The Skullcandy Dime is the latest pair of wi-fi earbuds from the finances audio model. These in-ear headphones pack punchy sound right into a compact water resistant design, together with a full suite of media controls and intelligible connectivity. You additionally get a car-key-fob-inspired charging case to retailer and energy up on the go. Better of all, these buds include a ridiculously inexpensive price ticket: $25.
Skullcandy Dime specs
Colours: Darkish Blue/Inexperienced, Gentle Gray/Blue, Darkish Gray and True Black
Battery life (rated): 3.5 hours; 12 hours (with charging case)
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0
Processor: Not said
Dimension: 0.28 x 0.04 x 0.03 inches (per bud); 2.45 x 1.53 x .81 inches (charging case)
Weight: 1.1 ounces (with charging case)
That is lower than loads of the best cheap wireless earbuds, although it’s honest to have reservations concerning the Dime based mostly on the MSRP. Skullcandy’s audio observe file may additionally have you ever skeptical about buying these buds both for private use or as an inexpensive stocking stuffer for the vacation season. Effectively, after per week of testing for this Skullcandy Dime evaluation, I can guarantee you that this finances pair of buds is nicely definitely worth the funding, shortcomings and all.
Skullcandy Dime evaluation: Worth and availability
The Skullcandy Dime is out there solely at Skullcandy in the mean time. It’s bought for $25 and is available in 4 colours: Darkish Blue/Inexperienced, Gentle Gray/Blue, Darkish Gray, and True Black.
It is a fraction of what the usual AirPods ($149) promote for. Must you need one thing with extra options and longer battery life, there may be the Tribit Fly 3 ($43) with 100 hours of playtime and waterproof safety, in addition to the EarFree Fun ($50) with 30-hour charging case and wi-fi charging.
Skullcandy Dime evaluation: Design and luxury
Skullcandy virtually constructed its legacy on fashionable designs. The corporate’s transition into the true wi-fi house has caused a change in model, going from loud and funky to scrub and minimalist, whereas holding daring colorways intact. The Dime has an attractiveness to it, highlighted by a small kind, standout colours, and a stem silhouette that doesn’t stick out as awkwardly as on the AirPods.
Construct high quality is spectacular for probably the most half. The buds are composed fully of sturdy plastic and are available IPX4 rated for sweat and water resistance. Take into accout this is identical safety discovered on the AirPods Pro. These buds aren’t going to shatter in the event you drop them onto the concrete by mistake, not even from a three-story fall. Scuffs and scratches gained’t be a difficulty both, for the reason that exterior is hard to penetrate.
The true spotlight is the super-compact charging case, which appears similar to a automobile key fob, giving it some distinction. One thing extra distinctive is how the buds are saved, because the lid has two cutouts that show the entrance of the buds when docked.
There’s even a tiny lanyard to connect your keys, a cool means of optimizing the Dime’s portability. Plastic additionally makes up the case’s complete building, and although the fabric is sturdy, the lid may be very flimsy and can tear off in the event you forcefully open it. One plus, if you wish to have a look at it that means, is that Skullcandy helps you to buy any misplaced or damaged elements for both the buds or case.
The match these buds supplied was satisfying, because the silicone suggestions created a decent seal inside my ears and felt mild across the canal. I wore them on a brief run across the block to check for stability they usually remained in place the whole time. Skullcandy additionally bundles the Dime with three pairs of suggestions (small, medium and huge) to accommodate totally different ear sizes.
Consolation wasn’t as nice with the sound port inflicting discomfort by digging into the concha. It isn’t insufferable, however I wouldn’t suggest sporting the Dime for lengthy listening classes; stick with perhaps one or two hours, relying in your ache threshold. The button format Skullcandy built-in additionally impacts consolation — extra on this shortly.
Skullcandy Dime evaluation: Controls and digital assistant
Skullcandy labored exhausting on making the Dime extremely purposeful at its worth level. A method it exhibits is within the full set of controls they programmed, that are divvied up between the 2 buds. The management scheme is as follows: play/pause/reply name/finish name (1x press), quantity up/down (2x press), digital help (3x press), and skip ahead/again (lengthy press). That’s fairly spectacular.
The brand doubles as a button to execute instructions. The excellent news is that the button produces good tactility and is aware of presses, however the unhealthy information is it’s not as sensible to be used because the AirPods Professional’s pinch-gesture system. The place Apple’s buds have you ever maintain the underside stem and press, Skullcandy’s buds require you to position your thumb on the underside stem for stability and use your pointer finger to press. It sounds nitpicky, however there’s a main caveat to this: discomfort. With the button positioned straight within the center, each press pushes the buds into your ears and applies undesirable stress.
The Dime helps each Siri and Google Assistant, although the latter operates extra easily. The mics carried out very nicely, selecting up voice instructions with precision, whereas Google’s AI bot registered and responded to them rapidly. Siri misinterpreted sure instructions on macOS, and the voice prompts created static suggestions that was disagreeable to listen to. The characteristic carried out barely higher on iOS gadgets.
Skullcandy Dime evaluation: Audio high quality
Skullcandy is perhaps famed for its styling, however its file on sound high quality is much less…revered. Fortunately, the Dime is a putting enchancment. Your ears shall be on the receiving finish of sturdy, punchy bass that doesn’t bloat up the soundstage.
The Dime’s sound profile sways in direction of the nice and cozy aspect of the audio spectrum, which is right for up to date music genres like hip-hop, rock, and EDM. Percussion was a spotlight on bangers like Busta Rhymes “Contact It.” The booming drums had loads of oomph and the hand claps have been greedy. I actually appreciated how nicely the drums have been reproduced on A Trible Referred to as Quest’s “Award Tour.” Mids had a robust presence as nicely on on Daft Punk’s “Across the World,” because the synth results have been crisp and never recessed, not like the standard you’ll get from different finances buds.
Highs aren’t given a lot consideration on the Dime, which is at all times disappointing when listening to instrumental-heavy genres. That isn’t to say they’re utterly absent. On jazz data, you’ll hear sure devices like hi-hats and flutes, however they lack readability; I discovered the identical recordings extra clear on the AirPods.
For those who’re somebody who reserves time all through the day to go down the rabbit gap of YouTube, you then’ll be proud of the Dime’s audio outcomes on the video finish. Dialogue sounded clear when indulging in ESPN highlights. Podcasts sounded even higher with vocals being extra emphasised to listen to hosts clearly.
Isolation is simply pretty much as good, blocking out an enough variety of ambient noises. Don’t count on these to switch your best noise-cancelling headphones, not by a mile, however you’ll be able to at the very least put a kibosh on frequent distractions when casually listening to music inside the home. I couldn’t hear the buzzing noise from the centralized AC, nor the Amazon supply vehicles that pulled as much as the entrance of the home. My spouse even scared the hell out of me when sneaking up from behind to ask a easy query, which bought me on the Dime’s noise-neutralizing capabilities.
Skullcandy Dime evaluation: Battery life and charging case
Worth alone ought to already point out brief battery life. Skullcandy says a single cost will generate 3.5 hours of playback time, which is extra realistically about 3 hours when factoring in excessive quantity and heavy streaming. There isn’t a sleep mode to routinely flip off the buds when disabled, so be conscious of turning them off when not in use. Fast charging is MIA too.
One optimistic is that the buds come 90 p.c charged proper out of the field. Utilizing them reasonably, I used to be entertained for about 1.5 hours every day earlier than having to recharge them on the third day.
Contemplating the tiny charging case, I’m form of shocked that it may even maintain as a lot as 12 hours when totally charged. That equates to about 3 further fees, which isn’t so unhealthy. It simply isn’t AirPods customary; Apple’s charging case will get you 24 hours. It’s comprehensible that sure options are lacking like a pairing button, wi-fi charging and even USB-C charging (sure, the Dime’s case fees over micro-USB), however it could have been superior to see two or three of those present up on the spec sheet.
Skullcandy Dime evaluation: Name high quality and connectivity
When taking calls inside the home, the missus may hear most of my phrases, but additionally talked about that my voice would sporadically drop out. Exterior was abysmal, as any little bit of ambient noise made its means into our conversations. Wind resistance was actually unhealthy, as winds carried a stronger presence than my voice and made it unattainable to speak.
Fortunately, the Dime has reliable wi-fi efficiency. These buds exhibit nice connectivity, powered by Bluetooth 5.0 and programmed with its personal Auto Join characteristic to immediately pair the buds to acknowledged gadgets. My Google Pixel 3 XL at all times picked up the Dime and related me at any time when Bluetooth was enabled.
Vary was strong as nicely, giving me about 30 toes of wi-fi listening earlier than stuttering kicked in. I did expertise a difficulty pairing the Dime with my latest MacBook Pro, because the machine would acknowledge the product, however after establishing a connection, would instantly unpair. I examined this on my spouse’s older MacBook Professional mannequin and it paired with out a hitch, plus the Auto Join characteristic was on level.
Skullcandy Dime evaluation: Verdict
To say the Dime is merely good for its worth can be insulting. These buds deserve extra credit score than that, particularly for the reason that engineers did a improbable job on the audio finish. Music sounds vigorous with the Dime delivering a number of the greatest bass I’ve heard on a pair of low cost wi-fi earbuds. It gives a dependable match, which is one thing the common AirPods doesn’t afford customers. Even the charging case, whereas not as highly effective as its rivals, has some appeal to it and is conveniently moveable.
For all of its successes, although, the Dime additionally has its fair proportion of failures. Battery life is a number of the lowest within the class. There isn’t a app or particular options to increase performance. Consolation may also be a priority in the event you’re somebody who continuously pauses music or depends heavy on digital help to handle every day duties; urgent the buds into your ears hurts after some time.
However let’s be severe: $25 is a tough cut price to go up. So, in the event you’re nonetheless on the fence a few cheap AirPods alternative to pair along with your smartphone, the Dime ought to rapidly make it easier to make up your thoughts.