Skullcandy is one of the most popular headphone brands in the market today. In the last ten years, their popularity has soared. Their success has been made in making affordable and stylish headphones for the fashion conscious.
There’s no doubt that the Skullcandy Riff Wireless On-Ear Headphone – White/Crimson are most certainly an affordable release into the market. These are one of the least expensive options for anyone looking to buy headphones that are wireless and have Bluetooth.
The question is, are they any good?
Let’s get this Skullcandy Riff Review underway and find out…
Design & Features
The Skullcandy Riff Wireless On-Ear Headphone – White/Crimson are a lightweight pair of headphones. They weigh in at a mere 5.6 ounces. That’s just under 160 grams if you’re dealing with metric weight. Regardless, that’s still light.
These are wireless headphones that actually have good battery life on a full charge. You get a full 12 hours.
Even better is that they have rapid charging via a Micro-USB, which can give you an extra two hours of listening time in a mere 10 minutes.
A full charge will take just an hour and a half. We seriously doubt that there can be too many people who have 12 hours stints of listening, but at least if you do, Skullcandy have you covered.
If you do happen to lose track of your charge level, you’ll get a voice alert when the battery is low. Additionally, an LED blue light flashes when the power levels are good and flashes red when there is only ten percent of battery life remaining. That’s all a good level of functionality considering The Skullcandy Riff entry-level price.
At this point, we are, of course, presuming that you’re predominantly set on a pair of wireless headphones, and we get that. However, if its battery life is still not good enough for you, there’s always the wired version, which also happens to be less than half the price.
As you’d expect, The Skullcandy Riff are Bluetooth compatible. It’s worth noting here that the wireless version we’re reviewing here are only Bluetooth compatible. Conversely, the wired version, which uses a 3.5mm connection, has no Bluetooth compatibility. If you need both, then you should look at the Skullcandy Hesh 3. It’s also worth noting that we had no issues with the Bluetooth signal in use.
All the controls are on the right-hand side of the headphones. These include; Bluetooth pairing, Micro-USB charging port, power on, LED charge indicator, play, pause, volume up, volume down, skip track forward, and backward. It would have been nice to have had some extra separation between some of the controls, but everything worked well enough, so we’ve no real complaints here.
So far, so good.
Build & Construction
Although we are reviewing a very affordable pair of headphones, even for the price, they look a little plain. OK, yes, they have the Skullcandy logo at the base of the headband, but otherwise, we can’t get too excited about them. They look like something you’d buy on a whim in a gas station.
The Skullcandy Riff Wireless On-Ear Headphone – White/Crimson are on-ear headphones. Essentially, this means they actually press on your ear. This is unlike most studio headphones that are over-ear and are generally more comfortable to wear over extended periods.
The fact is, though, that over-ear headphones do tend to be bulkier and heavier, which does give some small advantage to over-ear headphones like The Skullcandy Riff. Although we can’t claim them to be as comfortable as a good pair of studio headphones, they’re not going to be overly fatiguing to wear.
That’s the fact that probably due to their lightweight and low price, there’s nothing in the way of padding on the headband. It’s cheap plastic all the way here. Additionally, the padding on the ears looks and feels low quality. The covering is made from some other kind of cheap plastic, which is likely to make you feel a little hot and irritable over time.
Both of these factors do little to improve your comfort.
The ear cups are foldable, and the headband is retractable. It’s all very functional, but the overall construction of these headphones just doesn’t shout quality, and we’re not sure of their durability over an extended period of time.,
The one positive we noticed in their construction is that the headband is actually quite flexible. So, not only should it be suitable for all sizes of heads, but hopefully, this part of The Riff could prove to be more durable than on first impressions.
In any event, our advice is to not throw them around too much and try to treat them gently.
Let’s dive in by talking about the volume. It’s actually one fo the first things we noticed as even at maximum volume, they feel a little quiet. Thank Skullcandy for saving our ears, but we would have liked a little more power. Since there’s no noise-canceling feature, environmental noise can easily be heard at low volumes when you’re out and about.
The fact is that listening to quiet dialogue or passages of music at low volume can be a real challenge.
The Skullcandy Riff have a definite sound signature. In some situations, they offer a perfectly reasonable listening experience. However, they are not particularly accurate headphones are not suitable where any critical listening is needed. These are definitely not something to be taken into a studio to be used as reference headphones.
To begin with, instrument separation is not clear, and the soundstage feels narrow. Also, the bass levels are very dominant, lacks punch, and sound a little boomy. The bass tends to overpower the vocals and other non-bass driven instruments.
The mids are also bass orientated and sound a little muddy. The mids do feel scooped out, and this is where the Skullcandy Riff Wireless On-Ear Headphone could do with having more definition. If you’re predominantly listening to movies or vocally driven music, you’re likely to miss a lot of the detail.
Trebles, on the other hand, have a reasonable level of clarity and sound quite bright without being shrill.
Some good news there.
Let’s Look At Some More Positives
The heavy bass and bright highs can feel fun to listen to in the right circumstances. In fact, listening to club-style music, or any music with a strong lower end really suits these headphones. Also, they do have a certain warmth to their overall sound.
When playing to their strengths, the Skullcandy Riff can sound decent.
Finishing on some more positives, firstly, when watching videos or playing games, there were absolutely no syncing issues. And also, the built-in microphone worked well on calls. It was clear for the callers even when outside.
If you’re not quite convinced about whether these Skullcandy headphones are the perfect choice for you, don’t worry, there are lots of other superb options. So please check out our reviews of the Best Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, the Best Bluetooth Headphones under 100 dollars, the Best Bone Conduction Headphones, the Best Sennheiser Headphones, and the Best Workout Headphones and Earphones currently available.
Skullcandy Riff Pros & Cons
- Good for listening to bass-driven music.
- Bluetooth works well.
- It has an in-built microphone that is clear.
- Quick recharging times.
- Low build quality with lots of cheap plastics.
- Scooped out and muddy mids.
- Low volume.
- No passive noise cancelation.
The bottom line is that these are a really affordable pair of headphones and offer a lot for very little. There nothing much close to this price that can offer both wireless and Bluetooth.
To get so many functions into the package, at such a low cost, corners have to be cut. Clearly, the construction isn’t as good as we might like. But despite this everything works OK. If the Skullcandy Riff Wireless On-Ear Headphone proves to be durable in the long term, only time will tell.
These are also not going to create the kind of sound to please everyone. However, this ‘V’ shaped sound with booming bass, and sparkling trebles can create an exciting listening experience.