The Government of Quebec is shutting down non-essential businesses till April 13. Therefore, our lab is temporarily closed and we can't test new products. In the meantime, we will continue to update articles from home.

Skullcandy Grind Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.3.1
Reviewed Aug 15, 2017 at 01:06 pm
Skullcandy Grind Wireless Picture
Test Methodology v1.3.1
6.6
Mixed Usage
7.3
Neutral Sound
6.3
Commute/Travel
7.1
Sports/Fitness
6.3
Office
5.4
Wireless Gaming
7.1
Wired Gaming
6.0
Phone Call
Type On-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Yes
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

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.

Our Verdict

6.6 Mixed Usage

The Grind are decent mixed usage headphones. They're quite comfortable for an on-ear design, they have an efficient and easy-to-use control scheme and a sturdy build quality. Unfortunately, they do not block enough noise for commuting, and they're slightly too unstable for sports. On the upside, they deliver an above-average audio reproduction which should be good enough for most listeners.

7.3 Neutral Sound

Above-average for neutral listening. They have a decently balanced audio reproduction that caters well to instruments and vocals. Their bass is not too overwhelming but the Treble range can sometimes be a bit too sharp on some tracks. Unfortunately, they don't have the best Soundstage due to their small and closed-back ear cups but they should sound good enough for most listeners.

See our Neutral Sound recommendations
6.3 Commute/Travel

Mediocre for commuting. They a lot of noise seep into your audio which is not suitable for the loud environments involved in commuting.

See our Commute/Travel recommendations
7.1 Sports/Fitness

Average for sports. They're wireless with an easy to use control scheme and they do not get too hot when exercising. However, they are not the most stable and ear cups sway a lot while running which is not ideal for sports.

See our Sports/Fitness recommendations
6.3 Office

Average for office-use. They have an efficient and easy to use control scheme, but they're a bit leaky at high volumes and they won't block the noise of a particularly lively office.

See our Office recommendations
7.1 Wired Gaming
6.0 Phone Call
  • 6.6 Mixed Usage
  • 7.3 Neutral Sound
  • 6.3 Commute/Travel
  • 7.1 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.3 Office
  • 5.4 Wireless Gaming
  • 7.1 Wired Gaming
  • 6.0 Phone Call
Pros
  • Above-average sound quality.
  • Sturdy and comfortable design.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • Less portable than most on-ears.
  1. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  2. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.
  3. Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  4. Update 9/28/2017: The microphone has been tested with our new methodology, as explained here

Test Results

Design
Design
Style

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.

7.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.4 lbs
Clamping Force
0.7 lbs

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.

7.4
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Decent
Feedback Good
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
N/A
Noise Cancelling Control N/A
Talk-Through
N/A
Additional Buttons No

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.

7.2
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 3.6 C
5.9
Design
Portability
L 6.8 "
W 6.4 "
H 2.6 "
Volume 117 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required N/A

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.

0
Design
Case
Type No case
L N/A
W N/A
H N/A
Volume N/A
7.0
Design
Build Quality

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.

7.0
Design
Stability

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.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Skullcandy Grind Wireless Headphones
  • Audio cable (x2)
  • USB cable
  • Manual

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-0.5 db
Treble Amount
-1.0 db
7.1
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.58 dB

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.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
9.0
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.39 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
13.54 Hz
Low-Bass
0.57 dB
Mid-Bass
1.49 dB
High-Bass
1.89 dB

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.

7.9
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.77 dB
Low-Mid
1.16 dB
Mid-Mid
-3.59 dB
High-Mid
0.53 dB

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.

6.2
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
4.96 dB
Low-Treble
2.08 dB
Mid-Treble
1.73 dB
High-Treble
-6.97 dB

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.

6.5
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
2.19 db
Dips
2.33 db
7.8
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.23
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
1.16
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
2.73
Weighted Phase Mismatch
8.81
5.6
Sound
Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
3.13 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
1.9 dB
PRTF Distance
10.26 dB
Openness
6.7
Acoustic Space Excitation
4.3
7.7
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.186
WHD @ 100
0.160
Isolation
3.4
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-9.91 dB
Bass
0.4 dB
Mid
-1.42 dB
Treble
-28.48 dB

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.

6.6
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
41.88 dB

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.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-line
Yes
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
N/A
6.5
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
261.43 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
3.36 dB
HFE
3368.2 Hz
Weighted THD
3.504
Gain
18.51 dB
6.0
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
12.69 dB
Active Features
7.1
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
15 hrs
Additional Charges
0
Total Battery Life
15 hrs
Charge Time
1.7 hrs
Power Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
Yes
Charging Port micro-USB

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.

0
Active Features
App Support
App Name N/A
iOS N/A
Android N/A
macOS N/A
Windows N/A
Equalizer
N/A
ANC Control
N/A
Mic Control N/A
Room effects
N/A
Playback Control
N/A
Button Mapping N/A
Surround Sound N/A

No compatible app.

Connectivity
6.9
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
4.1
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line of Sight Range
100 ft
Default Latency
176 ms
aptX Latency
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
N/A

These headphones are Bluetooth compatible but don't support NFC. If NFC is a must-have for you, take a look at the Sony WH-CH400.

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.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
9.5
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
No
Detachable Yes
Length 4 ft
Connection 1/8" TRS
Wired Latency
0 ms
Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
Audio + Microphone
PC / PS4 Wired USB
No
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio + Microphone
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Wireless
No
0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
N/A
USB Input
N/A
Line In
N/A
Line Out
N/A
Optical Input
N/A
RCA Input
N/A
Dock Charging
N/A
Power Supply
N/A

Compared to other headphones

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.

Sony WH-CH500 Wireless
SEE PRICE
B&H

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.

JBL T450BT Wireless
SEE PRICE
Newegg.com

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.

Sony WH-CH400 Wireless
SEE PRICE
B&H

The Skullcandy Grind Wireless are more comfortable on-ear headphones that can also be used wired. They’ll be more versatile than the Sony WH-CH400 and they are noticeably more durable too. These headphones will sound fairly similar, but the Grind will have a more accurate bass for most, with a slight V-shaped sound profile. They also take about half the time to charge, which is nice. However, the Grind don’t support NFC like the CH400 do, but you can use them wired, and also get an in-line microphone, which the Sonys are lacking.

Skullcandy Grind Wireless Price

Recommended Articles

LOG IN

JOIN RTINGS.com

Be part of the most informed community and take advantage of our advanced tools to find the best product for your needs.
Join our mailing list:
Become an insider

Unlimited access to full product reviews, test measurements and scores

test table UI

Product prices across the site on reviews, tables and tools

product prices UI

Additional votes for our
next reviews

Additional votes UI

Early Access
to our reviews and test measurements

Early Access UI

Create Discussion