Skullcandy has always been one of the most well-known headphone brands on the market. Whatever you need, whether it is a set of simple wired headsets, a booming speaker, or even a comfortable and tactile pair of earbuds, they have something for you. The company recently combined its talents with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for an all-new offering, the Skullcandy x TMNT PLYR Multi-Platform Wireless Gaming Headset. This new headset combines the talents of Skullcandy with the aesthetics of the beloved heroes-in-a-halfshell.
Two products were released as part of the TMNT collaboration. One is a pair of earbuds, available for $99.99. The second is a gaming headset for $159.99 under Skullcandy’s PLYR line of headphones. I’ve had the latter for more than a week at this point, and I have been surprised by its exceptional comfort and sound quality, as well as its minor flaws that frequently had me second-guessing my experience.
Skullcandy x TMNT PLYR Headset – Lasting Impressions
The Skullcandy x TMNT PLYR Multi-Platform Wireless Gaming Headset has one of the best boxes I’ve ever seen for a pair of headphones. The exterior looks like a sewer grate that one might find Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michaelangelo burrowing into. Several stickers adorn the box and headset, warning users of “nearby radioactive material.”
The box itself contains a few items of note: a wired connector, a tiny dongle for Bluetooth connectivity, a USB-C charger, the headset itself, a detachable mic, and a set of headbands that I haven’t had a chance to play around with yet. Overall, the contents of the box were numerous yet simple. Within moments, I had set up the headset, connected it to my laptop, and started listening to music.
The number of options the Skullcandy x TMNT PLYR headset had ended up making me fiddle around to get the correct settings. Part of the fun was figuring out what audio settings worked best and which didn’t work as well. Using my MacBook, I found an excellent audio setting by tapping the volume button a few times. Once you do, you get different audio settings told via a robotic voice: Default, FPS Mode, RPG Mode, Music Mode. These EQ modes provide a different balance of treble, mids, and bass for whatever audio you’re engaged in. There is even the option to create your own EQ balance through the Skull-HQ App, though I opted to utilize the standard EQ modes onboard. Each mode felt unique and made the appropriate genre sound even better than expected.
Gaming With the TMNT PLYR
Over the last few days, I have consistently put the headset through the ringer, testing it on various game experiences. First, I tried it with Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. The headset performed beautifully, capturing the individual sounds to an extent I wasn’t expecting. In the opening fight, I could hear the tension in the web-slinging and sand flying by my ear. Skullcandy’s headset ended up enhancing a game that I already adored.
After that, I tried the headphones on a different experience: a horror game. In my first playthrough of Alan Wake 2, I used the headset almost exclusively. Despite there not being a setting for “horror games” or “Spider-Man games,” I found a lot of luck in the default mode. The ambiance of Alan Wake 2 was horrifying, and it was further brought to life by the PLYR headset. I could hear the sounds of ruffling trees and whispering voices, enhancing the atmosphere and making me feel like I had stepped through a portal into another dimension.
A Great Piece of Tech With Some Flaws
The overall audio performance of the headset made me use it more than any other headset I’ve ever owned. I had more luck with it than my old PlayStation 3D Pulse Headset. It seemed to interface more with the hardware, the sound quality was better, and, most importantly, the headphones were far more comfortable.
I’ve had a lot of bad luck with over-ear headphones being too uncomfortable even after half an hour of use. This headset, though, barely left a mark on my ear after hours of consistent use. The twenty-four-hour battery life was also a lifesaver. The headset never ran out of battery despite long sessions. Further, while I didn’t get a chance to play around with the Skull-HQ customization software, I didn’t need to: all the settings and sound levels available on the headset were everything I needed.
However, I still encountered some odd issues that kept me from thoroughly enjoying my experience. First, there was the dongle. I often left it plugged into my PlayStation 5: I didn’t want to unplug and replug it every time I tried to use something else. However, weirdly enough, even when the PS5 was turned off, it still connected to the system.
Instead, I would try and connect it to my computer without unplugging the dongle. However, when I did, the audio quality on the computer would tank. To use my computer with my headset, I would have to unplug the dongle, replug it when I wanted to use it again, and so on. The whole process felt very unintuitive.
Those weren’t the only audio issues: at one point, when I was trying to record audio for a school project, I was fiddling around with my microphone settings when, all of a sudden, the audio quality tanked yet again. I quickly realized that if I wanted to use it while listening to anything else, I would have to put up with subpar audio quality.
Other nitpicks include the wired connection creating a noticeable dip in quality and both wires that came with the headphones feeling flimsy. Overall, despite the fantastic TMNT aesthetic, there isn’t a lot to justify buying this over other cheaper gaming headsets, let alone other Skullcandy headsets.
Is The Price Point Earned?
Something I always struggle with when buying headphones is the price. How do I justify spending over a hundred dollars when I already have a great speaker attached to my TV or a great set of earbuds to use with my phone? The TMNT headset has fantastic utility and great sound, plus it is pretty comfortable. Yet, it’s hard for me to say it is worth the $149.99 price point.
What I would say is this: if you’re in the market for a new pair of headphones and you’re a diehard Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan trying to celebrate the franchise’s 40th anniversary, then this is the perfect product for you, despite the price point. However, if you are someone who is an audiophile or you already have a pair of headphones that you own or are saving up to buy, you might be better off waiting for a discount.
Disclaimer: Skullcandy provided Final Weapon with a Skullcandy x TMNT PLYR Wireless Headset for this review.