This lightweight and affordable challenger to Apple’s AirPods lacks core quality
Everyone’s going ‘true wireless’. After years of headphones that cut the cord to the musical source but still cable-up via a neckband or headband, earphones have gone properly wireless. The catch? There are many, but the main one is expense. Can these cupric earbuds change that?
Skullcandy Sesh True Wireless Bluetooth In-Ear Headphones: design
Firstly, Sesh are IP55-rated dustproof and splashproof, but beyond that, there’s not much to them. The Mesh are incredibly lightweight, and consequently, they’re very comfortable and easy to wear. They also come with a battery case for travel, which sounds just TravGear‘s thing, though it instantly means that Sesh must have a small battery. Three hours. That’s all! The battery case charges them up twice more, so you could use them to get through a 9-hour journey (though you would have to wait a while as they recharge).
Inside the box are three sets of ear baffles (small, medium and large), that charging case, and a USB-micro USB charging cable.
Skullcandy Sesh True Wireless Bluetooth In-Ear Headphones: performance
Pairing was simple, charging is easy to understand, and there are some nice options for control. You can pause just by touching an earbud, and long-press to skip tracks, but they’re not super-sensitive. It’s also nice to be able to route all audio through one earpiece in mono, so you can take the other one out and not just get one side of a stereo track (maybe the drums, or the backing vocals). That’s handy if you’re on a plane and dealing with inflight attendants etc. though we wouldn’t recommend Sesh for flights. Noise isolation, in this context, has no meaning. It bears no relation whatsoever to active noise-canceling, which is the only tech that works up at 35,000ft (the only noise-canceling earbuds we know of are the Sony WF-1000XM3). Where they do work really well is in the gym, where that sweat proofing, paired with their lightweight design and snug fit, means they don’t fall out.
However, whatever the scenario, we found Sesh rather average in terms of audio quality. There’s a bit of bass, some treble detail, but not a lot in between. It all sounds a bit flat, though if you listen mainly to podcasts it won’t make much difference. Audiophiles should go elsewhere.
Skullcandy Sesh True Wireless Bluetooth In-Ear Headphones: conclusion
TravGear loves lightweight travel gear, but ‘true wireless’ earbuds? We’re not convinced at all, and the Sesh do nothing to change that. As easy to lose as any others, Sesh might be affordable, but they’re no match to Apple’s AirPods when it comes to sound quality. As well as disappointing with bass and all-round audio performance, their three-hour battery life just doesn’t cut it; gadgets that need a lot of maintenance are just irritating on a long journey. Get to 10 hours and we’ll talk.
Price as reviewed: GBP£50 / US$60