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Skullcandy Indy ANC and Dime in the test: Small in-ear buttons and ANC stems for 40 and 120 euros
For 40 euros, the Skullcandy Dime are small, inexpensive, wireless in-ears that are too imprecise when it comes to the heights. The Indy ANC should offer a lot for 120 euros, but none of the features are really convincing. Both headphones have a tough time against the numerous competition.
Skullcandy now offers a variety of different wireless in-ear headphones. The Skullcandy Indy ANC should be the model of choice for around 120 euros if active noise cancellation is used. For just under 40 euros, on the other hand, the Skullcandy Dime are entry-level models that do without extras, but are particularly compact and primarily appeal to first-time buyers who occasionally listen to music on the go.
For 120 euros, the buyer of the Skullcandy Indy ANC receives, in addition to the earphones and the wireless charging case, a USB-C to USB-A charging cable, two different sized ear wings and three different sized ear tips. A brief instruction explains the pairing via Bluetooth and the operation.
The Skullcandy Dime, which costs only 40 euros, includes the earphones and the charging case, a micro-USB charging cable and three different sized ear tips. A quick guide is also included. The Dime are available in the four color variants Dark Blue / Green, Light Gray / Blue, Dark Gray and True Black.
While the Skullcandy Dime with a recess in the lid is reminiscent of the Scendo Snapods with MagSafe for the iPhone 12 (test) and the Yobybo Card20 (test), as they are designed as small buttons with a flat, short style, the Indy ANC are still in the design of the series, which is also used, for example, in the Indy Fuel (test).
Technical data and functions of the Indy ANC and Dime
Bluetooth 5.0 with and without AAC
For the radio connection to the smartphone, both wireless in-ear headphones use Bluetooth 5.0. The Dime only uses SBC as the audio codec, the Indy ANC also offer AAC. Both headphones therefore do not support an HD codec.
“Bluetooth Multi-Connect” also had to be dispensed with in both test subjects. As a result, only one terminal device can be connected wirelessly to the headphones at a time. If another device is to be connected, the active connection must first be interrupted before the in-ears can be paired again.
Twice the size of drivers in the Indy ANC
The dynamic drivers in the Indy ANC measure 12 mm in diameter, in the Dime they are only half as large at 6 mm. While the frequency response of both models is identical with 20 Hz to 20 kHz, the impedance of the Indy ANC with 32 ohms is twice as high as that of the Dime.
For the Indy ANC, Skullcandy gives a maximum sound pressure level of 103 dB, for the Dime this information is missing.
Big differences also in the battery life
There are bigger differences in the battery life. While the small Skullcandy Dime should last up to 3.5 hours with one battery charge, Skullcandy promises up to 9 hours without ANC and up to 5 hours with ANC for the Indy ANC.
In connection with the charging case, the Dime should allow up to 12 hours of music playback, while the Indy ANC should be able to play up to 32 hours if ANC is not used, and up to 19 hours if ANC is permanently activated.
Only the Skullcandy Indy ANC also offer a quick charge function, which allows music to be played for 2 hours without ANC or 1.5 hours with ANC after 10 minutes of charging.
In the test, a battery charge of the Skullcandy Dime lasted 3:40 hours at medium volume. The playback time promised was also achieved with the Indy ANC. With ANC 5:15 hours and without ANC 9:20 hours were possible.
Wireless charging and micro USB meet
The differences continue with the charging cases of both earphones. Because while the copy of the Dime can only be charged via the outdated Micro-USB, the Indy ANC can choose from both USB-C and wireless charging. With dimensions of 21.4 × 62.2 × 38.9 mm and a weight of only 25 g for the Dime and 27.6 × 63.0 × 55.5 mm and 53 g for the Indy ANC, the differences are evident The design and battery life are also noticeable here. A lanyard is integrated into the Dime's charging case. In contrast to the Indy ANC, the Dime's charging case cannot be opened with one hand, as the lid clicks firmly into place - force is required even with two hands. With the Indy ANC, however, little play is planned for the ear wings when the charging case is closed. If these slip on the earphones, the lid can hang when you close it.
Charging the dime in the charging case is completed after just under an hour, the Indy ANC need around 1.5 hours for this. With the charging case, on the other hand, it is the Indy ANC, which is fully charged after around 1.5 hours via USB-C, while the case of the Dime needs over 3 hours for this via micro-USB.
IPX4 for both in-ear headphones
The earphones of both models are protected against splash water in accordance with IPX4 and can therefore also be worn in the rain or during sweaty sports.
ANC and transparency mode for the Indy ANC
Only the Indy ANC offer active noise suppression and an additional transparency mode. The dime has to do without both functions. The same applies to the app connection, which is also discussed in more detail below. The fact that the earphones can also be used individually, however, applies to both models.
Touch or buttons for operation
Buttons on the dime let the earphones slip
With the Dime, Skullcandy relies on a button on the outside of both earphones for operation. A single press on either earbud starts or pauses playback or accepts an incoming call. Pressing the button on the left earbud twice will decrease the volume. This can be increased on the right earphone. If the button is held down for around one second, you skip one track on the right and one track back on the left. In order to start the voice assistant of the connected smartphone, the button of an earphone has to be pressed three times.
If the button is held down for around 4 seconds, the earphones can also be switched off without a charging case. To switch it on, it is sufficient to press it for around 2 seconds. Otherwise, a longer press activates the pairing via Bluetooth.
On the Dime, Skullcandy manages to make all functions accessible via them despite the largely identical assignment of both earphones, so that the smartphone does not have to be taken out of the pocket to control the playback in everyday life. However, the position of the button in the middle of the style is not optimal, as the focus of the dime is not in the ear. The button is slightly below the piece of dime that sits in the auricle. If you press the button, you inevitably always pry something on the earphones. Since a comparatively large amount of pressure has to be applied to trigger the button, this is not optimal. The dime would actually have benefited from touch if the button had been placed at this point.
Touch at the Indy ANC with too many options
With the Indy ANC, operation is implemented via touch, but the gestures are different from those of the Dime buttons. You have to tap twice to start or pause playback, which is unusual. The single tap, which is normally assigned this function, is assigned to the Indy ANC with the volume adjustment - louder on the right, quieter on the left. You also have to tap one of the earbuds twice to answer a call. If the touch surface is held down for two seconds, you will jump one title forward (right) or one title back (left). Triple tap activates the voice assistant.
To switch through the three preset equalizer modes, the touch surface of an earphone has to be tapped twice and then held for two seconds. To toggle between ANC, transparency mode and normal mode, tap once and then hold for two seconds. The user always knows which mode has been activated via an announcement.
To turn off the earbuds outside of the charging case, hold them down for six seconds. To turn them on, however, they have to be held down for four seconds.
The options for controlling the functions of the Indy ANC are thus diverse, but too cumbersome and error-prone in everyday life. Not only is it difficult for the user to remember the exact control functions, but the assignment also takes getting used to. Even with the intervals between typing, the user first has to get used to the times in order to trigger the correct action. In this respect, the operation is not completely convincing in practice and requires a sure instinct.
No automatic pause and resume
Both models do not offer functions that automatically pause and resume music playback when one or both of the earphones are removed from the ear.
Indy ANC with app, Dime without
As mentioned earlier, only the Indy ANC are supported by the Skullcandy app, which is available for Android and iOS. It offers options for selecting one of the three equalizer presets (Music, Movie and Podcast). The transparency mode and the ANC can also be switched on or off via the app. However, it is not possible to adjust the intensity via the app. In addition, the battery level of the earphones is displayed - in the test, however, it was only 97 percent immediately after removal from the charging case. The firmware version of the Indy ANC is displayed in the app, but an update of the same does not seem possible.
Hearing profiles with hearing test
An individual hearing profile can be created via the “Personal Audio” item, for which a short hearing test must be carried out. Skullcandy again uses the technology of the Swedish company Audiodo. Profiles that have already been created with another Skullcandy headphones and saved in the app can also be used with the Indy ANC. You can switch between several created profiles in the app at any time. They are activated on the headphones so that they remain active even when the earphones are used with other end devices.
Tile tracker in the Indy ANC
The charging case of the Indy ANC is equipped with a tile tracker and after registration via the Tile app an attempt can be made to find the charging case via the Bluetooth network.
Comfortable to wear with and without ear wings
Indy ANC with a firm hold thanks to ear wings
The Indy ANC rely on the design of the Indy Fuel, so they use large ear wings that can be exchanged independently of the ear tips, which allows good adaptation to the individual ear. Thanks to the ear wings, the Indy ANC sit securely in the ear and can therefore also be worn during sports. The fact that the earphones are not pushed deep into the ear canal, but seal it at the entrance, has a positive effect on the wearing comfort. So the Indy ANC can be worn safely and comfortably at the same time. Due to their design, they can only be used to a very limited extent with bicycle helmets, the long style is a nuisance on the tether.
Small buttons are comfortable to wear
With the Dime, the fit depends more on how well they fit into the wearer's ears and whether the silicone attachments supplied are the right size. This can differ depending on the side. Once the right size has been found, the dime will also sit comfortably in the ear without developing any pressure. With the tester, they could be used without any problems even while jogging, but they do not sit as well all the time as the last tested Marshall Mode II (test), which do not have to be readjusted once while running. Due to their smaller design, the Dime can be used more flexibly in everyday life than the Indy ANC.
On the next page: sound, ANC, telephony, latency and conclusion
- Frank HüberEmailTwitter... has been writing about smart homes, monitors and new technologies since 2000. He completed his studies with a degree in engineering.
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