Arguably among the most popular of headphones brands, Skullcandy has, over the years, carved a niche for itself as the maker of affordable but good quality wired and wireless audio products. Apart from being popular in North America and Europe, the brand is also quite famous in India. SkullCandy India recently sent us their latest, entry-level TWS product - the Skullcandy Sesh Evo for review. Having extensively used them for well over two weeks, here are my thoughts on the Sesh Evo.
- Good Build quality
- High on bass
- Tile tracking feature
- Decent battery life
- Competition has equivalent or better offerings
- Button placement can cause pain occasionally
In the box
As expected of an entry-level TWS, what you get inside the retail package of the Skullcandy Sesh Evo is pretty basic.
- Charging case
- Left and right earbuds
- Two pairs of extra eartips
- Charging cable
The Skullcandy Sesh Evo succeeds its predecessor from 2019 - the ‘original’ Skullcandy Sesh. While there are several hardware and software updates to the new model, the overall look has not changed. The new Sesh Evo, therefore, looks exactly similar to its older sibling. As expected of an entry-level product, the Sesh Evo seems to be entirely constructed of plastic - albeit of excellent quality. The charging case, while not the most ergonomic one to carry around, feels pretty well built and has a nice ‘weight’ to it – adding to the overall feel. I also quite liked the way the case opens and closes. The strong magnet lets you firmly close the lid while also not being too firm that impedes the opening process. The case also incorporates four small LEDs to indicate the charging status.
The earbuds and the charging case seem to be made of identical materials, thereby giving a more cohesive feel to the entire setup. The earbuds themselves are quite tiny and weigh next to nothing. The Skullcandy logo takes pride of place on the sides of the earbuds (that also acts as a button for quick controls). The logo, however, was hard to spot on the ‘True Black’ colour option we received for review. The product is available in two more colour variants: Peached Blue and Pure Mint. I would personally choose the Black colour variant just because of its understated looks. The other colour options will appeal to folk who prefer something flashier.
The Skullcandy Sesh Evo happens to be IP55 rated for protection from water and dust. This is a great feature to have, especially if you are someone who is exposed to dust and happen to sweat a lot during workouts. Note that you cannot take these with you into the pool!
The first thing you notice when you open the case are the two bright LED indicators. Both the earbuds automatically go into pairing mode when you take them out of the case for the first time. If you have already completed the pairing process earlier, the buds automatically connect to your phone. The initial setup process is simple and self-explanatory.
The default ear tips that the Sesh Evo came attached to fit my ears perfectly, and I did not end up using the extra ear tips provided in the box. While I did encounter several complaints about the earbuds dropping off during intense workout or activity, in my case, they managed to stay put. It did, however, took me a while to get them perfectly aligned with the contours of my ears.
As already outlined in the design and build section, the entire flat external panel of Sesh Evo earbuds acts as a button. While it’s nice to have these buttons, for almost every function you can perform with them, you need to press hard against your ears - which is not something really comfortable. In fact, most people will certainly find this rather painful.
An interesting feature addition to the Skullcandy Sesh Evo is support for the Tile app. With this feature, you can easily search and locate your earbuds in case you have the tendency to misplace them. The Sesh Evo, perhaps, is the only TWS to offer this feature.
Calling and audio performance
I did not extensively use the Sesh Evo for calls, but the voice reception was decent, and the person at the other end was able to hear me pretty well. But the Sesh Evo certainly isn’t the best in the segment as far as call quality goes. Another thing that I noticed was the effect that my jaw movement (while speaking on the phone) had on the earbuds. In my case, since it was a tight fit, the Sesh Evo did not fall off. This issue, however, isn’t exclusive to the Sesh Evo and plagues most other TWS.
Skullcandy products are known for offering tight, punchy bass, and the Sesh Evo certainly delivers on this front. The tiny 6mm drivers do a commendable job at reproducing the lower frequencies. However, the bass is overbearing at times and even ends up affecting the mids. Certain tracks sound muddled. You can, however, use a graphic equalizer to rein things in. The Sesh Evo also comes with its own set of preset sound modes that can be invoked by pressing the button four times. The three modes on offer are Podcast, Movie, and Music. For mellow tracks with emphasis on the mids and the highs, switching to the Podcast mode made a world of difference.
To evaluate the sound stage of the Sesh Evo, I played my favorite track, ‘Hunter’ by Bjork. The peculiarity of this track is the continuous drum beats that ebb across the right and left channels through almost the entire duration of the song. The Sesh Evo did manage to reproduce the track to my satisfaction. The soundstage could have been a bit wider - but I did understand the limitations of a small TWS with a 6mm driver. Overall, the Sesh Evo does offer good performance for the money you shell out for the product.
The Skullcandy Sesh Evo claims a battery life of 24 hours - a significant improvement over its predecessor. Along with the charging case, the earbuds can easily last you a week with normal usage. I took well over two days to completely exhaust the battery on the earbuds with five hours of intermittent usage during the entire 48-hour duration. The case can be easily charged overnight using any USB-C cable. No complaints overall as far as the battery life on the Sesh Evo is concerned.
Skullcandy Sesh Evo: Should you be buying this?
There is no denying that the Skullcandy Sesh Evo is a competent product. While it is slightly on the pricier side, it does feature the useful Tile app functionality which makes it somewhat unique. If you like your music, though, there are several competing products in its price segment that now offer equivalent or better performance. In India, where we reviewed this product, there are several competing TWS earbuds that show up as good alternatives. These include the Oppo Enco W31, the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2, the Redmi Earbuds S, and the Realme Earbuds Q. Another product that offers almost equivalent performance is the Noise Shots X5 Pro. Elsewhere, there are several good quality TWS offerings for the EUR 60 mark that it retails in Europe. The India price, for reference, is Rs 4,499 (EUR 53).