3 min Read

Assistive Technology Review – Skull Candy Headphones

Tech Review Summary – By Keegan Newberry

Product: Skullcandy Hesh ANC Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones

Producer: Skullcandy

Category: Device

Cost: ~$149.99 CND (varies by vendor)

Compatibility: iOS/Android

Product Summary Skullcandy’s Hesh ANC Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones are advertised as providing quality audio with an exceptional noise cancelling experience at a significantly lower cost than other similar products on the market. Hesh ANC Headphones use active noise cancelling technology with 4 microphones designated to read and filter out extraneous noise in your surroundings with or without music playing. These headphones offer an additional ambient mode to allow all sounds to be heard when needed.

Highlights Wireless, Bluetooth connection – offers built in tile technology to ensure you can easily locate your headphones;Noise cancelling can be used without needing to connect to a device, with excellent performance for consistent or uniform background noise;Up to 22 hours of use and rapid recharge giving 3 hours of use for every 10 minutes of charging;Very user friendly, quick to connect and switch between ambient and ANC modes.

Lowlights Can only be paired with one device at a time, which can be a set-up challenge for those who regularly switch between phone/tablet;Does not perform as well with varied or unexpected sounds – though the ear pads do offer basic noise blocking that helps for any sounds the ANC system cannot catch;Recorded voice announces aloud when headphones move between modes, making these less ideal for discrete adjustments;Foldable for easy stowing, but may not standup long- term to heavy use by less-delicate users.

Star Ratings  

  • Ease of Use: Easy with Practice ★★★★☆  
  • Adaptability: Wide Variety of Settings Available ★★★★☆  
  • Accessibility: Suitable for Most Users ★★★☆☆  
  • Cost vs. Value: Worthwhile Expense ★★★★☆  
  • Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Final Word Skullcandy’s Hesh ANC Headphones performed well under testing. They were able to block out nearly all natural background noise (i.e. humming of lights, electricity, outdoor traffic sounds, etc.) with or without the use of music.

When tested against live instruments, the ANC activated to reduce distortion associated with indoor performances while giving the user a clean sound experience to enjoy the music. ANC mode did significantly muffle speech, but ambient mode was handy to quickly allow sound through when needed.   The ability to use noise cancelling independently allows this device to act as a discrete sensory tool, and it is available in multiple colours to suit personal preferences.

The headphones are well priced – significantly outperforming lower cost models which rely on dense ear pads to muffle sound, while providing a clean audio experience nearly on par with its much costlier competitors.   The main drawback to the Hesh ANC is their foldable design and lightweight plastic casing. Though suitable for most users, the headphones may not stand up to the same heavy wear and tear as the models that are specifically designed for sensory de-stimulation.  

Overall, Skullcandy’s Hesh ANC Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones outperformed expectations and would be a worthwhile expense for anyone looking for a discrete sensory solution to sound sensitivity.