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Skullcandy made headlines earlier in the year by launching its latest pair of true wireless earbuds at an eye-catching $25 price tag. We were eager to get our hands on the new Skullcandy Dime to see just how they’d actually stack up, and after a week of use, we’re ready to drop some first impressions. So should you just save your money for a more expensive pair, or are these the best bang-for-your-buck earbuds on the market? That’s what our latest Tested with 9to5Toys review aims to answer.
Hands-on with the Skullcandy Dime earbuds
Having launched back in March, the new Skullcandy Dime earbuds arrive as the brand’s most affordable pair of true wireless earbuds to date. In fact, at $25, these are some of the cheapest wire-free buds from a well-known company out there. Despite the entry-level pricing, there are still quite a few notable inclusions in the feature department ranging from IPX4 water resistance to a noise-isolating design and compact charging case.
It’s the former of those that really makes these stand out on paper, though. Being able to handle sweat and other light precipitation gives Skullcandy Dime quite a fair shot at becoming a go-to pair of dedicated workout earbuds. And with up to 12 hours of playback thanks to the charging case, you won’t have to refuel these daily, either. But let’s take a quick look at the features before seeing how they actually stack up in real-world usage.
Here’s a look at the spec sheet:
- 12 hours of battery life
- Microphone, Call, Track and Volume Control
- Auto Connect
- Secure Noise Isolating Fit
- IPX4 Sweat and Water Resistant
Oftentimes here at 9to5Toys, when we’re talking about more budget-friendly earbuds, we tend to highlight their use cases as a dedicated pair for the gym bag or taking on runs. That’s exactly the first thought that came to mind after putting the Skullcandy Dime to the test over the last week, as they’re nearly perfect for anyone who has a main pair of cans but also wants something for the workout.
But let’s take a more in-depth look at just how good can a $25 pair of earbuds can be. Starting with the charging case, there’s a unique design that, when opened, exposes the rubberized sides of the actual earbuds. Inside, you’ll find the compact Skullcandy Dime, which feature a pretty standard design for true wireless buds these days. You’ll find a collection of included silicone ear tips to swap out in order to deliver on the brand’s noise isolation claim, which works about as well as any other affordable pair I’ve tried.
One of my favorite things is that the charging case also has a built-in loop that can be clipped onto your keys or bag. That really cements that even Skullcandy is aware of how well these handle as dedicated workout buds, and some thought was put into achieving that.
As for how these fair for your daily drivers, the Skullcandy Dime aren’t quite going to be the best-sounding true wireless earbuds out there. They sound perfectly fine when you’re out on a run or trying to keep yourself distracted from the noise of your workout equipment, but the $25-ness does shine through. If you are looking at these to use throughout the day, just expect not to get as full of an audio profile as you’ll find elsewhere.
Speaking of compromises, there are some less impactful areas that Skullcandy was able to cut back the costs in order to achieve such an affordable pair of earbuds with its Dime. While the 12-hour battery life is already on the lower end of things, it’s not that big of an issue in practice. Having to pop them back in after around three hours isn’t quite as convenient, but I’ll take that over having to plug in with a cable any day. And for those who are hoping to fully convert to USB-C, it’s also worth noting that there’s still a microUSB charging port here.
There’s also a more rugged plastic used throughout that doesn’t feel quite as premium as what you’ll find elsewhere. Sure it’s a compromise, but I think it fits the fitness focus quite well and should definitely let them hold up better against scratches and scuffs.
None of these are deal-breakers by any means, so I have to hand it to Skullcandy for knowing the right tradeoffs to make in order to zero in on that affordable price tag.
Clocking in at $25, it’s hard for me to say that these aren’t worth the cash. Skullcandy Dime aren’t as feature-packed as earbuds in higher price brackets, but they deliver plenty of value for how much you’ll spend. As long as you go in knowing the tradeoffs, these are an easy recommendation to anyone who wants to supplement their existing daily drivers with a pair of rugged true wireless buds that are more than capable of tagging along on workouts and more.
Buy the Skullcandy Dime Earbuds now
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