Skullcandy Hesh 3 Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Updated Jul 31, 2020 at 03:15 pm
Skullcandy Hesh 3 Wireless Picture
6.4
Mixed Usage
6.2
Neutral Sound
6.5
Commute/Travel
7.0
Sports/Fitness
6.2
Office
5.0
Wireless Gaming
6.6
Wired Gaming
6.2
Phone Calls
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Yes
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Skullcandy Hesh 3 are passable mixed usage wireless headphones that have an excited V-shaped sound profile that won't be for everyone. They have a lightweight design, an easy-to-use control scheme, and a decently comfortable fit, though some may find them a bit tight. This makes them stable enough to take to the gym although they won't be the most breathable headphones. Unfortunately, they don't block out much ambient noise. On the upside, most people should be satisfied with their 19-hour battery life.

Our Verdict

6.4 Mixed Usage

The Skullcandy Hesh 3 are okay mixed-usage headphones. They have a good battery and are decently comfortable, but their excited V-shaped sound profile won't be for everyone. Unfortunately, they also have a plasticky and cheap build quality that doesn't feel as durable as other headphones in their price range, and they're quite tight on larger heads. While their fit is tight, they don't block much ambient noise and won't be suitable for commuting. Overall, they're somewhat versatile headphones but don't excel at any particular use.

Pros
  • Long lasting battery life and fast charging.
  • Decently comfortable and lightweight.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • Plasticky build quality.
6.2 Neutral Sound

The Skullcandy Hesh 3 are mediocre when it comes to having a neutral sound. They have a V-shaped sound profile that has a lot of bass and pronounced highs which makes them sound excited. Unfortunately, this also means the bass slightly overshadows instruments and vocals making the sound feel a bit boomy and overly bass-heavy, which won't be ideal for more neutral listeners. They also have a fairly small soundstage, since they're closed-back over-ear headphones.

Pros
  • Decently comfortable and lightweight.
Cons
  • Plasticky build quality.
  • Can be overly bass-heavy for some.
  • Bass and treble delivery varies significantly across users. Sensitive to glasses.
  • Small and unatural soundstage.
6.5 Commute/Travel

The Skullcandy Hesh 3 are just okay for commuting. They're lightweight, easy-to-use, and decently portable but unfortunately, they don't block a lot of noise so they won't be ideal if you have a very noisy commute. On the upside, they have a good battery life that should last you long enough for very long flights.

Pros
  • Long lasting battery life and fast charging.
  • Decently comfortable and lightweight.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • Plasticky build quality.
7.0 Sports/Fitness

The Skullcandy Hesh 3 are somewhat decent for sports. They're relatively lightweight and tight enough to stay on your head when jogging. However, they get fairly warm during physical activity which isn't ideal. They also aren't the easiest to bring around, but their wireless design is great for reducing snagging hazards.

Pros
  • Tight and stable design.
  • Decently comfortable and lightweight.
Cons
  • Plasticky build quality.
  • Not breathable.
6.2 Office

The Skullcandy Hesh 3 are mediocre for office use. Their noise isolation performance isn't the best and they won't block out nearby chatty coworkers. They also leak quite a bit, so people around you might be able to hear what you're listening to. On the upside, their 19-hour battery life should be more than enough for a full day and they're decently comfortable, although people with larger heads might find them a bit tight.

Pros
  • Long lasting battery life and fast charging.
  • Decently comfortable and lightweight.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • Plasticky build quality.
5.0 Wireless Gaming

The Skullcandy Hesh 3 aren't designed for wireless gaming. Their Bluetooth latency is too high for this use.

6.6 Wired Gaming

The Skullcandy Hesh 3 are mediocre wired gaming headphones. Some may like their excited V-Shaped sound profile, but it might be too boomy in action games. Their wired connection delivers a latency-free experience, but the included cable doesn't have an in-line microphone to communicate with friends and teammates.

Pros
  • Decently comfortable and lightweight.
Cons
  • Plasticky build quality.
  • Can be overly bass-heavy for some.
  • Microphone disabled when being used wired.
  • Latency-free gaming experience when wired.
6.2 Phone Calls

The Skullcandy Hesh 3 are unremarkable for phone calls. Like most wireless Bluetooth headphones, the integrated microphone doesn't have a very good recording quality, resulting in a thin and muffled voice. The mic also struggles a bit to separate background noise from your voice, making them better suited for calls in very quiet environments.

Pros
  • Decently comfortable and lightweight.
Cons
  • Plasticky build quality.
  • Mediocre microphone.
  • 6.4 Mixed Usage
  • 6.2 Neutral Sound
  • 6.5 Commute/Travel
  • 7.0 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.2 Office
  • 5.0 Wireless Gaming
  • 6.6 Wired Gaming
  • 6.2 Phone Calls
  1. Update 7/31/2020: Updated review for accuracy and clarity.
  2. Update 2/20/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.4.
  3. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  4. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The Skullcandy Hesh 3 have an understated design that looks more premium than the Skullcandy Hesh 2 Wireless. They have a wide and flat headband, and the ear cups don't protrude as much, giving the headphones a relatively low profile once they're on your head. They come in a couple of different color schemes and they look casual enough to use outdoors as your everyday headphones. However, the plastic used in their build feels a lot cheaper than it looks.

7.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.5 lbs
Clamping Force
1.2 lbs

The Skullcandy Hesh 3 are decently comfortable. They're lightweight and have relatively large ear cups that fit well around most ears. The ear cups are decently well-padded but the headband isn't, which makes them slightly less comfortable, but shouldn't be much of an issue since they're fairly lightweight. They're more comfortable than the Cowin E7 Pro Wireless but unfortunately, their tight fit does clamp the head quite a bit and will get uncomfortable after a long listening session especially on wider heads. For more comfortable budget headphones, we suggest taking a look at the Mpow H10 Wireless or the Anker SoundCore Life 2 Wireless.

6.5
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Okay
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls No

These headphones have a decent control scheme that's easy to use but lacks nice feedback. They provide essential functions like call/music control, track skipping, and volume controls. Unfortunately, the controls have a layer of rubber coating that makes the buttons feel mushy and a bit unresponsive.

6.3
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 6.3 C

The Skullcandy Hesh 3 aren't very breathable headphones. Due to their tight fit, they don't allow for much airflow. This results in fairly warm ears within a few hours of listening and more sweat when working out.

6.4
Design
Portability
L 4.2 "
W 6.2 "
H 2.6 "
Volume 68 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required N/A

The Skullcandy Hesh 3 Wireless fold into a more compact format that's fairly portable. They won't be the easiest headphones to carry around due to their moderately large ear cups, but they'll easily fit into a gym bag or backpack. Unfortunately, they don't come with a case or a pouch, which is slightly disappointing.

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

The Skullcandy Hesh 3 don't come with a case or pouch.

6.5
Design
Build Quality

Their build feels plasticky and a bit cheap. They have a lightweight design and a headband that's reinforced with a thin metal frame which should make them sturdy enough to withstand a couple of accidental drops without getting damaged. Unfortunately, the plastic build feels relatively weak and not as dense or as durable as some of the other budget wireless headphones we've tested like the Mpow H10 Wireless or the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Wireless.

7.5
Design
Stability

These headphones have a tight fit on the head that makes them stable enough to go running with. They're also wireless, so they don't have an audio cable that can get snagged on something. However, they still have a somewhat cumbersome design that won't be ideal for more intense workouts, since the headband will occasionally slide off your head when tilted.

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

  • Skullcandy Hesh 3 headphones
  • Audio cable
  • USB cable
  • Manuals

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
4.91 db
Treble Amount
1.28 db

The sound profile is fairly excited and has a V-shape with overemphasized bass and treble ranges. This can be great for people who listen to a lot of pop music but isn't ideal for vocal-centric music.

6.4
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.8 dB

The Skullcandy Hesh 3's frequency response consistency is mediocre. The bass frequency depends greatly on their seal. People with lots of hair or glasses might break the seal. The treble range is also fairly dependent on positioning and fit, so your experience may vary.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
4.9
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
7.12 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
Low-Bass
8.87 dB
Mid-Bass
7.26 dB
High-Bass
7.61 dB

The bass accuracy is poor. The whole range is overemphasized, adding boominess and too much punch to the mix. However, since their bass delivery varies noticeably across users, your experience may vary.

8.7
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.78 dB
Low-Mid
0.93 dB
Mid-Mid
1.13 dB
High-Mid
1.09 dB

The mid-range accuracy is excellent. It's even and flat across the range, resulting in accurate reproduction of vocals and lead instruments.

5.2
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
6.45 dB
Low-Treble
3.47 dB
Mid-Treble
9.19 dB
High-Treble
0.04 dB

The treble accuracy is sub-par. The whole range is fairly overemphasized, resulting in making those frequencies harsh and piercing. However, since their treble delivery isn't consistent, your experience may vary.

6.8
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
2.14 db
Dips
1.59 db

These headphones have passable peaks and dips performance. The response is fairly uneven, resulting in a lot of variations in the sound profile.

8.1
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.26
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.79
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
2.76
Weighted Phase Mismatch
6.95

The stereo imaging is very good. The weighted group delay is almost entirely under the audibility threshold, result in a tight bass and transparent treble. Also, the L/R drivers are well-matched, although there's a small frequency mismatch, which shouldn't be too noticeable. This is very important for accurate localization of objects in the stereo image. Note that these results are only valid for our unit and yours may perform differently.

4.9
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
2.64 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
2.47 dB
PRTF Distance
5.84 dB
Openness
4.6
Acoustic Space Excitation
4.5

The Skullcandy Hesh 3 have a sub-par soundstage. They don't interact much with the outer-pinna, which results in a soundstage that is perceived to be small and located inside the listener's head. Also, the closed-back design will make them sound less open and spacious, compared to an open-back headphone.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No App

These headphones don't have any virtual soundstage features.

7.4
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.211
WHD @ 100
0.269

The weighted harmonic distortion performance is quite decent. The WHD is under good limits but is slightly elevated in the mid-range. However, this shouldn't be too noticeable with real-life content.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
Unknown
Power
On
Connection
Unknown
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
No EQ
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Default
Microphone
Integrated

These are the settings we used to test these headphones. The test results are only valid for these settings.

Isolation
5.3
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-14.37 dB
Bass
-1.17 dB
Mid
-8.71 dB
Treble
-33.68 dB

The Skullcandy Hesh 3 has a sub-par isolation performance. They don't have an active noise cancellation feature, so they won't be able to drown out the deep bass rumble of bus or plane engines. They also do a fairly bad job of blocking out mid-range noise like ambient chatter in an office environment. On the upside, their tight fit greatly reduces the higher-frequency noises like the hum of an A/C unit.

6.0
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
44.8 dB

These headphones have mediocre leakage performance. You might disturb surrounding people when listening to your audio content at high volume.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No

These headphones have an integrated microphone.

6.5
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
257.68 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
3.53 dB
HFE
3417.19 Hz
Weighted THD
2.263
Gain
19.12 dB

The microphone has a mediocre recording quality. Voices sound thin, lacking in detailed and fairly muffled. On the upside, your voice should still be understandable.

6.5
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
17.14 dB

The Skullcandy Hesh 3's integrated mic's noise handling performance is just okay. It fares well in quiet environments but struggles to separate your voice from background noise in moderately loud environments such as a busy street.

Active Features
7.5
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
19 hrs
Additional Charges
0.0
Total Battery Life
19 hrs
Charge Time
1.1 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
Yes
Charging Port micro-USB

These headphones have good overall battery performance. They have around 20 hours of battery life, which is more than enough for a full work day, and don't take much time to charge which is nice. Unfortunately, they don't have any power saving feature so your battery might drain out if you forget to turn them off. On the upside, Skullcandy advertises a quick-charge feature that gives you four hours of playback time for only ten minutes of charging, though we don't test this.

0
Active Features
App Support
App Name No App
iOS No
Android No
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
No
ANC Control
No
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
No

The Skullcandy Hesh 3 headphones don't have an app.

Connectivity
6.9
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
4.1
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
189 ft
PC Latency (SBC)
170 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
151 ms
Android Latency
111 ms

The Skullcandy Hesh 3 connect via Bluetooth but don't have multi-device pairing or NFC support. Their wireless latency might be a bit too high for watching video content, but some apps compensate differently, so your experience may vary.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A

These headphones don't have a wireless connection option other than Bluetooth.

9.5
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
No
Detachable Yes
Length 3.5 ft
Connection 1/8" TRRS
Analog/USB Audio Latency
0 ms

The Skullcandy Hesh 3 come with a regular 1/8" TRRS cable, but it doesn't have an in-line remote or microphone.

Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC/PS4 Analog
Audio Only
PC/PS4 Wired USB
No
PC/PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No

When wired, these headphones only offer audio on PC and on PS4 when connected to the console's controller.

Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio Only
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No

These headphones can only provide audio when wired to the Xbox One controller.

0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
No Base/Dock
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
No
Power Supply
No Base/Dock

The Skullcandy Hesh 3 don't have a dock. If you want a versatile headset with a base that you can also use wired, check out the SteelSeries Arctis 7 2019 Edition Wireless.

Compared To Other Headphones

Comparison picture

The Skullcandy Hesh 3 are decently versatile headphones with a great wireless range and a lightweight, understated design. They're easy-to-use and decently comfortable if a bit tight on the head. They have a bass-heavy audio reproduction that sounds excited but won't be for everyone. Unfortunately, they don't isolate well in loud environments and their build quality feels a bit cheap and plasticky compared to some of the headphones. See our recommendations for the best wireless headphones, the best budget wireless headphones, and the best over-ear headphones under $100.

Skullcandy Hesh 2 Wireless

The newer Skullcandy Hesh 3 Wireless are better headphones than the Skullcandy Hesh 2 Wireless. The cups are noticeably larger and feel more comfortable than the Hesh 2. The Hesh 3 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

The Skullcandy Hesh 3 have similar performance to the Skullcandy Crusher Wireless 2016 in most aspects. The Hesh 3 have a greater wireless range, a slightly better-balanced sound, and a lighter and more comfortable design. They also tend to block a bit more noise passively, although not by much. On the other hand, the Crusher Wireless have a much better build quality than the Hesh 3. They also have longer battery life and an adjustable bass slider that makes them slightly more customizable.

Skullcandy Venue Wireless

The Skullcandy Venue Wireless are better headphones than the Skullcandy Hesh 3 Wireless. Their build quality is better, and they feel more durable. They are also less prone to bass inconsistencies, and they also isolate more noise thanks to the ANC feature. On the other hand, the Hesh 3 have a better microphone for calls and are less expensive. They also have great battery life for their price tag but still don’t beat the 24 hours of the Venue.

JBL E55BT Wireless

The JBL E55BT Wireless and the Skullcandy Hesh 3 Wireless are pretty similar, but the JBL E55BT might be a slightly better option. They are a bit more comfortable to wear during long listening sessions and they don’t feel as cheaply made as the Hesh 3. The E55BT can connect to two devices simultaneously and also have an in-line microphone, which the Hesh 3 is lacking. On the other hand, the wireless range of the Hesh 3 is significantly better and they take half the time to charge for about the same battery life. However, the mid-range of the Hesh 3 is pretty underemphasized, which will push vocals and lead instruments to the back of the mix.

Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT Wireless

The Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT Wireless are better mixed-usage headphones than the Skullcandy Hesh 3 Wireless, thanks to their app that gives you access to a good EQ. The Sennheiser also have less latency, which is good for watching videos. Other than that, they are similarly performing headphones; they even have a very similar look. The Skullcandy might be a better choice for you if you like bass-heavy genres.

Anker SoundCore Life 2 Wireless

The Anker SoundCore Life 2 Wireless are better and more versatile headphones than the Skullcandy Hesh 3 Wireless. The Anker outperform the Skullcandy headphones in pretty much every category. They sound better, are more comfortable, and isolate more ambient noise due to their ANC feature, although it isn’t the best. The Anker offer longer battery life and an in-line mic, which the Skullcandy are lacking. On the other hand, the Skullcandy don’t get as hot as the Anker, and they feel more stable once on your head.

Mpow H10 Wireless

The Mpow H10 Wireless are better headphones than the Skullcandy Hesh 3. The Mpow have a decent ANC feature while the Hesh 3 only passively isolate, which makes the Mpows better suited for the office and while commuting.  Sound-wise, the Skullcandy headphones are really bass-heavy, so fans of EDM and dubstep might prefer their sound profile. However, the Mpow are slightly more comfortable and their Bluetooth latency might be low enough for people not to notice a delay. On the other hand, the Skullcandy takes half the charging time of the Mpow and provides you with about 20 hours of battery life, which is great.

Cowin E8 Wireless

The Cowin E8 Wireless are slightly better headphones than the Skullcandy Hesh 3 Wireless, but not by much. The Skullcandy charge much faster than the Cowin, which is convenient if you forget to charge them overnight. They also have an easier to use control scheme, a better sound quality with more bass, and a better wireless range. On the other hand, the Cowin have a slightly more comfortable over-ear fit and a more sturdy design. They also have a longer battery life and with a good case that makes them decently portable, although the Skullcandy are a bit more compact since they fold.

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