Would a louder volume make the sound clearer
Quieter volumes are generally perceived as less clear, even though that isn't necessarily the case. The SkullCandy's sound profile
and the Bluetooth transmitter might be also a factor here too. My headphones sound awful
through the audio jack and turned off, but drastically better when turned on and even better using the USB output.
Audio enthusiasts all differ, but I like my signal flow to be as flat as possible. I use only a single equalization VST to slightly make up for the frequency "deficiencies" of my output source, but that's it. Not to brag (I'm actually super sentimental about this - I loved running sound
), but in college when I would run audio at various well-known venues in Nashville, the house engineers (seasoned audio vets) would go from "Great, another young punk who wants to run the board" to "It sounds incredible tonight, let's exchange contact info." I don't think I was any special except for I always followed my mentors' advice of just loud enough (never too loud) and cutting frequencies instead of adding.
I would do two things. First, equalize your headphones
properly. The benefits of doing this are self-explanatory. Next, start normalizing your volume fairly low (I use -6dB across the board, no matter the type of music), playback using WASAPI (Exclusive) (not sure if your cans have USB output, but if they do, MB can output directly to the headphones and you won't have to worry about stopping playback to play something on YouTube or whatever) and disable VSTs. At first you'll think your music is unlistenable, but lower volumes without enhancement are necessary so you can re-train your ears to become accustomed to how your music sounded in the mastering room. Often times, what people think of as "sounding good" is actually (as @frankz describes below) over-excitement (a.k.a brightness) of frequency ranges our brains are "tuned" to pay more attention to. Over a period of weeks (more likely months,) you can start adding back VSTs, but you might find you don't need to.
All of what I suggest is a lot of "work" just to enjoy music, but I think the benefits are tenfold once it becomes something that you can do without thinking about it. I'll sometimes come across songs that give me literal goosebumps just from the sound alone (Motown records do this to me a lot.) Big warning: as your ears adjust, you're going to start noticing clipping like crazy, especially if you listen to a lot of post-'90s music.
I agree with IBB that this is perception. Listen to something and then turn your output down 7 or 8 dB and it will sound worse because you're hearing less detail, but the "quality" is the same.
Higher frequencies cut through less than lower, and as we age we hear less and less high-frequency, and that's where the detail is. When you listen to something that's 7 or 8 dB louder than you're used to, you're reacting to that extra energy in the range that's normally harder to hear and reading it as detail.
The above was posted as I was typing/working/eating/typing some more, but basically yes. I always recommend listening to music at lower volumes, because you're forcing/training your ears to pick out details, which saves your ears as you age and lessens the need to listen loudly to enjoy.