Scalcandy Hash ANC Review: Democratizing Active Noise Cancellation
Skullcandy has become one of the most recognized audio brands in the world, primarily associated with the delivery of base-forward headphones and earphones. In this review, we examine Skullcandy Hesh ANC, a budget pair of Active Noise Cancellation-capable over-the-year wireless headphones, priced at 10 10,999. They are inexpensive variants of Skullcandy Crusher ANC headphones that we have reviewed in the past. Let’s see what Skullcandy Hesh ANC rental looks like in our review.
Construction and comfort
Skullcandy Hesh ANC comes in two color options – True Black and Mod White. We got the former for review which games look rather plain gen. The white variant, on the other hand, is visually more attractive with its dual-tone design. The headphones are made of plastic and have a mix of matte and glossy textures that add some variety to an otherwise monotonous look.
The ear cups are soft to the touch and the pads are made of memory foam, making them extremely comfortable to wear. The headband on the other hand is a little too thin for our choice. Wearing the hash ANC for hours on end, we didn’t feel too much discomfort, although the lack of thick padding on the headband created a slightly uncomfortable hotspot over our heads during the test.
The hash ANC has a collapsible design where the earcaps can be folded inwards to make them easier to carry. Skullcandy also includes a carrying bag for headphones, though a pretty slim bag that doesn’t seem to provide much protection. Earcups can rotate 180 degrees.
The right earcup has all the buttons and ports. Below, there’s a USB Type-C port for charging and a 3.5mm audio jack for wired use, making it quite convenient when the battery runs out. Just above you have all the controls including a pause / play button, a volume and minus button for volume control and track skipping and an ANC / surround sound control button. You can even summon a voice assistant using these controls. The buttons are well-placed, easy to use, and have a fair amount of technique.
Active Noise Cancellation and other features
One of the most striking features of Skullcandy Hesh ANC is the active noise cancellation. It’s cool to see a pair of headphones on a 10K Sporting ANC. Not only that, the headphones also come with ambient sound, which allows background sound inside. Now, the ANC can’t really compete with the heavyweights in the Bluetooth headphone segment like the Sony WH-1000XM4, Shure Aonic 50, and Bose NC 700. However, ANC performance is perfectly acceptable for this price range. The headphone manages to forgive low, constant sounds quite strongly, however, it does not work well with human voice, high-speed fan, mechanical keyboard and other mid-high range sounds.
The ambient sound mode is also quite decent, the headphones amplify the surrounding sounds audibly. This may sound a bit unusual at times, but it’s not something that most people will find very annoying.
The headphones are powered by Bluetooth v5.0 and have an effective wireless range of about 10m (33 feet). In real-world experiments, we found that the headphones were connected to the source device even though we moved to the next room. However, if you go behind the wall, the connection is disconnected.
Hesh ANC misses some features like an IP rating, multi-connect and auto-pause / play. Although within this price range, we can forgive Skullcandy for avoiding these features. However, one feature we missed so much was that we hoped Skullcandy would include app support. Headphones do not come with app support, so you won’t have access to a compatible EQ to change the sound profile to your liking.
Moving on to sound quality, Skullcandy Hesh ANC comes with a base-forward sound profile that adds extra oomph to genres like hip hop, EDM, rap and Bollywood. There are no surprises. However, keep in mind that if you activate the ANC while listening to music, the pits will be taken down a few notches. So, if you prefer a tone-down bus to hear the mid and vocal complications more clearly, you can turn on the ANC to control the base response.
Even when the ANC is off, the bus response does not increase irresistibly and the mid and vocals are not completely overwhelmed by it. There is a slight auditory masking in the middle of the bass-heavy track e.g. Bad guy By Billy Ilish But it is not extremely disgusting. The vocals are quite clear, for most tracks, except for such tracks Selkis By Buried and between me, Which features a ton of instruments that cover the voice somewhat. The headphones support SBC and AAC codecs, which are acceptable in this price range The heights are also decent enough, though, they can sometimes be a little small.
In the case of instrument separation and imaging, the hash ANC does a decent job in both cases. At The Eagles Hotel in California, the instruments are placed quite neatly on the stage and sound different from each other. The soundstage is also wide enough, which makes it quite clear when you hear something like Hunter.
Overall, the Skullcandy Hesh ANC has quite decent sound quality and we like it better than the Sony WH-XB900N because the latter has a very exaggerated bus response which tramples the details and quality of the mid. The quality of the microphone is also quite decent for phone calls, although headphones allow some ambient noise in calls.
According to Skullcandy, Sporting 22 hours of battery life with Active Noise Cancellation on, these headphones have a pretty impressive battery life, especially in this price range. In our experiment, we recorded 20.5 hours of total battery with ANC turned on and set the volume to about 80 percent. If you turn off the ANC, the headphones will easily last up to 25 hours north, which is quite decent. We need to set the volume higher than usual because the headphones are not loud enough near the 60-70 percent mark.
Skullcandy Hesh ANC also comes with Rapid Charge where 10 minutes charge will get you 3 hours of play time! This is very effective in situations where you have to rush somewhere with your headphones but the battery is running low. You can easily top up these headphones in minutes to give you a decent enough play time Also, you can use headphones with audio cable as a wired headset when your battery runs out.
Skullcandy Hesh ANC is a very decent purchase at Rs 10,999. If you are looking for a pair of headphones that are equipped with ANC, have a good battery life and decent sound quality without breaking the bank, then these are good headphones to consider. Base lovers, in particular, will enjoy punches and thumps in the base response which makes hip hop, EDM, rap and even Bollywood music lively and dynamic. These headphones are also quite good for the build quality and fit price range, making Hesh ANC a pretty good budget purchase.