Skullcandy debuts its own voice platform on its latest earbuds


When it comes to affordable wireless earbuds and headphones, Skullcandy cranks out new models at a rapid pace. The company is well-known for its collection of true wireless and noise-cancelling gear that offers solid performance for much less than a lot of the competition. Today, Skullcandy is announcing two more sets of true wireless earbuds — the Grind Fuel and the Push Active — both of which offer a compelling set of features starting at $80. The company is also debuting its own voice platform, Skull-IQ, that allows you to do much of what your phone’s voice assistant can handle, but with more of an audio focus. Get ready to say “Hey Skullcandy” a lot. 

With Skull-IQ, Skullcandy has built a voice platform specifically catered to controlling music and its earbuds — and presumably its future headphones. In addition to a new command, you’ll have the ability to play/pause, skip tracks, adjust volume, answer/reject calls, activate Stay Aware mode (ambient sound) and summon your device’s built-in assistant. The company says it has also cooked up something novel. Skullcandy explains that it’s the first to offer access to Spotify via voice command. Plenty of other companies give you one-tap ability to launch the service (these do that as well), but Skullcandy says it’s the first to allow you to do it by speaking. Lastly, the company promises more features are coming in the future via over-the-air updates through the Skullcandy app.

Skullcandy Push Active
Skullcandy Push Active

Skullcandy

In terms of the new earbuds, some specs are the same for both models. Obviously, there are design differences as the Grind Fuel is a more “traditional” true wireless earbud while the Push Active is an over-the-ear hook option for a more secure fit. However, both feature the new Skull-IQ voice setup as well as “supreme sound,” that Stay Aware mode and what Skullcandy describes as noise-reducing mics for calls. The two new models are both IP55 rated sweat and water resistant with Tile tracking tech built-in. They are also both equipped with on-board controls and a quick-charge feature that will give you two hours of listening time after 10 minutes in the case. 

The Grind Fuel offers a few things the Push Active doesn’t. Wireless charging and personalized sound via an in-app audio test are the two main ones. The Grind Fuel also has 9 hours of battery life on the buds with another 31 hours in the case. The Push Active will last 10 hours on a charge, while the case packs 34 more hours. Battery life isn’t quite the same for both, but it’s pretty close. 

The Push Active will cost $79.99 while the Grind Fuel is $99.99. Both are available now from the Skullcandy website and other retailers. 

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