Discover the headset that sounds as good as it looks in our Skullcandy PLYR review!
Skullcandy have certainly established themselves as the go-to creators of headsets for those seeking an alternative style. Their bass-heavy models with colours, styles, and aesthetics unlike any others, offer a wide variety of headphones and earphones suited to the street. Now adding to their huge range of headsets, Skullcandy have veered into the gaming market with their latest flagship headset: the Skullcandy PLYR.
Stop being a PLYR hater.
Offering Bluetooth and dual wireless connectivity alongside universal compatibility between modern consoles and devices, the PLYR might just be the new go-to for users looking for their first gaming headset. So does it sound as good as it looks? Find out in our Skullcandy PLYR review.
Skullcandy PLYR Review – Design
As with most Skullcandy headsets, the design incorporates a street style, with pops of colour and a unique aesthetic synonymous with the brand. Rather than the sleek, streamlined aesthetic of many headsets, the PLYR incorporates vibrant colours into its headband, earcups, and even the bundled accessories like mic and cords. Adding vibrant colours to suit your setup, the light blue and hot pink style won’t suit everyone, but looks surprisingly pleasing.
The colourful design sure looks great alongside the Nintendo Switch.
The left earcup contains all the controls for quick audio changes on the go. This includes a USB-C port for charging, a 3.5mm port for old-fashioned wired audio, a satisfyingly clicky volume wheel, and a sliding power/pair button. The actual earcup itself also has two buttons when clicking the side of the earcup, which is great for quick and easy control. Clicking the upper half of the earcup will pause whatever audio you’re listening to, and clicking the lower half will mute the mic.
The range of controls are super handy for quick changes on the go.
The headset is also paired with a colourful light blue USB-C to USB-A cord for charging, and the hot pink 3.5mm – 3.5mm cord if you’d rather use the headset wired. There’s also a detachable boom mic which is easily slotted into the headset and can be removed at any time. And while the overall design of the PLYR is pleasing, the lack of a wireless transmitter being bundled in is an unfortunate downside when compared to headsets like the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless.
Skullcandy PLYR Review – Audio
Skullcandy are renowned for their deep and thumping bass, with headsets catered towards bass-heavy music and little attention to treble. This absolutely isn’t the case with the PLYR, as this modest headset includes a surprisingly well-rounded sound that covers all audio areas. With their proprietary 50mm dynamic drivers, the PLYR performs well across all ranges, both within videogames and listening to a wide variety of media.
Although lacking the specs of incredibly high-quality headsets like those from Beyerdynamic, most users won’t find themselves missing out on too much. When used primarily for gaming, the PLYR holds its own with many other headsets of the market, especially if used in conjunction with the free Skull-HQ gaming app to tailor the audio to your own preferences. The Bluetooth signal is also incredibly reliable, with next to no connection issues or drop-outs. Though keep in mind without the USB transmitter, you will encounter a slight audio delay when using Bluetooth.
When it comes to the microphone, the PLYR is somewhat hit and miss. Skullcandy claims that the “Clear Voice Smart Mic” is powered by AI and optimised for crystal clear audio, but this boom mic can’t quite compare to those found on many other headsets. Take a listen to this short snippet below for an example of what to expect:
A short example of the PLYR’s microphone.
If your main use for the microphone is during gaming as voice chat, then the PLYR is perfectly fine. But if you’re looking for a headset catered for streaming, voice recording, or podcasts, then the PLYR doesn’t quite cut it. Given this headset is more geared towards console gaming, it’s not surprising that the microphone isn’t of an incredibly high standard.
Skullcandy PLYR Review – User Experience
We always make it a priority to discuss comfort during out headset reviews, especially if you’re expecting to wear a headset for hours on end. This has clearly been taken into account with the Skullcandy PLYR, as comfort is one of the key motivations behind its design.
Coming in at a lightweight 315g and taking advantage of a suspension band design (similar to those in SteelSeries Headsets), you’ll have no issues wearing the PLYR during long sessions. The highlight of its comfort is certainly in the earcups, which are padded using memory foam and comfortably mould themselves to suit the shape of your head. Despite the lack of noise-cancelling, the snug design of the memory foam cuts out most background audio naturally.
Comfy as a cloud.
As with all wireless headsets, we also need to take a close look at the battery life. On a full charge, the Skullcandy PLYR offers 24 hours of battery life and a fast charge via USB-C. This is more than adequate and throughout my several weeks of using the PLYR, I never found myself running flat on any occasion. Simply plug it in every now and then for a short period, and you’re pretty much good to go. Though admittedly there is no indication of battery life, which would have been a nice touch.
The wireless transmitter, which would have been perfect bundled-in, isn’t currently available in Australia.
Lastly, the PLYR’s compatibility across a multitude of devices works significantly to its advantage. You’ll be able to connect via Bluetooth easily to PC, Switch, and mobile within seconds. I personally found myself using it most on Switch, which is an excellent option either at home or on the go. Using the PLYR on other consoles (such as Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5) does require either a wired connection via 3.5mm or USB, or alternatively the use of a low-latency wireless dongle (which at the time of this review, isn’t yet available for purchase in Australia).
As Skullcandy’s first ever entry into the gaming headset market, the PLYR offers a well-rounded headset with impressive audio to match its distinct aesthetic. Sporting a comfortable design alongside deep bass and clear highs, and at a reasonable price point for the quality and amount of features available, this is certainly a contended for gaming headsets in the low to mid price bracket. So if you’re wanting to show off with a headset that will turn heads, press play on the Skullcandy PLYR.
So, why should you buy the Skullcandy PLYR?
- Looking for a headset that’s compatible across all modern devices
- Surprisingly clear audio for a headset of this price range ($249.95RRP)
- Incredibly comfortable for long play sessions
- You prefer a headset with a stylish aesthetic that stands out
But why shouldn’t you buy the Skullcandy PLYR?
- Wireless transmitter isn’t included, meaning Bluetooth audio lags slightly
- Streaming or recording audio? The mic on the PLYR isn’t suitable
A review unit was kindly provided by Skullcandy Australia for the purpose of our Skullcandy PLYR review. And if you enjoyed this review, be sure to check out more of our hardware reviews and news and join the Qualbert Discord to chat with us about all things tech.