STEREO GUIDE verdict
+ Very useful software/app
+ extraordinary wearing comfort
+ serves as mobile everyday headphones as well
+ Long battery life
- wireless requires smartphone
- Transparency and spatiality just average
Sound: Tonal Balance / transparency8
Sound: Bass / Dynamics8.4
Sound: Spatial imaging7.6
Ease-of-use / Connectivity9.6
Call it a comeback! Skullcandy suddenly disappeared from the gaming market nine years ago albeit their last wireless headset receiving quite some appraisal. So in September 2022 a big comeback has been announced releasing no less than three headset. The Skullcandy PLYR Multi-Platform Wireless Gaming Headset marks the flagship model of this range so we were pretty much looking forward to reviewing it.
Fun retro design
The design of both the headset and its packaging wouldn´t be left unnoticed: They´re absolutely unique and probably won’t appeal to the taste of everyone. There is no denying that it is a contemporary look rather than a retro one. Personally, I think this quirky design to be quite a smart idea. As a reintroduced brand they seem to target mainly Gen Z buyers being commonly known for prefering individuality and valueing unique ideas.
Do we need a glowing mic?
The software behind it seems to be more complex than the product itself. On the other hand battery life is impressive, supposed to be 24 hours. We did not check that on the long run, but during our review mainly in wireless mode, it never faltered. What’s special is that on the left ear cup, the surface can be pressed at the top, for pause and play, and at the bottom, for muting the mic. Truly useful: whenever the mic is muted, it lights up red, so you´re always reminded of that. As you might expect, the set comes with a volume control as well as a switch for standard operations such as “On”, “Off” and “Pair”.
The mic can be adjusted and pulled out according to your personal taste. Especially without a mic, the signature design of Skullcandy´s PLYR does not differ from mobile headphones for everyday use, so you might be take it out as well. However, it does not offer any noise cancelling.
Wearing comfort: So good you´ll forget
Combining soft pads, adjustable headband and a surprisingly light weight, the wearing comfort turned out to be excellent. I can wear it all day, and often forget that I’m wearing headphones at all. Eight hours without taking them off seemed not to be a problem at all, but after a long time, you might start noticing that there is something on your head.
Truly Wireless and Multi-Platform?
The full name of this product – Skullcandy PLYR Multi-Platform Wireless Gaming Headset – we found to be a bit misleading. It is somehow leading to the assumption one can use it wirelessly with various devices.
In fact, this headset solely offers a wireless connection to smartphones. For PC gaming an additional USB dongle is required costing 30 bucks, but it was not available at the time of reviewing (and we might have to wait until early 2023). So the standard option for gamers is a wired one via USB-C. Conveniently, it is then constantly charged and would then be immediately ready to be used wirelessly with the phone.
Convincing in terms of sound quality
The performance and audio quality of the Skullcandy PLYR turned out to be rock solid. Not fantastic in hi-fi terms, but way above average. Its software is a big advantage when it comes to the best individual setup. Especially the midrange performance we found to be convincing. Treble seemed to get a bit of a boost whenever the software’s dedicated gaming features where activated, so it can get a bit harsh and fatiguing.
Three-dimensional imaging is what you what expect from a gaming headset at this pricepoint. While different virtual directions of sound sources can be located quite distinctively, the PLYR’s ambience unfortunately did not turn out to be impressive.
The best gaming software
What sets the Skullcandy headset apart from competitors is the software. The number and depth of options are without any doubt class-leading given the price range. And even though the software offers complex options, they are all extremely easy to understand and control thanks to the software´s frontend.
When reviewing the PLYR, we found different EQ modes for gaming or music, even film pretty useful, and as is what Skullcandy is calling Enhanced Sound Perception. For the E.S.P, you do a five-minute test that calculates a personalized EQ curve. Sounds unusual but definitely improves clarity and resolution. However, i found to to be rather boosting treble too much when playing ego-shooters so i turned it off in the end of the day.
If you connect a smartphone, you might find Skullcandy´s app for iOS and Android useful. Just like on the Win version, it offers plenty of cool features and the user interface is intuitive.
Review conclusion: Skullcandy PLYR
The Skullcandy PLYR Multi-Platform Wireless Gaming Headset is a practical as well as unique product. Especially wearing comfort as well as software are above average. In terms of sound quality it is recommended thanks to the software for gaming as well as for listening music and movies. It’s a really versatile product that you might want to use on the go more often than for gaming, thanks to its detachable mic and reliable Bluetooth. Overall, the multi-platform factor is justified since you can use the headset on the computer as well as cell phone for chatting.
I recommend this headset especially to PC gamers who want touse one and the same headset for mobile use.
Specifications: Skullcandy PLYR
- Retail price: 140 dollars/pounds/euros
- Type: Over-Ear
- Transducer: Dynamic
- Weight: 315 g
- Features: up to 24 hours battery life, quick charge function, Enhanced Sound Perception, Bluetooth 5.2, Clear Voice Smart Mic
- More at: www.skullcandy.eu