Skullcandy’s Hesh 2 Wireless, generally known as the Hesh 2 Unleashed Wireless, may be the Bluetooth version of Skullcandy’s affordable and somewhat bulbous-shaped over-ear headphone, the Hesh 2. Both headphones look virtually identical, but also for the privilege of adding wireless, you need to pay $100 USD (£80, AU$200) rather than around $60.
Now, in this sub-$100 cost range, Bluetooth headphones certainly are a tricky business. The LG Tone series are very good (some models are only $60 to $80), and the first version of the Sol Republic Shadow Wireless (due later in 2015) I simply paid attention to sounded downright ideal for a $100 wireless model. But both of these are in-ear models, not around-ear kinds just like the Skullcandy Hesh 2 Wireless.
Indeed, the Hesh 2 Wireless manages to provide reasonably good Bluetooth sound. Or as a number of the more discriminating listeners in CNET’s NY office explained after hearing it, “It isn’t bad.”
I understand that sounds a tad negative, however in the world of budget Bluetooth headphones, it’s fairly high praise. A few of the other positives are that the headphone’s construction appears decent enough, and the headphone is pretty comfortable to wear (it hugs your mind snugly however, not too snugly and noise isolation is good). You do not get the plush padding or foam of premium models — rather, you are looking a normal foam and faux leather — but I had no issue wearing the headphones nonstop for 30 to 45 minutes.
The headphone includes a very easy nylon carrying pouch and a cord (with remote/microphone) which allows you to utilize the Hesh 2 Wireless as a wired headpone. Sarah Tew/CNET
The headphone has a three-button remote on the proper ear cup and a microphone, although remote doesn’t work just like a large amount of remotes I’ve used. As the multifunction button serves as the energy on/off button, call answer/end button, and pause/play button, which is typical, the large and evidently labeled volume buttons (you may easily operate them by feel) double as track advance/back buttons when you possess them down for 3 seconds.
No complaints there. However the keeping the Micro-USB charging port is just a little troublesome. It’s hidden near the top of the left earpiece and you must pull the ‘phone’s headband back again to reach it, then jam the USB cable in to the slot you create. It isn’t terrible — and I love that the port is hidden — but it’s just a little awkward.
As I said, this headphone sounds reasonably best for the price. Why by that is that’s that it’s fairly sensible, with some bass push however, not so much that it’ll overwhelm you. The headphone’s on the warmer end of the audio tracks spectrum, this means it’s just a little soft. However, it offers enough detail to keep it from sounding muddy or dull. Having said that, I wouldn’t call this a thrilling headphone that will draw out the very best in your music.
Rather, it appears designed not to draw out the worst in your music. Quite simply, it smooths out poorly recorded tracks (think MP3s), and I thought it worked well with a streaming service like Spotify.
The ear pads are covered in faux leather. Sarah Tew/CNET
When you attach a cable and pay attention to this as a wired headphone, it sounds different though definitely not better. There’s more bass and treble, therefore the headphone sounds more hyped and has more edge to it, for better or worse.
Battery life is good. It’s rated at 15 hours, as well as your phone or tablet should show a battery-life indicator that tells you just how much juice you have gone (we tried the headphone with an iPhone 5S and Samsung Galaxy S5). With some full-size Bluetooth headphones, that can be done just a little better with battery life, but 15 hours is solid.
The Skullcandy Hesh 2 Wireless isn’t an excellent Bluetooth headphone. It will not make your music sparkle. Nonetheless it sounds pretty decent for a $100 USD wireless model; it’s reasonably comfortable and appears fairly well developed. I’m not likely to tell you that it is a outstanding value and run right out and purchase it — such advice will be a lot easier if so when the purchase price drops to, say, $80. Buy unless you want to invest $250 on the Bose SoundLink On-Ear Bluetooth or $300 or even more on Beats’ wireless headphones, that is a decent budget choice that less-critical listeners ought to be happy with.