TECH REVIEW: Skullcandy Grind Wireless Headphones
To coincide with Record Store Day on the 16th April 2016, Skullcandy have launched their latest pair of headphones, the Grind Wireless, and if the name doesn’t give it away, they’re wireless and connect to your device via Bluetooth. We were invited down to independent record store IF Music in London’s Soho to test a pair out.
Straight from the outset we could tell that Skullcandy had gone the extra mile with these cans; instead of the traditional blister packaging, these come in a high quality box, akin to something a premium brand would offer. Once out of the box we were treated to a genuinely good looking pair of headphones, with a brushed metal headband and an embossed logo on the leather, a trio of controls can found on the back of the right earpiece and are pretty self-explanatory (+/- increase or decrease the volume, and skip tracks and the main function button switches the unit on/off/pairs and answers calls). This quality is also extended to the aux jack cable and the UBS charging cable, both which have the Skullcandy logo on them. It’s these little things that that can make a good product great. Given that there will be no less than 6 different styles of Grind available, there will most certainly be a pair for anyone.
Connecting the headphones to the audio device is incredible simple, push down on the main button for 5 seconds; switch the Bluetooth on your device, find the Skullcandy signal and connect. The entire process took us about 30 seconds. We were reliably informed that played at 75% volume the battery is good for 12 hours, which these days is longer than most phones hold a charge! But as a failsafe there is an auxiliary cable for wired listening.
Skullcandy have often been thought of as youth brand, the funky range of colours and affordable prices make them ideal for someone on a budget and with an RRP of £69.99, they most certainly are affordable. The danger usually is that with affordability sound quality is compromised and in this respect the Grind Wireless headphones do not disappoint. We tried various genres of music from rock to RnB, some jazz and pop and we can safely say that the headphones performed very well, to the point where you would think you were listening through a pair costing 3 or 4 times more. With some fine tuning on the audio device, we were presented with a crisp clear sound, without the overbearing bass and well-proportioned treble and mid ranges.
Now it wouldn’t be a fair test unless we tried the pair with a record or two; (you will need a Bluetooth adaptor if your record player doesn’t have Bluetooth) and so the maestro Jimi Hendrix was called upon with some Purple Haze; unsurprisingly the Grind’s performed well, that crackle synonymous with records was there and because of the uncompressed nature, most every audible imperfection was audible – as it should be.
With the good, we have to factor in some negatives; there is no case included and the headphones don’t fold. However, we did witness a stress test at the shop where the band was twisted, so we don’t think that durability will be an issue. Also at high volumes, there is some leakage of sound, this shouldn’t really be an issue because not many people choose to listen to their music on full… in public (I’ll reserve comment for those who do!).
We’ve spent the last few days with the Grinds, using them during the commute and in the office, with upwards of 5 hours use at a time and one thing we could take away was the comfort they provided. The cushioned on-ear pieces with the supportive band mean that hours can slip by without any discomfort.
Overall we were very impressed with the Skullcandy Grind Wireless headphones. They provide good value for money and you’d be hard pressed to find anything better in this price range. In terms of comfort and sound quality they surpassed our expectations in every way and we’d highly recommend them to anyone looking for an affordable wireless pair of headphones.
Written by: Omar Malick