Released alongside the Grind Fuel earbuds for everyday listeners, the Skullcandy Push Active is a new pair of true wireless earbuds for fitness enthusiasts. With voice control integration, strong durability, and great battery life, these earbuds are built for adventure and exercise. Should they be the next thing you toss in your gym bag?

See more: The best workout earbuds

Who should buy the Skullcandy Push Active?

  • Outdoor fitness enthusiasts looking for lightweight and water-resistant true wireless earbuds with a secure fit will enjoy the Push Active’s design and durability.
  • Athletes will appreciate controlling their music hands-free with the simple “Hey Skullcandy” command that can do just about anything directly from the headset.

What is it like to use the Skullcandy Push Active?

Skullcandy Push Active earbuds in case

The durable design pairs nicely with an active lifestyle.

Is bigger really better? Skullcandy seems to think so, with both the earbuds and charging case taking up a ton of space. The charging case struggles to fit into pockets, especially when sharing the space with a phone or wallet. Similarly, the earbuds are quite bulky, with the thick rubber ear hooks wrapping all the way around the ear.

Built entirely out of plastic, nothing about the Skullcandy Push Active design feels overly premium. Instead, these earbuds focus on durability. An IP55 rating means the buds are safe from water and dust, so you can take the Push Active from the gym to the trails. There’s even a flap that seals off the USB-C charging port on the case. The company put some focus on comfort too, with its selection of three differently sized ear tips.

The Skullcandy Push Active is best for outdoor adventure enthusiasts

Opening the charging case puts the earbuds in pairing mode, so connecting to your device is as simple as a tap. Connecting to the Skullcandy app unlocks Skull-iQ hands-free voice control. Stating “Hey Skullcandy” lets you control music playback or answer phone calls. You can also use the Skullcandy voice assistant to access Siri or Google Assistant for full voice control over your device (send a text, make a call, set a timer, and more).

Learn more: What makes a good set of in-ears?

How do you control the earbuds?

A small button on each earbud adjusts audio using the following default controls. You can also customize these controls within the Skullcandy app.

 Left earbudRight earbud
One tapPlay/pause, answer/end callPlay/pause, answer/end call
Double-tapVolume downVolume up
One tap and 1s holdPower on, Spotify Tap (requires Spotify)Power on
One tap and 3s holdJoin audioShare audio (Skullcandy app required)
Double-press and 1s holdPower offPower off

Automatic ear detection is absent from the Skullcandy Push Active, so the earbuds won’t automatically play or pause your music when you put them on or take them off.

Should you download the Skullcandy app?

The Skullcandy app packs in a surprising amount of bonus features that elevate the Push Active earbuds above the competition. Firmware updates keep the earbuds safe and secure, while a five-band custom EQ fully adjusts the sound of the earbuds.

A stay-aware mode amplifies surrounding sounds for better awareness. Joggers will certainly appreciate this feature when going for runs along busy streets. If you aren’t a fan of software-powered awareness modes, you can also use either earbud in mono mode to hear your surroundings.

The Skullcandy app is packed with bonus features

Other features include the ability to take a photo with a click of a button on the earbuds, sharing audio between Skullcandy headsets, and finding the earbuds using Tile tracking technology.

Spotify Tap is also supported, which instantly launches you into a recommended Spotify playlist with a simple tap or voice prompt.

What Bluetooth codecs does the Skullcandy Push Active support?

Skullcandy Push Active case next to AirPods Pro case

The Skullcandy Push Active charging case looms large over the AirPods Pro charging case.

The Skullcandy Push Active supports just the standard SBC Bluetooth codec, so you won’t get especially high-quality streaming to either iOS or Android devices. This isn’t a huge loss though, seeing how these earphones are for adventurous and sporty listeners, rather than audiophiles and sound engineers. You might, however, notice some audio-visual lag when streaming videos because the Push Active has a 360ms latency measurement.

The earbuds have Bluetooth 5.2, which permits fast pairing and efficient power consumption for extended battery life. You don’t get Bluetooth multipoint here, which is expected at this price point.

See more: The best true wireless workout earbuds

How well does the Skullcandy Push Active block out noise?

Skullcandy Push Active Isolation Chart

These earbuds don’t block out any ambient noise below 1kHz.

If you want to tune out the world around you, the Skullcandy Push Active is not the best option. The earbuds don’t feature any active noise cancelling (ANC), and the silicone ear tips struggle to block out ambient noise. You’ll hear pretty much everything going on around you, though it will isolate you from some incidental sounds like distant chatter.

Since the earbuds rest on the outside of the ear using the hooks, the actual ear tips aren’t inserted very deep into the ear canal. Without a tight seal, it becomes easy for ambient noise to leak in. If you like to block out all distractions at the gym, you might want to look for a pair of noise cancelling earbuds instead. We especially like the Beats Fit Pro, though it’s double the price of Skullcandy’s earbuds.

How does the Skullcandy Push Active sound?

Skullcandy Push Active Frequency Chart

The Skullcandy Push Active (cyan) compared to our SoundGuys house consumer curve (pink).

There’s not a lot to write home about when it comes to the frequency response of the Skullcandy Push Active. The earbuds sound pretty similar to other consumer earbuds in this price range and deliver sound most people should find enjoyable.

See also: Bose Sport Earbuds review

There are EQ presets within the Skullcandy app for listening to music, podcasts, and movies. If you don’t like how any of these presets sound, you can dig into the custom five-band EQ to tweak the earbuds to your exact preferences.

Lows, mids, and highs

Unlike workout headphones that go crazy on bass, the default frequency response of the Skullcandy Push Active retains a pleasant sound throughout the bass, mids, and highs. There is still a slight bump around 100-300Hz that adds extra oomph to bass lines, but it is not enough to result in masking that often ruins the clarity of vocals other instruments.

The Skullcandy Push Active is enjoyable to listen to across most genres of music. In the chorus of What’s Love Got To Do with It by Kygo and Tina Turner, the piano doesn’t sound overly aggressive due to the slight dip in mid-range frequencies on the Push Active. The kick drum and bassline in the drop at 1:16 sound slightly louder than they would on studio headphones, but it is not to the point of overpowering the vocals and piano.

How long does the battery last on the Skullcandy Push Active?

Skullcandy Push Active case in pocket

Squeezing the charging case into pockets makes for a tight fit.

Battery life on the Skullcandy Push Active earbuds is quite impressive. In our testing of continuous playback at 75dB(SPL), the earbuds lasted 8 hours, 8 minutes on a single charge. When you’re out of juice, pop the earbuds in the case for 10 minutes to get 120 minutes of playtime.

The massive charging case provides an additional 34 hours of battery, so it is easy to make it through an entire week of normal use without having to worry about plugging the case in. That’s a big plus, given the case doesn’t support wireless charging.

You might like: The best running earbuds

How good is the microphone on the Skullcandy Push Active?

Skullcandy Push Active earbuds 2

Microphone quality doesn’t quite live up to the competition.

Microphone quality on the Skullcandy Push Active is underwhelming. We don’t expect crystal clear calls from sub-$100 earbuds, but it is still important for the person on the other end of the line to hear what you say. Since the microphone struggles to block out background noise, these aren’t the best earbuds to use if you plan on taking a lot of calls on the go.

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Should you buy the Skullcandy Push Active?

Skullcandy Push Active in case

The Skullcandy Push Active provides athletes with a lot of bang for their buck.

For only $79 USD, the Skullcandy Push Active packs a well-rounded workout earbud experience. The earbuds fit comfortably and securely, and have great battery life for all-day adventures.

The Skullcandy Push Active is best for outdoor adventure enthusiasts who will take advantage of the impressive durability and stay-aware mode. A lack of isolation and ANC means frequent gym-goers should look elsewhere. Those working out in crowded rooms also likely won’t be too eager to say “Hey Skullcandy” to command the voice controls.

Skullcandy Push Active
All prices listed in USD unless otherwise specified. Prices may change over time, and vary by region. Unfortunately, we cannot list Amazon prices on the site, as they vary greatly by currency.

Aside from the bulky design, there aren’t any obvious flaws here. The Push Active sets a baseline for what affordable workout earbuds should be, with good sound and some bonus features sprinkled on top.

What are some alternatives to the Skullcandy Push Active?

The Jabra Elite 3 sits on a wooden table in front of a window with one bud out.

The Jabra Elite 3 delivers premium features at an affordable price.

While the Jabra Elite 3 doesn’t offer ANC, it has superior isolation to the Skullcandy Push Active. These earbuds are also much more portable and feature the high-quality aptX Bluetooth codec. Despite a much sleeker design, the earbuds don’t cost any more than the Skullcandy offering and retain an IP55 durability rating.

The Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen) deliver better all-around earbud performance. ANC and Alexa integration is a nice step up from the Skullcandy Push Active. While the Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen) originally retailed for well over $100, recent sales have dropped the earbuds as low as $70 USD—a much better value than the Skullcandy Push Active.

Listeners who really don’t want to spend a lot of money might like the JLab GO Air, which retails for $30 USD, and sometimes just $20 USD. You get touch controls, an IP44 rating, and fast charging. Unlike Skullcandy’s earphones, you get AAC support with the GO Air.

Read more: Skullcandy Crusher Wireless review

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Skullcandy Push Active