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Skullcandy Indy Truly Wireless Earbuds review: Inexpensive true wireless headphones that don't quite stand out

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The Good The Skullcandy Indy earbuds cost half the price of Apple's AirPods, offer solid wireless performance, are comfortable to wear and come with a compact charging case that delivers an extra three charges (4 hours of battery life in 'buds). They include stabilizing gels that may help some people get a better fit.

The Bad They push the treble a little too hard (they're bright) and their bass could be a little punchier. If you don't use the stabilizing gels, they're a little hard to get out of their charging case.

The Bottom Line Skullcandy's Indy true wireless earbuds have some likable traits, including a good fit and affordable price, but you can can definitely do better for the money.

6.8 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 7
  • Sound 6
  • Value 7

Skullcandy's Indy earphones are part of a growing number of "pipe-style" true wireless models that have a design that's somewhat reminiscent of Apple's AirPods but that cost a lot less. However, like Anker's SoundCore Liberty Air earbuds ($80), what's different is that the Indy earbuds have a noise-isolating design with silicone tips that seal off your ear canals and passively muffle noise around you. The AirPods are "hard" buds and have an open design that lets sound in.

Read more: The best true wireless headphones right now

Like the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air ($80 at Amazon), the Indy earbuds retail for $80, and they look a lot like the Anker model, which means they could well have come out of the same factory in China. There are some small differences. The Indy's charging case is a little larger and the earbuds come with a set of removable "stability gels" that I didn't need but may help some people get a better fit. Unfortunately, if you don't put them on, the earbuds sink a little too far into their slots in their case (they adhere magnetically to their charging points) and become a bit more difficult to get out.

Close-up of the buds with their stabilizing gels on.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Indy earbuds aren't a bad set of true wireless earphones. They fit me comfortably and I was able to get a tight seal from the largest set of included eartips. They're water- and sweat-resistant (IP55 certified), their wireless connection was mostly reliable and battery life was OK at around 4 hours with an additional three charges from their case. However, they simply don't sound as good as the Liberty Air and their touch controls don't work as well.

What's wrong with their sound? Well, the bass lacks a little punch and they've got a little too much presence boost (treble push) that leads to them sounding very bright at times. That can be OK with well-recorded tracks but it can lead to some harshness with others. You can really hear it on tracks with tambourines, cymbals or hi-hats (a combination of two cymbals and a foot pedal) and the brightness can lead to some listening fatigue. 

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