Skullcandy is a headphone architect that anon invokes derision from audio snobs. Expectations accordingly bore because a.) it’s a abridged money-friendly cast that targets the lower end of the market, and b.) some of its earlier, cheaper articles congenital designs that were added barnyard than a arbor of Ed Hardy t-shirts.
That agency they’re generally overlooked. Conceivably not for continued though, as the Skullcandy Venue is one of the best acute entry-level babble abandoning headphones I’ve anytime reviewed.
Sure, in authoritative the £149 ($180 in the US) Venue, Skullcandy did cut a few corners (we’ll get to those later). That said, the Venue impresses in what it manages to absorb at this amount point, with the cans packing continued array life, fast charging, alive babble abandoning (ANC), and abutment for Tile’s apparatus tracking tech.
As I alluded to earlier, Skullcandy has acceptable itself a acceptability for designs that blow aloft the far bound of aftertaste and complete design. The apotheosis of this is the horrendously broken-down Skullcandy G.I., which included a chaplet adorned with affected bullets, and alike a abstruse abridged for a canteen opener. This admixture acceptable the G.I. a abode on Gizmodo’s account of the ten ugliest headphones anytime made.
With the Venue, Skullcandy has accepted a added bourgeois and accepted architecture approach, and it’s welcome. These are cans I’d be blessed to abrasion in public.
For bigger or for worse, Skullcandy has adopted to band the Venue of all branding, save for a tiny (and hardly visible) logo on the headband. There’s actual little that betrays its origins. It’s advisedly anonymous.
But while it looks the part, it doesn’t absolutely feel the part, with all-inclusive chunks of the Venue advancing beyond as bargain and plasticky. These are the cut corners I alluded to earlier.
Let’s alpha with the headband, which is analytic adequate to wear, but lacks the added you’d about get with best cans at this amount point. Compare it to, for example, the equivalently-priced Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2, which has all the cushioning of a luxuriously costly sofa. If you’re advantageous $180 for some cans, it’s not absurd to apprehend a little bit added anamnesis foam.
Similarly, the body on the cans themselves disappoints. They accept a plastic-y architecture that, while assuredly rugged, feels awfully cheap. It’s additionally a allurement for fingerprints and anointed smears.
On the additional side, the Venue comes with a nice abundant t backpack case, which additionally houses the different all-important gubbins, like the 3.5mm AUX and micro USB allegation cables.
Where the Skullcandy Venue redeems itself is in all-embracing audio and array performance. We’ll alpha with the latter, as it’s arguably the arch point of these cans.
Skullcandy says you can get about 24 hours account of array activity from the Venue while application ANC and Bluetooth. In my experience, that’s a bit conservative, with real-world use afore that. You can amplitude the array activity alike added by switching off babble abandoning and aing the cans to your buzz via the included cable.
The Venue additionally allowances from fast charging. After bristles account absorbed up to the mains, you can get about 5 hours alert time, which is respectable. As addition who commonly forgets to allegation my headphones afore embarking aloft continued journeys, this is a acceptable feature.
My better complaint is that, save for the array adviser LED (which isn’t arresting while you’re cutting the cans), there’s no added way to analysis how abundant abstract you’ve got left. Added headphones, like those from Anker and Plantronics, will accord you a exact admonition of how abundant allegation you’ve got remaining. These don’t.
Now let’s move on to the ANC babble canceling, which is an more accepted affection begin on lower-end headphones, like the Mixcder E8 and the Anker Soundcore Space NC. Back attractive at the lower end of the headphone market, it’s capital to get your expectations in check. If you’ve got aspirations of actuality encased in a sarcophagus of silence, adapt to be disappointed.
Instead, they’re activity to de-emphasize the acid choir in the accomplishments that would overpower the tunes you’re playing. Screaming babies will achromatize into a whisper. The barrage of an aeroplane agent will dampen.
That’s appealing abundant the case with the Skullcandy Venue. It mitigates adjoin the annoying alien sounds that would contrarily drain through into the music or podcast you’re enjoying. I accomplished this beforehand this anniversary back aerial from Belfast to Liverpool on an old ballista plane. The Venue did an accomplished job of airless the bombinate of the Bombardier Dash 8’s blatant turboprop engines.
With that out of the way, let’s babble about audio performance. Traditionally, Skullcandy hasn’t performed awfully able-bodied here, but in fairness, it hasn’t approved to. As a brand, it’s emphasized affordability and design, abrogation the prosumer and audiophile bazaar to added companies.
While the Skullcandy Venue doesn’t complete abnormally bad, per se, it won’t absolutely beating your socks off. It’s actual abundant a bourgeois performer, admitting one with abundant versatility to anticipate it from actuality shoehorned into one accurate agreeable genre.
As you’d expect, the Skullcandy Venue emphasizes bass, which makes it altogether accomplished for arena EDM, dance, Jazz, and hip-hop. One of the songs we acclimated to analysis the Venue was Hopopono from Mancunian applesauce legends GoGo Penguin.
Coursing through the affection of Hopopono is a assault bass line, delivered expertly by Grant Russell and his bifold bass. The Venue put this front-and-center in a way that acquainted audibly powerful, but conceivably at the amount of the piano and drums.
Another song we’re application to highlight the capabilities of the Venue is Ryuichi Sakamoto’s Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, from the Japanese composer’s stripped-back anthology Arena The Piano. This song is an accomplished apparatus to analysis acute performance, acknowledgment to Sakamoto’s gentle emphasis on the aerial aerial notes.
The Venue played this competently, with the highs not acceptable adulterated or shrill, but I do feel as admitting it lacked some of the amore you’d get back alert to the clue on added headphones in the aforementioned amount point, like the Brainwavz HM5.
The Skullcandy Venue is an accomplished mid-range accomplishment from the Utah-based audio company. It’s bright that it’s approved to backpack the Venue with as abundant ‘stuff’ as it can, from ANC to abutment for the Tile app. Complete affection is listenable, but not exceptional. I admired the bourgeois and chastened design, although wasn’t absolute abroad by the body quality.
In short, it offers appropriate amount for money, but afore you bead bottomward your acclaim agenda capacity for a brace of these, there are others I’d acclaim first, like the Anker Soundcore Space NC.
The Skullcandy Venue is accessible from today. If you’re in the UK, you can grab them from HMV, and Argos for £150-ish. Unfortunately, they’re not accessible on Amazon, but the aggregation says they can be best up on the aerial street.
If you’re in the US, you can order the cans on Skullcandy’s website.
Published October 2, 2018 — 21:55 UTC
Amount $ 149.99 ProductVenue by Skullcandy
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