I am a big fan of headphones and use many different ones depending on what I am listening to. Don’t get me wrong I am not an audiophile and I do not buy high-end units, but I really enjoy listening to certain types of content using headphones. In addition, headphones provide isolation from your environment and offer me a sense of serenity. I have both wired and wireless headphones from, Sennheiser, Beats, Sony, and several no-name Bluetooth headphones. I typically use different models for certain things. For example, I use the Sony wireless Bluetooth for watching movies in the bedroom, Sennheiser wireless (not Bluetooth) for the home theater system when I want to watch in the living room and do not want to wake up the neighborhood, as well as the Sennheiser HD and the Beats headphones for wired audio on my PC.
All that said, there is an area I have always struggled with and that is Bluetooth headphones over a portable device such as my iPhone or iPad. Besides Bluetooth audio being of questionable quality, as many of you have already experienced, pairing multiple headphones to multiple devices is not always a rewarding experience. I have various in-ear devices that are great for things like audiobooks or podcasts, but I was not happy with anything I had for listening to music or an occasional movie on my iPad Pro. Unlike many people, I absolutely refuse to plug anything into a headphone jack on a portable device so I really wanted a good quality Bluetooth headphone.
Enter the Hesh 3 from Skullcandy. I am always suspicious of “lower” cost devices that proclaim great sound, high-quality construction, and comfort as their key features. As I do not want to spend $250-300+ on a pair of headphones, the price of the Hesh 3 ($129) was very intriguing to me as it puts it in reach of many consumers. I did my usual research and found mostly positive reviews so I decided to give these a try as I have always liked the Skullcandy products from the past.
The Hesh 3 came with very simple and elegant packaging with very little fluff. It comes with very basic accessories which comprise of a USB cable for charging and 3.5mm cable so they can be used with a wired connection.
Setup, Control, and Performance
The setup was much like any Bluetooth device and it was super simple to setup and get going. The buttons and controls on this device are very minimal and the center button serves as a multi-function button. Holding it down turns the device on and off and tapping it is used for play/pause. If you are using it on a phone, the button is also used for answer/end calls.
The “+/-” keys are for increasing/decreasing volume and if held for 3 seconds perform the track forward/track back function.
Skullcandy claims 22 hours of battery life and I can’t easily test this but what I will say is compared to other Bluetooth headphones I have, the battery life on these is outstanding. Based on my listening style, I go for many days without needing to charge. Battery life does not seem to be a concern at least for me.
Build Quality, Comfort, and Sound Quality
There are many things to like about these units, but for the price, the build quality is much better than you would expect. The materials appear to be premium and the ear pads are very comfortable. The headphones fold up which allows you to better store them in a backpack or your laptop case.
The real differentiator, of course, is the sound. In this price range, they perform better than anything I have heard and arguably better than units priced much higher. The range of sound is full, and the bass is better than most. If there is any complaint is the higher frequency range falls off a bit, so your highs may not be to your liking. Personally, I love the sound and had no issues at all and they have become my favorite headphones to use. As a side bonus, they also offer extremely good passive sound isolation which makes them even more enjoyable to listen too.
In short, these offer a great value. They offer sound quality, build quality, and are very comfortable to wear. Between the extra bit of volume I get from these and the sound isolation, I have really grown to like these headphones. If anyone finds a better headphone in this price range I would certainly like to hear about it, but in the meantime, these have become my daily driver. If you are looking for a good pair of headphones and do not want to spend a fortune, definitely check these out as I do not think you will be disappointed.