Skullcandy Push Active Review | PCMag

2021-12-08 06:19:57 By : Ms. Manager Jane

Efficient but boring sports headphones

The sports-focused Skullcandy Push Active true wireless headphones provide powerful sound and excellent battery life at a price of less than $100, but they have not stood out from the competition.

If you are looking for a pair of truly wireless earbuds built for sports, there is no shortage of options, but many of our favorite earbuds cost more than $100. Skullcandy’s Push Active earphones provide a secure fit for sports earhooks and above-average water resistance, and are priced at $79.99. They also provide excellent battery life, powerful subwoofer audio, and work with a companion app with adjustable EQ and Spotify voice control enabled. In other words, they hardly stand out from the packaging and have a plastic structure that looks and feels cheap. At the same price, Jabra's Elite 3 headphones provide a higher quality structure and more balanced audio performance, while Anker's Soundcore Life P3 headphones add active noise reduction.

Push Active earphones are available in black or gray (the black model is equipped with a charging box with green or orange inside, while the gray model has a blue box inside) and a sports earhook that can clamp the top of the ear for stability. The earpiece fits firmly, but if you wear glasses or sunglasses, the earhook may have problems. Skullcandy includes three pairs of silicone earplugs, available in small, medium and large sizes. Internally, a 6mm dynamic driver can provide a frequency range of 20Hz to 20kHz. The headset is compatible with Bluetooth 5.2, but only supports the SBC codec, not AAC or AptX.

You can control the headset via in-ear buttons or voice control. Button control is easy to operate. Just press to handle playback and call management on any earpiece; double-press the left and right earpieces to decrease and increase the volume respectively; short press the left ear to start and play Spotify; press and hold the right earpiece for three seconds to use the Skull-IQ streaming function Share audio, while the same gesture on the left earpiece accepts the incoming Skull-IQ transmission.

If you use Spotify, you can play music by saying "Hey Skullcandy, play", and use other commands to skip tracks or manage incoming calls. If Spotify is not your default music player, the voice command option of the companion app will not be very useful. Of course, you can also turn off these voice control options completely.

In addition to the voice-activated Spotify controls, the Skullcandy app (available for Android and iOS) also provides adjustable EQ presets, the ability to link the headset with the Tile tracker (to find them when lost), and some basic in-ear buttons Customization options. You can also turn on or off the keep-aware mode; after turning it on, you can hear the surrounding sounds through the earpiece.

The IP55 rating means that the earphones are highly dustproof and relatively waterproof. This rating is better than many competing pairs that only offer IPX4 protection, but other products, such as the Jabra Elite 7 Active, have an even more impressive IP57 rating. In any case, Push Active earphones can withstand slight splashes and low-pressure water jets from any direction, so sweat and rain will not cause problems. However, please avoid rinsing them under the tap or immersing them in water for cleaning. And the case is not waterproof, so you need to dry them completely before docking the headphones.

Skullcandy estimates that the battery life of the headset is about 10 hours, and the charging case can be used for an additional 34 hours. These are a good number for true wireless earphones and help explain the huge size of the charging case (it is twice the size of most other earphones). However, as always, your results will vary based on your volume level.

On tracks with strong sub-bass content, such as The Knife's "Silent Shout", headphones can provide a strong low-frequency response. At the top, unwise listening level, the bass will not be distorted, and at a more reasonable listening level, the bass still feels significantly improved.

Bill Callahan's "Drover", a track with much lower bass in the mix, better reveals the characteristics of the sound. The drums on this track sound deep and round-they don't fully extend into the unnatural thunderous area, but the headphones definitely show the sound characteristics of the bass forward. This means that Callahan's baritone also gained some extra mid-to-low frequency richness. Although you have enough mid and high to prevent the mix from becoming muddy, these frequencies can sometimes sound too sculptural and crappy.

In Jay-Z and Kanye West's "No Church in the Wild", the kick drum loop gets enough mid-to-high to maintain its powerful attack, but the high-frequency vinyl crackling and hiss that stand out in the mix Voice. The loop also adds some thumping sounds, and the percussion of the double bass synthesizer is full of rhythm. However, the deepness here is not as powerful as it sounds through some models that really push the depth of the bass. The earphone transmits the human voice in a clear manner on this sound track, without additional noise.

In orchestral repertoires, such as the opening scene in John Adams's "Another Mary’s Gospel," you will find a solid balance between rich bass and crisp and bright highs; higher pitch brass , Strings and vocals keep their place under the spotlight. 

The built-in microphone provides reliable clarity. We tested it with the voice memo app on the iPhone and could understand every word we recorded without any problems. We noticed a hint of typical Bluetooth audio artifacts, but the signal was strong and relatively clear.

Skullcandy Push Active headphones provide sculpted sound features with enhanced bass and bright treble. We like their long battery and the companion app with adjustable equalizer, but nothing can really make the headset stand out from the competition. Finally, if you are more interested in accurate audio performance and active noise reduction than sports-friendly construction, we are big fans of Anker's Soundcore Life P3 headphones. If you want to take the exercise route, you can choose Jabra's Elite 3 earbuds. If you are willing to spend more and want the best sports-friendly headphones, we recommend the $179.99 Jabra Elite 7 Active.

The sports-focused Skullcandy Push Active true wireless headphones provide powerful sound and excellent battery life at a price of less than $100, but they have not stood out from the competition.

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Contributing editor Tim Gideon (Tim Gideon) has been writing for PCMag since 2006. He specializes in reviewing audio products and is obsessed with headphones, speakers, and recording equipment. is a leading technical authority, providing independent laboratory-based reviews of the latest products and services. Our professional industry analysis and practical solutions can help you make better buying decisions and get more benefits from technology.

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