I’ve found Skull Candy’s Push Ultra pretty hit and miss in my testing, but overall if you’re looking for a sporty pair of earbuds that won’t get lost, these are a reliable option.
The earbuds come in three colours ranging from the ‘Energized Yellow’ I used for this review, to ‘Bleached Blue’ and a standard ‘Black’ option. The earbuds cost $139 CAD, making them cheaper than other sports buds, including Apple’s Powerbeats Pro, for example. It’s worth noting that the blue model isn’t releasing until Spring 2021.
Not a bad headphone, but not the best either
When it comes down to the design of the earbuds, I’m more of a fan of the blue colour, but some people might prefer the ‘Energized Yellow.’ If you lose your earbuds often, the main reason to buy the yellow colour is that it’s easy to spot from a distance. The fit is another story, however. It took me a while to get used to them after using more in-ear-style headphones like the Galaxy buds+.
The earbuds don’t sit flush, so they rely on the little handle that wraps around your ear. There’s a bit of wire or something in the handles, so you can wrap them around your ear tightly to keep them secure. They’re light too, so once you get used to them, they’re comfortable to wear for long periods of time. Another plus is when using these while exercising, they don’t block out much outside sound, allowing you to hear the world around you.
On the outside of the earbuds, each bud has a volume up and down button, as well as a multi-purpose bottom to skip tracks, play/pause, answer calls and more. Like many earbuds, you interact with this button through multiple taps, long holds and more. The Skullcandy Push Ultra are also encased in rubber and have an IP67 waterproof rating of up to 1 metre below water.
The charging/carrying case that comes with the earbuds is excellent and has a great soft touch feel to it. You can charge it wirelessly or via USB-C, and it offers an extra 34-hours of battery life when your earbuds die. The Skullcandy Push Ultra themselves can last for roughly six hours on a charge, giving you a full battery of 40 hours.
The sound isn’t super loud, but if you’re in a quiet space, it might be enough. The more useful feature is that when you open the Tile app, it indicates how close you are to the earbuds, giving you a good idea of what room to look in. Plus, the bright yellow is easy to spot compared to the black colour most other earbuds
There’s also a Skullcandy app (iOS or Android) you can download to walk you through this, but outside of a slick little virtual user guide, it doesn’t offer much in the way of features or customization.
Are these for you?
When it comes down to it, you’re not likely buying these earbuds for their sound quality. They don’t block outside noise well, the overall sound quality is a bit hollow and they’re a tad bass-heavy. However, none of this matters if you want to hear what’s around you, and you’re after an extra kick of bass for motivation.
These are sport earbuds through and through, and for that purpose, they work well and cost a reasonable price. If you want to rip a skateboard, ride a bike on trails or even do light water sports, these earbuds should keep up and provide a decent soundscape.
The extra-long battery life in the case means you can toss the Skullcandy Push Ultra in your bag and pull them out whenever you need them.
The most significant issue I encountered is that sometimes only one earbud would pair with my device. That said, Skullcandy has a handy explainer on its site that makes this issue easy to fix.
Overall, if you’re looking for a decent pair of all-around earbuds, I think most people will be better off with a pair like Samsung’s Galaxy Buds+, but if you want sport earbuds that can handle just about every situation you throw at them at that also last for days, these are hard to look passed. Even the fact that you can hear the world around you is a nice change when so many other wireless earbuds burrow into your ear and feature aggressive noise-cancellation.