BEST BASS-FOCUSED HEADPHONE
SONY MDR-XB950B1 VS. SKULLCANDY CRUSHER WIRELESS
SONY MDR-XB950B1
VERSUS
SKULLCANDY CRUSHER WIRELESS
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DESIGN & BUILD

The Sony MDR-XB950B1 has a design principle of rather huge ear cushions. This causes the headphone to stick out quite a bit and may not be ideal to wear outdoors as compared to the Skullcandy Crusher Wireless. The Crusher's keep their low profile look while still using slightly better materials like metal in its construction than the MDR-XB950B1. Even though the MDR-XB950B1 is build with mostly plastic, it is worth noting that the headband is built with metal. Overall, the SKULLCANDY CRUSHER WIRELESS wins this round.

COMFORT

Moving on to comfort, due to the tight fit of the SkullCandy's, they will cause severe wearing fatigue and users will not be able to wear it for a long listening sessions. The clamping force is also exceptionally tight since the earcups do not pivot left or right to fit users' head shapes. On the other hand, the Sony's are very comfortable as the earcups encase your ears in a perfect form. They do not add any pressure to the crown of the head or to the jawline even after long hours of wearing them. Hence, the round goes to the SONY MDR-XB950B1.

SOUND QUALITY

Next, Sound Quality. None of the feature is worth looking at if the sound cannot meet your standards. In my opinion, I find that the sound of the Crusher Wireless & MDR-XB950B1 is catered to a very dedicated group of music listeners. Those who like serious bass response and feel heavy thumps of it in their ears. The Sony's do the job better even though in comparison the Skullcandy's have way more bass. This is due to the headphones' ability to separate the mids and highs more so than the SkullCandy's. With the bass slider on the Crusher's all the way up, every other detail from treble, vocals to instruments are lost. The bass become muddy and totally unlistenable. While with the Sony's Electro Bass Booster at +10 level, the sound is still clean and everything stay as bright and forward. So, the SONY MDR-XB950B1 definitely wins this round.

PORTABILITY

In the portability category, I find that the Crushers' are much better. The headphones fold up into a much more compact profile for easy storage. The package also comes with a soft carrying pouch to protect the headphones. While, the MDR-XB950B1 lacks a carry bag or case and do not fold up for storage. Instead, it fold flat. It definitely has a larger footprint than the Crushers'. Therefore, this round goes to the SKULLCANDY CRUSHER WIRELESS.

CONNECTIVITY

Both the Sony's and the SkullCandy's have their own advantages. The Sony's offers an app called Sony | Headphones Connect available for download on the App Store and Play Store. It allows users to take full control of the amount of bass they desire and adjust the Virtualphones Technology to their liking. However, that feature makes the music rather unnatural. Hence, most would prefer to keep it off. On the SkullCandy's, this feature is easier to control as it is on the headphone itself. There is a bass slider at the back of the left earcup which allows for control as well. It is definitely easier on the SkullCandy's. It is also worth noting that the bass boost feature does not require power for it to function so even if the headphone's battery is depleted, bass lovers can still rejoice to thumping bass response. Moving on to wireless usage, with both headphones I experience absolutely no Bluetooth dropouts or hiccups. The wireless range is also similar at 10m each. However in wired usage, the cable of the MDR-XB950B1 does not have any inline controls or mic. Hence, playback controls or answering of calls is unavailable. On the other hand, the cable on the Crusher Wireless has a inline control and mic which will function even if the headphone power is switched off. The 40 hour battery life on the SkullCandy's is also much longer than the Sony's 18 hours. Overall, the Connectivity category is a TIE. Both headphones have their perks in various ways of controlling.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Overall, both headphones excel in different categories. But it all boils down to what you really prefer. If you are looking for a more rugged headphone with better portability, then the SkullCandy Crusher Wireless is ideal for you. But if you value sound quality and comfort more. Then , the Sony MDR-XB950B1 is a obvious contender for you. All in all, I feel that the Sony's are a winner in this comparison despite some shortcomings. 

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WINNER: SONY MDR-XB950B1

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