It has been quite a while since I reviewed a pair of Skullcandy earbuds. The reason for that is one, they do put out a lot of earbuds, but two, it has not impressed me when it comes to Skullcandy earbuds. It’s usually like the battery life and the sound.
Something seems off with every pair; I didn’t even know that the Sesh ANC came out about eight months ago. So the fact that it just flew under the radar shows how much I’m keeping up with Skullcandy earbuds, but it did grab my attention. Skullcandy is having noise canceling on one of their original earbuds. So I wanted to see what they changed.
Design of Skullcandy Sesh ANC
The case for the earbuds themself do just a plastic feel to it. It does not feel premium, and it feels a little cheap. The only place it’s not plastic is where the physical buttons are on the earbuds outside. It does have a textured grip on the button.
I like that they’ve stuck using a button instead of touch controls. They give you control over everything, so you don’t have to sacrifice not having volume control, noise canceling control or anything like that. You get everything right out of the box.
And speaking of out-of-the-box, what they’ve included is you get three sets of silicone ear tips. You get one of the most undersized USB-C cables I’ve seen, and the only way you can plug this in is by the charger, not even a wall charger, because it would just hang.
Features of Skullcandy Sesh ANC
Speaking of the charging, the case does not have Qi-wireless charging, which, in this price range, is something many people have come to expect. But another thing you see when opening the box is a little card telling you to download their app.
Despite some drawbacks of the earbuds, Skullcandy has one of the best-looking apps. It is very polished and fits their brand, and I’ve found it pleasant to use. In the app, you can keep your earbuds updated. It also works with the tile locator to locate your earbuds and the last place you use them, which is always nice.
There are some pre-built EQ settings, but you can go in and customize the EQ settings the way you want. Also, you can switch it into a gaming mode within the app if you’re going to use these for gaming or watching movies and don’t want to worry about lag. It’s nice that you can switch it into this mode, but this mode is going to eat up your battery life, and it’s also going to affect how far you can get from your device.
So keep that in mind if you’ll have these in gaming mode. Technology-wise, Skullcandy Sesh ANC uses Bluetooth 5, but it only has AAC and SBC playback, so there’s no high-end Bluetooth codex, which in this price range, a lot of people are going to expect, like aptX or aptX LL.
It is especially when we have pairs from SoundPEATS getting into LDAC in this similar price range. Let’s talk about active noise canceling and transparency mode. I was surprised at how good the noise canceling is. It won’t blow anybody away, but it’s doing a decent job blocking out lower tones, like engine noises, AC units, etc.
But if somebody’s around you and they’re talking, you’ll hear it about the same as having a standard pair of earbuds in. The same goes for transparency mode; Skullcandy does an excellent job on this pair. It felt natural, and you hear digital noise from the mics picking up some things around you, just like white noise.
But for the most part, you could carry on a conversation without taking your earbuds. As far as using these outdoors or at the beach or work outside, this pair comes in with an IP55 rating. So it has, you know, a slight amount of water protection, but it has protection against dust as well.
So again, if you’re going to use this on a construction site, dust isn’t going to bother these. If you’re at the beach, they fall into the sand; none of that will affect these either. So it’s nice to have that added protection. Uh, and again, if it rains or if you’re somebody that sweats heavily, you’ll be fine. But this is different from those that you could submerge into the water.
Battery Life for Skullcandy Sesh ANC
Now moving over to talking about the battery life on these, I want to talk about the battery life on the original Sesh earbuds because that was laughable on the original Sesh. You could get three hours on the earbuds and about 10 hours using the case.
That’s some of the worst battery life I’ve seen on any earbuds, so it is nice that they’ve improved upon that. For the Sesh ANC, if you use it with the noise canceling off, you can get about nine hours on the earbuds and about 46 hours using the case. And even with using these, with the noise canceling, You can still get six hours on the earbuds and 32 hours using the case.
So battery life with the noise canceling on or off is much better than on the original Sesh. If you pick these up and the battery is dead, it has a fast charge feature where a 10-minute charge will get you about an hour and a half worth of use.
This is lower than on the original Sesh or the Sesh Evo because, on the original ones, you could get two hours of usage on that same 10-minute charge. They may have done that to prolong the battery life on the earbuds. So do keep that in.
Microphone for Skullcandy Sesh ANC
If you want to use these earbuds for phone calls, the mics are also improved over the original Sesh. It’s still decent but not one of the best mics I’ve heard on a pair of earbuds, but it is also doing a decent job of blocking out my surroundings. It does a good job of picking up my voice.
Sound on Skullcandy Sesh ANC
Let’s talk about the sound because this is where I feel Skullcandy took the most significant leap forward over the original Sesh, even over any of the earbuds they’ve released.
Sesh ANC is the most refined earbud I’ve heard from Skullcandy. It’s not a bass-heavy muddy mess like some of the others. There’s a lot of focus on the trouble to the point that it even has sibilant sounds with symbols. So it is a pretty bright treble overall, and the mids are bumped slightly forward so that if I switch from hip-hop to pop to metal, I can hear guitar riffs cleanly, and vocalists always sounded like they were just slightly forward.
It is a nice upgrade from what Skullcandy has in their previous earbuds. When it comes to the bass, which will affect their clientele that’s used to buying their earbuds, this isn’t a bass-heavy earbud. It does have a decent amount of bass, but it’s not like that subwoofer or loose bass. It’s much more tightened up and clean than their other products.
Overall, it just made it much more pleasing to use these, and maybe that’s because I listened to many different genres. Some bass-heavy earbuds tend to destroy something that’s not a bass-heavy genre. It was a nice change of pace using these and switching between different music genres.
When it comes to the sound stage and the sound imaging, although this pair is better than the other Skullcandy earbuds that I’ve tested, it still needs to be mind-blowing when it comes to the sound stage and the sound imaging. It sounds open and borders along that medium to a large room.
But being able to tell where sounds were coming from, I had no issue with this pair. So to wrap this up, and I’m going to add this to my reviews in the future, I want to rate how these sound with different genres and give a number rating overall.
So if you listen to more bass-driven music, like Hip hop, pop, EDM, and dance and stuff like that, I would give Skullcandy Sesh ANC a six when it comes to those genres. When it comes to rock and metal, because the mids are slightly forward, it pulls out guitar riffs much better than their other earbuds. The sibilance sound can be a little much depending on how the symbols are recorded, but with rock and metal, I would give these a seven.
Next is classical and easy listening and genres that are a little more vocal-driven. I would also give these a seven because the clarity is nice and clean. It can be bright, and if that’s not your taste, you won’t like these.
My Verdict on Skullcandy Sesh ANC
So my overall rating on these would be a six and a half out of 10. The reason is that if you’re a bass head, these will be missing that box. And if you like a neutral or flat sound, this isn’t going to check that box either. But I need to find out how many people look at Skullcandy’s ear for that sound anyway.
But if you like details, hear many subtle things, and like an excellent, bright sound, I enjoyed these for that; even at a six and a half, that is much higher than I would give any other Skullcandy earbud I’ve tested.
Skullcandy is on the right path. Refining their sound is something they need to do. The app is excellent. It fits their brand and is easy to use. The app is nice and colorful. It doesn’t have that simple white background, but just black, and it doesn’t look plain.
As long as you don’t need Qi-wireless charging, which you know, I’m one of those that’s gotten used to that, and you don’t need intense noise canceling. Based on the sound alone, this pair has a lot of value. So it just comes down to what you’re looking for. This price range is very close to some excellent earbuds. So the competition is making it hard for other earbuds and companies like this.
That wraps up my review of the Skullcandy Sesh ANC. Thank you so much for checking out this video. Thank you so much for checking out all the other reviews. And as always, make sure to stay tuned for more.