Reviews

Skullcandy Push Ultra Review

Last updated: 2 weeks ago, Oct. 11. 2020
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    Are these sports-oriented wireless earbuds worth buying, especially for their asking price of $100? Get all the answers in our Skullcandy Push Ultra review.

    Our Conclusion

    Overall score: 3.5 out of 5 points.

    Skullcandy is a beloved brand for anyone who likes a lot of bass in their music. Regardless of headphone design, their products are always ready to rattle your skull with enormous low-end power.

    However, with their newest Push Ultra true wireless earbuds, Skullcandy decided to implement the classic earphone design that is missing deep in-ear insertion. The result is a lack of overall bass quantity, which is a strange move from their side.

    You’re still getting enjoyable, non-fatiguing sound and incredible stability, thanks to mouldable ear hooks. Their charging case is also quite unique since it has a zipper.

    For a more detailed description of every category, see our review below.

    PROS & CONS

    • Good sound quality
    • Great build quality
    • Ear hook design gives superb stability
    • IP67 water-resistance
    • Almost no sound leakage
    • Premium-feeling charging case
    • Both quick and wireless charging
    • Tile integration for locating lost earbuds
    • Passive isolation is bad due to their design
    • Comfort isn’t great for more extended listening sessions
    • The mobile app is glitchy and lacks content
    • No multipoint support

    Specifications

    Type: True wireless earbuds
    Connection: Wireless Bluetooth 5.0
    Back-design: Closed-back

    Headphones

    Driver size: 12.5mm drivers
    Frequency response: 20Hz – 20,000Hz
    Impedance: 32 Ohms
    Weight: n/a
    Cable length: 25cm
    Microphone & controls: Yes (built-in)
    Water-protection: IP67

    Wireless

    Bluetooth: 5.0
    Battery life: Around 6 hours per charge, 40 hours total
    Charging time: n/a
    Active noise-cancelling: No
    Charging cable: USB-C
    Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC
    Wireless range: 33ft (10m)

    Microphone

    Type: Built-in
    Mic design: n/a
    Mutable: No

    What’s Inside the Box?

    Skullcandy Push Ultra accessories

    • Skullcandy Push Ultra true wireless earbuds
    • Charging case
    • Charging USB-C cable
    • User manual
    • 2-year warranty

    Comfort & Fit – 3.5/5 Almost Great

    Perfect fit for all sorts of activities, with ear hooks that grab your ear like a glue. However, earbuds can start to irritate your skin if you want to wear them for longer.

    Ear hook design is a double-edged sword, with its upsides and downsides. The best thing about the hook is that it can grab your ears firmly. If you need secure wireless earbuds for all kinds of sports (except underwater activities), this is your best choice.

    No matter what you’re doing, or how intensely you shake your head, these are not going anywhere. You can also adjust the ear hook’s arc, so it better fits your ears. That way, you relieve some pressure off your inner ear, directly contacting the housing.

    But there are also downsides. Despite the rubber coating on the housing, buds are still too big to fit nicely inside the ears. Even if you try to find a correct spot, pressure points are inevitable. You don’t feel them at first, but after an hour or so, they become evident every time you smile or move your head.

    Noise Isolation – 1.5/5 Meh

    They fit similarly as classic earbuds with a shallow fit inside the ear canal. Because of that, the overall passive isolation is below-average.

    Skullcandy Push Ultra don’t share the same design as Beats PowerBeats Pro with their in-ear insertion. The Ultra hang outside of your ear canal, much like classic earphones, such as Apple AirPods or TaoTronics SoundLiberty 92.

    Skullcandy Push Ultra earbuds

    There is practically no noise isolation. When walking near a busy road, you can distinctly hear every passing car. If you want to hear your music, you need to raise the volume, which can damage your hearing in the long run.

    If you plan to use them for jogging on roads for pedestrians, away from traffic, this shouldn’t be a problem. At least you can hear everything around you, which makes you more aware. Surprisingly, even though they can get very loud, they don’t leak much music, making them suitable for public wear.

    Connection – 4.5/5 Almost Perfect

    You can expect a reliable connection with the standard Bluetooth 5.0 range. You can use both earbuds for mono listening, but sadly there is no multipoint support.

    True wireless earbuds with Bluetooth 5.0 almost always get consistent results, and Skullcandy Push Ultra are no different. There are no audio dropouts when you place one brick wall between them. However, as soon as you want to pass the second wall, music completely stops.

    Taking them for a walk with a smartphone in our pocket introduced no distortions whatsoever. Physical controls (3 buttons for each earbud) are very responsive, with plenty of commands to choose from.

    But some of them aren’t that straightforward, so you always need an instruction manual somewhere nearby. The mobile app also doesn’t help since it’s so glitchy that it’s barely usable.

    At least you can use either left or right earbud for mono listening. That comes in helpful if you want to save battery or use an earbud as a headset for taking phone calls.

    Skullcandy Push Ultra earbud

    What Bluetooth Codecs Do They Use?

    Push Ultra’s are using SBC and AAC. Because of their design, having any other codecs like aptX HD wouldn’t make sense. They’re fine for watching YouTube, with lips and audio perfectly in sync.

    Multipoint?

    Sadly, you can’t connect these with 2 devices at the same time. By design, these are mostly workout earbuds, so maybe Skullcandy didn’t plan for people to use them at home.

    Battery – 4/5 Great

    While the battery life can only last around 6 hours on a single charge, there are many ways to recharge it, from fast to wireless charging.

    Even though the housing of these earbuds appears large, there isn’t much battery inside. You’re getting around 6 hours of playtime, with extra 34 hours waiting in the charging case.

    You can charge the case via the USB-C port located on the back. If you don’t want to fiddle with the cable, placing it on a wireless charging pad also works. There is also an option for quick charging, which gives you another 2 hours of playback within 10 minutes.

    All in all, a wide array of charging options and a battery life that can get you through a long workout session.

    Skullcandy Push Ultra charging port

    You can charge the case with both USB-C charging cable or wirelessly.

    Durability – 4.5/5 Almost Perfect

    IP67 rating, robust plastic construction, and a chunky charging case with an interesting design. These are built exceptionally well.

    When you first put them out of the box, you’re greeted with a very unique looking charging case. It’s quite big and made from a hard-plastic shell with a soft finish. You can get a similar finish on a Jaybird Vista case.

    It feels premium, with a subtle Skullcandy logo on the upper side, and a small lightning icon on the flip side where the wireless charging coil is located. However, to open the case, you have to use a zipper. They took an interesting approach that looks cool, but it might hurt the case’s overall longevity. There is also no magnet to hold the lid down.

    On the other hand, earbuds seem well constructed, with no visible weak points. Housing feels solid, with a rubberized texture that sits gently on your skin. Physical controls are hidden beneath the rubber exterior for extra protection.

    Of course, if you want to use them for sports activities, you can rely on their IP67 rating to repeal all the sweat and water that might fall on them. And after every workout, you can wash them under a tap.

    Skullcandy Push Ultra waterproof

    Features – 2.5/5 Average

    Push Ultra come with 6 buttons in total for controlling practically everything. There is also a mobile app, but it’s unusable.

    There aren’t many features to speak of in Skullcandy Push Ultra. Most notably, you get 6 physical buttons, 3 on each earbud. Two of them are located on the backside, while a third is hidden beneath the brand’s logo.

    By either pressing or holding them, you activate different actions, but there are so many different combinations that you always need to look at instructions.

    There are no prompts that can warn you to release the button, making the overall experience a bit weird. The only time that you hear the beep is when you skip or repeat a song. However, that beeping sound is annoyingly loud and not as subtle as on Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2.

    Skullcandy’s mobile app is also somewhat frustrating. When you go through a pairing Push Ultra procedure, the app recognizes them quickly and lets you inside. But in there, you can’t do anything, apart from maybe download a firmware update. You can see a button for the equalizer, but it doesn’t do anything.

    Apart from the app being empty, it also fails to recognize the earbuds when you connect them for the second time, even though you’re currently listening to music on them. To reconnect them with the app, you need to do all the pairing procedure all over again.

    One thing that is somewhat unique and can be useful is Tile integration. You can pair your earbuds with a Tile mobile app and track their location. If they ever get lost, you can see exactly where they are.

    Microphone Quality

    These earbuds do a decent job picking your voice, regardless of the noise in the background. Words are easily understandable, which is all that you want at the end of the day.

    They’re similarly decent when speaking in a noise environment. There is slightly more noise in the background than before, but your voice remains clean.

    Sound – 3.5/5 Almost Great

    If you expect a deep, rumbling bass, then you’re in for a disappointment.

    Skullcandy went in a slightly different direction, giving us a premium product with a classic earphone nozzle. The results are not that great. While Push Ultra’s overall very easy to listen to, we expected something else. Also, the frequency response depends on how you place them on your ears, which is frustrating.

    Despite the open design, the bass is quite present and punchy. It works well with rock music, but it’s much happier when you start playing pop or EDM. However, while you can sometimes feel the case shaking, that rumble doesn’t have the same impact as using in-ear design.

    Skullcandy Push Ultra charging case

    The midrange is relatively clean, with good vocal and instrumental rendition. But it also feels very veiled. Clarity does get better when you crank up the volume to around 70-80%. Interestingly, there is no noticeable distortion at that loudness, with the sound being free of any sibilance.

    The lack of harshness is probably due to the shy treble. It’s somewhat recessed compared to other frequencies, while still letting in some airiness to the sound.

    The best thing about the Push Ultra earbuds is the soundstage. It’s not surprising that it can be immensely vast, at least for a small earbud. Sadly, the imaging is a bit loose, thanks to the lack of treble.

    Should You Buy Skullcandy Push Ultra?

    Many Skullcandy fans are scratching their heads because of this product. Push Ultra earbuds are the most premium true wireless model from this brand, and, strangely, they decided to make them in classic design. That hurts not only comfort but also the sound quality.

    However, they’re not all that bad. Earbuds are built extremely well, with high IP rating for intense workout or weather conditions. Stability is top-notch, with mouldable ear hooks, causing them to stick to your ears like glue.

    There is also a wide array of possible controls with a total of 6 buttons. And let’s not forget the quick and wireless charging capabilities. A mobile app exists, but apart from using the Tile function, it needs some serious work.

    If you need true wireless earbuds with ear hooks, then these might be a decent pick. But the competition in this price range is intense, making the $100 tag on Skullcandy Push Ultra true wireless earbuds a bit hard to swallow.

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