Skullcandy Grind Headphone Review

What are the Skullcandy Grind?

The Skullcandy Grind are one-ear headphones whose price of just £40 puts them firmly in the cheap headphones category. But don’t let that – or Skullycandy’s typically colourful design – put you off. While the Grind will still turn heads for their looks, it’s the sound quality that has shocked us, in a really good way.

SEE ALSO: Best Cheap Headphones for Under £100

Skullcandy Grind – Design and Comfort

Skullycandy doesn’t do boring headphones. It loves the bold approach. These on-ears come in black, white and blue options with additional colours on the way – including a gold version. Somewhat surprisingly the dark blue or "Ill Famed Royal" ones we tried were not actually as brash as we’d anticipated. They are still colourful, but the hue is quite subdued in comparison to the other colours available and should help give them appeal beyond the usual more youthful audience.

We also fully expected the Grinds to feel tacky and horrible but they’re actually well constructed for a £40 pair of headphones. The soft, matte finish on the earcups feels nice to touch, the adjustable headband sliders are made from metal instead of plastic and there’s even real stitching on the top of the headband. These are the kind of things you’d expect to find on more expensive headphones and it’s surprising to find such great build quality on a pair of Skullcandy headphones.

The biggest issue Skullcandy is trying to address with its latest headphones is the microphone positioning. It’s moved the built-in mic from the removable tangle-free cable to inside the left earcup. So if you like to have your headphone cable dangling underneath your shirt, this should make it easier to make calls.

To activate the mic, there’s a single button just above the port for the headphone cable and this is Skullcandy's TapTech feature. It controls when the mic needs to be used and can also control music playback. A series of taps can skip tracks back or forward as well as play and pause. It’s sounds like a simple feature to use, but it can be fiddly to get used to, especially when you’re listening to music on a run and need to quickly change tracks.

The Grinds are comfortable too. Possibly some of the most comfortable headphones we’ve tried. The combination of a light frame and the soft, accommodating ear pads make them ideal for wearing on the train, at your desk at work or hanging them around your neck. We tried them in the gym as well, and while there’s some initial moving around, they do stay put and don’t get too sticky after a workout.

One of the nicest touches though is the soft mesh material on the headband’s interior. While most headphones apply this evenly across the headband, Skullycandy reduces the thickness in the middle to combat fatigue on the part of the head that can suffer most. As a result, you can wear these for long periods without fear of severe discomfort.

Skullcandy Grind – Sound Quality

Based on previous experiences with Skullcandy headphones, we didn’t have high hopes for the Grinds. It’s always felt like style over substance, but that couldn’t be further from truth here. These sound fantastic for £40 headphones.

Powered by custom REX40TM drivers, there’s none of the usual tendency to over-emphasise bass. Yes, It’s still the most predominant characteristic, but this is a pair of headphones with a balanced sound that keeps its stability even at top volume.

While it lacks the finesse and warmth you get on more expensive headphones, you still get something that’s well-rounded and should cater for music tastes. For more up-tempo music, you get the power and bass without sacrificing the treble and mid-range performance. For vocals and instruments, you still get a satisfying amount of natural detail. Even taking voice calls from the built-in mic delivers decent clarity.

Noise isolation, perhaps unsurprisingly, is one of its limitations. If you crank it up to drown out your fellow commuters there’s some inevitable noise leakage. It’s definitely not the worst offenders though.

Should I buy the Skullcandy Grind?

For the price, the Skullcandy Grind on-ears are some of the best-sounding headphones we’ve tried. But it’s not just the vastly improved sound quality we approve of. The streamlined design and build quality is surprisingly good and they are supremely comfortable to wear. Any negatives – such as the fiddly tap tech controls – are outweighed by the Grind’s many positives.

You’d be hard pressed to find a £40 pair of on-ear headphones that can compete with what the Grind can offer. The more compact AKG Y50 offer a similarly punchy design and sound combination but are more expensive at £69. The slightly older AKG K451 on-ears, which you can pick for around £50, also deliver a more serious look and a fun bassy sound.

Bottom line, if you have a £50 budget, this is your best option right now.

SEE ALSO: Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones 2015


The Skullcandy Grind on-ear headphones are cheap, but they look the part and sound fantastic as well.

readmore »»  

Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor GOTY Edition coming May

by |


Shadow of Mordor GOTY

Warner Bros has announced a special Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor Game of the Year Edition.

Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor GOTY Edition will arrive with all previously released DLC in one pack.

This special all inclusive edition will be available for PC, PS4 and Xbox One, but there’s no mention of the Xbox 360 or PS3 at the moment.

When the GOTY Edition arrives on May 8, it will include both story expansions — The Lord of the Hunt and The Bright Lord.

Plus, you’ll be able to get all available skins, runes, challenge modes and additional missions, as well as the new photo mode.

Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor GOTY Edition will cost £49.99 on Xbox One and PS4 and £34.99 on Windows PC.

Here’s a full breakdown of the GOTY bundle:

  • Story Packs: The Lord of The Hunt and The Bright Lord
  • Skins: The Dark Ranger, Captain of the Watch, Lord of the Hunt, The Bright Lord, Power of Shadow and Lithariel Skins
  • Runes: Hidden Blade, Deadly Archer, Flame of Anor, Rising Storm, Orc Slayer, Defiant to the End, Elven Grace, Ascendant, One with Nature
  • Missions: Guardians of the Flaming Eye, The Berserks and The Skull Crushers Warband Missions
  • Challenge Modes: Test of Power, Test of Speed, Test of Wisdom, Endless Challenge, Test of the Wild, Test of the Ring, Test of Defiance Challenge Modes
  • Additional Features: Photo Mode

Related: PS4 vs Xbox One

When we reviewed Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor we gave the game 8/10, saying:

“With good, demanding combat, excellent stealth and enemies worth slaying it’s more compulsive than you might expect, and it treats the license with some respect as well.”

readmore »»  

TomTom MyDrive lets you control sat nav from your smartphone

TomTom has launched MyDrive, an app designed to forge a link between your car and your mobile device.

Drivers will be able to use the app to check out a wealth of information before they actually get in their car.

The app is compatible with both iOS, Android, and desktop PCs, and works with the entire TomTom Go sat nav line-up.

So what can you actually do? For a start, you can check out real-time traffic information before a journey.

Other sat nav services offer a similar service, but the app brings this to the TomTom Go line for the first time.

You’ll also be able to plan routes and send destinations to your compatible sat nav direct from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

TomTom MyDrive

“As soon as the driver gets in the car, they are ready to leave,” explained a TomTom spokesperson.

Users can also set favourite destinations on the app, including home and work locations. Custom ‘Points of Interest’ lists can be imported too.

MyDrive launches with some innovative features – all designed to make the driving experience more seamless,” explained Corinne Vigreux, TomTom’s Consumer co-founder and MD.

“From knowing when to leave so that you arrive on time, to making your map personal with your favourite places.”

Related: TomTom GO 50 review

TomTom also confirmed that it would be opening up the platform to developers, so that third-parties can tinker with the software.

Owners of the new TomTom Go 510, 610, 5100, or 6100 will have the software built-in. Anyone with an older model will need to update the system to make use of the app integration.

readmore »»  

Halo 5 cover art reveals more about the game

by |


Halo 5: Guardians

The Halo 5: Guardians cover art has been unveiled, revealing new information about the game.

Building the hype around the Xbox One-bound title, 343 Industries has revealed the game's box art ahead of the October 27 Halo 5 release date.

For the covers of Halo 4 and Halo 3, it was Master Chief that enjoyed the spotlight on his own. But for Halo 5: Guardians it’s a different affair.

As you can see in the image above, and in the animated poster version below, there’s some sort of showdown between mysterious new Spartans.

In the mini trailer, we see Master Chief and Agent Locke facing off, but both of the chaps have a team of new Spartans behind them — four a piece.

Related: Best Games 2015

If you look closely, you can see that at least one of the new Fireteam members is female.

According to the Xbox Wire post, these new Spartan Fireteams “play a crucial role in the showdown between Master Chief and Spartan Locke.”

“Who are these Spartans? This and many more mysteries will be uncovered as we draw closer to the world premiere of Halo 5: Guardians at E3 2015. Join us as we #HUNTtheTRUTH,” explained Microsoft.

Give us your thoughts on who the Spartans could be in the comments below

readmore »»  

TomTom Bandit action cam is the latest GoPro rival

TomTom has just announced its first foray into the action camera market, looking to take on market leader GoPro.

Dubbed the TomTom Bandit Action Camera, the fledgling device is focused on editing and sharing with ease.

That’s because the camera is the first-ever to come with a built-in media server, which means you don’t need to download footage to edit it.

The camera partners up with a dedicated companion app, which lets users create and share videos just by shaking their smartphones.

“We know that the biggest frustration people have with action cameras today is the time and effort it takes to edit,” says Corinne Vigreux, co-founder and managing director of TomTom Consumer.

“With TomTom Bandit we’ve cut the editing time down from hours to minutes – all it takes is a shake!”

The action camera also comes packed with in-camera motion and GPS sensors, and can find and tag ‘exciting moments’ based on speed, altitude, G-force, acceleration, and heart rate. You can also manually tag highlights, of course.

The smartphone app can also double as a viewfinder, which lets you both view and review footage direct from your handset.

The software allows for easy edits like adding music, metric overlays, and sharing.

Related: Garmin VIRB Elite action camera review

TomTom’s Bandit camera uses a wide-angle lens, with a 16-megapixel CCD sensor and a built-in processor.

Video shooting formats include 1080p at 30fps, 1080p at 60fps, 720p at 60fps, and 720p at 120fps.

There are also two cinematic modes: 2.7k at 30fps, and 4k at 15fps; time lapse, slow-mo, single and burst photo modes are included too.

It’s also got a ‘long lasting’ battery, a microSD slot, and a USB 3.0 port. Oh, and it’s waterproof too, so you won’t need to stick it in a case.

TomTom is peddling the device on its website for £299.99, but it won’t be available until May. Select retailers will also be selling the cam, including John Lewis, Curry’s, and Amazon.

There will also be a premium pack available to buy in June. This will come with accessories bundled and a bumped-up price tag of £379.99.

readmore »»  

People trying to flog PS4s with PT demo installed for £1000 on eBay

by |



People are trying to flog PS4s with the Silent Hills P.T demo pre-installed for around £1000 on eBay.

It was announced this week that Konami’s Silent Hills game is dead and its playable trailer “P.T” was removed from the PlayStation Store last night.

So, in an attempt to cash in on the sad news, some PS4 owners are trying to do a Flappy Bird and are selling their PS4 consoles with P.T installed for some rather premium prices.

There are currently four sellers on eBay UK trying to flog their PS4 consoles, with two currently offered at a Buy It Now price for £1,000.

There’s even one that is offering a P.T equipped PS4 for a whopping £3,100 with £15 postage and packaging.

If you want a slightly more affordable option there’s also a listing for £650 with £20 P&P.

Related: PS4 vs PS3

Konami announced that the “distribution period” for PT ended last night, with the playable trailer pulled from the PlayStation Store.

Although the company has confirmed it will continue to make Silent Hills titles, the Silent Hills announced at GamesCom last year has been cancelled.

Would you pay such a high fee to play the P.T Silent Hills demo?


readmore »»  

Tag Heuer smartwatch will make the Apple Watch look affordable

Tag Heuer’s eagerly awaited entry to the smartwatch space will launch this autumn with a lofty price tag, new reports have claimed.

According to Bloomberg, the unnamed Moto 360 rival will start hitting retailers ‘in October or November’ alongside an Apple Watch dwarfing $1,400 (£912) asking price.

In contrast the Apple Watch – a wearable criticised for being too expensive – is available from £299.

The iPhone maker’s smartwatch range does quickly move up the pay scale, however, all the way to the £13,500 18-carat gold Apple Watch Edition.

Further details on the Tag Heuer smartwatch’s features list are still few and far between, although Tag’s head honcho Jean-Claude Biver has confirmed the device will offer a 40 hour battery life on a single charge.

It has also been suggested that the device will be based around the design of one of the company’s most iconic timepieces – the black Carrera.

Questioned on his views on the Apple Watch, Biver, who heads up the watchmaking activities of Tag’s parent company LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, stated: “I hope they sell millions and millions and millions of them.”

He added: “The more they sell the more a few people will want something different and come to Tag Heuer.

Related: Apple Watch vs Pebble Time

Last month it was revealed that Tag Heuer has partnered with Intel and Google to aid development of its Android Wear powered smartwatch.

"Swiss watchmaking and Silicon Valley is a marriage of technical innovation with watchmaking credibility,” Biver stated.

Guy Sémon, General Manager of Tag Heuer, added: “The quality of Swiss watches is renowned worldwide. When this is allied with the creative technology and global power of two companies like Intel and Google, using the Android Wear platform and based on Intel technology, we can see the launch of a technological revolution in our industry."

readmore »»