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There are a lot of different type of headphones… theres closed back headphones, open back headphones, audiophile grade headphones, and active noise canceling headphones. But theres a special type of headphones for a special type of person that absolute loves bass. And thats bass head headphones. And today we’re comparing the Skullcandy Crusher 360’s against the ever so popular Sony MDR-XB950N1, which arguably has been the best Basshead headphones on the market for awhile now.
The Sony XB950N1 came out in January of 2017 and they retail for $250. Where as the Skullcandy Crusher 360’s were released in September of 2018 and retail for $300. Now I’m fully aware that for this type of money you can also go ahead and pick up more premium ANC headphones like the Sony 1000XM3 or the Bose QC35 Series Two. But in short, Bass Head headphones are kind of like sports cars, they might not be as practical… but they’re a lot of fun. So if you want to pick either of these headphones up I’ll have links in the description below and if you use the links it really helps out the channel. I highly suggest you check them out cause Sony headphones routinely go on sale you so you’ll might get lucky. And if you want to learn more about either of these headphones then please watch their full reviews. And also check out the new merch shelf down below.
First lets get the simple stuff out of the way, and thats the included accessories and ports. The Skullcandy Crusher 360’s come included with a hard shell carrying case which is a big step up from the carrying pouch that comes included with the Sony XB950N1’s. And I find it kind of ironic cause since the crusher’s are built like a tank they don’t really need a case, where as since the Sony’s are a little more delicate I usually worry about them any time I have them in my back pack. The crusher’s also come included with a much better quality audio cable with an inline controller and a high quality micro usb cable for charging. Now both of these headphones have a very easy to reach 3.5 millimeter audio jack which is good and they both charge via a micro USB port. But like I said in the full review, I feel that since the Skullcandy Crusher 360 were released in late 2018 they should have of had came with a USB C port instead.
Now lets talk about these headphone’s design and build quality, cause they’re very different from one another. Like I mentioned earlier, the crushers are built like a tank. The headband and ear cups have a soft touch feel to them, they have a metal frame, and the faux leather on the earcups and headband feels much more premium compared to the faux leather used on the Sony’s. The Sony’s are mostly made out of plastic and really the only metal you’ll find on them is going to be the headband. But even though these headphones are mostly made out of plastic, they don’t feel cheap… I just wouldn’t travel with them unless they were in a hardshell carrying case. But since the Sony’s are mostly made out of plastic it does mean they are considerably lighter than the Crushers cause they weigh in at 293 grams. Where as the Skullcandy Crusher 360’s weigh in at a scale tipping 322 grams. For the most part most headphones weigh in somewhere between 230 grams and 290 grams. Now you’ll might think that a 30 gram difference between the Crusher’s and N1’s isn’t a lot, but with the crusher’s I’ve noticed I always know they’re there where as with the Sony’s sometimes I forget I have them on.
And when it comes to wearing either of these headphones, I can confidently say they are both big head approved. The crusher 360’s do have a bit of a firmer fit compared to the Sony’s, but they’re not uncomfortable like the OG Crusher’s and they don’t squeeze your head like the Bowers and Wilkins PX. But if you’re someone who prefers a loser fit on their headphones then you’re still better off going with the Sony’s. But the bad thing about the Sony’s is that their ear cups are a little more cramped compared to the ear cups on the Crusher’s. Im fine with either, but the ear cups on the Sony’s do rest on my ear lobes. Which you don’t even noticed after awhile. But something that you will notice everytime you wear the Sony XB950N1 is people staring at you in public. Theres no nice way to say it, but the Sony’s aren’t the best looking headphones out there. Since their ear cups stick out a lot you do look a little goofy with them on and since they stick out so much you can actually see them in your peripheral vision. Where as the SkullCandy Crusher 360’s have a timeless design that I genuinely really like. They’re just a good looking pair of headphones period.
When it comes to battery life… the Crusher’s and Sony’s are pretty evenly matched. The Skullcandy Crusher 360’s have an advertised battery life of 29 hours, but with the bass effect turned on to 60% these are averaging 22 hours of playback time. The Sony XB950N1 have an advertised battery life of 22 hours but thats with their bass effect and Active Noise Cancellation turned on. But with ANC turned off these can get around 24 hours of playback time. So both of these headphones last me about a week and half between charges. But something the Skullcandy have that the Sonys don’t is fast charging. If you plug these headphones in for 10 minutes from a dead battery they’ll get you 3 hours of playback time.
And like I just mentioned, the Sony’s have active noise cancellation which is something the Crusher’s don’t. The ANC on the XB950N1 obviously isn’t as good as the 1000XM3, but it does help reduce road noise. But even though the Skullcandy Crusher 360’s don’t have Active Noise Cancelation, due to their more premium build quality they do offer a good amount of passive noise cancellation… more than what the plastic Sony’s do with ANC turned off.
So yeah, like I said the ANC on the XB950N1 is nowhere near as good as the 1000XM3 and honestly its not a feature I would be concerned about when choosing bass head headphones. But since ANC is a feature the Sony’s have that the crusher’s don’t have, I couldn’t just not address it. But now lets talk about the bass and sound quality of these headphones. For the most part both of these headphones sound good period with their bass effect turned off. Their sound stages and instrument separation could be better, but theres no tinning in the highs and the bass never bottoms out. But even with their bass effects turned off both of these headphones are still going to have an emphasis on the bass. But the Sony’s by default do have a little more emphasis on the mids than the Crusher’s so vocalists are a little more pronounced on the Sony’s. Now with the bass effect turned on, thats when these headphones really come alive. The bass on both of these headphones is its own separate entity and they both do a very good job of rattling your head when the bass really gets going. But… the crusher 360’s have considerably more bass than the XB950N1. With the bass effect set to 100% on the Sony’s its like the Crusher’s are set to 60%. And coincidentally, I like keeping the Crusher’s at 60% cause if you go any higher than that I find it pretty hard to actually hear the rest of the song. So yeah if you want the headphones with the most bass here then the Skullcandy Crusher 360 is a no briner.
But Bass isn’t everything… like I said in the full review I do wish the Mids on the Crusher’s were a little more pronounced so you can hear them when the bass is going on for an extended period of time. Another thing to take into consideration about the Crusher’s is that they don’t get too loud. A lot of the times I have the volume on the crusher’s maxed out I still cant help but want them to be 1 or 2 steps louder. Where as the Sony’s get more than loud enough so I never have to max them out. And since the Mids on the Sony’s are more forward, they’re always present even when the bass goes all out. But still, theres just something about the Skullcandy Crusher 360’s that just make them more fun and more enjoyable than the Sony XB950N1.
And the last thing I want to talk about regarding these headphones is their button layouts and bluetooth connectivity. Like I mentioned in the full review, I like the button layout on the Crusher 360’s, they’re easy to find and easy to use. But I hate that you have to press and hold the plus and mins button to skip through your music. Where as the Sony’s have a rocker that I’ve always really been a big fan of. It makes skipping through your music almost instant. And just like the crusher’s, the buttons are easy to find and easy to use. But one thing that I really like about the crusher’s over the Sony’s is that you can adjust your bass level on the fly directly from the headphones using the touch pad on the left ear cup. Where as with the Sony’s if you want to adjust the bass level you have to open up the app every time. And finally I want to address the bluetooth connectivity on both of these headphones. Both of these headphones can only be connected to one device at a time which does suck. But the Crusher’s have less latency than the Sony’s making them better than the Sony’s for watching YouTube videos on your phone.
But over all, I feel that this versus video is pretty neck and neck. The Skullcandy Crusher 360’s have the better build quality, the better design, and more bass than the Sony’s. But the Sony’s do manage to get a little louder, the mids sound better, and the active noise cancellation is nice to have. But when it comes to just having fun, I think the win has to go to the Skullcandy Crusher 360’s. The Crusher 360’s are quickly becoming one of my favorite headphones. Now, if you watched my Sony h.ear on 2 versus Sony 1000XM3 video you’ll know that I personally think that we are going to see an updated version of the Sony XB950N1 and H.ear On 2 at CES 2019. So unless you get a very good deal on the XB950N1, I wouldn’t pay full price for either of those headphones right now.