Review: Skullcandy Barricade XL- Bass that can move you!

Stephen Watson
September 29, 2018

The Skullcandy Barricade XL Wireless Speaker available for £92.88 from Amazon

We have been given the chance to review the Skullcandy Barricade XL Wireless Speaker. This speaker is available from Amazon for £92.88 making it a mid-range priced and on the first impression, it looks cool.  Is it the most pleasing on the eye in terms design no but its designed to be the rugged speaker and with it being from Skullcandy they have designed it for a youth market. Thanks, Skullcandy you just made me feel old lol.

So the Barricade XL is the bigger brother of the Barricade and what you get here is twice the sound of its younger brother considering it has 2 x 10 Watt Drivers to deliver a real punch when it comes to the bass and gives that stereo audio experience.

The design of the packaging looks great and really does show the Skullcandy Image you consider its market is the 16 – 25-year-olds. That does not mean if your above that age this is not for you, in fact, it’s a great speaker and shows its strengths.

Anyway back to the design, the speaker comes in one of two colours black or grey with neon yellow accents.  In this review, we were given the black to review. In terms of size its big for a wireless speaker and bigger than its little brother the Barricade.     

The front of the speaker is all speaker grille but you do see some foam under the grille that protects the dual drivers. The shell of the speaker is of a rugged design meaning its impact resistant and trust me I dropped it by mistake and it was fine.  The manufacturer also states it has an IPX7 rating which means it can go into the water for up to 30 minutes. I have not had the chance to test this however next week am off to Greece so I will check that out and update on here once done. It also has a buoyant design another aspect that will be tested next week.   

On the top panel, there is the main control panel where you will find the power/pairing/volume and call management controls.  You see the standard plus & minus volume buttons and if you hold the buttons down for a few seconds you then have track navigation. It can be a bit of a pain in the backside the first few times as you may only want to increase volume but end up changing songs. After a few times, you soon get the hang of it and you’re be changing tracks and controlling the volume with ease.

You also have the Skullcandy icon button in the middle which acts as the multifunction button that controls the playback and call management within the speaker.  Next, to these buttons, you will also find two additional buttons located on the top panel where you find the volume located. One button is for multi-user pairing which allowed both me and my girlfriend to be the DJ for the day and when you want two songs on at once this will cause an argument but it’s a nice idea. The other button is the multi-speaker pairing device so if you have two barricade XL speakers you can link them all together giving you 40-watt driver which is mad sound.  Finally, you also have the battery status LED on the side great for knowing how much battery you have when your out and about.

On the right-hand side is a snap-shut cover which protects the micro USB port what is great about this speaker it doubles up as a powerbank allowing you to charge your device by plugging in your USB power cable from the speaker into your phone. They also give you a 3.5mm aux input and output. No cable but for most readers, this is not an issue as most of us have a cable like this around the house.  

Finally, there is a rugged loop for attaching it to anything you want for that optimal audio experience in this review we hang it on the tree in the garden and it sounded great.  What makes this speaker even better is the design the back panel which also doubles as a base for the speaker to pump music upwards as it has little rubber feet to prevent movement.  

In regards to the how this speaker performs the Barricade XL gives you some lovely Rich Base but if you increase the volume the base gets soft and the treble distorts. However, if you keep the volume at a mid-range level the treble is fine and the bass is full on and delivers a great bass. One negative here was the vibration its that powerful it moved on my table and if you’re not careful it might fall off the desk.  On the bright side, the rugged build means it would not break.

If you play a song with less deep bass you get to see what the sound is really like give “Alice Merton – Why So Serious” The drums have a deeper presence but it’s not over the top and with a strong high-mid the song sounds fantastic coming from this speaker. This speaker has much more power in terms bass compared to others in that price range so if the bass is your key to a good speaker give these a consideration when buying a speaker.  

As for the battery life Skullcandy estimates about 10 hours and I have used this regularly for a full weekend and they are still going strong so no complaints here. This can change depends on the volume levels and your mix of wired and wireless use.

So to summerise, Skullcandy has created a speaker that provides a powerhouse of a base and with the fact, its waterproof and is buoyant taking this on holiday would be a great idea considering the rugged design means you would not have to worry about it getting bashed about a bit. As for the price if your looking for something rugged with an incredible bass if at the right volume you can not go wrong as its now just a little less then a £100.  Now if you are an audio purist this might not be for you I would consider something like the Kitsound Boombar 2+ which is a similar price range at £50. However, If your looking to buy a speaker that you would take on holiday and have by the pool and can take the occasional fall then this is the speaker for you and its a strong option for your hard earned money.

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