Skullcandy Grind Wireless headphones review
I was invited to go and visit Skullcandy at their UK launch of the Grind Wireless cans and chill out on a rather warm evening in the centre of Soho.
You may recall that I recently reviewed the Skullcandy Hesh 2 wireless headphones not so long back and, where they were impressive for the price, the seemed a bit unbalanced sonically.
Have Skullcandy managed to resolve that in these, the smaller and lighter Grind Wireless?
Grind Wireless design
One thing that Skullcandy continues to do is offering their products in a wide, and sometimes baffling, array of finishes and styles. The Grind Wireless is no different.
You can chose from a total of six different colourways ranging from a camouflage/tartan mash-up to a sleek and minimalist black and chrome number.
The ones I have here are, to my mind, a more classic and classy finish in black and brown faux napped leather.
Beneath the leather covering is soft black foam, stitched into place with a breathable mesh layer. The nicely cushioned foam and soft ear pads work together to form one of the most comfortable and well-fitting on-ear headsets I’ve tested.
The Grind Wireless has three no-nonsense control buttons around the rear of the right earcup: volume up, volume down and the central function button.
The main function button is responsible for controlling Bluetooth and answering incoming calls as well as powering the headset on and off.
Also on the same side is where you’ll find the micro USB charging and audio jack ports.
The Grind Wireless comes with a built-in microphone, as well as an optional 3.5mm audio jack for the times you need to be tethered to a device – or the rechargeable battery runs out.
Grind Wireless performance
Grind sound quality
As the Skullcandy Grind are a tenner cheaper than the Hesh 2 I tested I thought that they might be on a par with each other with, perhaps, the Grind being a little light in the bass.
My first test was at If Music with some choice vinyl being sent to the headset via a Bluetooth transmitter and venerable Technics SL-1210.
I had them sling on some Trip Hop as I was now worried about the higher register and this proved to be needless also, with the Grind performing surprisingly well in the demo area.
They have now lived with me on my commute for a week-or-so and, I have to say, are surprisingly good.
The Grind Wireless do actually have a nice deep, well-rounded sound with remarkably clear mids and highs.
I have slung pretty much everything at these headphones from Nile to Nils Lofgren, and EST to AC/DC and the light Grinds have managed to cope really really well.
Granted, they’re not a real match for my benchmark set of Oppo PM-3 planar magnetic cans but those are five times more expensive than the Grind Wireless – and they’re not even wireless!
All the information points to the Grind Wireless having around 12 hours of battery time, which I found to be fairly accurate with them needing a charge after 5 days of commuting and blocking out my workmates during lunch break.
Saying that, I have had been forgetful and left them switched on when I’ve stopped the music playback and just taken them off. Now, some Bluetooth headsets, when they’ve been left dormant, will switch off automatically in order to save charge. The Grind don’t – they sit there like an expectant puppy ready to play again.
Other than that, pairing the headset and everything else is painless and battery life is reasonable. Also, should your cans die when you’re away from power, you’ve always the option of jacking the cable in.
Grind Wireless review conclusion
It’s hard not to compare audio quality between different headphones whilst ignoring the price. The thing is, price isn’t always the mark of quality.
The Skullcandy Grind Wireless delivers in every area you would want. They are not only lightweight and comfortable but sound great and are well put together.
Add the fact that they only cost 70 notes, then you’re on to a sure fire winner.
The Grind Wireless have set the bar for Skullcandy as far as I am concerned.