Not a few years in the past, true wi-fi earbuds have been strictly a luxurious merchandise. Since then, the tech has gotten rather more attainable and untethered buds have change into as ubiquitous because the white-corded iPhone buds of yore. Nonetheless, the perfect Bluetooth earbuds usually price greater than $50 a pair, and so they go manner up from there. Fashions just like the $25 Skullcandy Dime earphones, launched in March 2021, are making a robust case that low cost doesn’t must imply dangerous. Take detailed sound high quality that gives readability throughout frequencies, combine in helpful options like entry to a sensible assistant and name dealing with, and toss in sturdiness and luxury that’s match sufficient for any exercise, and also you’ve acquired a number of the greatest wi-fi earbuds in the event you’re on a finances. They’re not excellent. In my weeks of testing them, I observed just a few design flaws and usefulness quirks that forestall these earbuds from dethroning higher-end fashions. Nonetheless, as Skullcandy boasts in its promotional supplies for the Dime: “Convey on these costly…manufacturers. Dime backs all the way down to nobody.”
Audio high quality and a cushty match elevate Skullcandy’s finances package deal above its worth level.
|– Nice worth||– Low-cost, plasticky construct|
|– Detailed sound high quality||– No app|
|– Snug match||– Clunky controls|
What are the Skullcandy Dime earphones?
At $25 a pair, the Skullcandy Dime earphones are unapologetically low cost. The advertising and marketing supplies even problem “these costly, ‘look-at-me’ earbud manufacturers.” After all, there are much more costly Skullcandy earbuds, just like the $100 Indy ANC Noise-Canceling earbuds. The additional money buys the Indy ’telephones better sturdiness than the Dime earbuds (an IP55 vs. IPX4 safety score). The Indy earbuds can survive being sprayed with a hose, whereas the Dime earbuds are solely designed to withstand splashing. The costlier earphones additionally present customized sound management and virtually twice the battery life: 12 hours in comparison with 32 hours. Nonetheless, for a lot much less, the Dime true wi-fi earphones ship loads for just a little. They supply Skullcandy’s signature sculpted sound—punchy, barely bassy however not boomy—and allow you to reply calls, skip tracks, alter the amount, and speak to Siri with out touching your cellphone. That’s a protracted function listing for a $25 gadget.
The Skullcandy Dime earphones’ easy design
To be this low cost, these wi-fi Skullcandy earbuds needed to design on a finances. These cost-cutting choices change into obvious as quickly as you open the field. The plastic charging case checks in at roughly the identical measurement as a automotive key fob. It feels flimsy, and its flippable lid will simply snap in the event you pull too arduous. The case additionally affords no further waterproof safety (one thing the much-more-expensive Jaybird Vista 2 does). The earbuds themselves are made with the identical matte plastic materials because the case, however an IPX4 score means they’ll deal with sweat and rain—simply dry them earlier than you cost them.
At four grams every, the Skullcandy earbuds weigh lower than 1 / 4 (a whopping 5.67 grams). Every Dime bud comes outfitted with an rectangular stem, in regards to the measurement and form of a Mike and Ike sweet. Inside, you’ll discover a 6mm driver, which is identical measurement as a number of the greatest true wi-fi earbuds (these Jaybird Vista 2 once more) The Dimes additionally make use of microphones that will let you speak to pals or your digital assistant.
Three silicone ear gel sizes allow you to discover an possibility that matches snugly. That tight match is what delivers noise isolation. That passive isolation doesn’t block out droning seems like Energetic Noise Cancellation would, but it surely’s sufficient to successfully restrict ambient sound. I discovered the medium gels to be safe, even throughout burpees and jogs.
Organising the Skullcandy Dime earphones
Take away the protecting paper on these Skullcandy earbuds, identical to you’d earlier than popping a Starburst or Tootsie Roll into your mouth, after which take pleasure in. I foolishly uncared for to take action, making for just a few moments of frustration. I used to be additionally annoyed by the QR code on the packaging. It says “scan to get began,” however I used to be by no means capable of get my iPhone SE to register the code.
Pairing the earbuds to my cellphone didn’t in the end require an app. In actual fact, the Dime earbuds don’t sync to the Skullcandy app in any respect. After charging the earphones for about 30 minutes—once I first opened the case, the LED lights signaling that the buds have been able to go weren’t illuminated—I eliminated the earbuds from the case. They paired to one another, after which once I put them into my ears I used to be prompted to pair them to my cellphone. I opened my cellphone’s Bluetooth settings, clicked on the “Dime” itemizing, and I used to be able to rock. If I wished to pair the Bluetooth earbuds to a brand new machine, I might maintain down each earbud buttons for 4 seconds to show them off after which maintain one earbud button for 4 seconds to start out a brand new pairing course of.
Subsequent, I pulled up a Spotify playlist to check out the controls, that are completely practical but additionally just a little clunky. Press the rubber Skullcandy cranium emblem as soon as to pause, and press it twice to regulate quantity (left to decrease, proper to extend). Three presses entry your digital assistant. Urgent and holding modifications tracks. I discovered the button on the earbuds troublesome to press, usually requiring me to pinch the stem with my thumb and center finger. All of that made urgent really feel particularly cumbersome, significantly when doing one thing so simple as elevating the amount by one stage required two clicks. It’s a far cry from the fragile buttons or gesture-based contact controls you’ll discover in some high-end fashions.
Key options of the Skullcandy Dime earphones
Whereas Skullcandy undoubtedly made sacrifices when constructing the Dime earbuds, the Park Metropolis, Utah-based firm didn’t sacrifice on sound. The depth of the audio is aided by the tight match that seals out ambient noise and prevents the earbuds from falling out throughout intense exercise. Perks like digital assistant connectivity and a microphone that allows you to clearly subject calls imply $25 might very nicely be all it’s worthwhile to spend on the perfect wi-fi earbuds that work to your morning run, afternoon assembly, and night commute. That low worth is a function in and of itself. In case you’re doing an exercise throughout which you would possibly lose a bud, it hurts loads much less to drop one in every of these in an enormous pile of leaves than it does one thing like an AirPod.
For finances earbuds, the Skullcandy Dime earphones ship exceptionally detailed sound. Every thing from the guitar strokes on Dave Matthews Band’s “Samurai Cop” to the horns on the hook of Beyonce’s “Loopy in Love” to Michael Barbaro’s persistent “hmms” on The Each day podcast, got here by crisply because of the 6mm driver. There is no such thing as a sound-mixing customization, and the earbuds skew barely bass-heavy, however I by no means felt like they have been thumping an excessive amount of or have been too muddled. The headphones additionally transmit the sound precisely throughout all frequencies, and deal with dips and peaks seamlessly, with a frequency response of 20Hz to 20KHz. They’re spectacular contemplating the worth.
Limits ambient noises
With the ear gels securely in place, these are billed as noise-isolating earbuds. Meaning, whereas they don’t emit neutralizing sound frequencies to actively counteract ambient noise, they do successfully mute the world round you. If it’s worthwhile to hear close by sounds there’s no Transparency Mode (or SurroundSense or no matter advertising and marketing time period producers use) such as you’d discover in rather more costly lively noise-canceling earbuds, however you’ll be able to pay attention with only one earbud. That’s simply what I did to remain alert to site visitors throughout a night jog and it did really feel like I used to be slicing my listening expertise in half, however the sound was nonetheless full sufficient to maintain me motivated in the course of the run.
Helps you to have interaction in clear speak
Just like the sound high quality, the onboard microphones in these Skullcandy true wi-fi earbuds are surprisingly correct. I used to be happy once I tapped 3 times to activate Siri whereas my cellphone was in my pocket, and the digital assistant accurately answered “James Buchanan” when requested to call the 15th president.
My family and friends on the opposite finish of cellphone calls mentioned I got here in loud and clear. Nevertheless, the microphones don’t deal with noise nicely, which implies once I tried speaking to my spouse from a crowded relaxation space throughout a street journey, she was a lot happier once I stepped exterior. Inside, the microphones picked up the distracting sounds of individuals chatting and ordering burgers. Dearer fashions usually fight this with an array of beam-forming mics that may hone in in your voice and use algorithms to establish and counteract distractions. That’s clearly not an possibility right here.
Performs for just a few hours
Battery life is one other place the place the Dime earbuds reveal themselves as low cost earbuds. They solely play about 3.5 hours per cost, with the case delivering two full expenses for 12 hours of battery life. To match, the Tribit FlyBuds 3, which promote for $40, provide 5 hours of battery life with an additional 95 hours from the case. While you’re out of juice, join the micro-USB charging cable. The wire itself may also solely be described as micro—at about four inches lengthy, I needed to depart the case hanging from the outlet. Fortunately, even with each buds locked in place, the case solely weighs 32 grams.
So, who can buy the Skullcandy Dime earphones?
Costing simply $25, the Skullcandy Dime earphones are hardly an funding. And whereas the plastic construct, restricted customization, and clunky controls reveal the wi-fi earbuds because the finances purchase they’re, the detailed and strong sound belies the worth level. Plus, the silicone ear suggestions and light-weight weight make for a cushty match that ought to keep in place, even if you train, whereas the IPX4 score affords loads of safety if you work up a sweat.
At an identical worth level, the JLab Go Air true wi-fi earbuds are bulkier however provide longer battery life and extra sound customization. And spending $15 extra for the Tribit FlyBuds Three will provide you with a number of days of cost from the case and an IPX8 safety score meaning these Bluetooth earbuds can deal with being submerged in additional than Three toes of water.
Nonetheless, the audio high quality and cozy match of the Skullcandy Dime earphones make them a number of the greatest finances wi-fi earbuds in the marketplace. So whether or not you’re on the lookout for a second set of wi-fi earphones to take to the gymnasium or need the perfect low cost earbuds you could simply afford—or afford to interchange after unintentionally leaving them on the bus—these $25 Skullcandy true wi-fi earbuds are a sound selection.