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The hardest thing about Skullcandy Grind headphones is getting the tape on the box. Once you have succeeded, it does not take many seconds to pair the headphones with the phone and the app. Then it works without hassle every time you want to listen.
Skullcandy Grind True Wireless Earbuds are named as they do because they are meant to be the headphones for “The daily grind” – a companion that makes everyday musts and routines a little easier to get through.
For just over a thousand kroner, the headphones cost you access to Skullcandy’s Skull-IQ technology with voice control and several fun and really useful functions such as Share Audio, Spotify Tap, Take A Photo and Find With Tile.
The silicone earplugs are not the most comfortable we have tested and will certainly not appeal to everyone. As the headphones themselves take up some space in the ears, the risk of them falling out or ending up at an angle is constantly imminent – at least until you have found the right size of earplug and a position that fits your ears.
In terms of sound, Skullcandy Grind lives on being able to deliver a deep bass, but the overall experience is that they sound quite uninspiring, albeit about what we expected in this price range. However, the dull sound is partially compensated by the fact that they are water and sweat resistant according to IP55, have up to 40 hours of battery life with fast charging function and the excellent user experience.
Price and launch date
- 995 kr
- Launched at the end of 2021
Grind True Wireless Earbuds is one of the latest additions to Skullcandy’s range of in-ear headphones that include the Push Active training headphones, the Dime budget option, and more. Skullcandy Grind is available for purchase at several Swedish retailers for SEK 995.
- IP55 rated
- Weighs 62.5 grams
- Comes with 5 interchangeable earplugs
Skullcandy Grind is only available in one color alternative, namely black. Both headphones and charging cases have the same discreet design with a matte surface, except for the shiny Skullcandy logo. Tastefully enough, the skull is also toned down in black and therefore blends well in the rest of the design.
The charging case in hard plastic is not the least we have seen, but it weighs only 63 grams and contributes enough extra battery time for it to be well worth carrying it in all situations. In addition, it is convenient to store the headphones in the case when you are not using them. They click satisfactorily into place with the help of magnets when you put them in, and as soon as you open the case, the headphones are automatically connected to your smartphone. Unfortunately, it is not possible to charge wirelessly, but you get a USB-C charger for the case, as well as a bunch of different sizes of earplugs in silicone so that you can try your hand at the fit you prefer.
The headphones are of the larger type and take up a lot of space in the ears. The earplugs need to sit quite far in for the headphones to stay in place and it can take a bit of a trick to make them feel comfortable to wear, but once they are in place, they provide a good seal. As always with this type of headphone, it can be highly personal how comfortable you think it is to wear the headphones and how much they have a tendency to get out of your ears when you move. The box comes with five different sizes of plugs to try, so the chances are good that you will find an alternative that works.
Gates are IP55-rated and should therefore withstand both wet weather (during our test, they managed through a pouring rain during an hour’s walk without problems) and sweaty workouts. If you are going out in the running track with the headphones, however, there are better alternatives, both from Skullcandy and other manufacturers.
- Tile tracking, Share Audio and Spotify Tap
- Voice control
- 40 hours battery life
It is a pure joy to connect the Grind headphones to your smartphone via Bluetooth, and it is noticeable that Skullcandy has made efforts to make it as easy and painless as possible to use the headphones.
When you open the box, the first thing you see are instructions in three steps on how to pair the headphones with your iOS or Android device, including a QR code that leads to the Skullcandy app that connects hardware and software in a nice way. We lack Swedish language support in the app, but on the other hand, most things are so intuitive that it is possible to go far even with very limited English skills.
During the testing, it worked perfectly to sync the iPhone and headphones every time – just open the case and the rest is done automatically. But if you want to customize the experience of the connected headphones, you also have every opportunity to do so in the app.
The headphones do not have touch controls but buttons that you press to control various functions, such as raising the volume (press the right headset twice), lowering the volume (press the left twice), play and pause. We would have preferred touch when the headphones are pressed into the ear every time the button is pressed, but on the whole it works perfectly well – much smoother than on the Skullcandy Push Active, where the side buttons are both difficult to access and sluggish.
The buttons are also used for the Spotify Tap, Share Audio and Take A Photo functions. Hold down the button on the left headset for one second to activate Spotify Tap, which throws you straight into the Spotify app and continue listening where you left off.
Share Audio lets you share the audio you listen to with a friend who also uses a pair of Skull IQ headphones, and Take A Photo turns your headphone into a remote control for taking selfies and group photos remotely. And no, the headphones do not have to be in your ear when you press.
If you do not want to press buttons, you can communicate with the Grind headphones with voice commands instead. Just say “Hey Skullcandy” and instruct the assistant on what you want to do. However, there is no direct reason to use Skullcandy’s assistant in front of Siri or the others. Especially not since the Skullcandy app has to be open for you to use the feature.
With Find With Tile, you can find your lost Grind headphones by “calling” them with the Tile app. A smooth feature that will surely save many Skullcandy users from losing their headphones. Unfortunately, only the headphones have the built-in Tile technology and not the case.
Skullcandy promises 40 hours of battery life, which in practice means 31 hours in the charging case, and 9 hours when the headphones are used. Just like the Skullcandy Push Active, Grind also has a fast charging function, which gives you a few extra hours of listening in just ten minutes of charging.
All in all, the Grind comes with several fun and really useful features as well as an impressive battery life.
- Sound with a lot of bass
- Stay-Aware mode lets you hear the surroundings
- Get EQ options in the software
Directly from the box, you get a pair of headphones with a heavy and frankly intrusive bass, which also brings with it a lot of the lower frequencies. Singing is clear, and even though the sound car offers a lot of warmth and details, it lacks the balance and space that characterizes more expensive headphones. Especially in musical arrangements of the livelier kind, the headphones find it difficult to represent the entire register in a pleasant way.
In the app you will find preset EQ options for music, podcast or movie. You also have the option to pull the levers yourself if you want to balance the sound image somewhat, but the 5-band EQ is in the simplest team and do not expect to be able to perform any miracles.
The lack of active noise reduction is another factor that makes Skullcandy Grind not really able to compete with the best in-ear headphones, although the ability of the earplugs to seal properly in the ears gives a pretty good passive noise reduction. With Stay Aware Mode turned on, however, you do not have to worry about not hearing traffic when you are out and about with your headphones. The function amplifies ambient noise and the difference between having the mode activated is noticeable in outdoor situations, even if it does not work perfectly.
If you receive an incoming call, you can accept or reject the call with Skull Candy’s assistant. The microphone quality when you make calls is good enough without excelling.