Enough to Buy On Sale
  • 7 - Great, But Not Best-In-Class
  • 8 - Fantastic, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 - Shut Up And Take My Money
  • 10 - Absolute Design Nirvana
Price: $179
The Skullcandy Crusher Evo headphones in black lying on a white desktop
Cameron Summerson

Someone less smart than me once said “it’s all about that bass, no treble.” I believe one half of this statement to be true (have you ever listened to music with no treble? No thanks.)—it really is all about the bass. I mean, when it comes to headphones, anyway. And if you like bass, the Skullcandy Crusher Evo are for you.

Here's What We Like

  • Insane bass
  • Great overall sound quality
  • Long battery life
  • Good value

And What We Don't

  • The bass can be overwhelming
  • No ANC

What makes the Crusher Evo special is a unique “Sensory Bass” slider on the side of the left cup. This in effect allows you to customize the amount of bass in music far beyond what would normally be allowed by a simple software EQ.

With the Sensory Bass slider all the way down, you get the amount of bass a reasonable human being can appreciate. With it all the way up, it can literally rattle your vision. No one needs this much bass. But if you want it, by golly you can have it. I find the sweet spot to be about one-quarter of the way up, which should give you some sort of indication of just how aggressive this slider is. It’s nuts.

And while the bass slider is the Crusher Evo’s standout feature, they honestly sound pretty damn good in their own right, too. I’ve been exceptionally impressed with all the Skullcandy stuff I’ve tried over the last year, and the Crusher Evo is no exception. They’re shockingly well-balanced to be such a bass-heavy set of cans. Even with the bass slider up, it doesn’t drown out other frequencies.

A closeup of the bass slider and charging port
That’s where I keep the slider most of the time. Almost all the way down. Cameron Summerson

My go-to test song for headphones is Fireflies by Owl City (ugh), and I was surprised at just how well the Crusher Evos responded to the chorus. The bass is obviously present, but all the little nuances throughout the chorus are still very present and represented. Despite being very bassy, the balance is excellent.

Similarly, Widower by Make Them Suffer, one of my favorite tracks on my headphone testing playlist, really displays how articulate these cans can be. It’s a heavy-as-a-tank sort of track with low guitars and growling vocals juxtaposed by chimey, pristine piano and strong double-bass drums. Everything comes through beautifully (well, as beautiful as a song this heavy can be, anyway). The extra bass hit at the start and end of the chorus is not just present but bone rattling. I love it.

So, while the bass slider is what makes these headphones unique, they’re not just a one trick pony. They genuinely sound good.

Fit and Features

It’s uncharacteristic for me to start a headphone review with the audio section, but since the bass slider is the main selling point of these particular cans, it just made sense to me. As with most headphones, though, the audio quality is just one piece of the “are these really good?” puzzle—there’s also the fit and available features to consider.

A closeup of the padding on the earcup
Cameron Summerson

When it comes to fit, these are around-ear headphones, which is almost always my preference for headphones since they don’t crush (heh) my ears. The cup pads are comfortable enough for extended wearing and don’t mess with my glasses, both of which are big wins in my book. The padding on the band it s a little denser than the cups, but still soft enough to be comfortable on my bald head. Band padding is important when you don’t have built-in padding on your head. 😉

As for the layout, aside from the bass slider, these are pretty straightforward. Volume and play/pause are on the right cup, with the power button, bass slider, and USB-C charging port on the left. There’s also a 3.5mm audio jack for wired listening. Nothing really special going on here—just the standard affair. It works. It’s fine.

A closeup of the band
Cameron Summerson

Like many other recent Bluetooth headphones, the Crusher Evo features a personalized sound profile option that will fine-tune the audio experience for your ears. It’s a quick audio test that then builds an optimized audio experience. While I didn’t find the difference to be dramatic, it’s definitely noticeable. They sound better with my personalized profile enabled, with more audible frequency ranges hitting the ol’ eardrums than without the feature enabled. I recommend using it—you can get it in the Skullcandy app (Android/iOS).

So, what is the Crusher Evo missing? One standout feature for many users: Active Noise Cancelling. In order to get ANC and all the other features in the Crusher Evo, you’ll need to step up to the Crusher ANC, which cost $120 more (retail pricing). It’s a pricey upgrade to be sure, and I find the passive noise isolation of the Evo to be enough for my use. If ANC and an insane amount of bass are must-haves for you, then the Crusher ANC may be worth the extra money.

Tip: I’ve seen the Crusher ANC as low as $200 in the past, so if you’re vigilant you can score a solid deal. The black model is only $210 at the time of writing!

Conclusion

A white mannequin head wearing a solid white mask and the Crusher Evo
That’s Brian. He helps me test headphones on occasion. He also likes the Crusher Evo. Cameron Summerson

Between the on-the-fly bass adjustment that can rattle your skull enough to alter your vision, the excellent 40-hour battery life, good overall sound quality, and comfort for long periods of time, I’m sold on the Crusher Evo. They’re a fantastic set of cans, especially for the price—they retail for $199, but are generally $180 or less on Amazon, where they also have a five-star rating. That tells me I’m not alone in my assessment—these are just good cans.

Rating: 9/10
Price: $179

Here’s What We Like

  • Insane bass
  • Great overall sound quality
  • Long battery life
  • Good value

And What We Don't

  • The bass can be overwhelming
  • No ANC

Cameron Summerson Cameron Summerson
Cameron Summerson is the Editor in Chief of Review Geek and serves as an Editorial Advisor for How-to Geek and LifeSavvy. He’s been covering technology for nearly a decade and has written over 4,000 articles and hundreds of product reviews in that time. He’s been published in print magazines and quoted as a smartphone expert in the New York Times. Read Full Bio »

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