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Skullcandy Riff Wireless 2 Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Reviewed Dec 12, 2022 at 10:03 am
Skullcandy Riff Wireless 2 Picture
7.2
Neutral Sound
6.2
Commute/Travel
7.3
Sports/Fitness
6.2
Office
5.7
Wireless Gaming
7.3
Wired Gaming
6.7
Phone Calls

The Skullcandy Riff Wireless 2 are the next generation of the Skullcandy Riff Wireless and are budget-friendly wireless on-ears. Skullcandy has improved their continuous battery life and added features like multi-device pairing and companion app support, which is good if you want to adjust their sound profile to suit your tastes. The app also provides a low latency 'Game Mode' to help lower audio lag on your Bluetooth devices. Their cheap price point reflects in their plasticky build quality.

Our Verdict

7.2 Neutral Sound

The Skullcandy Riff Wireless 2 are satisfactory for neutral sound. Out of the box, they have a pretty excited sound, which delivers intense punch and boom to audio while sibilants like cymbals are piercing. Their on-ear design doesn't create the most immersive soundstage either. Luckily, you can fine-tune their sound using their companion app's graphic EQ and presets.

Pros
  • Lightweight design.
Cons
  • Mediocre passive soundstage.
6.2 Commute/Travel

The Skullcandy Riff Wireless 2 are passable for commute and travel. Even though they can fold up to save space, these on-ears have a plasticky build quality and lack a carrying case to help protect them on the go. They don't have noise cancelling (ANC) and don't block out any of the low rumble of bus engines or passenger chatter. On the upside, their battery easily lasts through long days on the go, and they have a fairly comfortable fit.

Pros
  • Lightweight design.
  • Long continuous battery life.
Cons
  • Plasticky build.
  • Barely blocks out background noise.
  • Leaks audio at high volumes.
7.3 Sports/Fitness

The Skullcandy Riff Wireless 2 are decent for sports and fitness. They're lightweight, portable, and have a fairly comfortable fit. However, they can easily fall off your head with moderate physical movement, and their pretty plasticky design may not be the most durable.

Pros
  • Lightweight design.
Cons
  • Plasticky build.
6.2 Office

The Skullcandy Riff Wireless 2 are mediocre for office use. These on-ears have a long-lasting continuous battery life that won't run out during long shifts at the office. They can't block out much background noise like your coworkers talking. They also leak a lot of audio at high volumes, so if you like to crank up the volume to your favorite tunes, others around you can hear it. On the upside, they support multi-device pairing, meaning you can connect them to your PC and smartphone simultaneously.

Pros
  • Supports multi-device pairing.
  • Long continuous battery life.
Cons
  • Barely blocks out background noise.
  • Leaks audio at high volumes.
5.7 Wireless Gaming

The Skullcandy Riff Wireless 2 are Bluetooth headphones, and their latency is likely too high for wireless gaming.

7.3 Wired Gaming

The Skullcandy Riff Wireless 2 are decent for wired gaming. These on-ears come with a 1/8" TRRS cable that you can use to connect them to most consoles with an AUX port. Their excited sound can help bring out sound effects like footsteps in gameplay, although dialogue and instruments sound thin. Their integrated mic also has a very good recording quality, which ensures that teammates hear you clearly. The mic has a little trouble separating your voice from background noise, though.

Pros
  • Mic has very good recording quality.
Cons
  • Mediocre passive soundstage.
6.7 Phone Calls

The Skullcandy Riff Wireless 2 are fair for phone calls. These on-ears have an integrated mic. It does a very good job of capturing your voice clearly, although if you're taking calls from a busy street, speech can be harder to hear amongst the background noise. Unfortunately, the headphones really struggle to block out background noise, and you'll hear most of the sounds around you.

Pros
  • Mic has very good recording quality.
Cons
  • Barely blocks out background noise.
  • 7.2 Neutral Sound
  • 6.2 Commute/Travel
  • 7.3 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.2 Office
  • 5.7 Wireless Gaming
  • 7.3 Wired Gaming
  • 6.7 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Dec 12, 2022: Review published.
  2. Updated Dec 07, 2022: Early access published.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Skullcandy Riff Wireless 2 are the next generation of the Skullcandy Riff Wireless and come in two color variations: 'Black' and 'Forest Green', a limited edition collaboration with the non-profit organization, Protect Our Winters. We tested the 'Forest Green' model, and you can see our unit's label here. Since the difference is merely cosmetic, we expect both models to perform similarly.

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

Compared To Other Headphones

The Skullcandy Riff Wireless 2 are the next update of the Skullcandy Riff Wireless and have more features than their predecessor. They're a lot more customizable, thanks to their companion app's graphic EQ and presets, and they support multi-device pairing, meaning you can stay connected to two devices at the same time. Like most on-ears, they're fairly comfortable, but their design is very plasticky, especially compared to similarly priced and designed headphones like the JBL Tune 510BT Wireless.

Check out our recommendations for the best on-ear headphones, the best wireless Bluetooth headphones, and the best Skullcandy headphones.

JBL Tune 510BT Wireless

The Skullcandy Riff Wireless 2 are slightly better on-ears than the JBL Tune 510BT Wireless. While both headphones are similarly fairly comfortable and support multi-device pairing, the Skullcandy have a better mic performance, a significantly better battery performance, and sound customization features via their companion app. However, the JBL are better-built and have a more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer.

Skullcandy Hesh 3 Wireless

The Skullcandy Riff Wireless 2 have more features than the Skullcandy Hesh 3 Wireless. The Riff 2 are on-ears with a more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer, their mic has better overall performance, and they have a longer-lasting continuous battery life. They also have a companion app with a graphic EQ and presets to help you adjust them to your liking, and they support multi-device pairing. However, the Hesh 3 are over-ears with a more comfortable as well as better build.

JBL Live 460NC Wireless

The JBL Live 460NC Wireless are slightly better on-ears than the Skullcandy Riff Wireless 2. While both headphones support multi-device pairing and have sound customization features, the JBL are more comfortable, significantly better built, and have a more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer. They also have ANC and can block out more background noise.

Beats Solo Pro Wireless

The Beats Solo Pro Wireless are better on-ears than the Skullcandy Riff Wireless 2. While both headphones are fairly comfortable, the Beats have a significantly better build quality, a more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer, and have ANC, meaning they can block out a superior amount of background noise. They also have an H1 chip for seamless pairing with your Apple devices. However, the Skullcandy have a better battery performance, are more customizable, thanks to their companion app. They also support multi-device pairing with up to two devices at a time.

Test Results

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

These on-ears have a limited edition skin called 'Forest Green'. Their plasticky frame is mostly olive green with light green topographical detailing on the ear cups. There are also bright orange accents surrounding the ear cups and in the manufacturer's logo on the headband. These headphones only come in one other color variant, 'Black', which is solid in color and doesn't have a pattern on the ear cups.

6.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.34 lbs
Clamping Force
0.7 lbs

These on-ears are fairly comfortable. They're lightweight and don't clamp very tightly on your ears. However, due to their design, they press directly on your ears, which can be fatiguing over time. The headband also lacks padding.

6.8
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 No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls No

These headphones have an okay control scheme. There are three buttons on the back of the right ear cup, which are clicky and easy to use. There are chimes to let you know when you've reached minimum and maximum volume, as well as voice prompts when you're switching between presets and the EQ in the app. There's also a voice prompt when turning the game mode on and off, although you can only switch modes and EQ via the app.

Middle button:

  • Single press: Plays and pauses audio. Also answers and ends calls.
  • Single press and then press again for one second: Connect to a second device or enter pairing mode.
  • Press and hold for one second: Turns the headphones on.
  • Press and hold for three seconds: Turns the headphones off.

'+' button:

  • Single press: Raises the volume.
  • Press and hold for one second: Skips to the next track.

'-' button:

  • Single press: Lowers the volume.
  • Press and hold for one second: Skips to the previous track.

8.3
Design
Portability
L 5.5" (14.0 cm)
W 6.3" (16.0 cm)
H 1.6" (4.0 cm)
Volume 8.79 in³ (144.00 cm³)
Transmitter Required No

These headphones are pretty portable. In their default form, they take up some room on your table or desk. Luckily, the ear cups can swivel to lay flat, and you can even fold them to reduce their footprint.

0
Design
Case
Type No case
L N/A
W N/A
H N/A
Volume N/A
5.5
Design
Build Quality

They have a sub-par build quality. They're completely made of cheap plastic, and parts of the build, like the hinges of the headband, which can move around by accident, don't seem durable or sturdy. Their headband also lacks padding and is a bit thin, so this part may crack or break over time. Unlike the JBL Tune 510BT Wireless, the ear cup's faux leather padding extends throughout the inner cup instead of only surrounding the edges of the cup. This allows the cups to sit flat on your ears.

6.0
Design
Stability

These headphones have mediocre stability. If you're listening to audio at your desk, they won't move around. However, if you want to use them during high-intensity workouts, they'll fall off your head.

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

  • Skullcandy Riff Wireless 2 headphones
  • 1/8" TRRS to 1/8" TRRS cable
  • USB-C to USB-A charging cable
  • Quick Start guide

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
3.22 dB
Treble Amount
0.79 dB

These headphones have a pretty excited, v-shaped sound profile. They have intense thump, punch, and boom, while sibilants like cymbals are piercing. This sound is well-suited for genres like pop and rock, but if you prefer something different, their companion app offers a graphic EQ and presets.

8.0
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.39 dB

The frequency response consistency is great. There are some deviations in treble delivery due to the headphones' fit and positioning. However, once you take the time to properly adjust them on your head, you can achieve a more consistent sound each time you use them.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
7.1
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
4.51 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
14.14 Hz
Low-Bass
2.23 dB
Mid-Bass
5.99 dB
High-Bass
5.02 dB

The bass accuracy is satisfactory. The response is overemphasized across the range, resulting in extra thump, rumble, punch, and warm. However, all this extra bass also sounds pretty boomy.

7.5
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.37 dB
Low-Mid
-2.91 dB
Mid-Mid
-3.29 dB
High-Mid
-0.36 dB

The Skullcandy Riff Wireless 2's mid accuracy is good. There's a dip in the low to mid-mid, which thins out vocals and instruments, pushing them to the back of your mix. The high-mid, in contrast, is fairly neutral, so vocals and instruments still have clarity and presence.

6.9
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
4.6 dB
Low-Treble
-1.66 dB
Mid-Treble
6.26 dB
High-Treble
-5.1 dB

The treble accuracy is fair. The low-treble is slightly underemphasized, which slightly veils vocals and instruments. However, the mid-treble is very overemphasized. This results in sharp sibilants like the piercing hi-hats in songs like Roxanne by The Police.

6.0
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
2.84 dB
Dips
2.06 dB

The peaks and dips performance is just mediocre. There's a large peak from the mid to high-bass, which adds extra boom and punch to audio. A dip between the low to mid-mid thins out vocals and instruments while also pushing them to the back of the mix. A small peak in the high-mid help brings some clarity and detail to these sounds, while a shallow dip in the low-treble veils them. A major peak in the mid-treble makes sibilants like hi-hats piercing and painful.

8.7
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.27
Weighted Phase Mismatch
5.07
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.38
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.69

These on-ears have excellent imaging performance. Although some of Skullcandy's cheaper models have shown issues of driver mismatch in the past, our unit's L/R drivers are well-matched in group delay, phase, amplitude, and frequency response. This is important for the accurate placement of objects like footsteps in the stereo image. That said, imaging can vary between units and can be an indicator of quality control and ergonomics.

6.0
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
3.25 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
2.2 dB
PRTF Distance
6.93 dB
Openness
9.1
Acoustic Space Excitation
5.3

Passive soundstage performance is passable. Due to their design, they can create a sense of spaciousness. However, they have some trouble fully interacting with your outer ear, which hurts their immersiveness. As a result, their soundstage seems small and as if sound is coming from inside your head rather than from speakers placed in the room around you.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No
7.3
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.198
WHD @ 100
0.400

The Skullcandy Riff Wireless 2 have a decent weighted harmonic distortion performance. The left driver has a bump in the high-bass to low-mid at moderate and at high volumes. It's quite minor and can be hard to notice with real-life content.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
1.4.0.6
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 5.0
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 44.1kHz
EQ
Music (Default)
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Default
Microphone
Integrated

These are the settings used to test these on-ears. Our results are only valid when used in this configuration.

Isolation
2.5
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-8.18 dB
Noise Cancelling No
Bass
0.04 dB
Mid
-1.6 dB
Treble
-22.81 dB

The noise isolation performance is bad, though that's normal from on-ears without noise cancelling (ANC). They don't block out any bass range noise like bus engines and won't cut down any ambient chatter. That said, they can reduce some high-pitched noise like the hum of an AC unit.

5.4
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
47.74 dB

The leakage performance is disappointing. Leakage is concentrated between the mid to treble range, which sounds somewhat full. If you like to listen to audio at high volumes, others around you will hear it, even in moderately noisy environments like a busy office.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No
Mic Yes
7.9
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
219.83 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
2.13 dB
HFE
6,544.63 Hz
Weighted THD
0.184
Gain
6.05 dB

The integrated mic's recording quality is very good. Your voice sounds natural and clear to others over the phone.

6.8
Microphone
Noise Handling
SpNR
16.15 dB
Noise Gate
No
Speech + Pink Noise Handling
7.0
Speech + Pink Noise Audio Sample
Speech + Subway Noise Handling
6.5
Speech + Subway Noise Audio Sample

The mic's noise handling performance is okay. Your voice is clear and easy to understand if you're taking a call from a quiet environment. However, if you're speaking from somewhere loud, like a busy street, your voice can get lost in the noise.

Active Features
9.0
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
46.5 hrs
Additional Charges
0.0
Total Battery Life
46.5 hrs
Charge Time
1 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
Auto-Off Timer
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
Yes
Charging Port USB-C

The Skullcandy Riff Wireless 2's battery performance is outstanding. The manufacturer advertises them to last 36 hours continuously, and we measured over that, though this is likely due to the difference in testing volume between ourselves and Skullcandy. Keep in mind that battery life can also vary depending on usage. Luckily, they have an auto-off timer to help conserve battery life when not in use. If you're charging the headphones, you can't still receive audio via Bluetooth or USB, but if you also use their analog cable, you can receive audio this way.

7.5
Active Features
App Support
App Name Skullcandy
iOS Yes
Android Yes
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
Graphic + Presets
ANC Control
No
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
No

The Skullcandy app is good, and you can see a video of how it works here. It offers a graphic EQ and presets to help you customize their sound to your liking. You can also check the battery life, adjust the volume, access the quick guide, or redirect to Tile, a secondary app that helps you find your lost electronics. You can even turn Game Mode on and off, which helps lower latency.

Connectivity
8.4
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.2
Multi-Device Pairing
2 Devices
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
334.65 ft (102.00 m)
PC Latency (SBC)
247 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
121 ms
Android Latency
144 ms

The Skullcandy Riff Wireless 2 have great Bluetooth connectivity. They support multi-device pairing, meaning you can stay connected to your PC and smartphone at the same time. While they have high latency on PCs, their latency on iOS and Android devices is a bit less, and isn't as noticeable. However, if you like to stream video, you'll want to check out their Game Mode via the app. It lowers latency across devices, resulting in 118ms of latency on PCs, 6ms of latency on iOS, and 78ms of latency on Android. Keep in mind that some apps and devices compensate for latency.

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 3.97 ft (1.21 m)
Connection
1/8" TRRS
Analog/USB Audio Latency
0 ms

These headphones come with a 1/8" TRRS cable. They also come with a USB-A to USB-C charging cable, but you can't use it for audio.

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

These on-ears have full audio and mic compatibility via Bluetooth and analog.

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 your PlayStation console by plugging their analog cable into your controller's AUX port.

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

These headphones are only compatible with Xbox consoles via analog. You can use their 1/8" TRRS cable to plug them into your controller's AUX port with full audio and mic compatibility.

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

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