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Gadget Review: Skullcandy Grind Wireless Headphones

Whenever someone asks about headphones, I always direct them to my Bose review. And even when people aren’t asking and I’m travelling with them, I convince them they need to have these. Yes, I’m that obsessed. But at USD 299/AED 1299 – even the most gadget-obssessed might find them pricey.

I recently attended a launch for the Skullcandy Grind Wireless headphones. And since the gold standard are my Bose QC 25 Headphones, I had to ask – could the Skullcandy Grind be a budget alternative? And spoiler alert, the answer is a YES!

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What the brand says: Just like the wired original, the Grind Wireless on-ear headphone delivers premium build and sound quality without the premium price. Thirty-three feet of long-range Bluetooth® wireless connectivity and 12 long hours of battery life won’t tie you down, while the built-in microphone and track, call and volume controls keep you in command.

  • All-Day Freedom. Grind Wireless lets you take more phone calls and rock late into the night with 12 hours of battery life and the wire-free wonderfulness of Bluetooth® wireless streaming.
  • All-Day Comfort. Premium materials like the solid metal headband, plush on-ear pillows and Supreme Sound™ audio make slipping into Grind Wireless a stupefyingly comfortable experience.
  • All-Day Convenience. Life should be easy, so the built-in controls on Grind Wireless are dead simple. Play and pause music, answer and end calls, skip tracks and adjust volume with just three buttons.

Until recently, Skullcandy was known to me as the brand with earphones in cool colors. However in recent years, they’ve stepped up their game and diversified their products. I got a look at some soon-to-be launched earphones that will appeal to fitness enthusiasts so keep an eye out for those.

The Grind Wireless are an over-the-ear headphones with built-in microphones so you can take calls seamlessly while listening to music. The right ear has controls to play/pause and increase/decrease volume. The great news is these work with non-native apps (at least on the iPhone) which means you can play, adjust volume and even change tracks in apps like Spotify.

When it comes to sound, I don’t detect “budget” anywhere. Clear and loud music with just the right balance of base and treble without having to max out the volume. And it works perfectly for bipolar tastes when I switch from Hindi to English music. Plus if you’re a podcast junkie, the same great sound quality applies to spoken word.

This is a wireless headset and you are supposed to get about 12 hours on a charge. I didn’t verify that personally but the good news is that even if you run out of battery, you can attach a basic AUX cable and still make good use of the headphones – great for super long flights. But thankfully charging is via a micro-USB which means no hoarding batteries and you can reuse your other chargers. Bonus, it pairs with your phone in a few seconds via Bluetooth.

Now  I am a bit of a diva and like my things to look good and that’s where Skullcandy scores bonus points. Their designs are whimsy without being too busy and you’re bound to find a pair that appeals to your personality. My favorite are the teal and beige ones with a hint of a pink wiring. Punk rock meets chic. Wearing them feels comfortable as they are extremely lightweight but still seem like they could survive being tossed around in a backpack.

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And finally the price. The Skullcandy Grind Wireless headphones retail for just AED 349 in Dubai – find them exclusively at Virgin Megastores right now. Yes, that means they are just over 1/4 of the price of the Bose QC 25’s. The only differentiating feature Bose has is the active noise cancelling, which is trumped by Skullcandy’s wireless functionality. And considering all things, I’d definitely recommend investing your cash on the Skullcandy Grind Wireless and using the rest for that Spotify/Apple Music subscription.

What: Skullcandy Grind Wireless
Why: Powerful headphones at a budget price
Where: Virgin Megastores, Souq.com (UAE)/ Amazon (USA)
How much: AED 349 / USD 89
Pros: Everything you(!)
Cons: No noise cancelling
Rating: 5 stars

Disclaimer: This review contains a product/service that was provided for consideration by the brand or its PR firm.

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