The Skullcandy Dime makes no bones about what it is – little buds, big sound and at $69.95, it is a bargain. You may not have heard of Skullcandy (great name), but it is an American company based in Park City, Utah, that markets headphones, earphones, hands-free devices, audio backpacks, MP3 players, and more.
Skullcandy Dime is its cheapest buds, and the range goes up to the impressive Indy BT, ANC, Qi at $259.95 (on sale at $199.95). We have some Skullcandy reviews here.
Now buds are buds – they include entry-level like Skullcandy Dime (website here), where all you want is good sound and reasonable battery life – anything else is a bonus. Well, the sound signature is bass-forward (that’s the attitude – we call it warm) and with strong mid (we call that sweet). So technically, it is suitable for most music genres, and perhaps you should look elsewhere if sedate podcasts and symphony orchestra are your style.
Pod style, closed back with short rectangular stalks
BNT 5.0 with 16-bit/48kHz SBC (no AAC or other codecs, so forget Apple)
The micro-USB case is 62 x 39 x 20mm with a small lanyard
The battery (claimed) lasts 3.5hrs, and there is a further 7 hours in the case
Black – 4g each bud
Single mic on each pod
True Wireless – can use a single bud
Noise isolation from the small, medium and large silicone ear tips
As far as we can tell, there is no substantial onboard sound processing – just a Qualcomm True Wireless BT chip/amp. What we hear is native, not synthetic, sound.
They are bass-forward, but the strong mid stops them from being muddy. The top end is recessed, so they lack a little brightness, and vocals can suffer some sibilance. In all, we give it a balanced sound signature – something that audiophiles despise, but Joe and Jane Average are happy with. You can read more about sound signatures here. All you need to remember is it offers sound quality above the $69.95 price.
There is no app or EQ – you get what it plays. Distortion at full volume was evident in the low-to-high treble range but otherwise within accepted normal limits.
Soundstage – closed back means it is pretty tight inside your head. Stereo left/right separation is acceptable.
3.5 hours is achievable at 50% volume – the only problem is that we need closer to 70%. So, count on 2-3 hours.
Recharge the case via micro-USB is slow – about 5 hours. The charge cable is 110mm – ridiculously short. It does not benefit from PD charging.
Single point pairing. We noticed a slight latency issue while watching a YouTube video on a Surface Pro 7 but no latency issues on a Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. Not recommended for gaming.
Hands-free and Voice assistant
A mic on each stalk, but the lack of any noise or wind cancelling means hands-free calls are often drowned out. Callers commented that the voice was muffled and there was too much background noise.
These are not ANC but use passive noise isolation from the silicon tips. It is pretty good at reducing office noise and chatter but can’t handle deep bass like AC units or passing buses.
Our test includes 8 hours of wear, but we had to break at 3 hours to recharge. There is no sign of discomfort or heat retention in the ear. They feel stable, but I am not a pod fan.
The Skullcandy Dime is $69.95, you really can’t ask for more. As long as you realise these are basic buds – a step above most buds supplied with phones – then these are more than fit for purpose. IPX4 is a plus, and passive noise isolation is suitable for work from home or office.
Skullcandy Dime is a great entry-level BT earphone - several steps over cabled buds supplied with smartphones.
Value for money
Ease of use
Excellent value for your first pair of BT buds
Passive noise isolation is good for home or office