Skullcandy is back at it again with another reasonably priced set of wireless headphones. We are talking about the Skullcandy Hesh 3 Wireless Over-Ear Headphone. The newest member of the Hesh line of headphones.
Skullcandy’s Hesh 3 headphones might remind you of their older Hesh 2 model at first glance. Until you put them on and experience what Skullcandy calls “Wireless Perfection.” Are these the best wireless headphones for those on a budget?
Let’s find out in our in-depth Skullcandy Hesh 3 Wireless review…
Skullcandy keeps it pretty simple when it comes to product packaging. You will notice a rundown of the Hesh 3’s more prominent features, along with a picture of the headphones, on the outside of the box.
On the right side of the box, you will find a flap that lifts and gives you access to the headphones themselves. The headphones sit in a molded compartment with a small Skullcandy box in the center of them. This tiny little box includes a 3.5mm auxiliary cable as well as a micro-USB cable for charging.
The way Skullcandy presents the headphones has a premium feel to it. However, you won’t find the Hesh 3 encased in a portable protective box or a soft pouch, like with some Sony or Bose headphones.
Design and Controls
Skullcandy has certainly slimmed down the Hesh 3 headphones when compared to the older Hesh 2. The Hesh 3 variant we are looking at is their gray-on-gray version.
Starting with the gray headband, you will notice a faux leather cushion running through the middle of it down to the soft-touch plastic ear cups. The outside of the ear cups is very dark gray and features light gray, thickly padded cushions on the interior. You can rotate these ear cups up to 180 degrees so they can lay flat as well.
Located on the right ear cup, you will find all the controls needed to pair, playback/pause, and control the volume. In between the volume buttons, you will notice a multi-functional center button.
Tapping this button once will turn the Hesh 3 on. Hold it for a further five seconds, and they will enter pairing mode. This button also allows you to access a voice assistant. As well as answer and reject calls depending on how long it is held down as well.
The volume buttons also allow you to change tracks backward and forward. Simply hold the volume up button for three seconds to skip forward or the volume down button for three seconds to go backward.
When you go to put the headphones on your head for the first time, you can extend the headband by simply pulling on it. This allows the headphones to fit a wide majority of users, but you might have an issue if you wear glasses.
This is because the headband is rather rigid and does not flex all that much. No matter the shape or size of your head, they clamp on to your ears pretty tightly, leaving you with a very stable fit.
Therefore, if you are wearing glasses, you might feel them pressed into your temples, which can become uncomfortable over time. That said, they stay fairly cool over long periods, and they are exceptionally lightweight, coming in at only 200 grams. If you need some of the best lightweight headphones, these are worth a closer look.
If you haven’t ever worn a pair of Skullcandy headphones before, you are in for a treat. That’s if you do not mind a lot of bass. Skullcandy is known for making some of the best bass headphones on the market.
All about the bass…
The 40mm drivers in each ear cup are certainly powerful and have a frequency response of 20Hz to 20KHz. Skullcandy’s Hesh 3 headphones bass-heavy sound profile excels when listening to rap, electronic, and dance music.
The bass is loud and unmuffled, but it does tend to overpower the mids occasionally. This results in vocals being less pronounced depending on the genre of music you are listening to.
Higher frequencies, like high-hats, are crisp and blend well without sounding harsh to your ears. Although, the Hesh 3 somewhat lack that sense of immersion that you typically get with more expensive headphones.
Walking and talking…
Also worth noting is the lack of active noise cancellation on the Hesh 3 headphones. Thankfully, the clamping force of the headphones works wonders at passively isolating noise.
If you are using these to make or answer calls, you will want to be in a quiet environment. We made a few calls in the office using these headphones, and the person on the other end could always pick up others talking in the background.
Fortunately, the passive noise isolation on hand does not allow for much noise leakage. You can easily wear these on the plane or the subway without bothering those around you.
A gaming alternative?
You can also connect these headphones to a gaming console via the 3.5mm jack. This allows for latency-free gaming, but you cannot use the integrated mic to communicate at the same time.
While you can technically connect them up to a PC or console via Bluetooth as well, latency will become an issue. Latency becomes noticeable even while only watching a movie via Bluetooth.
Bluetooth and Battery Life
The Hesh 3 comes with Bluetooth 4.1 technology. This allows you to pair and listen to the headphones from over 100 feet away as long as you are in the line of sight of the device you are connected to.
Unfortunately, you can’t pair more than one device to the headphones at a time. NFC pairing also isn’t on offer with these Hesh 3 headphones either. But, even without those features, these are some of the best budget Bluetooth headphones you can buy.
Plenty of playback time…
Additionally, Bluetooth 4.1 does help with battery life. The lack of power-hungry features like active noise cancellation leaves you with a playback time of up to 22 hours. This will vary somewhat depending on if you are using them to make or receive calls.
That being said, we ran a battery test with the Hesh 3 connected via the 3.5mm jack and ended up with almost 25 hours of playback time. Quite a feat for a pair of cheap wireless headphones.
Full charge or quick charge…
When it comes time to charge the headphones, you will want to grab the micro-USB cable found in the small Skullcandy box we mentioned earlier. You will want to plug it into at least a 2-amp USB adapter. Once connected, it takes about two and a half hours for the battery to go from 0 to 100%.
Likewise, if you are in a rush, you can get up to four hours of playback time off of a quick 10-minute charge. This is thanks to the integrated rapid charge technology. The Skullcandy Hesh 3 will undoubtedly last throughout your day, whether on the road, at the office, or relaxing at home. The long battery life makes them exceptionally portable.
We would have liked them to come with USB-C connectivity. The majority of tablet, laptop, and smartphone manufacturers use USB-C nowadays. With a USB-C connection, you would only need to bring one cable to charge all your devices, including these headphones.
Skullcandy Hesh 3 Wireless Review – Pros and Cons
- Solid audio performance.
- 22-hours of battery life.
- Comfortable fit.
- Sleek minimal design.
- Earpads block out a large amount of ambient noise.
- Not many accessories.
- No inline remote on the audio cable.
Looking for Something Else?
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Skullcandy Hesh 3 Wireless Review – Final Thoughts
If you are a fan of bass, then these headphones are exceptionally good value. That’s if you can live without active noise cancellation. Likewise, with an all-day battery life of 22 hours, you can leave your charger at home and listen to your heart’s content.
Overall, the Hesh 3 sound profile is just as good as headphones that cost twice as much. In our minds, it’s really a no-brainer. The Hesh 3 are definitely worth taking a look at, no matter who you are.
Until next time, happy listening.