It’s been a long time since I’ve tried out anything from Skullcandy but everything I have tried in the past has been very positive indeed. They’ve sent over three new items and first up, the new Indy ANC earbuds.
The Indy earbuds are not new, they originally came out back in 2019 when we reviewed them but now, they have been upgraded in a number of ways, most importantly, ANC has been added.
- 4-Mic digital active noise cancellation & ambient mode (new)
- Personal sound via the Skullcandy app (new)
- 2-Mic noise reduction for calls (upgrade)
- Rapid charge – 10mins = 2hours w/ ANC off (new)
- Built-in Tile support (new)
- Touch controls
- Wireless charging (new)
- Upto 32 hours playback with ANC off or 19hrs with ANC on (upgrade)
So looking at the features, a number of new ones have been added and a couple has been upgraded. Aesthetically, some mild tweaks in design. The case comes in a very dark grey colour, it opens from the top with a magnetic lid and it has the USB-C on its bottom. The USB port is located on the bottom because the back area of the case is the part that caters for wireless charging. Just above the logo on the front, there are white indicator lights that glow to show battery level.
Moving onto the earbuds, they are the same colour as the case, a very dark grey and look almost identical to their previous model in shape and size. However, Skullcandy has opted to now include a separate rubber wing, on top of the ear tip, for extra support, which is great, I love secondary support on earbuds.
In the box you get the buds, the case, spare eartips and wings, a USB C cable and some instructions.
As for controls, the touch-sensitive button area is the logo part of each earbud. All the control gestures are detailed in the instructions but in brief tap twice on either bud for play/pause, tap once on the right for volume up, tap once on the left for volume down and tap once & hold for 2 seconds, to switch between ANC on, off and ambient mode.
The controls do take a little bit of getting used too and not the easiest. With instructions in hand, I try various gestures to control my content. Simple gestures like play/pause work well, just a simple double-tap, the volume control was ok, just a single tap on either bud and the volume goes up in increments, circa 15% each time. However, trying to switch between ANC and ambient, took a lot longer to get used to. A single tap and then 2-second hold should scroll through the options but most of the time, I’d end up pausing content or changing volume.
Out of the box, audio performance is good for the price. By that I mean, I’ve heard better but they were twice the price. The overall sound profile is fairly well balanced, perhaps a little bass-heavy, with the mids & highs needed a slight boost. Pair the buds with the Skullcandy app on your smart device, run the personal sound test and it does make a huge difference. What changed? The highs and mids increased and the overall sound was less muddied. The best audio experience for me was with ANC and the personal sound turned on. Note, the app only offers a personal sound experience suited to your ears, it’s not an EQ as such that can be edited.
The buds do come with active noise cancellation and when activated, there is a subtle white noise added. This white noise fades away and content is played. ANC works well and it does help reduce external noise, on top of that passive cancellation. I tried ambient mode while walking along a busy street. It’s hard to tell but I think it did help highlight some external sounds.
The earbuds are very comfortable and incredibly secure, thanks to that additional wing, which hooks in nicely within the inner part of your ear. I have no problem at all recommending these for us with exercising, running, cycling, you won’t have any issues with them moving or falling out.
The battery level appears good and the stated 32hours looks achievable (I’m about 12-13 hours in, with three lights left. I gave the buds a full charge before first use, via my wireless charger and until all four indicator lights illuminated. Every time you open the lid, the lights illuminate, showing how much charge the case has left. 25/50/75/100%.
Overall, very impressed with the Skullcandy Indy ANC. Audio performance was good thanks to the personal sound option and if you buy these, you have to have that setting turned on. Controls take a bit of getting used to, especially scrolling through ANC and ambient. The comfort was very good, they’re very secure, which is great and battery life was positive.
The buds currently retail at £99, which is a fair price vs performance, and I’d happily recommend them to you. For more info, head over to the official Skullcandy Indy ANC webpage.