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Skullcandy bets on bass, crushes noise with Crusher cans

It seems like everyone has a pair of noise-cancelling headphones, but not everyone has a pair focused on being premium. Skullcandy is even getting into that market with its latest approach to ANC.

If you’ve ever used a pair of noise cancelling headphones, you probably know what they can do.

Originally used solely for flights as a way of cutting the background noise of the engine and simply focusing on your music, active noise cancellation technology can be applied to life, cutting back on the noise found in everyday situations.

Buses, trains, the raucous sound of human traffic as it meanders through town in one large congregated horde: the sounds that collect into “noise” are what noise cancellation headphones deal with, rather than that of sound as a whole.

Wearing a pair of active noise cancelling headphones will mean you can cut back and quell the noise considerably, rather than being forced to deal with it in the background at all, with the technology using microphones to sample the sound, processing to reverse it, and effectively killing it while you’re wearing the headphones, so long as you’re in the headphones.

There are different types and grades of active noise cancellation technology out there, but generally devices that cost a pretty penny tend to come with some of the more serious technology. Sony keeps on pushing it out in its WH-1000XM range, Bose has it in the recently relaunched and aptly named Noise Cancelling Headphones, Beats has it in the Studio3 and now the Solo Pro, and Skullcandy is joining premium, too.

Once a brand connected with affordable gear marketed at youth, its latest take on noise cancelling headphones is a little different, focusing on active noise cancellation, heavy bass, and what the company calls “personal sound”, which is a nice way of saying the headphones support an app to custom tune the sound for individuals.

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Skullcandy’s push to integrate these ideas comes in the Skullcandy Crusher ANC, a pair of active noise cancelling headphones that uses proprietary noise cancelling that reads as adaptive, monitoring the background noise and quelling it. There are touch controls similar to what Bang & Olufsen and Sony have each used in the past, whereby touching and holding the left earcup will kick in an ambient mode to listen through the microphones and hear the outside world.

Inside the headphones, there’s a bass technology that can be adjusted, delivering what Skullcandy calls “sensory bass”, increasing the impact of bass in the sounds.

We’re not sure quite what this means, but it sounds similar to the haptic vibration technology used in the bass of the Australian Nuraphone headphones, which simulates heavy bass sound by shaking things up a little. For Skullcandy’s Crusher ANC headphones, bass seems to be a primary part, allowing you to increase or decrease bass, handy if you happen to be someone that wishes their headphones were much, much more bassy.

“With Crusher ANC, we wanted to recreate the energy and excitement of being at a live concert where you can literally feel the bass hits and hear every detail in the vocals or instrumentation,” said Jeff Hutchins, Chief Product Officer at Skullcandy.

“Crusher ANC provides a deeply personal experience using modern headphone technologies combined in a new and unique way,” he said. “Get ready to rediscover your music all over again.”

We’re also hearing the Skullcandy Crusher ANC will offer a good 24 hours of battery life and are wireless, but do include a removable cable if you yearn to be connected old school. There’s also support for a built-in Tile tracker, so if they ever get lost, provided you’ve registered the headphones on a Tile app and account, you can use the Tile network to go find them.

Pricing in Australia puts the Skullcandy Crusher ANC in the premium part of the noise cancelling headphones market, landing at JB HiFi and the Skullcandy website locally for $599.95 on November 15 in two colours, red and black.

Leigh :) Stark

A technology journalist working out of Sydney, Australia, Leigh has written for publications including The Australian Financial Review, GadgetGuy, Popular Science, APC, PC & Tech Authority, as well as for radio and TV since 2007.

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