Great sound, less noise and good looks is the Venue's mantra.
Skullcandy’s newest cans are here to block out unwanted sound with a cheaper price tag. If you're comparing these to the Bose or Sony, our advice is - don't!
Design: Simple but shady
Unlike all Skullcandy cans, the Venue is a simple looking headphone that borrows slight design aesthetics from other headphones, especially its younger sibling - the Crusher Wireless. It's got an X marked on both the cups so it's easy to spot it amongst others. Don’t like Black? It comes in White too.
These look way better than most headphones under the ₹20k bracket. However, they feel like typical Skullcandys when you get your hands on them, its body is made of strong plastic with a matte-finish coating that adds to its minimalist vibe. The only concern is that feels a little flimsy and frail in the hand, so if you're known for breaking things easily, watch out.Nevertheless, the Venue is comfy to wear, the cushions feel soft and fit in firm around the ear and the buttons at the back are well placed. When your fingers reach out, it doesn't feel like you’re playing hide-n-seek.
Speaking of buttons, on the right cup, there’s a volume rocker (long press to switch songs) with a slight indent in between for play/pause. Long press the indentation to call in the assistant to listen to orders like - “what’s the weather like”, “tell me a joke”, or call your friend. On the left cup, you’ll find a power button with LED lights next that indicate the battery and a dedicated ANC button a.k.a Monitor Mode to switch on or off. Using Monitor Mode helps you engage in conversations without taking off the headphone, but we ended up taking it off anyway because we couldn't understand much when there's a cushion around the ear.
Skullcandy also throws in a hard case to keep the Venue safe and sound, in which you'll spot a 3.5mm to 3.5mm wire in case you want to switch to a wired connection and a micro USB charging cable to charge up.
Sound and ANC - Tuned for Bass heads
The sound quality of the Skullcandy Venue is actually quite good. It’s not the best we’ve heard, and it’s certainly not the worst. Turn on A1 by Darkside and the mids do just fine delivering a slight punch. On the other hand, the bass is tuned slightly on the heavier side. Looking for something with a little rock? Play Amerika by Young The Giant and pay attention to the vocals. It plays crisp and neat. Not forgetting the bass that accompanies the song.
The Active Noise Cancellation works well and takes out all the hum-and-drum out of the way. It’s a pleasure to travel when you’ve not got anything disturbing you. Just sit back, relax and feel that quiet. It’s hard to find that peace when you’re living in a city like Mumbai or flying in a dusty old aeroplane with a loud engine. Here’s the part we didn’t fully understand. When you switch off ANC, the music volume decreases by more than half and even if you turn the volume up to max, it’ll still feel soft.
Battery and Connection: Juicy and satisfying
The Skullcandy Venue flaunts a 24 hour battery life with an addition of Rapid Charge that helps it charge up quickly. It claims to give about 5hrs of music with just a 10min charge - quite handy if you’re looking for a quick refill before you board a plane to Delhi. It may not have the best battery in its class, but it’s quite satisfactory amongst the sub-₹20k headphones. We flew back and forth to Delhi with ANC kept switched on at all times. By the time we reached home we still had about 40% of juice left.
Connecting to the Galaxy Note 9 or the laptop was a breeze. We didn't face any sort of audio delay while watching videos and no connection stutters. Using it for phone calls was pleasant too. The receiver could hear us well and didn’t end up losing our voice by the end of the conversation. Thumbs up!
Skullcandy Venue Verdict
For those wondering, yes, it does feel like Skullcandy’s taken most design bits off the Crusher Wireless, added noise-cancelling tech and a few more buttons onto the Venue.
The Venue’s here to please buyers who are looking for a headphone with decent looks, sound quality and obviously, ANC. The addition of it being able to connect to the Tile app makes it an even better choice for forgetful geeks. Just connect the headphone to the app and track it if you’ve lost it.
It may not sound, feel premium or cancel noise like the Bose QC35 or the Sony WH1000X M3, but it's ideal if you're low on budget and looking for a headphone that delivers above-average sound quality, blocks out unwanted lows and keeps playing your favourite tunes with its long-lasting battery without making you look unstylish.