There are two types of headphone buyers. One who listens to a lot of EDM and hip-hop music and thus wants a pair of headphones with a deep, bass-heavy sound. The other group consists of people who listen to all kinds of music but want balanced and crystal clear audio yet don’t mind listening to music that has extra thump and bass-heavy sound. Skullcandy is after the latter group with the Hesh ANC, a pair of entry-level active noise-cancelling headphones that play well with most music genres, especially bass-heavy genres. I have been using the Hesh ANC for the past one week, and here’s what I feel about these over-ear headphones.
Skullcandy Hesh ANC headphones price in India: Rs 10,999
The Hesh ANC aren’t fancy looking headphones, and that’s completely fine with me. If you have used Skullcandy headphones before, they are instantly familiar. The headphones are made out of plastic and each ear cup has a slightly soft-touch feel to it. Inside each earcup, 40mm drivers deliver the audio.
The large ear cups are really comfortable, while the pads are made out of memory foam. The pads are designed to distribute pressure evenly. I have used these headphones while going for a brisk walk in the evening, and I never felt uncomfortable wearing them. In fact, I love their fit and feel. The arms are glossy and the underside of the headband is well-cushioned.
The right earcup houses control to operate the headphones. One can easily access power on/off, volume up/down, track skip forward/back, call answer/end, and summon voice controls. The controls are accessible and I never struggled to locate the onboard button when needed. Connectivity with Apple devices or Android phones was solid. The headphones can be paired to a smartphone or tablet using a Bluetooth connection, plus you also use a wired connection since the Hesh ANC have a 3.5-millimeter audio jack built-in.
When not in use you can fold them and keep them in the included carrying case. It’s essentially a thin bag to protect the headphones from wear and tear.
To demonstrate the sound quality of the Hesh ANC, I made sure I listen to different genres of music, from John Coltrane, Elton John, Coldplay, Kanye West to The Weeknd. In our tests, I found that these headphones are well suited for listening to a jazz song like “A Love Supreme” by John Coltrane or an art-pop song like “Life in Technicolor” by Coldplay. The sound is punchy, the vocals are clear, and the saxophone and santoor still sound rich. I must say these headphones are bass-heavy, but the good thing about them is that the bass is not overly intense. When listening to “Titanium” by David Guetta or “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons, the headphones deliver powerful bass but without overshadowing the instruments and vocals in the mid-range. Although the Hesh ANC is designed to play all kinds of music, I do feel that they are primed towards bass-heavy genres.
The Hesh ANC also have active noise-cancelling, which uses four microphones to cancel the external noise. I don’t say the Hesh ANC are the best in business when it comes to active noise cancelling, but they are definitely one of the best I have tested in this price range. Skullcandy’s noise-cancelling tech can cancel human voice, road-noise, fans, which makes it a great choice for travellers.
Skullcandy claims 22-hour battery life for these over-ear headphones with ANC and 30 hours when ANC is off. Honestly, I have not been able to fully test the headphone’s battery life. You also get fast charging that will give you three hours of music playback from just 10 minutes plugged in. It’s been three days since I charged the Hesh ANC, I have used the headphones for attending Zoom calls and listening to casual music at home. It still has almost 80 per cent battery life left. I am sure the battery won’t be an issue on the Hesh ANC.
Did I mention that the Hesh ANC includes Tile-based tracking? Once you pair the headphones to the Tile app, you pretty much can track the last known location of the Hesh ANC. But I do feel that such a feature is more useful for truly wireless earbuds.
No pair of headphones are perfect and the Hesh ANC are no different. My biggest complaint about the Hesh ANC is the lack of app support. Somehow the official Skullcandy app does not support the Hesh ANC headphones, which is a shame. That means I cannot change EQ settings or reduce Bass as my per liking.
Of course, yes. If you are looking for bass-heavy over-ear headphones under Rs 15,000, I think the Hesh ANC will be a good option. While using them, I found that calls on the Hesh ANC were clear, and most importantly, they managed to block out an impressive amount of noise. The Hesh ANC are comfortable to wear, have a folding design, and sound very good overall.