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Skullcandy Hesh 2 Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.3.1
Updated Mar 23, 2018 at 11:20 am
Skullcandy Hesh 2 Wireless Picture
Test Methodology v1.3.1
6.2
Mixed Usage
6.7
Neutral Sound
6.1
Commute/Travel
6.7
Sports/Fitness
6.0
Office
5.0
Wireless Gaming
6.6
Wired Gaming
5.9
Phone Call
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Yes
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Skullcandy Hesh 2 are mediocre-at-best headphones with a poor audio reproduction. Their all-plastic design doesn't feel sturdy, and they're a bit cumbersome. They also don't block a lot of ambient noise, and the odd ear cup size gets uncomfortable. On the upside, they're wireless, lightweight and relatively affordable.

Our Verdict

6.2 Mixed Usage

The Skullcandy Hesh 2 are average-at-best mixed usage headphones. They're wireless and have a decent sound, but they're not meant for critical listening. Their isolation performance doesn't make them versatile enough for loud environments. Also, their design feels a bit cheap. On the upside, they're fairly easy-to-use, lightweight and they are a bit more breathable than other closed back over-ears.

6.7 Neutral Sound

Average for neutral listening. They sound a bit too boomy and boxy and have small, closed on-ear cups cannot create a good soundstage. Their sound is not balanced or neutral enough for neutral listening. Also, they're wireless which is not ideal for lossless audio.

See our Neutral Sound recommendations
6.1 Commute/Travel

Mediocre for commuting. The noise isolation is not strong or efficient enough for the level of ambient noise involved in busy city commute. On the upside, they're easy to use and fairly lightweight.

See our Commute/Travel recommendations
6.7 Sports/Fitness

Average-at-best for sports. The Skullcandy Hesh 2 are wireless and have an easy to use control scheme. However, they're a bit bulky, and too unstable for sports and to use while running or working out.

See our Sports/Fitness recommendations
6.0 Office

Mediocre for office use. They won't leak too much unless you less to your music at high volumes but they won't isolate you from the chatter of a busy office.

See our Office recommendations
5.0 Wireless Gaming

Sub-par for gaming. The Skullcandy Hesh 2 have a bit too much latency, an average-at-best mic, and no customization options. They're also not the most comfortable headphones which will not be ideal for long gaming sessions. On the upside, they're a bit more breathable than typical closed back over-ears.

See our Wireless Gaming recommendations
6.6 Wired Gaming
5.9 Phone Call
  • 6.2 Mixed Usage
  • 6.7 Neutral Sound
  • 6.1 Commute/Travel
  • 6.7 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.0 Office
  • 5.0 Wireless Gaming
  • 6.6 Wired Gaming
  • 5.9 Phone Call
Pros
  • Lightweight over-ear headphones.
  • Wireless design.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • Sub-par sound quality.
  • Bulky and plasticky build.
  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
  5. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

Test Results

Design
Design
Style

The Skullcandy Hesh 2 look pretty good. They are relatively compact for an over-ear model. They have an all-black color scheme with a matte finish. There are silver accents around the ear cups, and the Skullcandy logo adds a little more flair to the design. They are not the most eye-catching headphones, but they look sleek and their design will work for some.

6.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.55 lbs
Clamping Force
0.78 lbs

The SkullCandy Hesh 2 are somewhat comfortable headphones. They have well-padded ear cups and do not feel too heavy or tight once on your head. Unfortunately, the headband is not padded, and the ear cups have an odd size that is in between an on-ear model and an over-model but does not rest on, or encompass your ears properly. This causes discomfort over long listening sessions, especially, for listeners with larger ears.

7.2
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Decent
Feedback Decent
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 Hesh 2 have a distinct button layout that's functional and efficient but takes a little time to get used to. They provide track skipping, volume, and call/music controls. Unfortunately, multiple functions are often relegated to the same button, which can get a little confusing at first. The buttons also don't deliver a good tactile feedback, which is slightly disappointing.

6.9
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 4.4 C

The Skullcandy Hesh 2 are decently breathable headphones. They still make your ears fairly warm during exercise and even long uninterrupted listening sessions. However, the odd shape of the earcups does let a bit of air through unintentionally which keeps the outer ear relatively cool. They won't be the best headphones for sports but they perform a bit better than most closed-back over-ears.

5.7
Design
Portability
L 7.09 "
W 6.30 "
H 3.15 "
Volume 140.6 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required N/A

The Skullcandy Hesh 2 Wireless headphones have a somewhat compact design but are not very portable. They do not fold to reduce the volume of space they take in a bag or purse. The earcups also don't swivel or lay flat. On the upside, the earpads are not too big, and the headband is relatively slim, which gives them a slightly smaller footprint than some other over-ear models.

5.5
Design
Case
Type Pouch
L N/A
W N/A
H N/A
Volume N/A

These headphones come with a soft, cloth pouch which will protect them from scratches but not from hard falls or water damage.

6.5
Design
Build Quality

The headphones have an all-plastic build that feels dense but not very durable. They should be able to withstand a couple of drops without getting damaged. However, the frame of the headband is made of a cheap-looking plastic that feels susceptible to breaking under moderate physical stress.

6.5
Design
Stability

The Skullcandy Hesh 2 are moderately stable headphones. They deliver a decently stable fit for casual listening sessions. They also have a wireless design that prevents them from getting yanked off your head because the audio cable got hooked on something. However, they are not designed for sports and will slip off your ears while running or jumping.

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

  • Skullcandy Hesh 2 Headphones
  • Carrying pouch
  • Audio cable
  • USB cable
  • Manual

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-1.06 db
Treble Amount
-5.41 db
7.5
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.5 dB

The Skullcandy Hesh 2 have a good frequency response consistency. In the bass range, the maximum amount of deviation across our five human subjects at 20Hz is about 5dB. This is noticeable but subtle. In the treble range, the maximum deviation below 10KHz is also about 5dB, indicating that the treble delivery is relatively sensitive to positioning.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
7.5
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.56 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
18.34 Hz
Low-Bass
0.7 dB
Mid-Bass
3.98 dB
High-Bass
4.99 dB

The bass is good. The LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 18Hz, which is great. Accordingly, low-bass is within 1dB of our target response, indicating a well-balanced, yet deep and thumpy bass. However, mid-bass and high-bass are overemphasized by more than 4dB, adding excess punch and boominess to the bass, which can make mixes sound a bit muddy and cluttered.

7.5
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.35 dB
Low-Mid
-0.62 dB
Mid-Mid
3.37 dB
High-Mid
3.1 dB

The mid-range performance of the Skullcandy Hesh 2 is good. Low-mid is even and relatively flat and within 0.62dB of our target response. However, mid-mid and high-mid are overemphasized by more than 3dB, which brings vocals and lead instruments to the front of the mix, by adding to their intensity and projection. The overall sound profile of their mid-range is slightly boxy/honky.

6.0
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
5.08 dB
Low-Treble
-2.75 dB
Mid-Treble
-6.62 dB
High-Treble
-5.87 dB

The treble is mediocre. The response is quite uneven and consistently underemphasized. Low-treble is under our target by more than 2dB, and mid-treble is lacking by more than 6dB. This results in a treble that lacks detail and brightness, especially on vocals, lead instruments and cymbals.

6.9
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.91 db
Dips
1.98 db
8.2
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.43
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.56
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
2.19
Weighted Phase Mismatch
6.38

The imaging is very good. Their weighted group delay is at 0.43, which is good. The GD graph also shows that the entire group delay response never crosses the audibility threshold. This indicates a tight bass and a transparent treble reproductions. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test bench were very well-matched, ensuring an accurate placement and localization of objects (instruments, voices, footsteps), in the stereo image.

4.4
Sound
Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
3.64 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
1.12 dB
PRTF Distance
4.8 dB
Openness
6.0
Acoustic Space Excitation
4.8

The soundstage is poor. The PRTF response graph shows that there is very little pinna interaction/activation below 8KHz. This also shows in the poor accuracy and size values. The peak around 9KHz, is actually where the 10KHz notch is supposed to be. So instead of a dip there is a peak, which is quite poor. This suggests that their soundstage will be perceived to be small and located inside the head.

7.5
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.237
WHD @ 100
0.192
Isolation
3.9
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-9.43 dB
Bass
0.19 dB
Mid
-5.38 dB
Treble
-23.46 dB

The isolation performance is sub-par. The Skullcandy Hesh 2 don't have ANC (active noise cancellation) and isolate passively. In the bass range, important for blocking the rumble of airplane and bus engines, they don't isolate at all. In the mid-range, important for cutting out speech, they achieved about 6dB of isolation, which is poor. In the treble range, occupied by sharp S and T sounds, they reduce outside noise by 24dB, which is above-average.

6.1
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
44.38 dB

The leakage performance of the Hesh2 is mediocre. The significant portion of the leakage is spread between 300Hz and 4KHz, which is a relatively broad range. That is, the leakage will sound fuller than that of in-ears and earbuds, but not as full-bodied as open-back headphones'. On the plus side, the overall level of leakage is not very loud, peaking at around 60dB SPL at 1 foot away, which is just above the noise floor level of most offices.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-line
Yes
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
N/A

The integrated microphone has a mediocre performance. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with it will sound relatively thin and noticeably muffled. However, it will still be relatively easy to understand. In noisy situations, the Skullcandy Hesh 2 will struggle to separate speech from ambient noise in even moderately loud environments, like a busy street.

6.2
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
269.09 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
3.66 dB
HFE
2957.7 Hz
Weighted THD
6.223
Gain
22.68 dB

The microphone has a mediocre recording quality. The LFE (low-frequency extension) of 269Hz, means that speech recorded/transmitted with this mic will sound relatively thin. The HFE (high-frequency extension) of 3KHz, indicates a speech that is muffled and lacking in detail. However, it will still be decently understandable, since speech intelligibility is mostly dependent on the 500Hz-4KHz range.

5.9
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
10.15 dB

The noise handling performance of the integrated mic is sub-par. In our SpNR test, they achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 10dB, indicating they are best suited for quiet environments. In moderate and loud situations, they will struggle to separate speech from background sounds.

Active Features
8.1
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
28.3 hrs
Additional Charges
0
Total Battery Life
28.3 hrs
Charge Time
2.6 hrs
Power Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
Yes
Passive Playback
Yes
Charging Port micro-USB

Update: 04/29/2019: We've updated the Passive Playback comparison to show that the Hesh 2 can be used passively with an audio cable

The Skullcandy Hesh 2 have a good battery life that will last up to 28.3 hours of continuous play time. They take a bit longer than average to charge but can play audio at the same time. This makes them decent headphones for traveling especially if your travel option has a lot of power outlets. Unfortunately, they have no power saving features and will continue draining the battery when you're not using them.

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

These headphones do not have a compatible app more customization options.

Connectivity
6.9
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
4.0
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line of Sight Range
64 ft
Default Latency
144 ms
aptX Latency
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
N/A

These headphones connect via Bluetooth but do not have multi-device pairing or NFC support.

The Hesh 2 have 144ms of latency which is not ideal for watching a lot of video content. It's a bit better than average for most Bluetooth headphones with no low latency codecs but won't be suitable for gaming and watching movies. If you need to watch a lot of videos, use them wired.

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 4.33 ft
Connection 1/8" TRRS
Wired Latency
0 ms

The Skullcandy Hesh 2 come with a regular 1/8TRS audio cable with an in-line microphone. The microphone is compatible with both the Xbox One and PS4 controllers as well as laptops but may need a mic and audio adapter for desktops.

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

The Skullcandy Hesh 2 do not have a base/dock. If you want a versatile headset with a base that you can also use wired, check out the SteelSeries Arctis 7.

Compared to other headphones

Comparison picture

The Hesh 2 are average-at-best wireless over-ears with a lightweight design and a somewhat decent sound. They're easy to use and have a long battery life but they're also a bit plasticky and feel a bit cheap. They do not have the most comfortable design and lack a lot of features compared to more recent wireless headphones in their price range. See our recommendations for the best Bluetooth over-ear headphones and the best headphones under $100

Skullcandy Hesh 3 Wireless
SEE PRICE
B&H

The newer Skullcandy Hesh 3 are better headphones than the Skullcandy Hesh 2. The cups are noticeably larger and feel more comfortable than the Hesh 2. They also have better sound quality and you get a bass slider as well. Their wireless range is also noticeably better, but they have more latency than the previous model. On the other hand, the Hesh 2 has noticeably better battery life and also has an in-line microphone, which the Hesh 3 lacks.

Skullcandy Crusher Wireless 2016
SEE PRICE
B&H

The Skullcandy Crusher Wireless are a much better headset than the Skullcandy Hesh 2. The Crusher Wireless are better built and look more premium. They also have a longer battery life a, better wireless range, a better default sound that you can further enhance with the bass slider, and they're also a bit more comfortable despite being a little tight on some heads. The Hesh 2, on the other hand, have a unique design that comes in a bunch of color schemes to match your taste and preferences. They're also considerably cheaper, but overall the Crusher Wireless are the superior headset in almost every category.

Parrot Zik 2/Zik 2.0 Wireless
Unavailable
B&H

The Parrot Zik 2.0 are much better wireless headphones than the Skullcandy Hesh 2. The Zik have a lot more customizable features than the Skullcandys. They're also better built and a bit more comfortable than the Hesh and they're noise canceling headphones so they do much better in noisy conditions. On the other hand, the Skullcandys are much lighter and have an easier to use control scheme. They also have a longer battery life than the Parrot, and since they're cheaper, they might be a better value for some.

Skullcandy Hesh 2 Wireless Price

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