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Reviewed on Mar 20, 2018 , Marc Henney, Yannick Khong

Skullcandy Hesh 3 Wireless
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

Test Benches:

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2017
  • 0.9: Winter 2016
6.5
Mixed Usage
What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
7.0
Critical Listening
What it is: The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
6.4
Commute/Travel
What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
6.9
Sports/Fitness
What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
6.6
Office
What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
5.7
TV
Score components:
5.5
Gaming
Score components:
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Skullcandy Hesh 3 are decent mixed usage headphones with an exciting but bass-heavy sound that won't be for everyone. They have a lightweight design, they're easy-to-use and they're decently comfortable but a bit tight on the head. This makes them stable enough to take to the gym although they won't be the most breathable headphones for sports. They also do not isolate well in noisy environments and are a bit leaky at high volumes, which may be distracting to those around you.

Test Results
Design 6.5
Sound 7.1
Isolation 5.4
Microphone 6.5
Active Features 6.6
Connectivity 5.8
Pros
  • Great wireless range.
  • Long lasting battery life and fast charging.
  • Lightweight and stable design.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • Plasticky build quality.
  • Can be overly bass-heavy for some.
  • Bass and treble delivery varies significantly across users. Sensitive to glasses.

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6.5

Design

Score components:
Skullcandy Hesh 3 Design Picture

The Skullcandy Hesh 3 are a lot better designed than the Hesh 2. They have a more polished and understated look, the ear cups are well padded and do not protrude like on the previous model, and their control scheme is easy-to-use. Unfortunately, their build quality feels a bit cheap and plasticky, they do not have the most breathable design for sports (see our recommendations for the best over-ear headphones for the gym), and the buttons on the right ear cup feel a bit mushy and slightly lacking in feedback. They also do not come with a case or pouch which is a bit disappointing.

Style
Skullcandy Hesh 3 Design Picture 2

The Hesh 3 have an understated design that looks a lot better than the Hesh 2. They have a wide and flat headband, and the ear cups do not protrude as much, giving the headphones a relatively low profile once on your head. They come in a couple of different color schemes and they look good enough to use outdoors as your every day casual headphones. However, the plastic used in their build feels a lot cheaper than it looks, which may be a deal breaker for some.

7.0 Comfort
What it is: Adjustability and degrees of freedom, pressure, stiffness and weight.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used for long durations.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Skullcandy Hesh 3 Comfort Picture
Weight : 0.5 lbs
Clamping Force
What it is: The force that the headphones exert on your head, once you have them on. This is purely a measurement of the force applied, which does not take into account the earpad's surface area and the resulting pressure you will feel, on or around your ears.
When it matters: The tighter the headphones, the more force they put on your head. This can get uncomfortable or cause pain and soreness during long listening sessions.
:
1.2 lbs

The Skullcandy Hesh3 are decently comfortable but a bit tight on the head which won't be for everyone. 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 is not, 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 but, unfortunately, the tight fit of these headphones does clamp the head quite a bit and will get uncomfortable after a long listening session especially on wider heads.

7.2 Controls
What it is: The control scheme of the headphones, the number of functions provided, button layout and ergonomics as well as the quality of tactile feedback.
When it matters: If you want to control volume, pause your music or make phone calls without directly interacting with your audio device.
Skullcandy Hesh 3 Controls Picture
Ease of use : Good
Feedback : Average
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
What it is: Being able to mix audio channels directly on the headphones.
When it matters: This is most useful when using a separate chat software so that you can mix in-game audio and chat audio depending on your needs.
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through : N/A
Additional Buttons : No

These headphones have a decent control scheme that's easy to use but lacks a little feedback. They provide the essential functions; call/music, track skipping and volume controls. Unfortunately, the controls have a layer of rubber coating that makes the buttons feel mushy and a bit unresponsive. It's not as bad as some of the other control schemes we've tested, but it makes the experience slightly more frustrating than intended.

6.2 Breathability
What it is: How hot the headphones get when you wear them for an extended period of time.
When it matters: If you often have long listening sessions or use your headphones while doing physical activities like running or working out.
Score components:
Skullcandy Hesh 3 Breathability After Picture
Avg.Temp.Difference : 6.3 C

The Skullcandy Hesh 3 are not very breathable headphones. They create a fairly good seal around your ears and have a closed back around the ear design that prevents a lot of airflow. They will make you sweat a bit more than average if you use them while working out and your ears will get warm after a couple of hours of critical listening. They are not much worse than other closed back over-ears with nonporous pads, but they won't be ideal for more intense exercises. But if you really prefer over-ear headphones for working out, they're a decent option.

6.4 Portability
What it is: The volume of space occupied by the headphones when folded into their most compact format.
When it matters: If you're often on the move and need to carry your headphones in a bag, purse , or pocket.
Score components:
Skullcandy Hesh 3 Portability Picture
L : 4.2 "
W : 6.2 "
H : 2.6 "
Volume : 68 Cu. Inches
Stand required : N/A

The Skullcandy Hesh 3 Wireless fold into a more compact format that's decently portable. They won't be the easiest headphones to carry around on your person due to their moderately large ear cups and mid-sized over-ear design, but they will easily fit into a gym bag or backpack. Unfortunately, they do not come with a case or a pouch which is slightly disappointing

0 Case
What it is: The provided carrying options to protect your headphones when transporting them.
When it matters: To prevent damaging your headphones, if you often carry them in your bag or pocket.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Type : No case
L : N/A
W : N/A
H : N/A
Volume : N/A

These headphones do not come with a case or pouch.

6.5 Build Quality
What it is: Durability, material quality, cheap/expensive feel.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used by multiple users (classes/studios), by children, in tough conditions, on a daily basis, or for exercise.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Skullcandy Hesh 3 Build Quality Picture

The build quality 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 used in their build quality feels relatively weak and not as dense or as durable as some of the other budget wireless headphones we've tested like the Bluedio T4 or the Mpow 059.

7.5 Stability
What it is: How the headphones are designed to prevent them from slipping off your ears or falling off your head.
When it matters: If you plan on using the headphones while doing sports or other physical activities that requires a lot of movement.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Skullcandy Hesh 3 Stability Picture

These headphones have a tight fit on the head that makes them stable enough to go running with. They're also wireless so they won't get yanked of your head because the audio cable got hooked by 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. They're a decent option to take to the gym but they won't be ideal for serious sports.

Cable
Skullcandy Hesh 3 Cable Picture
Detachable : Yes
Length : 3.5 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRRS

These headphones come with an audio cable and a micro-USB charging cable.

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Headshots 1
Headshots 2
7.1

Sound

What it is: How accurately the audio is reproduced. The tests are performed with the headphones' most commonly used features enabled (noise-cancelling, wireless, etc.)
Skullcandy Hesh 3 Frequency Response

The Skullcandy Hesh 3 Wireless is an average sounding pair of closed-back over-ear headphones. These headphones have a deep, thumpy and powerful bass, an even mid-range, and a detailed and present treble. However, their bass is boomy, overpowering and prone to inconsistencies, their mid-range is significantly lacking on vocals and lead instruments, and their treble is noticeably sharp on S and T sounds. This gives them a classic "V-shaped" or "Smiley Face" sound profile, which is known for sounding "exciting" but it's a little bit overdone here. On the up side, they image pretty well, but like most other headphones don't have a large and speaker-like soundstage.

8.0 Bass
What it is: Frequency Response from 20Hz-250Hz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on bass frequencies, such as those of kick drums and bass guitar.
Score components:
Skullcandy Hesh 3 Bass
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in bass frequency response (20Hz-250Hz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) bass performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
3.02 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
What it is: The lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: Shows how extended the bass is.
Good value: <40Hz
Noticeable difference: 5Hz
:
10 Hz
Low-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 20Hz-60Hz.
When it matters: Kick drums and low frequency effects get their 'thump' from this range. Mostly felt than heard.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
4.74 dB
Mid-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 60Hz-120Hz.
When it matters: Melodic bass instruments have most of their fundamental frequencies in this range. This is where the 'body' and 'punch' of the bass sits.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.99 dB
High-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 120Hz-250Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments get their warmth and full-ness from this range. When over-emphasized, mixes tend to get muddy and boomy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.5 dB

The bass is very good. Their LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 10Hz, and low-bass is overemphasized by about 5dB. This indicates a deep and extended bass with quite a bit of excess thump and rumble. Mid-bass and high-bass are relatively flat and even, but over our target by at least 1.5dB. Overall, their bass is quite heavy and boomy and not neutral, but they may please fans of bass-heavy genres like EDM and Hip-hop due to their excess thump. Also, their bass delivery varies noticeably across users, and is sensitive to the quality of fit, seal, and whether you wear glasses. The response here represents the average bass response and your experience may vary.

6.8 Mid
What it is: Frequency Response from 250Hz-2KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on mid-range frequencies. This is the case for the majority of audio content.
Score components:
Skullcandy Hesh 3 Mid
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in mid frequency response (250Hz-2.5KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) mid performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
4.24 dB
Low-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 250Hz-500Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments have their fundamentals or low harmonics in this range. Over-emphasis in this range sounds muddy and cluttered. Under-emphasis, thins out the vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-4.28 dB
Mid-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 500Hz-1KHz.
When it matters: This range is occupied mostly by upper harmonics. Over-emphasis sounds forward and boxy. Under-emphasis pushes instruments to the back of the mix.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-3.92 dB
High-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 1KHz-2KHz.
When it matters: Most instruments, especially vocals, get their intensity and clarity from this range. Over-emphasis sounds honky and harsh, under-emphasis sounds weak and distant.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-4.18 dB

The mid-range performance is about average. The overall response is even and flat, but underemphasized and recessed constantly by about 4dB. This pushes vocals and lead instruments to the back of the mix, by favoring bass and treble frequencies. So if you are looking for clear, well-balanced and present vocals, the Skullcandy Hesh 3 won't be a good choice.

8.4 Treble
What it is: Frequency Response from 2KHz-20KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on high-range frequencies, such as voice, cymbals, and any other material where brightness, brilliance and airiness is desired.
Score components:
Skullcandy Hesh 3 Treble
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in treble frequency response (2.5KHz-20KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) treble performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
3.0 dB
Low-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 2KHz-5KHz.
When it matters: Almost all instruments rely on this range for their presence, detail, and articulation. Over-emphasis can sound harsh and painful. Under-emphasis hurts the comprehensibility of vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-1.32 dB
Mid-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under emphasis in frequency response from 5KHz-10KHz.
When it matters: This is the sibilance range. Cymbals, vocals, and lead instruments rely on this range for brightness and presence. Over-emphasis sounds piercing and painful, under-emphasis sounds dull and lispy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
3.72 dB
High-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 10KHz-20KHz.
When it matters: This range gives brilliance and airiness to the sound. Over-emphasis sounds hissy, under-emphasis sounds closed-up and lifeless.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-0.75 dB

The treble range performance is very good. Low-treble is even but under our target by a bit more than 1dB. This is the continuation of the mid-range recess. The bump in mid-treble between 6KHz and 9KHz covers most of the sibilance range, making vocals and cymbals noticeably sizzly and sibilant (sharp and piercing on S and T sounds). Also, their treble delivery varies noticeably across users. The response here represents the average response and your experience may vary.

Raw Frequency Response
What it is: The average uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. For in-ears and earbuds, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the dummy head (HMS). For over/on-ear headphones, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the HMS (Head Measurement System) for the mid and treble ranges, and 5 measurements/re-seats on 5 human subjects for the bass range.
When it matters: This is for those who want to see the raw and uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. Some of the more advanced users, are able to read and evaluate headphone frequency response in its raw form and without compensation. This will be especially useful to them if they have their own headphone compensation/target curve, which may differ from the compensation curve/target response used by RTINGS.com.
Score components:
6.4 Frequency Response Consistency
What it is: The amount of deviation of each frequency response pass, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Score components:
Skullcandy Hesh 3 Consistency L Skullcandy Hesh 3 Consistency R
Avg. Std. Deviation
What it is: The average amount of deviation in frequency response of 5 re-seats, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.8 dB

The frequency response consistency of the Hesh 3 is mediocre. In the bass range, the maximum deviation recorded on our 5 human subjects at 20Hz, is about 6dB, which is noticeable. It seems that the drop in bass is more likely to happen if you have long hair or wear glasses that can break the air-tight seal between the headphones and your head. In the treble range, the maximum deviation below 10KHz is also about 6dB, indicating that their treble delivery is highly sensitive to positioning.

8.1 Imaging
What it is: Imaging qualities are inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'reproduce' them rather than 'create' them. They determine how accurately the objects are positioned in the stereo image, and how transparent the imaging is.
When it matters: When accurate positioning of the objects in the stereo image, and clear and transparent imaging is desired.
Skullcandy Hesh 3 Group Delay Skullcandy Hesh 3 Phase Response
Weighted Group Delay
What it is: The average amount of group delay calculated based on a perceptual weighting filter. Group delay indicates how long it takes for each frequency to reach their maximum amplitude. This is a monaural quality and can be perceived even with one ear.
When it matters: Headphones with lower group delay have more transparent imaging and a tighter bass. Headphones with higher group delay in the bass range tend to have a wimpy and loose bass, and headphones with higher group delay in the treble range tend to have a less transparent imaging.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.26
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
What it is: The Left/Right balance of our test unit, that is, the amount of amplitude difference between the left and right drivers. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When a properly balanced stereo image and low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates a noticeable difference in level between the left and right drivers.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.79
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the frequency response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance, is desired. A poor score indicates there may be 'holes' in the stereo image at certain frequencies.
Good value: <2
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.76
Weighted Phase Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the phase response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates there may be inaccuracies in the stereo image reproduction at certain frequencies.
Good value: <16
Noticeable difference: 3
:
6.95

The imaging is great. Their weighted group delay is at 0.26, which is low and within good limits. This indicates a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit were very well-matched in amplitude and frequency response, which is important for the accurate localization and placement of objects (instruments, voice, footsteps) in the stereo image. The phase mismatch in the bass range although not ideal, is not high enough to make a significant negative effect.

4.9 Soundstage
What it is: Soundstage qualities are not inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'create' them rather than 'reproduce' them. They determine whether the sound is perceived to be coming from inside or in front of the head, how open and spacious the soundstage is, how much the headphones acoustically interact with the environment, and how strong the phantom center is.
When it matters: When an accurately produced, large and spacious soundstage, similar to that of a stereo loudspeaker setup is desired.
Skullcandy Hesh 3 PRTF
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
What it is: The standard deviation of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: An accurate pinna activation is mainly responsible for how natural and speaker-like the soundstage is perceived to be. The less error in the shape of the PRTF, the more natrual and speaker-like the perception of the soundstage will be. High amounts of error may indicate a soundstage that is unnatural or odd.
Good value: <2.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.64 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
What it is: The average amplitude of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to that of a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is responsible for the perceived size of the soundstage. The higher the value, the larger the perceived size of the soundstage. However, values above the reference (5.0dB) could result in a soundstage that is perceived as unnatural or odd.
Good value: >3.7
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.47 dB
PRTF Distance
What it is: The depth of the "10KHz notch" of the headphone's PRTF, which is caused by phase cancellations at the concha. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is mainly responsible for the perceived distance and elevation of the soundstage. A small distance value may result in a soundstage that is perceived to be located inside the head. Larger values may help pull the soundstage out from inside of the head and bring it to the front.
Good value: >13
Noticeable difference: 1
:
5.84 dB
Openness
What it is: How open the headphones are, and how open and spacious they sound. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test differentiates between acoustically and electronically produced crosstalk and only takes the acoustically generated crosstalk into account. This value is the inverse of the Noise Isolation test score, and could be indirectly related the acoustic impedance of the headphones.
When it matters: When a headphone with a sense of an open, and spacious soundstage is desired. A value of 10 indicates a fully open headphone, and a value of 0 indicates a fully closed headphone.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
4.9
Acoustic Space Excitation
What it is: How loud the headphones are, and how much they excite their environment acoustically. If the headphones are loud and open enough, the sound leaking from the headphones will be affected by the environment (reflections/reverb) before reflecting back into the open headphones and to the listener's ears. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This value is the inverse of the Leakage test score.
When it matters: Headphones with higher excitation values, similar to openness, tend to have soundstages that are perceived as more open and spacious.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
4.6
Correlated Crosstalk
What it is: How strong and solid the phantom center is. This is mostly a stereo quality and its effects on mono content are minimal. This test is sensitive to the phase of the crosstalk and whether it is produced acoustically or electronically.
When it matters: When a true reproduction of the stereo image is desired. A value of 0 indicates no crosstalk, or that the existing crosstalk is not correlated enough to affect the phantom center. A negative score means the crosstalk is out of phase with the original signal, resulting in a slightly wider stereo image at the expense of creating a 'hole' at the center of the stereo field. A positive score means the crosstalk is in phase and positively affecting the phantom center.
Good value: >1dB
Noticeable difference: 0.3dB
:
0.0 dB

The Skullcandy Hesh 3 have a sub-par soundstage. Their PRTF response doesn't follow our reference very closely, and there doesn't seem to be much pinna interaction happening anyway. This results in a soundstage that is perceived to be small and located inside the listener's head. Additionally, the closed-back design will make them sound less open and spacious, compared to an open-back headphone.

6.6 Total Harmonic Distortion
What it is: The subtle, unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Score components:
Skullcandy Hesh 3 Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 90dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: <0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
3.561
Weighted THD @ 100
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 100dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at loud listening levels.
Good value: <0.300
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
24.742

The harmonic distortion performance is about average. The overall amount of harmonic distortion is a bit elevated throughout, especially in the treble range, making those frequencies a bit harsh and fatiguing. However, under heavier loads, the THD in the bass range remains constant which is good, suggesting that they can handle a bit of EQ boost.

5.4

Isolation

Score components:

The Skullcandy Hesh 3 do not isolate well in loud environments. They create a fairly good seal around your ears which prevents some of the higher frequency noise from seeping into your audio. Unfortunately, unlike the Skullcandy Venue which have active noise canceling, the Hesh 3 only isolate passively, and cannot block the rumbling noise of an engine or the chatter of public transit. You can mask some ambient noise by listening to your music at high volumes, but they may be a bit distracting to those around you since they also leak quite a bit.

5.1 Noise Isolation
What it is: How much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on.
When it matters: If the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
Score components:
Skullcandy Hesh 3 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
What it is: The simulated noise isolation of the headphones, demonstrating how much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording. For headphones with ANC (active noise cancellation), the playback simulates the isolation with ANC enabled.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
:
Overall Attenuation
What it is: The overall amount of environmental noise reduction in dB.
When it matters: In loud envinronments like planes, trains, offices, etc.
Good value: <-20dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-14.37 dB
Bass
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the bass range (20Hz-250Hz).
When it matters: When the outside noise is bass-heavy, like in airplanes.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-1.17 dB
Mid
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the mid-range (250Hz-2.5KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is mid-heavy, like in an office.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-8.71 dB
Treble
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the treble range (2.5KHz-20KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is treble-heavy. Although uncommon, areas with sharp sounds fall under this category.
Good value: <-30dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-33.68 dB
Self-Noise
What it is: The amount of noise created by the active electronics of the headphones (if applicable), measured from 300Hz-20KHz. Applies mostly to wireless and noise-cancelling headphones.
When it matters: If too loud, it could become distracting when listening to quiet material like podcasts and audiobooks.
Good value: <16dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
20.55 dB

The Skullcandy Hesh 3 has a sub-par isolation performance. These headphones don't have ANC (active noise cancellation) and isolate only passively. Therefore, they don't not achieve any isolation in the bass range and will let in the rumble of airplane and bus engines. In the mid-range, which is important for blocking out speech, they achieve about 9dB of isolation, which is below-average. In the treble range, occupied by sharp S and T sounds, they achieved 34dB of isolation, which is good.

6.0 Leakage
What it is: The amount of sound bleeding out of the headphones.
When it matters: When the listener doesn't want people around them (in office, recording studio, etc.) to hear what is being listened to.
Score components:
Skullcandy Hesh 3 Leakage
Leakage Audio
What it is: The simulated sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording.
When it matters: When you don't want people hear what you are listening to.
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
What it is: The amount of sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal.
When it matters: When you don't want people hear what you are listening to.
Good value: <35dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
44.8 dB

The leakage performance is mediocre. The significant portion of their leakage is spread between 300Hz and 5KHz, which is a broad range. The overall level of leakage, however, is not very loud. At 100dB SPL and 1 foot away, the leakage will peak at around 60dB SPL, which is 10dB above the noise floor of most offices.

6.5

Microphone

What it is: The microphone section shows the quality of speech capture and transmission by the mic, as well as how well the microphone under test handles noisy environments.
When it matters: For your speech to be transmitted to and understood properly by the listener, the microphone needs to have a good recording quality. If the environment the microphone is being used in is noisy, a microphone with a good noise handling performance would be needed as well.
Score components:
Integrated
What it is: The microphone integrated in the ear cup or ear bud of a wireless headphone.
When it matters: For calls, gaming and voice over IP software or for any other use of the microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
In-line
What it is: The microphone inside the in-line remote of audio cables for wired and wireless headsets.
When it matters: In-line microphone are usually better than integrated mics. If you need better recording quality and noise handling for calls, gaming and voice over IP software then use the audio cable of your wired or wireless headphone if it has an inline microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Boom
What it is: A typically better microphone, that's also adjustable and extends so that the mic is closer to your mouth.
When it matters: Much better recording quality and noise handling than in-line or integrated mics. Primarily used for gaming and voice over IP software.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Detachable Boom
What it is: A boom mic that is detachable from the headset.
When it matters: If you want to use your headphone outdoors without the bulk and hassle of the Boom mic.
:
N/A

The Skullcandy Hesh 3 Wireless has an average integrated microphone. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with their mic will sound relatively thin, but noticeably muffled and lacking in detail. However, speech will still be decently understandable. In noisy environments, they perform decently in moderately loud environments, like a busy street, but they will struggle to separate speech from ambient noise in loud situations, like a subway station.

6.4 Recording Quality
What it is: Microphone recording quality shows how natural, neutral, extended and intelligible speech would be with the device under test, in a quiet environment.
When it matters: A microphone with a good recording quality ensures that the person listening to you would hear a full, clear, and easily understandable speech. Therefore, it is important whenever a good quality of speech transmission and intelligibility is needed.
Score components:
Skullcandy Hesh 3 Microphone Frequency Response
Recorded Speech
What it is: Actual audio recording of the headphone's microphone, recorded while placed on the dummy head, with speech being played back through the dummy head's mouth simulator.
When it matters: When a clean, full, and intelligible speech transmission is required.
:
LFE
What it is: Low-frequency extension shows how deep the bass response of the microphone is, and therefore, how deep and full your voice would sound to the listener. It is the lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: LFE is not a big factor in speech intelligibility and even speech recorded with a mic that has an LFE of 500Hz could still be easily understood. Therefore, it is mostly important if you are concerned with how deep and full your voice would be heard.
Good value: <150Hz
Noticeable difference: 30Hz
:
257.68 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
What it is: Frequency Response Standard Deviation shows how accurately and balanced sound is captured by the microphone at each frequency. FR Std. Dev. is calculated between LFE and HFE, and the rest of the spectrum is ignored.
When it matters: A good frequency response is desired when a natural and neutral speech quality is desired. As opposed to HFE which is more a metric for speech intelligibility, frequency response could be considered as a metric for a natural and neutral sound.
Good value: >3.5dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5dB
:
3.53 dB
HFE
What it is: High-frequency extension is the highest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response. It shows how extended the treble response of the microphone is.
When it matters: HFE is one the most important factors in speech intelligibility. The higher the HFE, the brighter, more open, and more extended the speech quality will be which makes it a lot easier to understand by the listener.
Good value: >8KHz
Noticeable difference: 1KHz
:
3417.19 Hz
Weighted THD
What it is: The unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies, which cause deformation of an output signal compared to its input.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 1.0
:
2.263
Gain
What it is: Shows how much louder the microphone can go above our reference loudness level. The gain value is reported relative to our reference level, which is 94dB at a distance of 5cm from the mouth.
When it matters: A microphone with a high gain is important when the input signal (speech) is very quiet. For example when whispering, or talking on the phone in a library.
Good value: >18dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
19.12 dB

The microphone has a mediocre recording quality. The LFE (low-frequency extension) of 258Hz means that speech recorded/transmitted with it will sound a bit thin. The HFE (high-frequency extension) of 3.4KHz indicates a speech that lacks detail and is relatively muffled. However, it won't affect the speech intelligibility much, since that is mostly dependent on the 500Hz-4KHz range.

6.5 Noise Handling
What it is: How well the microphone is able to separate speech from background noise, so that the transmission would include more voice and less noise.
When it matters: When a clean and intelligible speech transmission is desired in a noisy situation like talking on the phone on a busy street or on the bus.
Score components:
Skullcandy Hesh 3 SpNR
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
What it is: Speech to Noise Ratio is the difference in level between speech and background noise as heard by the listener
When it matters: If the microphone is going to be used in a noisy environment, it is important for it to be able to separate the speech from background noise, so the voice would be easily audible and understandable.
Good value: >24dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
17.14 dB

The noise handling performance of the Skullcandy Hesh 3's integrated mic is about average. In our SpNR test, they achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 17dB, indicating they are best suited for quiet environments but should be able to handle a moderate amount of noise as well.

6.6

Active Features

What it is: Headphones with active components that require a battery. This includes noise cancelling and wireless headphones that actively reduce noise or transmit audio via a wireless connection.
When it matters: How suitable the power and wireless specifications of an active headphone will be, depending on your listening habits. The range and/or discharge time of the active headphone you select will be important if you're often on the move or have long uninterrupted listening sessions.
Score components:

The Skullcandy Hesh 3 have a great battery performance but no app for added customization. They lasted about 19 hours on a single charge which only took an hour. This means you will rarely be out of battery and in the worst case scenario you can use them passively or plug them in for 10 minutes and get a lot of playtime thanks to their quick charge feature. Unfortunately, they do not automatically switch off when inactive which would have made their battery performance even better and their lack of an app makes them a lot less customizable compared to other similarly priced wireless headphones.

7.3 Battery
What it is: The power source of your headphones. All headphones with active features have a battery that will deplete over time.
When it matters: To continue using the active features of your headphones. Some models lose features or switch off completely when the battery is drained, which limits what you can do with them until the next charge.
Battery Type
What it is: The type of battery that the headphones use. Usually AAA or embedded, Li-ion rechargeable batteries.
When it matters: When your headphones run out of power. Rechargeable batteries usually charge via the headphones Micro-USB port whereas AAA batteries have to be replaced or charged with an external device.
:
Rechargable
Battery Life
What it is: The amount of time it takes for a headphones' battery to be completely drained. Battery life will vary depending on the active features used and volume level.
When it matters: For active headphones that connect wirelessly, have noise cancellation or other audio-enhancing features, that cease to work once the battery is dead.
Good value: >10hrs
Noticeable difference: 0.5hrs
:
19 hrs
Charge Time
What it is: The amount of time your active headphones have to be connected to a power source to charge from 0 to a 100%. However, charging time will vary depending on your power source.
When it matters: To be able to use the active features of your headphones. Especially, wireless ones that completely switch off and need to be recharged when the battery is dead.
Good value: 2h or less
Noticeable difference: 0.25h
:
1.1 hrs
Power Saving Feature
What it is: A feature that turns off the headphones, after a set time, when they're not in use.
When it matters: To prolong battery life when the headphones are not being used, or if you forget to manually turn off your headphones.
:
No
Audio while charging
What it is: Some active headphones remain usable while charging. They continue to stream audio and do not disable other active features.
When it matters: This makes sure that your headphones's battery are not being drained when your relatively close to a power source. However, this means wireless headphones will need a wired connection to the power source during the charging process.
:
No
Passive Playback
What it is: Active headphones that still work when all their active features are turned off or out of power.
When it matters: If you run out of power and do not have spare AA/AAA batteries or access to a power source to recharge your headphones.
:
Yes

They have a great battery life and a fast charge time. They have about 19 hours of continuous playtime on average and charged completely within an 1 hour. They should easily last you throughout the day and the fast charge time means even if you forget to charge them overnight you can always get a couple hours of playtime from a quick 10-minute charge. Unfortunately, they do not automatically switch off when inactive which would have been ideal.

0 App Support
What it is: The additional app provided to enhance your listening experience. They typically deliver a set of practical features that give you more control over the sound, noise cancelling and effects that the headphones produce.
When it matters: An app with a lot of features allows you to customize your listening experience to suit your taste and preferences. For example, additions like an equalizer can give you more bass or treble and room effects can simulate a bigger Soundstage in closed back headphones.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
App Name : N/A
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
What it is: Parametric, graphic or preset sound profiles that slightly alter the frequency response.
When it matters: If you want to tailor, your listening experience. Depending on what you're listening to you may want more or less bass for some tracks or more mid-range for vocals-heavy audio.
:
N/A
ANC control
What it is: Control over the Active noise canceling technology. This could be either a simple on/off button, and adjustable slider or even adaptive self-regulating noise cancellation.
When it matters: If you're in an environment where you need to monitor your surroundings or completely isolate yourself from ambient noise.
:
N/A
Room effects
What it is: Room effects that enhance the audio quality to make it more immersive.
When it matters: If you want to further tweak your listening experience. Adding room effects, can simulate a more spacious Soundstage or deliver a surround sound-like feel.
:
N/A
Playback control
What it is: An in-app player that gives you access to play/stop, track skipping or volume controls directly with the app.
When it matters: It's a shortcut that allows you to control your audio without leaving the application.
:
N/A
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

The Skullcandy Hesh 3 headphones do not come with an app or software for added customization options.

5.8

Connectivity

What it is: The inputs and outputs of wired and wireless headphones, as well as their latency performance and range.
When it matters: To know how compatible your Bluetooth device, console or PC will be with your wired or wireless headset.
Score components:
  • 10% Bluetooth
  • 33% Wired
  • 10% Base/Dock
  • 22% Wireless Range
  • 25% Latency

The Skullcandy Hesh 3 are Bluetooth headphones with a regular audio cable that does not have a compatible mic for consoles or PCs. They also do not support simultaneous multi-device pairing or NFC. On the upside, they have a great wireless range that makes them suitable enough for most use cases but like most Bluetooth headphones they have a relatively high latency performance so they won't be suitable for watching a lot of video content.

6.0 Bluetooth
What it is: Bluetooth support for wireless headphones.
When it matters: To connect wirelessly to Bluetooth sources like your phone, tablet, console, PC and TV.
Score components:
  • 80% Multi-Device Pairing
  • 20% NFC
  • <1% PS4 Compatible
  • <1% Xbox One Compatible
Bluetooth Version : 4.1
Multi-Device Pairing
What it is: A Bluetooth profile that allows some headphones to be simultaneously connected to multiple Bluetooth sources, and have full call and media support on both/all devices they are connected to.
When it matters: To quickly switch between your Bluetooth sources. For example, switching from your phone to your home or work PC and still have call and media support on both devices.
Good value: 2 devices.
:
No
NFC
What it is: Near Field Communication technology that allows you to quickly, pair your headphones with your Bluetooth and NFC-enabled device.
When it matters: This makes pairing with an NFC-enabled device a lot easier than the typical and often tedious hold-to-pair procedure that most wireless headphones have.
Good value: Yes
:
No
PS4 Compatible
What it is: Bluetooth compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To connect your headphones wirelessly with your PS4.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
No
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Bluetooth compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To connect your headphones wirelessly with your Xbox one.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
No

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

7.2 Wired
What it is: The type and compatibility of audio cables for wired and wireless headphones.
When it matters: For all devices with a regular audio jack (line-out) and also compatibility of the in-line remote/boom microphone with consoles and Personal computers.
Score components:
  • 13% Analog
  • 9% USB
  • 26% PS4 Compatible
  • 26% Xbox One Compatible
  • 26% PC Compatible
Cable Tested : Not OS specific
Analog
What it is: A regular 1/8" TRS audio jack or a 1/4 or 1/16 TRS with a 1/8 TRS adapter.
When it matters: For all devices with a line out.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
USB
What it is: A USB or USB adapter to connect to your devices for audio and microphone.
When it matters: A digital USB adapter usually offers a slight advantages over a regular audio jack, like a DAC, and amplifier module or software support and compatibility with PCs. However it may not be as compatible with consoles.
Good value: Yes
:
No
PS4 Compatible
What it is: PS4 compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PS4
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio Only
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Xbox One compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your Xbox One
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio Only
PC Compatible
What it is: PC compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PC.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio Only

The Skullcandy Hesh 3 come with a regular 1/8TRS audio cable with no in-line microphone. This means you will be able to use them with your Xbox and PS4 controllers but only for audio as they will not work with Hesh 3's integrated mic.

0 Base/Dock
What it is: The base station, dock or dongle transmitter of wireless headphones that receive data/audio via a proprietary frequency range.
When it matters: Knowing the inputs and outputs of the base/dock/dongle as well as its compatibility with consoles and Personal Computers. Also whether the base supports dock charging to easily recharge the headphones without any cables.
Score components:
  • 5% Optical Input
  • 22% Line In
  • 5% Line Out
  • 22% USB Input
  • 4% RCA Input
  • 9% PS4 Compatible
  • 9% Xbox One Compatible
  • 9% PC Compatible
  • 2% Power Supply
  • 13% Dock Charging
Wireless Type
What it is: The type of wireless connection used by the base station/dock to communicate with the headphones.
When it matters: For latency and range. For example Radio frequency has low latency but mediocre range when obstructed and proprietary docks have their own 2.x GHz or 5 GHz frequency which varies in performance.
:
N/A
Optical Input
What it is: Optical input for audio.
When it matters: Optical can carry a bit more data at faster speeds than typical wired connection which allows for more high quality, lossless audio.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Line In
What it is: The regular wired input via a 1/8" TRS audio jack.
When it matters: For any device that has a line out for audio transmission.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Line Out
What it is: A regular 1/8TRS audio jack output.
When it matters: If you need to share the audio source with other devices. A line out lets you connect other headphones or speakers to the dock/base station.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
USB Input
What it is: A digital USB input instead of a typical 1/8 TRS line-in.
When it matters: A USB connection can provide both an audio input and power to the Dock or Base station.
:
N/A
RCA Input
What it is: Audio input using via an RCA connectors.
When it matters: Provides better stereo audio to the dock/base that's then transmitted to the headphones.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
:
N/A
PC Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with your Personal Computer.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Power Supply
What it is: The connector type of the power source.
When it matters: The accessibility of the power source. For example a power supply with USB/USB-C connects to multiple devices, PC , PS4, Xbox One or even with your regular phone charger whereas a A/C adapter is less common.
Good value: USB/USB-C
:
N/A
Dock Charging
What it is: Charging the headphones via the dock/base station instead of a charging cable.
When it matters: It makes charging your headphones easier and gives you a sport to store your headphones when they are not in use.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A

The Hesh3 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.

9.0 Wireless Range
What it is: Headphones that offer a cable-free listening experience over a wireless network, typically via Bluetooth or radio frequency.
When it matters: If you don't want to be limited by the length of an audio cable. This means having the freedom to move around in your home or office with a much greater range than an audio cable could provide, especially, if the Bluetooth source is heavy or difficult to carry.
Score components:
Obstructed Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when the Bluetooth source was placed in another room.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in an indoor environment. Although, the obstructed wireless range will slightly depend on your home or office layout.
Good value: >35ft
Noticeable difference: 5ft
:
50 ft
Line of Sight Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when in direct line of sight of the Bluetooth device.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in a large and open environment.
Good value: 170ft or more
Noticeable difference: 10ft
:
189 ft

These headphones have a great wireless range. They reached up to 50ft when the Bluetooth source was obstructed and up to 189ft in direct line of sight. This makes them suitable for most use cases and environments especially if you keep your phone or your Bluetooth source on you.

3.4 Latency
What it is: How long it takes for audio to play through your headphones once the audio signal has been sent from a source.
When it matters: When gaming or watching movies. High latency means you will hear the audio much later than the images you see on screen.
Score components:
Default Latency
What it is: The Base RF latency or the default sub-band coding (SBC) of most Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos a high latency can cause sync issues between the images you see and the audio you hear.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
170 ms
aptX Latency
What it is: An audio coding algorithm (Codec) that improves bit rate efficiency. It reduces latency and improves sound quality over Bluetooth.
When it matters: For better sound quality if your often streaming music over Bluetooth. Also it slightly improves latency when watching videos with wireless headphones.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
What it is: Low latency variation of aptX that significantly reduces sync issues between video and sound when using Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos or gaming latency is a lot more noticeable than just listening to music.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 5ms
:
N/A

The Hesh 3 have 170ms of latency which is not ideal for watching a lot of video content. It's about average for most Bluetooth headphones with no low latency codecs, so if you need to watch a lot of videos, use them wired.

In the box

Skullcandy Hesh 3 In the box Picture

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

Compared to other Headphones

Skullcandy Hesh 3 Compare 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 and have a bass-heavy audio reproduction that sounds exciting but won't be for everyone. Unfortunately, they do not isolate well in loud environments and their build quality feels a bit cheap and plasticky compared to some of the headphones below.

Skullcandy Crusher Wireless

The Skullcandy Hesh 3 have similar performance to the Crusher wireless in most aspects. The Hesh 3.0 have a greater wireless range, a slightly better-balanced sound, a lighter 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 3.0. They also have a longer battery life and an adjustable bass slider that makes them slightly more customizable.

Skullcandy Venue

The Skullcandy Venue are better headphones than the Hesh 3. 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 a great battery life for their price tag but still don’t beat the 24 hours of the Venue.

Cowin E8

The Cowin E8 are slightly better headphones than the Skullcandy Hesh 3 but not by much. The Skullcandy charge much faster than the E8 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 E8 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 Hesh 3 are a bit more compact since they fold.

Skullcandy Hesh 2

The Hesh 2 are the older model of the Hesh series by Skullcandy. They have a completely different design, which doesn't feel as polished and protrudes quite a bit once on your head. They also have a worse battery performance and do not sound as good as the newer model. Unless you're on a really tight budget get the Hesh 3 instead of the Hesh 2 as they're a much better headphone overall in almost all categories.

Skullcandy Crusher

The Skullcandy Crusher is a wired headset for fans of bass. They have a unique bass slider that lets you physically adjust the level of thump and rumble that the headphones produce. They're also a bit more comfortable than the Hesh 3 since they're not as tight on the head.  If you want a headphone that shakes and vibrates with every thump of the bass then go for the crusher, however, the convenient wireless design, better aesthetics and better sound makes the Hesh 3 the better headphone overall.

Sony MDR-XB950B1

The Sony MDR-XB950B1 are a well-built and premium looking headphones for bass-heads. They have a good battery life and wireless range although the Hesh 3 perform a little better. Unfortunately, their bass-oriented sound can overpower instruments and vocals which won't sound as exciting as the Hesh 3 even when you EQ them. The ear cups also do not fit as well on all listeners. If you want the more durable headphone then get the XB950B1 but if you don't mind the slightly tight fit of the Hesh, then they have a better battery life, sound quality and wireless range than the Sonys, and they're a bit cheaper too.

JBL E55BT

The JBL E55BT are decent wireless headphones for most use cases. They're around the same price as the Hesh 3 and have a slightly better build and sound quality. They also have an audio cable that's a bit more suitable for gaming thanks to the in-line microphone that's compatible with most consoles. However, their overall performance is fairly similar, so if you prefer the design and more balanced sound of the JBL then go for the E55BT but if you want a more exciting sound profile to listen to bass-heavy music go for the Skullcandy instead.

+ Show more

Conclusion

6.5Mixed Usage
What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
The Skullcandy Hesh 3 are average mixed-usage headphones. They have a good battery life and an excellent wireless range. They also have a bass-heavy sound that will be exciting for some. Unfortunately, they have a plasticky and cheap build quality that doesn't feel as durable as other headphones in their price range, they're quite tight on larger heads and they do not block enough noise for very noisy environments. Overall, they are decently versatile headphones but do not excel at any particular use case.
7.0Critical Listening
What it is: The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
Average for critical listening. They have a V-shaped sound profile that has a lot of bass, pronounced highs and a recessed mid-range which makes them sound exciting. Unfortunately, this also means the bass slightly overshadows instruments and vocals making the sound feel a bit boomy and overly bass-heavy which will not be ideal for more critical listeners. They also have a fairly small soundstage since they're closed back over-ear headphones.
6.4Commute/Travel
What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
Average for commuting. They're lightweight, easy-to-use, and decently portable. Unfortunately, they do not block a lot of noise so they won't be ideal if you have a very noisy commute.
6.9Sports/Fitness
What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
Decent for sports. They're relatively lightweight and tight enough to stay on your head when jogging. Their great wireless range makes them suitable for most activities. However, they get fairly warm during physical activity which is not ideal.
6.6Office
What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
Average for office use. The Skullcandy Hesh 3 Wireless do not block a lot of noise so you will hear what's going on around you and they leak quite a bit at high volumes. On the upside, they're easy-to-use, they have an all-day battery life and they're somewhat comfortable if a bit tight on the head.
5.7TV
Score components:
Below-average for home theater use. They have an average sound and have a great wireless range, but too much latency for watching movies and a lot of video content. They come with an audio cable which can alleviate some of the latency issues, but it's fairly short and won't be suitable for most home theater setups unless you have an extension cord.
5.5Gaming
Score components:
Sub-par for gaming. The Skullcandy Hesh 3 have a bit too much latency, an average-at-best mic, and no customization options. They're also a bit tight on the head which might not be ideal for long gaming sessions.

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* Quotes and lists must be followed by a blank line