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Skullcandy Grind Wireless: great if they didn't hurt

Samuel Gibbs, May 02, 2016, DHNS 0:14 IST
Skullcandy has made a habit out of producing pretty good sounding and attractive headphones that don’t cost the earth. The new Grind wireless headphones continue that trend but are ruined by one ear-crushing flaw.

Painful to wear
The Grind wireless headphones come in a range of colours, some are bold and bright, others are more subtle. The back and brown set, with matt ear cups, a matt black metal band and brown suede-like headband are attractive and well made. They feel sturdy, the padded headband feels light on the head and they stay put while on the go.

But I didn’t get on with the fit. All on-ear headphones pinch your ears, because they press directly on them rather than surrounding them.

The Grind wireless headphones are some of the worst I have tried for extended listening. They have a limited amount of twist to try and adjust to the amount your ears might stick out, but it isn’t enough. The earphone pads are also not thick enough, which means your ear is pressed by the hard speaker plate inside.

All in all, I could feel them pinching after 10 minutes, they were uncomfortable after 30 minutes and unbearable after an hour or so. After a week of wearing them I had to give my ears a take a couple of days break because they hurt so much.

12-hours between charges
The right ear cup has a power button that doubles as a pause, play and track skip control, as well as plus and a minus volume buttons. The controls are immediate, and work well, but it would have been nice to have independent track skip buttons as double and triple-pressing the pause/play button is a bit hit and miss. The right ear cup also has a headphones port for listening using a cable when the battery runs out, and a microUSB socket for charging them. Battery life was excellent lasting just over 12 hours in my testing.

Good sound, poor isolation
The headphones sound very good for their price, with a decent amount of bass, fairly good clarity in the mids and high-end, for a nice, well rounded sound. They handled various types of music well, from classic rock with Eric Clapton’s Layla, to the driving electronica of Daft Punk’s Tron Legacy Reconfigured, each sounding good.

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