The Skullcandy Grind are versatile and comfortable on-ear headphones. They have an above-average sound, they're lightweight and surprisingly comfortable for an on-ear model. However, they're not as portable as some of the other on-ears we've tested, and they do not block a lot of noise so they won't be the ideal headphones for loud environments.
The Grind have a simple and sturdy design, with few moving parts and a great control scheme. They're one of the best on-ear headphones we've tested so far and they are more comfortable than a lot of other on-ears we've tested. They're also sufficiently stable to jog with but won't be the ideal headphones for more demanding activities like running and working out. They don't have any folding joints, which makes their design more durable but also less compact since you can't fold them.
The Skullcandy Grind have a straightforward on-ear design that will work for some. They have thin but large metal frame and small circular ear cups. They don't have any folding hinges, so they have a very minimalistic look with few moving parts. They also come in a couple of color schemes that will stand out a bit more than the black color variant we've reviewed.
The Skullcandy Grind are surprisingly comfortable on-ear headphones. They're lightweight, and the padding on the ear cups is soft. They're comfortable to wear for hours, unlike most similarly designed headphones which put quite a bit of pressure on your ears. However, the headband is not as decently padded as the ear cups.
The Skullcandy Grind have an efficient and easy-to-use control scheme. The button layout is good, and the buttons are responsive providing track-skipping, call/music, and volumes controls. The buttons may be a bit difficult to distinguish by touch a lone at first, but they don't take too long to get familiar with.
The Skullcandy are relatively small on-ear headphones that unfortunately do not fold into a more compact format. This makes them less portable than other on-ears we've reviewed and a bit more of a hassle to carry around on your person if you don't have a bag.
The Grind have an above-average build quality. The headband is a thin but has wide metal frame that feels durable and sturdy enough for most use cases. The ear cups are not especially dense but can easily withstand a shoulder height drop unscathed. However, the audio cable from the headband to the ear cups are exposed and could get damaged from regular wear and tear and head band although sturdy does not feel very flexible and could get bent out of shape with enough force.
These headphones are quite stable. They're able to maintain their position and fit during casual listening sessions. Their wireless design also prevents them from being yanked off your head because the audio cable got hooked by the something. However, they are not designed for sports and will start to slip off your ears during high-intensity activities like running or working out.
The Skullcandy Grind is a decent-sounding pair of closed-back on-ear headphones. They have an excellent and extended Bass and a good Mid Range. However, their Treble can be a little too sharp, and their Bass is prone to inconsistencies across multiple subjects. They also have an average Soundstage, Imaging and Distortion performance.
Excellent Bass Range performance. Low-frequency extension is at 14Hz which is great. The overall response is virtually flat and only slightly over our target. This will give more emphasis to Bass Range of these headphones.
Very good Mid Range performance. Low-mid is only slightly over our target, and it is the continuation of the high-bass overemphasis. The dip surrounding 700Hz pushes vocals/leads to the back of the mix, but at -4dB the effect will be subtle. High-mid is well-balanced but shows a tilt favoring the Treble frequencies.
Mediocre Treble Range performance. Low-treble is over our target by about 2dB, giving a bit of excess presence to the sound. Treble has a 5dB bump between 5KHz and 10KHz, making these headphones sibilant and piercing to those with sensitive ears.
Average consistency. The Bass Range of the Grind is susceptible to inconsistencies depending on the positioning preference and head shape of the user. The maximum deviation we measured was -3dB at 300Hz which is quite significant. The consistency in the Treble Range, however, is very good.
Mediocre Harmonic Distortion performance. The overall amount of harmonic distortion is low, and the Bass distortion is well-controlled under heavier loads. However, the spikes in the Treble Range could make those frequencies harsh and piercing.
The Skullcandy Grind have a poor noise isolation performance. They only block noise passively, and unfortunately, the small on-ear ear cups do not prevent noise from easily seeping into your audio. This means you may struggle to hear your music in loud environments making, the Grind a below-average option for traveling and commuting. They also leak quite a bit at higher volumes so they may be slightly distracting to the people around you in quieter settings.
Poor Isolation. These on-ear headphones do not isolate at all in the Bass Range, and only 1.5dB in the Mid Range. In the Treble Range, they achieve about 29dB of isolation, which is decent (see our recommendations for the best on-ear noise cancelling headphones).
Average Leakage. The significant portion of the Leakage is spread between 500Hz and 6KHz which is a relatively broad range. However, the overall level of Leakage is not too loud.
The Skullcandy Grind have an above-average wireless range but high latency. They're not really suitable for gaming or for watching movies but should be fine for listening to audio. They also have a good battery life of 15 hours, better than the JBL T450BT, but lack a few power saving features that would have made their battery performance better. Unfortunately, they have no app or customization options, which is a bit disappointing.
The Grind delivers up to 15 hours of continuous playback at average volumes. They also don't take too long to fully charge at 1.5 hours. Unfortunately, they do not have an auto-off timer to help prolong their battery life, and you can't use them while they are charging. On the upside, they can be used completely passively even when the batteries are dead.
No compatible app.
The Skullcandy Grind have an average wireless range (see our recommendations for the best on-ear wireless headphones). They reached up to 39ft when the Bluetooth source is obstructed and 100ft in direct line of sight. This makes them slightly worse than average in direct line of sight, but they should still be a decent option to use at home or the office. Unfortunately, they lack an NFC chip which makes their pairing procedure a bit tedious.
These headphones do not support any additional codecs. This means their base SBC latency is about 165ms which is fine for streaming music but maybe become an issue when watching videos or gaming. The slight sync issues are even more prominent on high frame rate content.
The Skullcandy Grind are one of the best closed-back headphones we've tested in this price range. See our recommendations for the best headphones under $50 and the best wireless headphones under $100.
Overall, the Skullcandy Grind are better headphones than the Sony WH-CH500. Their sound quality is better, and their on-ear design is more comfortable. They can also be used wired, even if the battery is dead, and they don’t feel as cheap as the Sonys. On the other hand, the WH-CH500 have a slightly better battery life with power saving features, which the Grind lacks, and have better wireless range.
The Skullcandy Grind are much better on-ear headphones than the JBL T450BT. The Grind have a great build quality for their price, they're also a lot more comfortable than the T450BT. The Grind also have longer battery life, a slightly better-balanced sound quality, and a headphone jack so you can use them wired with most devices, unlike the JBLs. On the other hand, the JBLs have a more compact and portable design that folds and can even fit into some larger jacket pockets. They're also lighter and leak a little less at high volumes.