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Home / Tips and Tricks / A solid training companion – Review Geek

A solid training companion – Review Geek



Grade:
7/10
?

  • 1 – Absolutely hot garbage
  • 2 – Sorta ljummet sopor
  • 3 – Strongly incorrect design
  • 4 – Some advantages, lots of disadvantages
  • 5 – Acceptably imperfect
  • 6 – Good enough to buy for sale
  • 7 – Good, but not the best in class
  • 8 – Fantastic, with some footnotes
  • 9 – Shut up and take my money
  • 10 – Absolute design Nirvana

Award: $ 99

Skullcandy Push Ultra earbuds in black and yellow
Cameron Summerson

Back in July I took the Skullcandy Indy Fuel earbuds for a spin and got going very impressed. These are now my most recommended ‘knobs in the price range below $ 100. My focus then shifted to Skullcandy’s latest training ears, Push Ultra. They have a rather unique design for a set of earbuds, which works very well when you exercise – but maybe not as much in everyday life.

Here’s what we like

  • Open “keep conscious” design that encourages situational awareness
  • Comfortable during long-term use
  • Secure fit even when dripping with sweat

And what we do not do

  • The bag’s battery drains quickly, even when not in use
  • Stiff buttons

Most earplugs have a fairly standard design: some type of tip that gets stopped in the ear canal and pumps sounds directly to your incredibly huge brain. This is where Push Ultra differs. Instead of going directly into the ear, the tip sits more or less right at the edge of the ear canal. It leaves the ear at least the part open for one main reason: so you can hear what’s going on around you.

It really puts these in a position somewhere directly between a traditional training earphone like the PowerBeats Pro and legrest headphones like the Aftershokz Air. It’s a pretty solid idea that works well in many situations, but it’s especially nice for outdoor training where situational awareness is crucial. But like I said before, you may not want to use these as your simple buds.

Bulky case, solid building

The first thing I noticed with Push Ultra when I knocked them out of the box is the case. Most true wireless earphones use magnets or a clasp for a secure closure, but not these. Skullcandy went with one zipper On the case. At first I thought it was a strange choice, but it has grown on me ever since.

The Skullcandy Push Ultra case shows the zipper (models black and yellow)
Bruh. Zippers. Cameron Summerson

I think it’s cool now because there’s basically no chance that the case can be opened when you throw it in the bag. So go ahead – throw it across the room in your gym bag. It will be fine. (Disclaimer: Please do not do this.)

Since these are training studs with ear hooks, the case is on the larger side. It is on par with the PowerBeats Pro case, which is among the largest I have seen for real wireless buds. On the upside, you get wireless charging in the Push Ultra case, which I thought was missing with the PowerBeats Pro.

The case itself is hard plastic, but it is also covered with a nice soft rubber, which should give a little extra grip when your hands are sweating after a killer workout. Another thoughtful touch here by Skullcandy.

The Push Ultra case compared to PowerBeats Pro
Cameron Summerson

Out of the case, the buds feel robust and solid. The ear hooks are fully adjustable for a secure fit; the buds themselves are small and light. They use a more vertical design compared to PowerBeat’s horizontal form factor, which is neither more nor less comfortable. Just different.

Skullcandy claims about 6 hours of playing time from the buds themselves, with the bag adding another 34 for a total of 40. It’s pretty much on par with my use, but I’ve noticed that the case drains quickly when inactive. Unlike Indy Fuel, which can sit on my desk for several weeks between charges (with easy use), the Push Ultra has to hit the outlet about once a week – even if I do not touch them.

The right Push Ultra compared to the right PowerBeats Pro
Cameron Summerson

And when the case dies, the buds begin to be released immediately. This means that if you do not keep a close eye on the charge level, you can easily grab dead buds from your bag. Great feature.

The problem I had with Indy Fuel that does not work with powerful USB-C chargers is also with Push Ultra. Not a huge issue once you know it, but still worth thinking about.

Excellent fit and all the features you need

Because these are designed for use during exercise, they are made to be safe no matter what you do. And in that they are excellent. Even when I drip from sweat, the malleable ear hooks keep everything in place.

The main component of each knob has a main knob in the middle and additional controls along the back. The large button can be used to play / pause music with a single tap or dial the device’s virtual assistant with a triple tap. A long press can turn off the buds, put them in mating mode or reset them depending on the duration.

I wear the right Push Ultra
Cameron Summerson

The buttons on the back of each unit are primarily intended for volume up and down, but by long-pressing each one is moved forward and backward, respectively, through the track list. The biggest problem with all three buttons is that they do not offer much tactile feedback, so it is difficult to know if you are actually pressing it (especially with gloves on). And when you understand that, the buttons take more pressure than I would like to activate.

Either knob can be used individually, which is a nice touch – especially if you need to leave an ear open when running or cycling. The open design makes it easy to hear what’s going on around you, but it’s not open enough that I feel comfortable recommending these to runners or cyclists who have to share a road with motorists – unless they just go one-way, of course. If this is how you want to roll, this is a good choice.

The main and volume buttons on the black and yellow Push Ultra
The Skullcandy logo is a button. Cameron Summerson

In terms of features, you get a good spread for the price: IP67 sweat and waterproofing, wireless charging on the case, complete controls on each knob and built-in tile tracking. Not a bad deal for under a Benji!

There is also a complementary app (Android, iOS), but it is not a must in any way. Once paired, you can use it to switch between different modes (music, movies, podcasts) – which can also be done by long pressing the main button on both buttons twice, but not much else. There really is not much reason to even install it.

The sound quality is good for what they are

I want to make something very clear here: You do not buy headphones like these for superior sound quality. Any headphones or earbuds that do not create a good seal in (or around) the ear just … will not sound great. Sound insulation is required to get great sound.

Shows the tip of the ear on the yellow Push Ultra
The tips are not interchangeable, so this is the fit you get Cameron Summerson

But that’s not what they’re going for, and all in all, they still sound pretty good. I usually wear headphones with legs on the bike to get full position awareness, which simply does not sound good. By comparison, the Push Ultra sounds much better.

Because they sit just outside the edge of your ear canal and do not create any kind of seal, you get a limited bass response from these headphones. This does not mean that it does not exist at all, just that you should not expect a clearly defined base area.

In the end, simply by design, you get a very mid-range speaker from Push Ultra. Again, it depends on how they are worn – the style “not directly in the ear” gives a very “round” listening experience. This means that there is a defined hump in the middle area, with both high and low dips on each side.

Although this generally does not provide the best listening experience, it works here. Because these are made to give you music when you exercise and still lets you hear what’s going on around you. Because these two things are mutually exclusive, Push Ultra offers a very useful happy medium.

Conclusion: Solid Workout ‘Buds with a Few Quirks

Left Push Ultra in black and right in yellow
Cameron Summerson

Overall, I’m a fan of Push Ultra. They are different from some other buds I have examined – training or something else. As something that sits between a set of “ordinary” earphones and bone-conducting headphones, the concept is interesting and I appreciate the open design that improves the awareness of the situation.

If you are not in bone conduction and want a set of knobs that still let you hear what is happening around you, this is a good option.

Here’s what we like

  • Open “keep conscious” designs that encourage situational awareness
  • Comfortable during long-term use
  • Secure fit even when dripping with sweat

And what we do not do

  • The bag’s battery drains quickly, even when not in use
  • Stiff buttons




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