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Hands-on review: Skullcandy Grind and Push Active wireless earbuds
Mon, 14th Feb 2022
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Skullcandy's earbuds tend to offer a stylish design, comfortable fit, and great audio experience. Do the company's latest earbuds, the Grind and Push Active models continue to impress?

The Grind and Push active are essential the same devices. The Grind earbuds are deceit sitting snug inside the ear for everyday use. The Push Active earbuds, again fit comfortably in your ear, but with a soft rubber-covered piece that hooks around the back of your ear. The Push Active earbuds are are just as comfortable even with the hooks that gave me a bit more reassurance that the earbuds won't fall out on a run or other activity.

The Skullcandy Grind and Push Active earbuds come with a charging case and a cable with a standard Type-A USB connector on one end and a Type-C on the other for plugging into the charging case. This means that if you have a Type-C phone charging cable, you can use it to charge your earbuds as well

The Grind earbuds have 9 hours of charge plus another thirty-one in the case. The larger Push Active case holds around 34 hours of charge with the earbuds giving you 10 hours of listening time. Both charge cases are stylish and robust with solid hinges and the iconic Skullcandy logo on the lid.

Medium-sized gel tips are factory installed, which can be replaced with the pair of small and larger tips included in the pack depending on your ears. This ensures a nice comfy fit.

The earbuds are ready to go straight out of the box. You just open the charge case lid and select the earbuds on your Bluetooth device. I've never had any problems pairing with Skullcandy audio kit before, and I had no problems this time, either. If you do run into issues, the user guide tells you all you need to know to get going, as well as take calls and play music. There's also a summary card included with all the important info on one page.

To get the most out of the earbuds, you need to download the Skullcandy app on your mobile phone, which is available free from Google Play and the Apple App Store. The app allows access to the more advanced functions of the earbuds as well as any firmware update that are available.

Skullcandy's iQ smart feature technology boasts the ability to add functionality to the earbuds in future updates, keeping them up-to-date with consumer trends and future user requirements. The idea is that this will stop the earbuds from becoming obsolete as new innovations and technology comes along.

As well as equalizer settings the Skullcandy app allows for customised button settings and a few one-touch functions. The earbud buttons can be set to share audio with others that have compatible Skullcandy earbuds, remotely take photos with your phone and launch Spotify with a tap.

The big selling point with both the Grind and Push Active earbuds is voice control. With the Skullcandy app open you can launch Spotify and perform other operations by voice. It's a bit hit-and-miss, but I found launching my mobile phone's assistant easier and just going from there. For instance, saying “Hey Skullcandy…assistant” on my Android phone launches the Google Assistant giving me access and full control over Spotify, Audible and Google searches. Not something that I'd use every day, but could be useful.

As with all Skullcandy's earbuds, both the Grind and Push Active come with Tile functionality built-in, making them easier to find, should you lose them. The Skullcandy app will download the Tile app (or open it, if installed). Following the prompts, you can add the earbuds to the Tile application for location monitoring.

Of course, all the above is irrelevant if the earbuds don't sound great. And sound great they do. The audio for both is crisp and the volume goes up quite loud. There's also a function in the Skullcandy app to turn on “Stay-Aware” mode which amplifies external noise so you can still hear what's going on around you.

Both the Grind and Push Active earbuds are very well made and offer a discreet and comfortable listening experience. The Push Active's ear hooks give extra confidence when wearing them running or cycling. The Skullcandy app adds extra functionality and the promise of continued support with new features as they become available.