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Skullcandy Venue Wireless HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
6.8
Mixed Usage
7.4
Critical Listening
7.0
Commute/Travel
7.1
Sports/Fitness
7.0
Office
5.6
TV
5.0
Gaming
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : Yes
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Skullcandy Venue are decent mixed usage over-ear headphones that have an exciting sound. They have a "V-shaped", or "smiley-face", sound signature with overemphasized sub-bass, recessed mid-range and sharp treble range. They are comfortable if you don’t have a wider head and they have a good 24-hour battery life with a very useful quick charge feature. Unfortunately, their build quality isn’t on par with the Crusher Wireless, but on the upside, they have an amazing wireless range and can also connect to 2 devices simultaneously, which is convenient.

Test Results
Design 6.9
Sound 7.5
Isolation 6.5
Microphone 5.4
Active Features 7.1
Connectivity 5.9
Pros
  • Great battery life and wireless range.
  • Easy to use controls.
  • Decent noise isolation.
Cons
  • A bit tight on some heads.
  • Very bass-heavy sound might not be for everyone.
  • Poor performance mic for voice calls.
  1. Update 4/4/2019: We've updated the battery section of the review as we couldn't confirm that these headphones have a standby mode.

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6.9

Design

The Skullcandy Venue are decently built over-ear headphones that have a low-profile look. They are fairly lightweight but might be a bit tight on some people, which won’t be as comfortable for long listening sessions. Their control scheme is good and offers all the common functionalities on top of ANC control. They come with a good case that is useful for when you want to store them away and their build quality falls between the similar designed Hesh 3 and Crusher Wireless. On the upside, they also come with a 1/8” TRRS audio cable so you can use them wired too, even if the battery is dead.

Style

These headphones have a sleek and low-profile look. They are mostly made of plastic, but they don’t feel as cheap as the Skullcandy Hesh 3 but isn’t quite on par with the Crusher Wireless. They come in white with some small red accents or in an all-black design and are great headphones to use outside.

7.0 Comfort
Weight : 0.54 lbs
Clamping Force
:
1 lbs

The Skullcandy Venue are comfortable headphones but might be too tight for some people, which will be fatiguing during long listening sessions. The cups are relatively large and fit most ears and are well padded. They are fairly lightweight and don’t put too much pressure on the head. People with wider head sizes might not find these headphones as comfortable. For slightly more comfortable headphones that don't clamp as much as the Venue, take a look at the JBL Live 650BTNC.

7.8 Controls
Ease of use : Good
Feedback : Decent
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : Yes
Talk-Through
:
Yes
Additional Buttons : No

The control scheme of the Skullcandy Venue is great and easy-to-use. They provide call and music control, a volume rocker, track skipping, and ANC control which can also let you go in ‘monitor mode’ to hear what’s going on around you. The buttons are rubberized but are still fairly tactile. You can also double tap the main button for your device's voice assistant.

6.1 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 6.6 C

Like most over-ears, the headphones trap a bit of heat under the ear cups, and there’s not much airflow. They can be used during moderate physical activity, but you might feel you’re sweating more with over-ears. This shouldn’t be an issue for casual listening, especially if you take breaks here and there to let your ears cool off a bit.

6.2 Portability
L : 6.4 "
W : 6.6 "
H : 1.9 "
Volume : 80 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

The Skullcandy Venue are over-ears, which means they aren’t the most portable headphones. However, the cups can swivel and lay flat to easily slide in a bag or the provided case. However, they do not fold into a more compact format like the Hesh 3 or the Crusher Wireless.

7.0 Case
Type : Hard case
L : 8.3 "
W : 7.3 "
H : 2 "
Volume : 121 Cu. Inches

The Skullcandy Venue come with a good and solid case that will protect the headphones from scratches, light water exposure, and impacts. The case is fairly thin and doesn’t add too much bulk for when you want to travel, which is great.

7.0 Build Quality

The Skullcandy Venue are an improvement over the cheap, plasticky Hesh 3, but are not as well-built as the Crusher Wireless. They have fairly dense plastic cups that feel solid and shouldn’t get too damaged if dropped accidentally. The headband is also reinforced with a thin metal band, like the Hesh 3. However, overall, they don’t feel like more premium headphones, and their weak point is probably the swiveling parts of the ear cups.

7.5 Stability

These over-ears are stable on the head thanks to their tight fit. They're stable for light physical activities like running but won’t be ideal for more intense sports. On the upside, they are wireless, and you won’t have to worry about a cable getting hooked on something and yanking the headphones off your head.

Cable
Detachable : Yes
Length : 4 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRRS

The headphones come with a USB to micro-USB charging cable and a 1/8” TRRS audio cable for when you want to use them passively, even when the battery is dead.

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7.5

Sound

The Skullcandy Venue is a good sounding pair of closed-back over-ear headphones. They have a deep, consistent, and powerful bass, an even and decently balanced mid-range, and a great treble. However, their bass is a bit hyped in the sub-bass region, which some people may like, and their mid-range is noticeably recessed on vocals and lead instruments. Also, their treble could sound a little sizzly and sharp. Overall, they have the smiley-face (V-shaped) sound profile which makes them exciting, especially on bass-heavy material, however, they may not be the ideal choice for vocal-centric music.

8.6 Bass
Std. Err.
:
2.14 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
:
10 Hz
Low-Bass
:
4.31 dB
Mid-Bass
:
0.63 dB
High-Bass
:
1.06 dB

The bass is great. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 10Hz, which is excellent. Also, low-bass, responsible for the thump and rumble common to bass-heavy music and sound effects is overemphasized by more than 4dB. This gives the bass of these headphones a bit of extra thump, which some people may like. Mid-bass, and high-bass are even and very well-balanced, resulting in an accurate reproduction of bass and kick instruments.

6.9 Mid
Std. Err.
:
4.13 dB
Low-Mid
:
-1.88 dB
Mid-Mid
:
-5.71 dB
High-Mid
:
-2.18 dB

The mid-range performance is decent. The overall response is even and flat, but with a 5dB recess centered around 700Hz. This pushes vocals and lead instruments to the back of the mix, by favoring bass and treble frequencies.

8.5 Treble
Std. Err.
:
2.85 dB
Low-Treble
:
-1.06 dB
Mid-Treble
:
1.26 dB
High-Treble
:
1.29 dB

The treble range performance is great good. Low-treble and most of mid-treble are even well-balanced and within 1dB of our target. This is important for the accurate reproduction of vocals, cymbals, and lead instruments. However, the bumps around 10KHz could make vocals and cymbals a little sibilant (sharp and piercing on S and T sounds).

8.8 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
0.25 dB

The frequency response consistency of the Venue is very good. Similar to some other ANC (active noise cancelling) headphones like the QuietComfort 35 II and the WH-1000XM3, it seems the Venue uses their noise cancelling system as a feedback tool to check for bass delivery. This results in a very consistent bass response across multiple users, which is great. They also perform quite consistently in the treble range, most likely due to the small size of their earcups.

8.8 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.23
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
0.6
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
1.74
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
2.78

The imaging is great. Their weighted group delay is at 0.23, which is within good limits. The GD graph also shows that the entire group delay is within the audibility threshold. 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, phase, and frequency response, which is important for the accurate localization and placement of objects (instruments, voice, footsteps) in the stereo image.

5.4 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
2.74 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
7.82 dB
PRTF Distance
:
8.22 dB
Openness
:
3.5
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
3.9
Correlated Crosstalk
:
0.0 dB

The Skullcandy Venue have a sub-par soundstage. Their The PRTF response shows a good amount of pinna activation, however, the accuracy of the activated resonances is not good. Also, there is not a notch present around the 10KHz region. This, along with the closed-back design of these headphones, results in a soundstage that is located inside the listener's head.

6.6 Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
:
4.717
Weighted THD @ 100
:
12.289

The harmonic distortion performance of the Venue is average. The overall amount of harmonic distortion produced is relatively high, especially in the mid-range. This could make the sound of these headphones a bit impure. However, there is not a big rise in THD under heavier loads, which is good.

6.5

Isolation

The isolation performance of the Skullcandy Venue is average. Their ANC feature is good, but they have a lot of self-noise, and a small hissing sound can be heard when no audio is playing. This is not audible once you start playing audio content. They also have an average leakage performance but shouldn’t be an issue if you don’t blast your music at very high volumes. They don’t isolate much in the lower frequencies, which isn’t ideal for daily commuting, but their isolation in the mid-range will be suitable for filtering out most of office noise and conversations.  

6.4 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-18.86 dB
Bass
:
-11.67 dB
Mid
:
-17.65 dB
Treble
:
-27.79 dB
Self-Noise
:
24.24 dB

The Skullcandy Venue have an average isolation performance. With ANC (active noise cancelling) enabled, these headphones achieved more than 11dB of isolation in the bass range, which is decent. This means they will be able to cancel out the low rumbling noises of airplane and bus engines to an acceptable degree. In the mid-range, important for blocking out speech, they achieve about 18dB of isolation, which is good. In the treble range, occupied by sharp sounds like S and Ts and computer fan noise, they isolate by about 28dB, which is above-average. However, these headphones produce a significantly high amount of self-noise, which could be distracting to some people when there is not audio playing through the headphones.

6.6 Leakage
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
41.99 dB

The leakage performance of the Venue is about average. The significant portion of their leakage is spread between 1KHz and 7KHz, which is not very broad and is mostly concentrated in the treble range. So the leakage will sound relatively thin. The overall level of the leakage is not very loud either. With the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage averages at 42dB SPL and peaks at around 58dB SPL at 1 foot away, which is just below the noise floor of most offices.

5.4

Microphone

Integrated
:
Yes
In-line
:
No
Boom
:
No
Detachable Boom
:
N/A

The Skullcandy Venue have a sub-par microphone. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with this mic sounds relatively thin, and noticeably muffled and lacking in detail. In noisy situations, it will struggle to fully separate speech from background noise even in moderately loud environments like a busy street.

5.3 Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
:
LFE
:
397.39 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
:
17.03 dB
HFE
:
22988.02 Hz
Weighted THD
:
7128.561
Gain
:
32.57 dB

The recording quality of this mic is sub-par. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 397Hz, resulting in a recorded/transmitted speech that sounds relatively thin. The drop off above 4KHz is a limitation of Bluetooth protocol and common among all Bluetooth microphones. This makes speech muffled and lacking in detail.

5.5 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
:
7.15 dB

The noise handling of the Venue's integrated microphone is sub-par. This mic achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 7dB in our SpNR test, indicating it is best suited for quiet environments and may struggle to fully separate speech from ambient noise even in moderately loud situations.

7.1

Active Features

The Skullcandy Venue have great battery life, but they do not have any compatible mobile app for additional customization. You can expect around 24 hours of playback from a full charge, and they will take about 2 hours to charge fully. They also have a quick charge feature that gives you a few hours of battery life for only a few minutes of charging. You can also use them wired if the battery is dead, but you won’t be able to use the ANC feature. Their power saving mode is great, and you can even pair them with the Tile app which will let you track your headphones easily if you lose them. You can also use your device assistant with the headphones by pressing the main function button twice.

7.9 Battery
Battery Type
:
Rechargable
Battery Life
:
24 hrs
Charge Time
:
1.8 hrs
Power Saving Feature
:
No
Audio while charging
:
Yes
Passive Playback
:
Yes

Their battery life is right around 24 hours, which will last you more than a day with intense listening. They also have a quick charge feature that will give you around 5 hours of continuous playback for only 10 minutes of charging time, according to Skullcandy’s specs sheet. They can also be used passively if the battery is dead, but without the ANC feature. They also have a power saving mode to save battery life. You can get more battery life out of the Crusher 360 Wireless, but this could be due to the fact that they don't have an ANC feature like the Venue.

Update: 4/4/2019: While testing the Crusher 360 Wireless we noticed an error in the Venue and Crusher Wireless reviews. They do not have a standby mode. Both reviews have been updated and the scores adjusted to reflect this.

0 App Support
App Name : N/A
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
:
N/A
ANC control
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
:
N/A
Playback control
:
N/A
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

Unfortunately, the Skullcandy Venue do not have a compatible app for added customization options.

5.9

Connectivity

The Skullcandy Venue can also be used wired with the provided 1/8” TRRS audio cable. They support Bluetooth 5.0, so you might get better results than what we measured since our test bench only supports up to Bluetooth 4.2 for now. Like most Bluetooth headphones, they have too much latency to be suitable for video content or gaming, but this shouldn’t be an issue if you use the audio cable. They can also connect to 2 devices simultaneously which is convenient. Their wireless range is excellent, and you shouldn’t have any problem if you keep your audio source on you.

6.8 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
5.0
Multi-Device Pairing
:
2 Devices
NFC Pairing
:
No

The Skullcandy Venue Bluetooth headphones can pair with 2 devices simultaneously which is great if you want to switch between a computer and a phone. Unfortunately, they do not have NFC support. On the upside, they support Bluetooth version 5.0, so you might experience better wireless range and reliability if you have a 5.0 source too.

9.1 Wired
OS Compatibility
:
Not OS specific
Analog Audio
:
Yes
USB Audio
:
No
PS4 Compatible
:
Audio + Microphone
Xbox One Compatible
:
Audio + Microphone
PC Compatible
:
Audio + Microphone

They also come with a 1/8” TRRS cable, so you can use the headphones passively, even when the battery is dead. You won’t be able to use Bluetooth and the ANC features if the battery is dead, but if not, you can still use the ANC feature, while using the headphones wired. If you want to use them for gaming, you can connect them to your controller and have audio and microphone support, and you won’t have any latency issues.

0 Base/Dock
Type
:
N/A
Optical Input
:
N/A
Line In
:
N/A
Line Out
:
N/A
USB Input
:
N/A
RCA Input
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
:
N/A
PC Compatible
:
N/A
Power Supply
:
N/A
Dock Charging
:
N/A

The Skullcandy Venue 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.

9.4 Wireless Range
Obstructed Range
:
69 ft
Line of Sight Range
:
146 ft

The Skullcandy Venue have an excellent wireless range, and you might even get better results if you have a Bluetooth 5.0 source. They have better range than both the Crusher Wireless and the Hesh 3. This makes them suitable for most use cases and environments especially if you keep your phone or your Bluetooth source on you.

0.8 Latency
Default Latency
:
232 ms
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

Like most Bluetooth headphones, their latency is too high for video content or gaming, but they can also be used with the provided audio cable which gets rid of latency issues. They have a bit more latency than some of the other Skullcandy models we've tested, but they all won't be ideal for watching a lot of video content unless you use them wired.

In the box

  • Skullcandy Venue Headphones
  • Carrying case
  • Audio cable
  • USB charging cable
  • Manuals

Compared to other Headphones

The Skullcandy Venue are versatile closed-back over-ear headphones that have an exciting sound profile. They have a decently built and lightweight design but might be a bit tight for some people. They are going to be better suited for bass-heavy genres and not vocal-centric music. They are decently comfortable and well-padded. Their ANC feature is not the best when compared to higher-end models, but it still does a good job at isolating you from ambient noise. See our recommendations for the best wireless headphones and the best noise cancelling headphones.

Skullcandy Hesh 3 Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

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

Skullcandy Crusher Wireless 2016
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Skullcandy Crusher Wireless and Skullcandy Venue perform very similarly. While the Venue are more comfortable and have a more exciting sound, the Crusher Wireless are better-built headphones and have a great 36-hour battery life. The Crusher also have a slider that lets you control the amount of bass you get, up to a ridiculous amount. On the other hand, the Venue can be paired with 2 devices simultaneously and have an ANC feature to isolate ambient noise.

Skullcandy Crusher 360 Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Skullcandy Venue are more versatile headphones than the Skullcandy Crusher 360 Wireless thanks to their ANC feature. They will be better suited for commuting and at the office since they block more ambient noise. However, the Crusher 360 are noticeably better-built and feel less plasticky than the Venue. Their overall sound signature is similar, but the Crusher 360 have nice haptic bass feedback as well. You also get more battery life out of the Crusher 360.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II are better headphones than the Skullcandy Venue. Their noise canceling feature is better, and they have a more neutral sound than the Venue. They are also one of the most comfortable headphones we’ve reviewed so far and are better-built. However, the battery life is slightly better on the Skullcandy Venue, and they have better wireless range. They are also not as expensive as the premium QC 35 II.

Beats Studio 3 Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Beats Studio3 Wireless are better headphones than the Skullcandy Venue. They have a more neutral sound profile, especially in the mid-range, while still sounding exciting. They are better-built and are more comfortable. Their ANC feature blocks more noise than the Venue’s and the provided case is better. On the other hand, the Venue can connect to 2 devices, and their bass isn’t as prone to inconsistencies as the Studio 3s.

JBL Live 650 BTNC Wireless
SEE PRICE
B&H

The JBL Live 650BTNC are slightly better mixed usage headphones than the Skullcandy Venue. They are more comfortable and feel better-built. They also have a better sound quality and have a great EQ that lets you customize the sound profile to your liking. Both ANC features are fairly disappointing, but the JBLs leak less so you’ll be able to listen at higher volumes.

Skullcandy Crusher 2014
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Skullcandy Venue Wireless are better than the Skullcandy Crusher 2014 in pretty much every way. They are wireless, better-built, have an active noise cancelling feature, volume controls, and better audio reproduction. They have 24 hours of playback thanks to a rechargeable battery, while the Crusher use AA batteries. The only test where the Crusher 2014 performed better was their microphone performance, which isn’t enough to make them an overall better choice over the Venue.

+ Show more

Conclusion

6.8 Mixed Usage

Decent for mixed usage. The Skullcandy Venue are fairly versatile headphones since they can also be used wired to eliminate their latency issues. They are comfortable for longer listening sessions and are well-built. They have an exciting sound profile and a decent ANC feature to isolate ambient noise during commuting. They are stable enough for most sports but aren’t sweat resistant, and the over-ear design is not the most breathable. If used wirelessly, they won’t be great for watching TV and gaming, and the microphone won’t be the best to communicate in multiplayer games.

7.4 Critical Listening

Decent for critical listening. These headphones have a "V-shaped" sound signature with an overemphasized sub-bass, recessed mid-range and hyped treble. However, this results in an exciting sound that some may prefer but won't be for everyone. Unfortunately, they don’t have an EQ to customize the sound to your liking, but if you’re a fan of bass-heavy music, you’ll be satisfied with these.

7.0 Commute/Travel

Above-average for commuting and traveling. They are comfortable for most but might be tight for some people. They also block a good amount of ambient noise but have a lot of self-noise, which will be audible if you’re not playing any audio. Their ANC feature is quite good, and they don’t leak too much if you don’t blast your music at high volumes. Their long 24-hour battery will be more than enough for flights, and the nice provided case helps protect the headphones when you store them away.

7.1 Sports/Fitness

Okay for sports. They are a bit tight on the head so they are fairly stable for most sports and running. However, the over-ear fit is not very breathable, and these won’t be ideal, especially since they are not sweat resistant. They also are not very portable and don’t fold into a more portable format. Their bulky design might not be the best for certain exercises at the gym.

7.0 Office

Decent for office use. Their long battery life will last you more than a full work day, and they are comfortable enough for long listening periods, but they might be a bit tight if you have a wider head. They block a decent amount of noise present in an office environment and will help you focus on your task. If you also move away from your computer quite often, they can also be connected to your phone simultaneously, which can be very convenient.

5.6 TV

Sub-par for TV. The Skullcandy Venue won’t be ideal to use for TV since they have a good amount of latency while used wirelessly and when wired, you’ll be limited by the small range of the cable and won’t be able to sit on your couch, unless you get an audio cable extension.

5.0 Gaming

Bad for gaming. Even if they can be used wired to eliminate the latency issues, the microphone of these headphones is not as great as gaming headsets on the market. If you play alone and don’t need a microphone, you can plug these into a controller without caring about wireless range, and they’ll be decent thanks to their comfort and exciting audio reproduction.

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