Skullcandy has been a brand I have followed for many years since they were brand focused on teenagers. The brand has now grown up with its audience. In this review, we have been testing the latest product from them, the Push Active which costs £69. 

First impressions they have managed to make a pair of voice control TWS with an over-ear hook design budget-friendly and also perfect for those who might find other TWS models tricky to use when you’re out exercising or down the gym.

Skullcandy Push Active Review 

Unboxing 

As you might expect from a budget pair of TWS,  unboxing is not a massively exciting moment. The box looks cool and designed like Skullcandy offers most of its products. 

 

Inside the box, you have the charging case with push active buds inside. You also get some alternative sized ear gels (S, M, L), USB-C charging cable and a handy user guide. 

Design

After using the Push Active for the last couple of weeks I found them really comfortable and the over-ear hook design took away any concerns I had about them possibly falling out while doing my best rocky impression at the gym. The buds come in 3 different colour options: 

  • Black/Orange
  • Dark Blue/Green
  • Light Grey/Blue

Skullcandy Push Active Review

The case is rather large but won’t take up too much room in your coat pocket. I expect Skullcandy have done this considering you get up to 44 hours of battery life so it needed to store it somewhere. The case is simple in design made of durable plastic with just the Skullcandy logo on the front as well as 4 LEDs that indicate how much battery the case is holding. Move to the rear and you have a rubber cover that is protecting that USB-C port. 

Open the case and you get a mix of black and orange with positions for both buds to sit in very securely and they passed the shake test due to the magnets that hold the buds in place. 

Skullcandy Push Active Review

Looking at the buds, the over-ear hook design is the first thing you see. They boast an IP55 rating meaning they are sweat, water and dust resistant meaning you can use these anywhere and they will be fine.

The fit of the buds is also very comfortable. Once you get used to the over-ear hook the bud fits nicely into your ear creating that fit that provides a nice level of isolation to remove some of the unwanted outside noise which is handy as they lack ANC technology. Weight-wise they are really lightweight at only 95g which once in your ears you forget they are even in.

Skullcandy Push Active Review

You will notice the only main physical button is on the side of the bud in orange and this has the following controls: 

Press once – Play/Pause or Answer/Cancel a call

Press Twice – Volume up via right bud or Volume down via Left bud

Press and hold for 1 second – Starts Spotify

Press and hold for 3 seconds via right bud- Share Audio

Press and hold for 3 seconds via left bud- Join Audio

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Battery Life

The battery life of the Push Active gets a big thumbs up from me they offer 44 hours of battery life that is 10 hours of battery life in the buds also allowing you to just use the one bud if you so wish the remaining 34 hours via the charging case. 

I really like the fact that every time I put the buds in my ears I get a report of the battery life this prevents me from going out with a pair of low charged buds. If you do find you get stuck the charging case comes with USB-C rapid charging so 10 mins of charge provides 2 hours of playback which is decent for rapid charging.  

Features

Voice Control 

The main attraction of the Push Active is they are the first pair to use the Skull-iQ.

Skullcandy Push Active IQ feature

This smart tech allows you to use the buds completely hands-free it’s really handy and for those who say “Hey Siri” saying “Hi Skullcandy” won’t be any more embarrassing.  You will need to say  “ Hi Skullcandy” with the command such as volume, track control, Play/Pause, Answer or reject a call, launch Spotify and activate the stay active mode. The full list of commands is below:

I found this function really useful when I was out cycling and the smart assistant was very responsive. However, if you’re looking for this to replace Siri or Google Assistant you will be disappointed as apart from its pre-programmed controls it can’t tell you the weather or add a reminder to my ever-growing to-do list. Also, the voice control will only work when you have your phone to hand which might annoy someone on a run.

What it does offer is Spotify Tap what is this I hear you cry? Well once paired with your phone if you use Spotify as your main music streaming site simply press and hold the left bud for 1 Second and it will start your music. If using the hands-free controls just say “Hi Skullcandy Spotify”

Skullcandy Push Active Review

Share Audio 

Skullcandy has also introduced the Share Audio feature which allows you and a friend to listen to the same track. However, there is a big IF you both need to use a pair of Skullcandy headphones with the SkulliQ feature and be within the Bluetooth range for example within 5 meters from each other. Also, only one person will have the controls and need to be connected to a device. However, both users could adjust the volume independently. 

To use this feature you need to press and hold the button on the right earbud for a few seconds and then a voice prompt will notify the user that you are now sharing audio. 

The only downside to this feature is if one party disconnects the whole process has to be repeated which is a tad annoying.

Stay Aware Mode

The Stay aware mode or what you might know as an ambient mode can be activated via the Skullcandy app via its voice control or you can set up a button action if you are old school.

As you might expect the stay-aware mode makes it easier to hear around you without removing the bud. This mode is helpful when making my way to work as you have your senses around you at the same time as your favourite track. 

Tile Tracking

Another feature we are seeing as standard with Skullcandy lately is the partnership with Tile which makes it easier to locate your headphones if you misplace them in the house or the office. 

Using tile is very simple just download the Tile app and create an account and pair the earbuds to the app.  To locate the buds simply open the app and call them or use the map for the last known location. I have used Tile for a few years now and if you misplace them outdoors the tile network can provide assistance if misplaced. However, finding who has just found the new headphones you left on a park bench could be a new challenge. However, for misplacing them at home it’s a useful feature to have and I also have a Tile on both my car and house keys.

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Audio Quality

The overall sound quality will not disappoint. I was pleased considering the cost. It’s not the richest pair of earphones or even the most defined sound quality. However there is a nice balanced sound and the highs, mids and lows are not tested too much.  

I have been listening to these buds for the last few weeks and tracks with intense bass the Skullcandy Push Active offer strong bass depth at the same time some tracks do sound a little dialled back at times a way to fix this is to make sure you have the right ear tip and use them earhooks.

Skullcandy Active Review

When listening to something with a little less bass in the mix it offers a more general sound signature. You get bright highs but the bass is a little missing so if you’re someone who considers bass as important you might want to shop elsewhere. 

When listening to some rap music from Jay-Z for example you get plenty of mid presence but unfortunately, it’s that bass that is still simply missing in action. The drums used in the track just feel thin which is a real shame. On the plus side, the vocals are presented cleanly and clearly which will happen if the bass is on a holiday.  The Skullcandy Push Active also offers a custom EQ that allows you to personalise the sound but even adjusting the EQ does not help with the lack of bass. 

Skullcandy Push Active review

Moving to the dual noise-reducing microphones they offer a clear sound that was easy to use even when I was outdoors making calls.  

Verdict

Skullcandy push active offer a pair of earbuds that are comfortable for long periods and with the earhooks, they help keep the earbuds in your ears for long periods. I found the physical buttons useful for shortcut controls. The voice control is a nice idea however a little problematic. Until they update the buds to allow you to use this feature when you don’t have your phone to hand. I can see it annoying some but the fact I normally have my phone on my person this did not become an issue.    

Skullcandy Push Active Review

The only other negative I found was the fact that Skullcandy seems to have missed out on adding the in-ear detection. So if you took the bud out of your ears the music won’t pause automatically. In order to pause your music, you need to manually pause the music on your phone or you can set a shortcut control on the button on the side of the bud to pause the music.

That aside the Skullcandy Push Active offers great value at £69.99 it won’t stretch your budget and offers a decent sound quality unless you want a bass-heavy pair of buds.

Product Rating:

  • Design: 3.0 out of 5.0 stars
  • Comfort: 5.0 out of 5.0 stars
  • Features: 4.0 out of 5.0 stars
  • Audio Quality: 3.0 out of 5.0 stars
  • Value for Money : 4.0 out of 5.0 stars           

Overall Rating: 3.8 out of 5.0 stars – 3.8 Stars   

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