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We've recently released our Test Bench 1.7 update for Headphones! Read the Noise isolation R&D Article to learn more.

Skullcandy Hesh ANC Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Review updated Dec 22, 2023 at 10:01 am
Skullcandy Hesh ANC Wireless Picture
6.9
Neutral Sound
7.0
Commute/Travel
7.1
Sports/Fitness
6.7
Office
5.2
Wireless Gaming
6.9
Wired Gaming
6.5
Phone Calls

The Skullcandy Hesh ANC Wireless are an upgraded variant of the Skullcandy Hesh 3 Wireless. These mid-range over-ears come with an active noise cancelling (ANC) feature and the manufacturer advertises 22 hours of continuous battery life with the ANC on. However, like the Hesh 3 Wireless, they lack sound customization options and companion app compatibility. 

Our Verdict

6.9 Neutral Sound

The Skullcandy Hesh ANC are reasonable for neutral sound. They have a very excited sound profile that adds intense thump and rumble to your mixes while vocals and lead instruments are bright. However, while some users will enjoy this sound profile, it isn't very neutral. There's no graphic EQ or presets to help customize their sound profile either. They're also prone to slight inconsistencies in treble delivery.

Pros
  • Comfortable and stable fit.
Cons
  • No sound enhancement features.
7.0 Commute/Travel

The Skullcandy Hesh ANC are decent for commute and travel. Even with their ANC on, they struggle to cut down bass-range noise like bus or plane engines. They're also bulky, which can make them a bit more difficult to easily take with you on-the-go. However, they have a decently comfortable fit and have around 24 hours of continuous battery life to last through long flights or trips.

Pros
  • Comfortable and stable fit.
Cons
  • ANC struggles to reduce bass-range noise.
7.1 Sports/Fitness

The Skullcandy Hesh ANC are satisfactory for sports and fitness. They have a stable and decently comfortable fit, while their wireless design makes it harder for something to snag them off your head. However, they're prone to moving around or falling off your head during more intense physical activity. They're also bulky, which doesn't make them very portable, and they don't have an IP rating for water resistance, which is to be expected with over-ear headphones.

Pros
  • Comfortable and stable fit.
Cons
  • No advertised IP rating.
6.7 Office

The Skullcandy Hesh ANC are okay for office use. They're decently comfortable and have around 24 hours of continuous battery life, so they'll get you through even the longest workdays without needing to charge. While it struggles with engine rumble and other low-frequency sounds, the ANC system does an okay job of blocking out mid-range noise, which can help reduce office chatter around you. However, they leak a lot of audio, so your colleagues will be able to hear it if you like to listen to music at a high volume.

Pros
  • ANC can cut down ambient chatter.
  • Comfortable and stable fit.
Cons
  • No sound enhancement features.
  • Can leak audio at high volumes.
5.2 Wireless Gaming

The Skullcandy Hesh ANC can only connect wirelessly via Bluetooth and, therefore, aren't compatible with PlayStation or Xbox family consoles. While you can connect them to a Bluetooth-enabled PC, their latency is likely too high for gaming.

6.9 Wired Gaming

The Skullcandy Hesh ANC are okay for wired gaming. When used with their 1/8" TRRS cable, they're compatible with PC, PS4/PS5, and Xbox One/Xbox Series X consoles. They're decently comfortable and have a very excited v-shaped sound profile that some gamers will enjoy, as they can deliver deep thump and rumble. Their integrated mic also does a decent job of recording your voice. However, they don't have a companion app or any sound enhancement features.

Pros
  • Comfortable and stable fit.
Cons
  • No sound enhancement features.
6.5 Phone Calls

The Skullcandy Hesh ANC are fair for phone calls. The integrated mic does a decent job of capturing your voice, although it sounds a bit thin and dark. It also struggles to separate speech from moderately loud environments, so it's better suited for taking calls in a quiet space like a room. That said, they have an active noise cancelling feature that can help reduce some ambient noise around you so you can focus on your call.

Pros
  • Comfortable and stable fit.
Cons
  • Mic struggles to separate voice from moderate background noise.
  • 6.9 Neutral Sound
  • 7.0 Commute/Travel
  • 7.1 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.7 Office
  • 5.2 Wireless Gaming
  • 6.9 Wired Gaming
  • 6.5 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Dec 22, 2023: We've updated this review to ensure it remains consistent and added relevant comparisons.
  2. Updated Jan 20, 2022: We've tested the frequency response with ANC on, ANC off, and wired using the same seating.
  3. Updated Nov 03, 2021: Converted to Test Bench 1.5.
  4. Updated Jan 28, 2021: Review published.
  5. Updated Jan 22, 2021: Early access published.
  6. Updated Jan 13, 2021: Our testers have started testing this product.
  7. Updated Jan 08, 2021: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  8. Updated Nov 26, 2020: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Skullcandy Hesh ANC come in three color variants: 'True Black', 'Chill Grey', and 'Mod White'. We tested the 'True Black' variant, and you can see its label here

If you come across another variant, please let us know in the forums, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

The Skullcandy Hesh ANC are over-ear headphones and are the updated variant of the Skullcandy Hesh 3 Wireless. This variant builds upon its predecessor by adding an active noise cancelling feature, as well as an increased continuous battery life. However, they don't isolate as much noise as other mid-range over-ears like the Anker Soundcore Space Q45 Wireless

If you're looking for more headphones with an ANC feature, check out our recommendations for the best noise cancelling headphones under $200 and the best noise cancelling headphones. If you want to check out more wireless headphones, consider our recommendations for the best wireless Bluetooth headphones.

Skullcandy Hesh Evo Wireless

The Skullcandy Hesh ANC Wireless are better headphones than the Skullcandy Hesh Evo Wireless. Although both headphones are similarly comfortable, the Hesh ANC have a noise cancelling feature, which helps reduce some ambient noise around you. However, the Hesh Evo have a longer continuous battery life.

Skullcandy Crusher Evo Wireless

The Skullcandy Crusher Evo Wireless are better headphones than the Skullcandy Hesh ANC Wireless. Despite having a haptic bass feature that adds a sensory intensity to bass frequencies, they have a more accurate bass than the Hesh ANC, and their sound profile is more neutral overall. They're also better built and have a longer continuous battery life. However, the Hesh ANC have an ANC system that's capable of blocking out more noise, and they offer a more stable fit that keeps them in place during moderate workouts. 

Sony WH-CH720N Wireless

The Sony WH-CH720N Wireless are better headphones overall than the Skullcandy Hesh ANC Wireless. While they both have ANC systems that can help block out external noise, the Sony are more comfortable, are better built, and have a more balanced sound profile. They also support multi-device pairing, so you can connect up to two different devices, and their continuous battery life is longer. However, the Skullcandy have a more immersive passive soundstage and consistent audio delivery. 

Skullcandy Hesh 3 Wireless

The Skullcandy Hesh ANC Wireless are better headphones than the Skullcandy Hesh 3 Wireless. While they look and feel very similar, the Hesh ANC have an active noise cancelling feature that can reduce the ambient noise around you. Their integrated mic performs better, and they have longer continuous battery life.

Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless

The Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless are better headphones for commuting than the Skullcandy Hesh ANC Wireless. The Anker are better built and more comfortable, and their active noise cancelling feature has a significantly better performance. They also have a longer continuous battery life, can be paired with up to two devices at a time, and have a companion app with a graphic EQ and presets to help you tweak their sound. However, the Skullcandy have a more stable fit.

Skullcandy Venue Wireless

The Skullcandy Venue Wireless are somewhat better headphones for most uses than the Skullcandy Hesh ANC Wireless. The Venue are better built, and their ANC can reduce the ambient noise around you. They can also be paired with up to two devices at the same time, and you can listen to audio while they're charging, which is nice. However, the Hesh have a more neutral sound profile, and their integrated mic offers better overall performance.

Razer Opus Wireless 2020

The Razer Opus Wireless 2020 are better headphones than the Skullcandy Hesh ANC Wireless. The Razer are significantly more comfortable and better built, and their sound profile is more neutral. If you prefer a different sound, their companion app also has EQ presets to help tweak their sound. Their active noise cancelling feature significantly reduces ambient noise around you, and they have longer continuous battery life.

Beats Solo Pro Wireless

The Beats Solo Pro Wireless are better headphones than the Skullcandy Hesh ANC Wireless. The Beats are better built and have a more neutral sound profile, and their active noise cancelling feature can reduce the ambient noise around you. They also leak more noise. However, the Skullcandy are more comfortable and have a more stable fit. They also support passive playback if you want to use them wired.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Skullcandy Hesh ANC look almost identical to the Skullcandy Hesh 3 Wireless. There aren't any markings on the ear cups, and instead, they have a sleek satin finish, giving them a very casual, non-descript style. They also come in three color variants: 'True Black', 'Chill Grey', and 'Mod White'.

7.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.5 lbs
Clamping Force
1 lbs

These headphones are decently comfortable. Just like the Skullcandy Hesh Evo Wireless, the padding on the cups feels good, and they don't put too much pressure on your ears. However, the padding on the headband seems a bit thin, which can make them uncomfortable for long listening sessions.

7.7
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Good
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control On/Off
Talk-Through
On/Off
Additional Controls Voice Assistant

They have good controls. The buttons are clicky and distinct from one another, so it's hard to press the wrong button by accident. There are voice prompts to let you know when you've changed the ANC, as well as a light indicator, which turns on when the ANC is on. There's also a beep when you've reached the minimum or maximum volume limit. All the controls can be found on the right earcup:

  • '+' Button:
    • Single press: Raises the volume.
    • Hold and press: Skips the track forward.

  • '-' Button:
    • Single press: Raises the volume.
    • Hold and press: Skips the track backwards.

  • Middle Button:
    • Single press: Plays and pauses audio. Also answers and ends calls.
    • Double press: Activates voice assistant.

  • Circle button:
    • Single press: Toggles ANC mode.
    • Double press: Enters pairing mode.

    6.3
    Design
    Breathability
    Avg.Temp.Difference 6.2 °C

    They're not very breathable. Their fit creates a fairly good seal around your ears which prevents a lot of airflow. That combined with their closed-back, over-ear design makes you sweat more if you use them during exercise. Your ears may also get quite warm after a couple of hours of listening.

    6.1
    Design
    Portability
    L 4.8" (12.2 cm)
    W 6.5" (16.5 cm)
    H 3.0" (7.6 cm)
    Volume 93.10 in³ (1,525.63 cm³)
    Transmitter Required No

    These headphones have mediocre portability. While the ear cups can swivel to lay flat, which can help them take up less space in your bag, they're still quite bulky. Unfortunately, they only come with a pouch, which won't really keep them protected when you're on-the-go.

    6.0
    Design
    Case
    Type Pouch
    L N/A
    W N/A
    H N/A
    Volume N/A

    They come with a mediocre pouch to help protect them. The pouch has two pockets inside it so you can store your cables. It also uses drawstrings to stay closed. While it won't protect your headphones from drops, it can help keep dust off of them.

    6.5
    Design
    Build Quality

    These headphones have an acceptable build quality. They feel a lot like the Skullcandy Hesh 3 Wireless as they retain a lightweight plastic design, faux leather padding, and a headband that's reinforced with a thin metal frame. However, they don't feel very dense or durable and are likely to be damaged if accidentally dropped. They also don't have an IP rating for water resistance, which is to be expected from over-ear headphones.

    7.5
    Design
    Stability

    They're stable headphones. They won't move around if you're sitting at your desk or using them for light jogging. However, they can fall off your head during more intense workouts.

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

    • Skullcandy Hesh ANC
    • 1/8" TRRS cable
    • USB-C to USB-A cable
    • Pouch
    • Manuals

    Sound
    Sound
    Sound Profile
    Bass Amount
    6.41 dB
    Treble Amount
    0.31 dB

    The Skullcandy Hesh ANC have a very excited, V-shaped sound profile. They deliver intense thump and rumble in the bass-range, and their over-emphasized treble range can cause vocals and instruments to sound sharp and piercing. Unfortunately, they lack any sound enhancement features to customize them to your liking. It's also worth noting that the frequency response changes depending on whether the ANC is engaged. As you can see from this raw frequency response graph, these headphones have a slightly boosted low-bass and a less present mid-range when the ANC is on.

    7.5
    Sound
    Frequency Response Consistency
    Avg. Std. Deviation
    0.5 dB

    They have good frequency response consistency. Bass delivery is relatively consistent, although you'll experience a drop in bass if you have thick hair or wear glasses, as this can break the seal around your ears. Their treble delivery varies a little more, though, and is dependent on the headphones' positioning and fit on your head.

    Sound
    Raw Frequency Response
    5.6
    Sound
    Bass Accuracy
    Std. Err.
    7.36 dB
    Low-Frequency Extension
    10 Hz
    Low-Bass
    10.28 dB
    Mid-Bass
    7.41 dB
    High-Bass
    7.25 dB

    The bass accuracy is sub-par. It's overemphasized across the range, resulting in intense thump, rumble, and punch. However, this results in a boomy overall sound profile that muddies the mid-range. On songs like Latch by Disclosure ft. Sam Smith, the wobbly bass line has plenty of rumble, but it also muddies the vocals and higher-pitched percussion.

    8.3
    Sound
    Mid Accuracy
    Std. Err.
    2.27 dB
    Low-Mid
    1.74 dB
    Mid-Mid
    0.81 dB
    High-Mid
    -0.83 dB

    The Skullcandy Hesh ANC have great mid accuracy. There's a slight peak in the low-mid, which extends from the overemphasized bass response, so your mix sounds a bit muddy or cluttered. That said, the mid-mid and high-mid are well-balanced, which helps vocals and lead instruments sound more natural and present.

    6.6
    Sound
    Treble Accuracy
    Std. Err.
    5.04 dB
    Low-Treble
    1.59 dB
    Mid-Treble
    6.38 dB
    High-Treble
    0.69 dB

    The Skullcandy Hesh ANC have fair treble accuracy. It's overemphasized across the range, which brings out the brightness in vocals and lead instruments. The mid-treble is especially overemphasized, so sibilants like S and T sounds are piercing.

    7.0
    Sound
    Peaks/Dips
    Peaks
    1.83 dB
    Dips
    1.85 dB

    The peaks and dips performance is satisfactory. These headphones generally control their own sound profile, with deviations in certain ranges. There's a peak in the high-bass, which adds warmth and boom to your mixes while the dip in the low-mid thins out vocals and lead instruments. The dip in between the high-mid and low-treble weakens and hurts the details of vocals and lead instruments. The few following peaks across the treble range result in a harsh sound with piercing sibilants.

    8.3
    Sound
    Imaging
    Weighted Group Delay
    0.26
    Weighted Phase Mismatch
    3.31
    Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
    0.99
    Weighted Frequency Mismatch
    2.37

    These headphones have great stereo imaging, which is indicative of a manufacturer's quality control and ergonomics. However, imaging tends to vary between units. There's a peak in our unit's weighted group delay' in the low-bass, which results in a loose bass. However, the rest of the response falls under the audibility threshold, resulting in transparent treble reproduction. Also, our unit's left and right drivers are well-matched in regards to amplitude, and phase response. While there's a small bump in the phase response's high-mid, which causes vocals to sound slightly louder in the right driver, it's somewhat minor. There's also a small mismatch in frequency response, causing small holes in the stereo image. That said, overall, objects and instruments like voices and footsteps, are still fairly well localized in the stereo image.

    6.2
    Sound
    Passive Soundstage
    PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
    2.88 dB
    PRTF Size (Avg.)
    5.04 dB
    PRTF Distance
    14.1 dB
    Openness
    3.1
    Acoustic Space Excitation
    4.8

    The Skullcandy Hesh ANC's passive soundstage is passable. It sounds natural, wide, and as if coming from out in front of you, rather than from inside your head. However, their closed-back design makes them sound less spacious than open-back headphones.

    0
    Sound
    Virtual Soundstage
    Head Modeling
    No
    Speaker Modeling
    No
    Room Ambience
    No
    Head Tracking
    No
    Virtual Surround
    No App
    6.5
    Sound
    Weighted Harmonic Distortion
    WHD @ 90
    0.338
    WHD @ 100
    0.840

    The weighted harmonic distortion performance is alright. Distortion falls under good limits at a normal listening volume, resulting in clean and pure audio reproduction. However, there's quite a bit of distortion present at max volume. This can be hard to hear with real-life content, though, unless you have finely tuned ears.

    Sound
    Test Settings
    Firmware
    Unknown
    Power
    On
    Connection
    Bluetooth 5.0
    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, and our test results are only valid in this configuration.

    Isolation
    6.7
    Isolation
    Noise Isolation
    Isolation Audio
    Overall Attenuation
    -17.2 dB
    Noise Cancelling Yes
    Bass
    -8.73 dB
    Mid
    -17.77 dB
    Treble
    -26.02 dB

    The noise isolation performance is alright. Although they have an ANC feature, it actually amplifies some bass-range noise like the rumble of a bus engine around you. It does a better job of reducing mid and treble-range noise, like office chatter and the hum of an AC unit though.

    5.8
    Isolation
    Leakage
    Leakage Audio
    Overall Leakage @ 1ft
    45.89 dB

    They have a sub-par leakage performance. Leakage is concentrated in the mid and treble range, so escaping audio sounds somewhat thin. If you like to listen to your audio at a high volume, those around you can hear some of it, even in a moderately noisy environment like an office.

    Microphone
    Microphone
    Microphone Style
    Integrated
    Yes
    In-Line
    No
    Boom
    No
    Detachable Boom
    No
    Mic Yes
    7.3
    Microphone
    Recording Quality
    Recorded Speech
    LFE
    306.43 Hz
    FR Std. Dev.
    2.94 dB
    HFE
    6,639.82 Hz
    Weighted THD
    0.029
    Gain
    -10.3 dB

    The microphone has a decent recording quality. Your voice sounds neutral, although thin and a bit dark. However, you won't have too much of a problem being understood by whoever's on the other end of the line.

    5.7
    Microphone
    Noise Handling
    SpNR
    17.34 dB
    Noise Gate
    Always On
    Speech + Pink Noise Handling
    5.5
    Speech + Pink Noise Audio Sample
    Speech + Subway Noise Handling
    6.0
    Speech + Subway Noise Audio Sample

    The integrated mic's noise handling performance is disappointing. In settings like a busy office, your voice will sound distorted and fuzzy, but the mic separates your voice enough to be understandable. It does a poorer job of separating your voice in noisier environments, and loud noises, like a passing train, can easily drown out your voice.

    Active Features
    7.6
    Active Features
    Battery
    Battery Type
    Rechargable
    Continuous Battery Life
    24.2 hrs
    Additional Charges
    0.0
    Total Battery Life
    24.2 hrs
    Charge Time
    1.6 hrs
    Power-Saving Feature
    No
    Audio While Charging
    No
    Passive Playback
    Yes
    Charging Port USB-C

    These headphones have a good battery performance. They have around 24 hours of continuous playback time and the manufacturer advertises that a 10-minute quick charge can give you around three hours of playback time. However, battery performance can vary depending on usage, so your experience may vary. That said, they don't have any power-saving features, and you can't use them while charging. They support passive playback though, so you can use their 1/8" TRRS cable to listen to audio if you run out of battery life.

    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
    Connectivity
    7.3
    Connectivity
    Bluetooth
    Bluetooth Version
    5.0
    Multi-Device Pairing
    No
    NFC Pairing
    No
    Line Of Sight Range
    299.00 ft (91.14 m)
    PC Latency (SBC)
    169 ms
    PC Latency (aptX)
    N/A
    PC Latency (aptX HD)
    N/A
    PC Latency (aptX-LL)
    N/A
    iOS Latency
    50 ms
    Android Latency
    76 ms

    These headphones have decent Bluetooth compatibility. Unfortunately, you can't connect them with more than one device at a time, and they don't support NFC pairing to make it easier to connect them to your devices. They also have high latency on PCs, which is disappointing if you like to stream videos, as you'll experience syncing issues between the audio and video. That said, they have much lower latency on iOS and Android devices. However, some apps compensate for latency differently.

    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 4.00 ft (1.22 m)
    Connection
    1/8" TRRS
    Analog/USB Audio Latency
    0 ms

    They come with a 1/8" TRRS cable. They also come with a USB-C to USB-A cable for charging the headphones.

    Connectivity
    PC Compatibility
    Analog
    Audio + Microphone
    Wired USB
    No
    Non-BT Wireless
    No

    You can connect to PCs wirelessly via Bluetooth for full audio and mic compatibility or with a wired connection.

    Connectivity
    PlayStation Compatibility
    PS4 Analog
    Audio + Microphone
    PS4 Wired USB
    No
    PS4 Non-BT Wireless
    No
    PS5 Analog
    Audio + Microphone
    PS5 Wired USB
    No
    PS5 Non-BT Wireless
    No

    You can connect these headphones to PlayStation family consoles with a wired connection using the included TRRS cable.

    Connectivity
    Xbox Compatibility
    Xbox One Analog
    Audio + Microphone
    Xbox One Wired USB
    No
    Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
    No
    Xbox Series X|S Analog
    Audio + Microphone
    Xbox Series X|S Wired USB
    No
    Xbox Series X|S Non-BT Wireless
    No

    You can receive audio and use the microphone when connected to an Xbox One or Xbox Series X console via plugging in the 1/8" TRRS cable into the 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