It’s been a while since Skullcandy created a gaming headset but they have entered the gaming space again this year with their new PLYR and SLYR gaming series.  All three are relatively affordable with the flagship headset being the PLYR headset.

Skullcandy sent us the PLYR headset to test out but before I go into my thoughts on it let’s have another quick look at the specs and features.


The Skullcandy PLYR headset arrives with a retro design, a removable mic and adjustable bungee-type headband which is actually super comfortable.

The PLYR headset includes Skullcandy’s enhanced technology called Enhanced Sound Perception (ESP) which requires users to take an innovative hearing test to tune audio drivers specifically to the user’s unique hearing.  This test is like getting your eyes tested with you getting anxious about whether you really did hear the beep (left or right, right or left?).  

The testing did seem to make a difference to the sound produced by the headphones.  All of the testing needs to be done in the PC app unfortunately but once you have finished testing you can easily adjust the EQ based on what type of game you are playing and what your preferences are for sound.  

PLYR features Clear Voice Smart Mic, which leverages artificial intelligence to isolate the speaker’s voice and cut out background noises, such as keyboard clicks. The technology works with both the boom mic and on-board headset mic if the boom mic is removed. Dual-connect capabilities enables users to connect via wired and wireless connection to stream audio from two separate devices, simultaneously. 

Other features include 50mm drivers in each ear cup, Bluetooth 5.2, wired and low-latency wireless connectivity (sold separately), 24-hour battery life with Rapid Charge and built-in Tile finding technology (you will need the Tile app to find the headset).  With all of these connectivity options it is no surprise that the Skullcandy PLYR headset is compatible with PC, PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox X|S and One, Nintendo Switch and mobile devices.

Design + hardware

The design is definitely going to be polarising to many users.  The design is very retro with abstract colours near the earcups and of the cables.  Most of the colours are on the inside with the outside only subtly visible so the uptake should not be too difficult to bear with, no matter how much you dislike the bright colours.   

The bungee-style headband is adjustable and actually arrives NOT installed into the headset.  You can set it how big or small you like it within reason and is actually one of the most comfortable headbands I have used on a headset (or set of Bluetooth headphones).  

The earcups are not a pleather, leather, nor any sort of premium material and instead are a soft, fine cloth covering what appears to be a memory foam.  They too are comfortable but they don’t “grip” the ears as a more premium headset would for better noise isolation and as such there is some leakage of outside noise into the headset.

Overall, the headset was extremely comfortable and was able to be worn for long gaming periods without any issues or pressures on the ears or head, even while wearing glasses.

Gaming Features

There is not much that is gaming specific with respect to the headphones but they have compatibility across all major platforms so that’s all you really need.  There are basic EQ settings for various types of games with various sections of the audio enhanced your gaming experience.  You can also create your own custom equaliser setting if there is a certain sound profile you prefer that isn’t in the app already.

The boom mic does have the Clear Voice Smart Mic technology to enhance the voice which is definitely handy and users on the other end had no issues hearing me clearly, even with the dishwasher or washing machine on in the background. The boom mic is removeable but not a quick temporary lift to get it out of the way but is instead unplugged entirely from the headset.

Most competitive gamers want their headsets and other gaming accessories to have the lowest latency possible so that they hear, for example, that footstep behind them the split second it happens, not just after.  To get this most will use either wired setup which is possible here or connecting wirelessly via a wireless USB transmitter plugged into your PC. 

Unfortunately, Skullcandy, most likely to decrease costs, has decided to not include this wireless USB transmitter in the box.  Instead, if you want this Ultra Low-Latency Wireless Transmitter you’ll have to fork out another $25 on top of the $250 already forked out for the PLYR headset.

Sound quality

The audio quality is decent but certainly not audiophile quality.  The default setting from Skullcandy is fairly average to be honest but is improved fairly substantially with firstly the audio adjustment for your ears and then changing the EQ to one of their presets, based on what you are currently using them for.

The UI in the app allows you to fine-tune the sound to your liking and is probably more than you’d expect for a headset at this price.  In the end I would certainly be comfortable using these for gaming but if using them for music I would switch over to something better (and a lot more expensive).

Final thoughts

The Skullcandy PLYR are not the best gaming headset on the market, but they are not meant to be. Although they are the flagship Skullcandy gaming product, they are still designed to be affordable. While most people’s definition of affordable varies, $249.95 for the Skullcandy PLYR is affordable for what they are.

They are the most comfortable headphones I have tried in a long time and although the material they are made of is not premium, they still feel great on the head and the ears. The sound is pretty damn good once you alter the equaliser to your preferences and the mic offers clear sound with some removal of background noise. I would prefer the boom mic slid upwards out of the way but for $249.95 you can’t have everything.

For non-gaming music consumption, they are decent but not on the level of a Bose or Sony headset so don’t expect anything near an audiophile quality sound.

If you are looking for a gaming headset that offers a decent gaming experience, then it’s hard to go past the bang for your buck that the Skullcandy PLYR offers. The Skullcandy PLYR is available now at for $249.95.

UPDATE: The Skullcandy PLYR gaming headset is available now in a limited edition Street Fighter theme celebrating Street Fighter’s 35th anniversary. “The limited-edition Skullcandy x Street Fighter PLYR headset is loaded with nods to the classic game. The stand-up arcade cabinet’s unforgettable grey and black pebble texture is a clear staple, while custom ear cup illustrations are brought to life with a lenticular effect, resulting in low-tech, high-impact “motion graphics.” Every detail — right down to the headband fasteners modelled after the original arcade action buttons — was considered. “