“Skullcandy = big bass!”
For most people, the equation above defines the kind of audio Skullcandy offers on its headphones. And it is somewhat true because the audio experience from the brand tips slightly more towards the bass-heavy side. But what if we tell you Skullcandy has a pair of headphones that not only offers slightly balanced sound but also offers ANC and great battery life. And on top of all this, the headphones have recently received a massive price cut, making them in our opinion the best ANC headphones for anyone with a budget below Rs 10,000. And we know that there are folks out there looking for good ANC headphones in these WFH days, and well, even otherwise!
Started out against Bose and Sony
Back in late 2018, Skullcandy had released the Skullcandy Venue. The Bluetooth headphones were a relatively premium offering and came with a number of high-end features like ANC, Tile integration, and 24-hour battery life with support for fast charging. All of this was then priced at Rs. 18,999. Which put it just below the likes of the Bose QC series and the Sony WH 1000 series. It was more affordable than them but it got compared with them again and again.
Now, the headphones still offer the same features but thanks to a massive price cut, they now are available at half their launch price: Rs. 9,499.
Still very good looking
And they still look good. In terms of design, the Skullcandy Venue can easily blend in a formal setup and are available in White, Black, and Red. Made predominantly of hard plastic, the headphones do not have over the top branding or labeling on them. There is a tiny Skullcandy above the cans, on the headband, and a tiny “x” mark on the cans but that is about it. The hard plastic is paired with a leather-like material that coats the insides of the headphone. You get cushioning on the inside of the headband and on the earcups, which makes them very comfortable to wear.
There are control buttons on both the cans. On the left can you get the four tiny LED dots to indicate battery life, a power button, and ANC button. On the right ear cup, you get volume controls, pairing, and playback options. They are a little fiddly but you will get the hang of them in time. You will also find a MicroUSB port (sorry, no type C) and a 3.5 mm audio jack on the bottom of the right ear can. You get an aux cable with the headphones that you can attach to your headphones and use them if you run out of charge. Although we do not see that happening, as one of the USPs of the Skullcandy Venue is their battery life. The company claims that the cans can see up to 24 hours of listening on a single charge. In case you run out of battery, the headphones are equipped with Rapid charge that can give you a battery life of about five hours in just ten minutes.
Lots of features, including ANC and Tile
Those cushioned cans do keep out a lot of external noise but you also get ANC on the headphones that you can activate with a single click. What Apple calls Transparency mode on the AirPods Pro has been on the Venue as Monitor mode since 2018. A single click after you have turned on ANC will allow you to hear what’s happening around you. The ANC itself is not in the class of Bose or Sony’s high-end offerings but is comfortably on par or better than most Rs 15,000 headphones right now.
The headphones come with 40 mm drivers and offer an audio experience which is definitely very Skullcandy but not as Skullcandy as we are accustomed to – the bass has been given a little boost but nothing like what we have seen on other Skullcandy headsets. You will not get rumbling bass but you will get very good sound quality here.
Another USP of the Venue is that they come with Tile integration. This means you can track your headphones using your smartphone with the help of the Tile app. And it actually works. There’s also a very good carrying case in the package!
Best under 10,000? Best under Rs 15,000!
All in all, you are getting wireless over the head headphones with ANC, roughly 20 hours of battery life, support for Rapid Charge, you can switch to wire if you run out of battery, Tile integration to help you find and track your headphones in case you forget where you kept them, and some very decent audio – all at the price of Rs. 9,499.
If this is not a bargain deal, we do not know what is! Yes, we know that the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BT is also sometimes available at a lower than Rs 10,000 price, but the Venue is comfortably its overall superior. We could actually say that the Venue is right now the most feature-rich pair of headphones you can get for under not just Rs 10,000, but even Rs 15,000!
Note: the Skullcandy Venue might be selling for a slightly higher price on e-commerce websites. But even this is way lower as compared to its launch price. We would recommend, however, grabbing it from Skullcandy India’s website. As always, this price was available at the time of writing this article. The offer might change in the coming days.