Skullcandy Indy ANC Review: A solid pair of TWS earbuds with optimal comfort, balanced audio and decent ANC

Can Skullcandy compete with the big boys with its new Indy ANC earbuds?

April 05, 2021 / 11:59 AM IST
Skullcandy recently unveiled a new set of premium true wireless earphones in its Indy series. The Skullcandy Indy ANC are the company’s first true wireless earbuds to feature Active Noise Cancellation and fetch a pretty penny with a price tag of Rs 10,999. However, the Indy ANC aim to take on some of the competition in and around the 10K mark. So, let’s find out how the Skullcandy Indy ANC fare in real world usage.
Skullcandy recently unveiled a new set of premium true wireless earphones in its Indy series. The Skullcandy Indy ANC are the company’s first true wireless earbuds to feature Active Noise Cancellation and fetch a pretty penny with a price tag of Rs 10,999. However, the Indy ANC aim to take on some of the competition in and around the 10K mark. So, let’s find out how the Skullcandy Indy ANC fare in real-world usage.
The Skullcandy Indy ANC earbuds come in a smooth matte black case that is made of plastic. The hinge design is pretty solid, while the case feels dense and durable. I will admit to having some trouble shutting the lid with the fins attached to the earbuds, so you’ll have to adjust them just right to ensure the case closes properly. On the front of the case, you get a status LED that indicates the amount of juice the case is holding as well as a white Skullcandy logo.
Design and Build | The Skullcandy Indy ANC earbuds come in a smooth matte black case that is made of plastic. The hinge design is pretty solid, while the case feels dense and durable. I will admit to having some trouble shutting the lid with the fins attached to the earbuds, so you’ll have to adjust them just right to ensure the case closes properly. On the front of the case, you get a status LED that indicates the amount of juice the case is holding as well as a white Skullcandy logo.
Moving on to the buds themselves, and you get a traditional design with a matte finish and a Skullcandy logo on the back of each bud. The buds also have particularly long stem design, although it doesn’t take much getting used to. You also get ear tips and rubber sleeves with hear hooks and provide a comfortable and secure fit. The earbuds remained firmly in place during some of my boring cycling escapades. The Indy ANC earbuds are IPX4 rated for sweat and water resistance to protect them from moisture during workouts. I did manage to test the IP rating out by slight mishap, which exposed the buds to an accidental splash of water. However, they seemed to work fine after that.
Design and Build | Moving on to the buds themselves, and you get a traditional design with a matte finish and a Skullcandy logo on the back of each bud. The buds also have a particularly long stem design, although it doesn’t take much getting used to. You also get ear tips and rubber sleeves with hear hooks and provide a comfortable and secure fit. The earbuds remained firmly in place during some of my boring cycling escapades. The Indy ANC earbuds are IPX4 rated for sweat and water resistance to protect them from moisture during workouts. I did manage to test out the IP rating by a slight mishap, which exposed the buds to an accidental splash of water. However, they seemed to work fine after that.
To operate the earbuds, Skullcandy has incorporated touch controls on the outer panel of each bud. From adjusting the volume to bringing up the voice assistant, the touch controls were pretty adept and worked well for the most part, although there were a few occasions where the touch didn’t register immediately. I’m not going to go into details about the touch controls as the manual can help you with that, but the touch controls here control just about everything. Moreover, you can also use each bud individually, which I found was pretty useful.
Touch Controls | To operate the earbuds, Skullcandy has incorporated touch controls on the outer panel of each bud. From adjusting the volume to bringing up the voice assistant, the touch controls were pretty adept and worked well for the most part, although there were a few occasions where the touch didn’t register immediately. I’m not going to go into details about the touch controls as the manual can help you with that, but the touch controls here control just about everything. Moreover, you can also use each bud individually, which I found was pretty useful.
One of the biggest highlights of the Skullcandy Indy ANC buds is their active noise cancellation support. The earbuds do a pretty good job of shutting out low frequencies. I found that the earbuds were quite effective at keeping out ambient noise inside your home, i.e., noise from a fan, AC, the loud volume of the TV when you are in another room, and other such ambient noises. Outside the house, ANC worked well, shutting out some of the noise from vehicles. It is not as effective outdoors as it is indoors, but for this price ANC works really well. If you want the sound to pass through, you can also activate Ambient Mode, which works separately from ANC, and allows you to hear what’s going on in your surroundings.
Active Noise Cancellation | One of the biggest highlights of the Skullcandy Indy ANC buds is their active noise cancellation support. The earbuds do a pretty good job of shutting out low frequencies. I found that the earbuds were quite effective at keeping out ambient noise inside your home, i.e., noise from a fan, AC, the loud volume of the TV when you are in another room, and other such ambient noises. Outside the house, ANC worked well, shutting out some of the noise from vehicles. It is not as effective outdoors as it is indoors, but for this price, ANC works really well. If you want the sound to pass through, you can also activate Ambient Mode, which works separately from ANC, and allows you the hear what’s going on in your surroundings.
The Skullcandy Indy ANC deliver a more balanced sound output with the aid of its 12mm drivers. The Indy ANC earbuds favours bass sounds, although the higher bass can come at the expense of clarity on the higher tones at times. But while the buds do tend to significantly boost bass response, clarity in vocals are still maintained for the most part. I found the headphones worked well while listening to podcasts and news as well. On balance, the sound quality was quite impressive on the Indy ANC, and even more so for bass lovers. Apart from delivering solid audio quality, the Skullcandy Indy ANC earbuds are compatible with Bluetooth 5.0, although they only support SBC codec and not AAC or AptX.
Audio Quality | The Skullcandy Indy ANC delivers a more balanced sound output with the aid of its 12mm drivers. The Indy ANC earbuds favour bass sounds, although the higher bass can come at the expense of clarity on the higher tones at times. But while the buds do tend to significantly boost bass response, clarity in vocals are still maintained for the most part. I found the headphones worked well while listening to podcasts and news as well. On balance, the sound quality was quite impressive on the Indy ANC, and even more so for bass lovers. Apart from delivering solid audio quality, the Skullcandy Indy ANC earbuds are compatible with Bluetooth 5.0, although they only support the SBC codec and not AAC or AptX.
Battery life on the Indy ANC buds is quite decent, with the buds providing five hours of playback with ANC turned on and around nine hours with it turned off. With ANC turned off, the buds offer up to 32 hours of battery life. Overall, battery life is not too bad, but not impressive either. However, the buds do get a boost on the charging front, with the case supporting quick charge offering around two hours of playback with a 10-min charge. The case charges over a USB Type-C port and also supports wireless charging.
Battery | Battery life on the Indy ANC buds is quite decent, with the buds providing five hours of playback with ANC turned on and around nine hours with it turned off. With ANC turned off, the buds offer up to 32 hours of battery life. Overall, battery life is not too bad, but not impressive either. However, the buds do get a boost on the charging front, with the case supporting quick charge offering around two hours of playback with a 10-min charge. The case charges over a USB Type-C port and also supports wireless charging.
Software | The Indy ANC earbuds are compatible with Skullcandy’s app for iOS and Android. You can use the app to adjust different modes including podcast, music, movies, and more. However, you might not be able to tell the difference between them. I'd have definitely preferred an EQ with more customisations here. You also get a Personal Sound mode to measure your hearing and adjust the audio according to each ear. The headphones also support integration with the Tile app, enabling several Tile features, so you no longer have to worry about misplaced buds.
Software | The Indy ANC earbuds are compatible with Skullcandy’s app for iOS and Android. You can use the app to adjust different modes including podcast, music, movies, and more. However, you might not be able to tell the difference between them. I'd have definitely preferred an EQ with more customisations here. You also get a Personal Sound mode to measure your hearing and adjust the audio according to each ear. The headphones also support integration with the Tile app, enabling several Tile features, so you no longer have to worry about misplaced buds.
With a price tag of Rs 10,999, the Skullcandy Indy ANC are by no means cheap, but nor are they expensive. The Skullcandy Indy ANC strike a nice balance of form, functionality, and value. The earbuds are quite comfortable to wear and offer a firm and secure fit, while noise cancellation is pretty much as good as it gets at this price. Audio quality is also solid, designed towards pleasing bass lovers. And while battery life is just about decent, quick charge often comes to the rescue when you need it the most. I did have a few gripes with the touch controls and call quality, the latter of which is quite bad outdoors. I’d have also appreciated customizable touch controls and more EQ settings. I don’t think Skullcandy is doing enough to compete with the big boys, but at this price, these are just about one of the best pair of true wireless earbuds you can buy.
Verdict | With a price tag of Rs 10,999, the Skullcandy Indy ANC are by no means cheap, but nor are they expensive. The Skullcandy Indy ANC strikes a nice balance of form, functionality, and value. The earbuds are quite comfortable to wear and offer a firm and secure fit, while noise cancellation is pretty much as good as it gets at this price. Audio quality is also solid, designed towards pleasing bass lovers. And while battery life is just about decent, quick charge often comes to the rescue when you need it the most. I did have a few gripes with the touch controls and call quality, the latter of which is quite bad outdoors. I’d have also appreciated customizable touch controls and more EQ settings. I don’t think Skullcandy is doing enough to compete with the big boys, but at this price, these are just about one of the best pairs of true wireless earbuds you can buy.
Carlsen Martin
first published: Apr 5, 2021 11:59 am

stay updated

Get Daily News on your Browser
Sections