Skullcandy Barricade Review

Editor rating

5/5 on December 12, 2016

User's rating

14 reviews

PROS

-Great sound quality

-Thirty-three feet of Bluetooth wireless connectivity range

-Durable

-Waterproof, buoyant design (may float but not made to be submerged)

CONS

-Limited battery life at "only" 6-8 hours

-Not made for submersion

-May distort on deep bass tracks at high volumes.

VERDICT

So does the Skullcandy Barricade bring the same quality you have come to expect from its headphones? Hell yes it does! It may be new, but this is one Bluetooth speaker that has risen among the ranks of our favorites. While its average battery life could be better, eight hours is still pretty good, but what really sells it is the combination of portability, durability, and sound quality. Those three factors are some of the most important aspects in choosing a speaker and it excels in them.

When it comes to high quality sound, Skullcandy has always been a trusted brand. While those that are seriously into sound likely have a pair of Skullcandy headphones lurking somewhere around the house, that is primarily where the brand has dwelled – Headphones. However, in 2016 Skullcandy brought that same quality into the Bluetooth speaker market with the sturdy-looking Barricade, Barricade XL, and Barricade Mini Bluetooth speakers, and yes, it is exactly as awesome as you should expect it to be.

Design

Skullcandy has always gone kind of bare bones when it comes to design. Like their other products, the Barricade is built to look sturdy and, dare I say, manly. Yet, that design is built for a purpose. While new, this speaker has easily risen among the ranks of one of the most rugged portable Bluetooth speakers you can buy. It is literally built to be a barricade of sound and its impact resistant coating makes it so that it can take a beating.

It is a good thing too, since that little loop strap was designed to let you hook it onto a backpack if you want a little background noise to drown out the great outdoors with all its birds and peaceful rippling streams.

Skullcandy Barricade Mini

However, if you do happen to knock this bad boy into one of those aforementioned peaceful rippling streams, the Barricade also comes with an IPX7 water resistance rating, meaning it can withstand being submerged in depths of three feet of water for 30 minutes. However, it also comes with built in buoyancy so you don’t even have to worry about it.

 

Range and Connectivity

As expected with Skullcandy, the Barricade integrates seamlessly with all your Bluetooth devices. It allows to you play music and take phone calls so long as you keep your mobile device in or around the 30 feet Bluetooth range that the Barricade has.

 

Battery Life

The battery on the Barricade varies depending on what size you get. The Mini offers a less than desirable battery life of five hours while the XL packs a respectable ten hours. The regular Barricade model sits at an average of eight hours, but like many Bluetooth speakers, this can be prolonged by listening at lower volumes.

However, it does charge up pretty quickly through its mini USB cord, and it has the added function of cross charging your external devices if you need a little power boost for your phone. Essentially, the lower battery life is the only major downfall of this speaker, considering it is built to be rugged and taken on all your outdoor adventures. An eight hour charge is okay for that, but not great.

 

Sound Quality

Ah, what good is a speaker if it doesn’t produce decent sound? The Skullcandy Barricade provides powerful sound that really accents the rich lows and crisp highs that you want in a Bluetooth speaker, or any speaker, for that matter. The 10W speaker works with dual passive radiators to create dynamic sound and assure that the sound quality doesn’t get overwhelmed by the solid bass that it provides.

The speaker on its own gets plenty loud, and the XL model gets even louder. However, if you want to get even louder than that, the Barricade has multiple speaker connectivity so that you can connect to any other Bluetooth speaker that you have laying around for supreme sound.