Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 Headphones review: we need more... POWER, captain!

The viral, eardrum-shattering headphones add active noise cancellation and more for an immersive listening experience

Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 Headphones review
(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)
T3 Verdict

The Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 Headphones build on their bass-heavy predecessor and add active noise cancellation to provide an even more immersive sound. Gamers and movie buffs would benefit the most from using them, but electronic and rock music fans might also enjoy the bass output of these cans.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Highly personalisable sound

  • +

    Feels more comfortable than its predecessor

  • +

    Active Noise Cancellation

  • +

    Software updates and potential new features added in the future via Skull-iQ

  • +

    Premium carry case

  • +

    Long battery life

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    ANC overlay is audible at maximum intensity

  • -

    You must have the Skull-iQ app active on your smartphone for voice control to work

  • -

    No proximity sensor (for auto on/off when headphones aren't on your head)

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Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 Headphones review in a nutshell: the second iteration of Skullcandy's viral sensation headphones add ANC, come with an improved fit, and can tailor the sound to your hearing. Oh, and they are super-duper-bassy, too.

I like Skullcandy. While many other brands steer away from being associated with the word 'cheap', Skullcandy relishes themselves in the fact they are the new Crusher ANC 2 Headphones "take Adjustable Sensory Bass to the next level with the addition of Active Noise Canceling, upgradable features, hands-free voice control and more, all for £200/$230.

But judging the Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 based on price only wouldn't serve these headphones justice. As someone who still uses the Skullcandy Crusher Evo to this day, I, for one, very much looked forward to trying the next iteration, mainly because of the addition of ANC.

Having recently reviewed the Jabra Evolve2 65 Flex, which I specifically requested so I could drown out the chit-chat surrounding me in the office, the thought of enjoying the bassy sound of the Crusher with added active noise cancellation fascinated me. Are the Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 the best noise-cancelling headphones out there? I don't think so, but there is a whole lot to love about them, as I'll explain in this review.

Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 Headphones review: price and availability

The Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 Headphones were announced in May 2023 and are available to buy now at Skullcandy UK and Skullcandy US for a recommended retail price of £200/ $230. They are currently only available in the True Black colourway. However, I expect to see a lot of colour options cropping up soon, considering Skullcandy's tendency to do whacky collaborations with brands.

Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 Headphones review

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)

Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 Headphones review: specifications

  • Headphones type: Bluetooth Over-Ear
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth® v5.2
  • Driver diameter: 40 mm
  • Impedance: 32 ohm
  • Total Harmonic Distortion: <3%
  • Sound pressure level: 100+/-3dB @1kHz
  • Weight: 332 grams
  • Battery life: up to 60/50 hours (ANC off/on), plus Rapid Charge
  • Active Noise Cancellation: adjustable 4-Mic ANC
  • Multipoint Pairing
  • Built-In Tile Finding Technology

Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 Headphones review

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)

Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 Headphones review: design and build quality

The Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 Headphones are both very similar and different from their predecessor. The overall shape and fit are reminiscent of the Crusher Evo, and the materials used have the same look and feel. However, some of the details have changed. The ear pads are thicker and more comfortable to wear for longer. The padding at the top of the head is also thicker, providing more cushioning, which also helps you not feel like you have to take the cans off to relieve the pressure.

Speaking of pressure: the Crusher ANC 2 Headphones have a lightish clamp but are strong enough to keep the unit in place when you move your head around. These aren't workout headphones; the clamp is nearly not as strong as the Adidas RPT-02 SOL. The Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 Headphones feel more secure than the smaller, on-ear Jabra Evolve2 65 Flex.

The control layout is the same as on the Crusher Evo, but the buttons have changed slightly. The bass slider is now an infinity bass wheel, and there is now a new button that toggles ANC/Stay-Aware modes. The controls are easy to locate and operate, even with my ham-fisted approach.

The folding mechanism is as good as it's always been, providing a soft yet satisfying click when the headphones are fully unfolded. When folded, the Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 fits neatly into the rather decent carry case, which also has a dedicated crevice for the charging and AUX cables. Neat!

Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 Headphones review

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)

Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 Headphones review: sound quality

Let me get this out of the way: the Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 aren't monitoring headphones. These aren't the Rode NTH-100; if you need headphones that provide a completely natural sound, you should look elsewhere. Skullcandy never said they were good for that purpose—they aren't. End of the story.

No, these cans are best suited for when you want to listen to audio for fun. Given the bass output, I'd recommend them for movies, soundtracks, and gaming. Of course, the Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 Headphones are also well-suited for electronic music with a lot of bass.

The brand likes to point out that the OG Crusher went viral on TikTok for being able to disturb the water in a cup thanks to their immense bass, which is precisely the sort of stupid sh*t people do on TikTok and the main reason I avoid that social platform. 

That said, it would be a shame if people only remembered the Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 Headphones for their Adjustable Sensory Bass feature. Sure, that's probably the main appeal, and I love this aspect of the cans, but there are other features to note, even in the sound department.

Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 Headphones review

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)

For example, they offer personalised sound via Mimi. Once you complete the hearing test, the Crusher ANC 2 enhances the pitch to match your hearing. This enables you to hear music and speech clearer without cranking up the volume too high.

There is also active noise cancellation, which could be a bit more robust, although when coupled with a more personalised sound, it feels adequate in most situations. The Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 Headphones certainly provide better overall sound isolation than the Crusher Evo (passive and active).

To be transparent, I recently reviewed Beats Studio Buds Plus. I thoroughly enjoyed the ANC capabilities of dinky wireless earbuds, which might be why I find the Crusher ANC 2 lacking in this department. I appreciate the two headphones provide different listening experiences, but still.

Another thing about ANC is that it overlays the sound in the headphones to block out external clamour, making the already personalised – and, therefore, altered – sound even less natural, so to speak. Again, the Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 aren't for monitoring, so whatever.

Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 Headphones review

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)

As for the actual sound of the Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 Headphones, I found it surprisingly consistent. Even when the Crusher effect is cranked up to the maximum, the bass isn't too overpowering. Unless you listen to phonk, of course, but that's so oversaturated anyway, it's hard to tell if the fall-off is because of the headphones or if it was supposed to sound like that.

Anyhow, I tested the headphones listening to all kinds of stuff, from the soundtrack of the first Indiana Jones movie to 60s Latino music. Lynyrd Skynyrd's Free Bird, one of my all-time favourite songs, sounded exceptional with the Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2, and so did Little Black Submarines by the Black Keys, another treasured classic.

Needless to say, the bass can be in the way when the Crusher mode is in full effect, but I think that's how it should be. If I buy a pair of over-ear headphones designed to shatter my eardrums with their bass, I want to hear bass. And a lot of it. All this reverb comes in handy when gaming and watching movies, which, when coupled with the ANC, can be very immersive.

Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 Headphones review

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)

Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 Headphones review: verdict

I'm pretty sure people who thought about buying the original Skullcandy Crusher Evo because it went viral on TikTok didn't have to read this review to invest some more cash in the second iteration of the headphones. My quick summary for them, though, would be that adding ANC to the mix won't help their videos look better, but it might enhance the listening experience, especially in noisier environments.

For the rest of you, I'd recommend the headphones if you aren't too interested in critical listening but would like to enjoy listening to sounds for fun. Gamers and movie buffs would benefit the most from using the Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 Headphones, but electronic and rock music fans might also enjoy the immense bass capabilities of the cans.

The Crusher ANC 2 Headphones are far from being spendy yet provide a slew of features, including ANC, personalised sound, multipoint pairing, Find With Tile, and more. They can even be used as a remote for your smartphone's camera, which I find hilarious but entertaining. Most importantly, the Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 can provide oodles of bass, so if that's what you're after, you need these headphones.

Skullcandy Crusher ANC 2 Headphones review: also consider

It would be hard not to mention the best noise-cancelling headphones here. In the WH-1000XM5, Sony has managed to replace the best all-around wireless active noise-cancelling over-ear headphones you can buy with, you guessed it, the best new all-around wireless ANC over-ear headphones you can buy. The XM5s don’t come cheap, mind you, but blimey do they impress! Read Simon's amazing Sony WH-1000XM5 review.

The Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless are a simple, stylish pair of headphones that come loaded with Sennheiser’s Signature Sound - they’re undoubtedly some of the best noise-cancelling headphones. They sound phenomenal, have the ability to block the world out entirely, and they look stylish, even if they are on the larger side of things. Read Yasmine's full Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless review.

Matt Kollat
Section Editor | Active

Matt Kollat is a journalist and content creator who works for and its magazine counterpart as an Active Editor. His areas of expertise include wearables, drones, fitness equipment, nutrition and outdoor gear. He joined T3 in 2019. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and more. Matt also collaborated with other content creators (e.g. Garage Gym Reviews) and judged many awards, such as the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance's ESSNawards. When he isn't working out, running or cycling, you'll find him roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment.