Skullcandy Hesh 2 Wireless review: A decent budget Bluetooth headphone option for less-critical listeners

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The Good The Skullcandy Hesh 2 Wireless sounds reasonably good for a $100 USD Bluetooth headphone, has decent battery life (15 hours), and is fairly comfortable to wear. Its integrated three-button remote works well and is easy to operate by feel.

The Bad Sound quality is good, but not great; design is fairly generic.

The Bottom Line If you don't want to spend more than double or triple the cost on the Bose SoundLink On-Ear Bluetooth or Beats' wireless headphones, the Hesh 2 Wireless is a decent budget Bluetooth headphone choice.

6.9 Overall
  • Design 6
  • Features 7
  • Sound 6
  • Value 8

Skullcandy's Hesh 2 Wireless, also known as the Hesh 2 Unleashed Wireless, is the Bluetooth version of Skullcandy's affordable and somewhat bulbous-shaped over-ear headphone, the Hesh 2. The two headphones look very similar, but for the privilege of adding wireless, you'll have to pay $100 USD (£80, AU$200) instead of around $60.

Now, in this sub-$100 price range, Bluetooth headphones are a tricky business. The LG Tone series are pretty good (some models are as low as $60 to $80), and the early version of the Sol Republic Shadow Wireless (due later in 2015) I just listened to sounded downright great for a $100 wireless model. But both of those are in-ear models, not around-ear ones like the Skullcandy Hesh 2 Wireless.

Indeed, the Hesh 2 Wireless manages to offer reasonably good Bluetooth sound. Or as some of the more discriminating listeners in CNET's New York office told me after listening to it, "It's not bad."

I know that sounds a tad negative, but in the world of budget Bluetooth headphones, it's fairly high praise. Some of the other positives are that the headphone's build quality seems decent enough, and the headphone is pretty comfortable to wear (it hugs your head snugly but not too snugly and noise isolation is good). You don't get the plush padding or memory foam of premium models -- rather, you're looking a regular foam and faux leather -- but I had no problem wearing the headphones nonstop for 30 to 45 minutes.

The headphone comes with a very simple nylon carrying pouch and a cord (with remote/microphone) that allows you to use the Hesh 2 Wireless as a wired headpone. Sarah Tew/CNET

The headphone is equipped with a three-button remote on the right ear cup and a microphone, though the remote doesn't work like a lot of remotes I've used. While the multifunction button serves as the power on/off button, call answer/end button, and pause/play button, which is typical, the large and clearly labeled volume buttons (you can easily operate them by feel) double as track advance/back buttons when you hold them down for 3 seconds.

No complaints there. But the placement of the Micro-USB charging port is a little troublesome. It's hidden at the top of the left earpiece and you have to pull the 'phone's headband back to get to it, then jam the USB cable into the slot you create. It's not terrible -- and I like that the port is hidden -- but it's a little awkward.

The control buttons are well-placed on the right ear cup and easy to operate by feel. Sarah Tew/CNET

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