Skullcandy has been in existence for almost twenty years, while many competitors have been around for almost 100 years. However, it hasn’t stopped this gutsy and loud brand from making an impression.
Known for that distinctive alien-looking skull brand, Skullcandy’s target demographic wants something a bit loud. And that’s meant in more than one way.
Their earbuds have gained popularity among everyday users and avid music fans. Although audiophiles might still use them, they’re not meant for critical listening. Not that they don’t deliver sound quality that is far above average either.
The new Push Active wireless earbuds are some of the most competitively priced wireless earbuds out there. At around $80, the Push Actives promise premium quality and features for less than $100. This is not something I took lightly, so here is my in-depth Skullcandy Push Active Review.
Design and Build
In what can be described as Skullcandy fashion, the Push Active is available in three color schemes. The Black models come in a black case that has either an orange or green interior on the lid. Likewise, the Grey models come in a grey case that has a blue lid interior.
The case is perhaps one of the largest out there, but there’s a good reason for that, which I’ll get to later. Even though it is quite large, the case with the earphones inside weighs 95 grams. The flat design makes it comfortable to carry in either a front or back pocket.
On the back of the case is a USB-C port covered with a rubber flap. There are four LEDs on the front of the case to indicate battery life.
A complete package…
The earbuds are secured in the case with magnets and are easy to take out and put back. This is a small but quite important thing to note. Many ear hook earphones are sometimes tricky to replace in their charging case.
The Push Active is mostly constructed of plastic, just like the case. Although they don’t feel very premium, I am confident they’ll withstand their fair share of knocks, falls, and bumps. Included with the earbuds are three pairs of silicone tips and a USB-A to USB-C charging cable.
Fit & Comfort
The Push Active comes with an IPX5 rating for sweat and water resistance. They are very lightweight, and once you find the right size tips, these are some of the best fitting wireless earbuds out there.
The ear hook is made from a soft enough rubber material to not be uncomfortable. Additionally, the earbuds sit quite securely. So, you can confidently take them running, wear them to the gym, or even have a go on a trampoline if you want.
Furthermore, these are some of the most comfortable wireless earbuds you can buy. Thanks to the lightweight and ergonomic design, I found that wearing the Push Active for hours proved to be no problem.
Functionality and Battery Life
Something that isn’t often featured on wireless earbuds is the ability to track or somehow aid in finding them should you lose them. The Push Active can be phoned from the Tile App to find them should they be misplaced or stolen.
The Push Active features Bluetooth 5.2. It is fast and easy to connect within seconds. The signal is solid and will remain so at a range of up to 15 to 20 meters.
The Push Active features a single button on each earbud. The buttons make little to no noise when pressed. And, thanks to the handy booklet provided with the earbuds, getting used to the different functions is a breeze.
The buttons do not turn the earbuds on or off. Rather this happens by removing or replacing them in the case. Pressing once on either earbud will Play/Pause and/or Answer incoming calls. Two presses on the right earbud will turn the volume up, and pressing twice on the left will turn it down.
If you press and hold the left button for one second, the Push Active will launch and play Spotify. Pressing the right button three times will skip to the next track. While pressing the left button three times will activate your phone’s voice assistant.
Party with your pals…
The Push Active has a share feature that allows you to share the audio between two Skullcandy IQ-enabled products. Simply press and hold the right button for three seconds to share your audio. Or, press and hold the right button for three seconds to join someone else’s session.
There is no wireless charging on the Push Active. The large size of the case is no doubt thanks to the ear hooks that take up more space. Luckily, Skullcandy capitalized on that extra space in the best possible way.
When they’re fully charged, the Push Active will provide a very respectable 10 hours of playtime on a single charge. The case carries an additional 34 hours for a total of 44 hours.
Fifteen minutes in the case will provide between an hour and an hour and a half of playtime. Overall, these are some of the best battery life wireless earbuds on the market.
The Skull IQ system is essentially a voice assistant like Siri or Google assistant, specifically designed for Skullcandy products. You can activate the IQ system via the Skullcandy companion app, but I’ll get to that in a bit.
Once activated, you can lock your phone and leave the app open in the background. Just say the phrase “Hey Skullcandy,” followed by any of the various commands like play, pause, open Spotify, make volume adjustments, etc.
The IQ system functions flawlessly and does an excellent job of picking up your voice. Even when there are some mild levels of background noise. I also tested some commands being said over the wearer’s shoulder or sitting next to the wearer. The earbuds never registered a false input.
The companion app for the Push Active earbuds is an absolute joy to use. The interface is minimalist yet stylish. Nothing is overwhelming or misleading. You know exactly what a button or slider will do before even pressing it for the first time.
Aside from being able to turn the hands-free commands on or off, the app allows you to turn the ambient mode on or off. This will slightly amplify your surroundings so you can stay aware of what’s going on around you.
Inside the app…
You can customize the functions for double and triple press button controls, as well as the one-second hold. A single press and three-second hold functions are static. Also, you can activate the share function from the app if you’d rather not use the button shortcut.
Spotify TAP is a feature I’ve never before seen on a pair of earbuds before. Or any other device for that matter!
When activated, this feature will allow you to simply tap or tell the voice assistant to “Spotify TAP.” You will begin playback of a spontaneously generated playlist by Spotify based on your preferences and listening habits.
“Take a photo”
This feature allows you to activate the camera on your phone. For example, stand the phone up on a tripod at a distance and then take a picture simply by pressing one of the buttons on the earbuds. There is also an electronic version of the user guide.
Tweak it to your taste…
The Equalizer in the Skullcandy app isn’t the last option on the list. I just decided to leave the best for last. Easily one of my favorites, if not my most favorite, EQ out there.
There are four slots to choose from – Music, Podcast, Movies, and Custom. Each one can be tweaked as desired. When you open the full view of the EQ, you’ll be greeted with a beautiful visual interface that makes tweaking an absolute joy.
Once you’re done, you can save and enjoy. And believe me, you will.
The sound quality on the Push Active is not to be snorted at. When you fire up the Push Active for the first time, you will be astounded at how good Skullcandy can make about $80 sound. Without question, these are some of the best sounding wireless earbuds you can find at that price.
The low-end is present, powerful, and aimed at attracting bass heads, Hip Hop, and EDM lovers. This they will do without fail. Luckily, the low-end is not so forward as to step on the toes of any other frequencies.
The mids are clear and distinct, with just enough shimmer on the high-end to be tasteful instead of bright. Rap songs with lots of dynamic changes in tempo and intensity are reproduced with no loss in energy. You’ll find yourself jogging slower and faster as the song goes on.
Skullcandy Push Active Review – Pros and Cons
- Comfortable and secure.
- Excellent app.
- Good button controls.
- Share function.
- IQ System.
- Good sound quality.
- Great battery life.
- No wireless charging.
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Skullcandy Push Active Review – Conclusion
For under $100, I honestly find it hard to recommend another pair of wireless earbuds for those who want good sound on the go. The Push Active is stylish, practical, comfortable, and comes with more features than some earbuds twice the price.
They sound good and have one of the greatest apps out there. Not to mention that it’ll get better thanks to regular firmware updates. At this point, all you should be asking yourself is which color you want. The final score is 10 out of 10.
Until next time, happy listening.