What if AirPods came in a slick black finish and cost nearly half the price? That’s what Skullcandy is going for with its “value-driven” Rail range of wireless earbuds.
Apple’s AirPods Pro are widely considered to be the best in-ear wireless headphones with active noise cancellation (ANC). But, at $399, they cost a pretty penny. To combat this, Skullcandy has two Rail models out in Australia for less than $230.
Of the two sets of earbuds, the Skullcandy Rail ANC is the closest AirPods Pro competitor. It uses four-microphone ANC technology to enable adjustable noise cancellation and block out unwanted noise. For $60 less, you can get the Skullcandy Rail True Wireless Earbuds that come without ANC but share plenty of other features.
Both sets of earbuds are designed to fit ergonomically, and pair with the Skull-iQ app. This app drives the devices’ voice commands, giving you hands-free control. Platform agnostic, each set comes with Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity, with the ability to connect to two devices at the same time.
Skullcandy’s Rail headphones have similar battery lives, too. The ANC model advertises up to 38 hours of charge (when the ANC feature is off), with the buds providing 10 hours in addition to the charging case’s 28 hours, which you can top up wirelessly. Looking at the base Rail model, you lose wireless charging but gain an extra few hours of battery life – up to 42 hours.
You should be able to use the Rail earbuds while exercising, thanks to both models carrying an IP55 rating. This means they’re sweat, water, and dust resistant. Splashes of water should be fine, just don’t go swimming with them.
Skullcandy Rail release date and price
The Skullcandy Rail costs $169.95, while the ANC version costs $229.95. Both models are out now via the brand’s website. At nearly half the price of the pro-level AirPods, the Rail ANC could be a reasonable alternative.