The market for wireless true wireless in-ear headphones has exploded in recent years. It has become correspondingly difficult to keep track of them all. The US manufacturer Skullcandy with the distinctive skull logo has been in the mix for quite some time now. We have taken the Skullcandy Indy ANC to the chest and reveal in our test, what distinguishes the Earbuds.
|Maximum operating range||10m (without obstacle)|
|Battery life||Up to 7 hrs, 29 hrs total with charging case; (varies depending on volume level and audio content)|
|Charging time||1 hr. (for charging case & headphones via USB-C)|
|Driver size||12 mm|
|Weight||76 g (charging case & earbud); 5 g per earbud|
|Price||€ 89.66 *|
Scope of delivery
The Skullcandy Indy ANC come in a black cardboard box complete with green and turquoise color accents. Upon opening, the cardboard box reveals a foam-padded plastic inlay where the charging case and earphones are presented.
Underneath is the obligatory Quick Start Guide and a small plastic bag containing additional silicone ear tips in sizes S and L, as well as another pair of inner earpieces (“EarWings”) in a smaller size and a USB-C cable. The packaging does not look particularly nice, which we have seen much better, especially in this price range beyond the 100 euro mark. But it is all about the inner values.
Design and finish
The modern design language of the Skullcandy Indy ANC is meant to appeal primarily to a younger demographic and falls somewhere between the Apple Airpods and the Razer Hammerhead line of in-ears.
A total of three color variants are available from the manufacturer: True Black, Chill Grey and Feisty Pink. The first two have a uniform color scheme with only a blue LED strip as a highlight. Color accents, on the other hand, are only set by the pink model, which is equipped with darker silicone ear tips and EarWings.
The build quality of the earbuds and charging case is on a good level despite the light plastic casing. Changing the silicone attachments is also quick with a little practice.
Let’s get to the first positive surprise of our test, because the wearing comfort of the Skullcandy Indy ANC can be absolutely seen and that for several reasons. In addition to the ergonomic shape, the in-ears score with an extremely low weight of only 5 grams per earbud.
The EarWings, which not only guarantee a secure hold in the ear, but are also supposed to relieve the ear canal, also perform particularly well. Compared to the Apple Airpods or other in-ears, this may take some getting used to at first, but it proves to be a useful and comfortable feature in practice.
However, the inner earpieces can be removed if desired – this is done quickly. Hard edges also do not arise from the disassembly. In addition, the case of the Indy ANC thereby protrudes only slightly and should thus sit comfortably even under a cap.
Features and battery life
Removing the True Wireless headphones from the charging case turns the system on and puts it directly into pairing mode. Thanks to Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, the in-ears are quickly found and immediately recognized at the push of a button. Alternatively, manual switching on and off is also possible by holding the touch-sensitive earpiece surfaces for a longer time. In addition, both sides can also be used individually in single mode.
If you put the Indy ANC back into the charging case after use, they are automatically switched off and charged. If you open the case and remove the Earbuds, they reconnect to the last device used.
Similar to the Tribit FlyBuds C1 we last tested, a four-dot LED indicator informs you of the charging status of the case. The second positive surprise is the battery life of the in-ear headphones. In total, the Skullcandy Indy ANC last for a full 32 hours – however, this specification refers to a deactivated ANC function and is made up of nine hours for the Earbuds, as well as 23 hours for the charging case.
Thanks to the rapid charge function and wireless charging, the individual components are quickly recharged. The in-ears and charging case are fully charged again within 60 minutes. For spontaneous use, the rapid charge function provides around two and a half hours of energy after a ten-minute pressure refueling (or just under 60 minutes with activated ANC function).
We could not quite reach the stated values in our test, but around seven hours with deactivated noise cancelling, five hours with ANC and another 21 hours of endurance in combination with the charging case are still good values.
Like most modern earbuds, the Indy ANC rely on touch controls on both sides. A double tap controls the start/stop function, which not only applies to audio playback, but also allows answering and ending phone calls.
Touching the left side increases the volume, while the right side decreases it. It is also possible to switch back and forth between individual songs via hold. Three taps on the other hand activate the respective voice assistant.
Furthermore, it is also possible to switch between noise cancellation, the ambient mode and the choice between three available equalizer modes. This is where things get unnecessarily complicated: The controls are not particularly intuitive, especially since the timing has to be right at all times to prevent misinterpretations.
Thanks to the built-in 12-mm drivers with 32 ohms impedance, there is definitely joy when enjoying music with the Skullcandy Indy ANC. Basically, the sound is bass-driven and presents itself with a decent depth. Even at high volumes, the in-ears hardly tend to overdrive. The headphones only seem overwhelmed in particularly demanding electro songs.
The mids, on the other hand, drop a bit, especially voices are reproduced a bit too quietly. However, things look much better in the trebles: They are reproduced very warmly and convince with precise details. In general, the audio quality is on a pretty high level, especially in the supported, higher-quality AAC format.
The activated noise cancellation (ANC) does an excellent job thanks to the well-sealed silicone earplugs and reproduces the basses a bit more detailed. In return, the overall sound image seems a bit spongier in ANC mode – in direct comparison to the competition, however, the Skullcandy still has a really coherent ANC mode.
However, a constant background noise is always audible and might annoy some audio enthusiasts. However, this can be minimized in the transparency and podcast modes. The latter also enhances the intelligibility of voices at the expense of bass reproduction, resulting in a brighter sound image – which also serves well when listening to music. Alternatively, the headphones have a dedicated movie mode, which is convincing with a good tuning of lows, mids and highs.
Fine adjustment via app
A freely adjustable equalizer is unfortunately not found in the Skullcandy Indy ANC. Nevertheless, it is worth downloading the free Skullcandy app for Android and iOS systems to be able to exploit the full sound potential.
In addition to the standard options, it is possible to create an individual sound profile – based on a listening test by the Swedish company Audiodo. In the test, the hearing ability of both ears is determined separately and individually adjusted, for example, to compensate for imbalances. The result is absolutely worth hearing: the entire sound spectrum seems more balanced and clearer after the test.
For multiple users, different profiles can be created using the app, which are also stored directly on the earpieces and are thus available even without using the app. In addition to the battery level indicator, the Skullcandy app provides access to a comprehensive user guide and has a handy tracking function via Tile app, which can be used to track down the in-ears if they are lost.
After you create a Tile account and pair the headphones, the current location of the Earbuds is displayed with an accuracy of around 10 meters, and that’s both when they’re turned off (last position) or in a closed charging case. In addition, a sound request can be sent via app, but it is only audible in extremely quiet surroundings and direct proximity with the in-ear headphones.
Practical, but questionable from a data protection perspective: According to manufacturer Skullcandy, the current location of the Indy ANC is even supposed to be updated when another Tile user comes within range of the in-ears. However, we could not verify this in our test.
During video conferences or phone calls, two built-in microphones including noise and noise cancellation provide for the transmission of one’s own voice. These do a good job in quiet surroundings. However, as soon as it gets louder around us, the microphones unfortunately reach their limits very quickly.
As soon as the software intervenes, the user’s voice is reproduced much thinner, while the voice transmission sometimes stops completely. While the other party can always be understood clearly, the user’s voice unfortunately seems very choppy – the competition can do this much better.
With the Skullcandy Indy ANC, the manufacturer delivers mostly convincing true-wireless in-ear headphones that can surprise positively again and again. I like the design and wearing comfort very much and hardly leave anything to be desired.
In combination with the good battery life, the really good acoustics – especially with the individual sound profiles – and a good noise suppression, a really strong overall picture emerges, which is, however, marred by a few flaws.
On the one hand, there is the unnecessarily complicated touch control concept, which does not always perform impeccably. The always noticeable background noise with activated ANC function might not please every user, while the microphone’s quality unfortunately cannot keep up with comparable rival products. If that doesn’t bother you, you’ll get really good in-ear headphones with the Skullcandy Indy ANC, which should convince music lovers of various genres.