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We've recently released our Test Bench 1.6 update for Headphones! Read the Latency R&D Article to learn more.

Skullcandy Dime 3 True Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.6
Reviewed Dec 14, 2023 at 10:03 am
Latest change: Writing modified Dec 20, 2023 at 01:14 pm
Skullcandy Dime 3 True Wireless Picture
7.5
Neutral Sound
7.5
Commute/Travel
8.1
Sports/Fitness
7.0
Office
5.2
Wireless Gaming
5.1
Wired Gaming
6.3
Phone Calls

The Skullcandy Dime 3 True Wireless are the next generation of the Skullcandy Dime 2 True Wireless. These wireless in-ears have a sleek and lightweight design that builds on the previous generation by introducing handy new features, like Bluetooth multi-device pairing and AI-assisted noise handling technology, at a wallet-friendly price. However, this comes at the expense of other useful features like companion app compatibility and an auto-off function.

Our Verdict

7.5 Neutral Sound

The Skullcandy Dime 3 are good for neutral sound. The overall sound profile is more neutral than previous generations. The bass delivery is well-balanced, with plenty of rumble and boom without muddying the rest of the mix. The mid-range is neutral and pleasing to listen to, with detailed reproduction of instruments and vocals. The treble range reproduction is on the bright side, but sibilants, like S and T sounds, can sometimes sound harsh. While the three EQ presets are easily accessible through the controls, there are no further sound customization options via a companion app. As with other in-ear designs, they have a poor soundstage performance.

Pros
  • Reasonably comfortable and stable fit.
  • Built-in EQ presets.
  • Consistent sound delivery.
Cons
  • Bad passive soundstage.
  • No sound customization through companion app.
7.5 Commute/Travel

The Skullcandy Dime 3 are good for commuting and travel use. Their lightweight and portable design means you can easily stow them in a bag, and their carry case can even be attached to a keychain. They're also reasonably comfortable, and while their eight-hour continuous battery life won't get you through the longest journeys, another two charges are available from the case. Their control scheme isn't the most intuitive to use on the go.

Pros
  • Portable and lightweight design.
  • Reasonably comfortable and stable fit.
  • Consistent sound delivery.
Cons
  • Poor microphone recording quality.
  • Controls aren't the most intuitive to use.
8.1 Sports/Fitness

The Skullcandy Dime 3 are great for sports and fitness. These lightweight and portable buds have a reasonably comfortable fit and will stay in your ears while running or hiking. They're also rated IPX4 for protection against water splashes. However, while the control scheme allows you to input a wide range of commands, it's not the most intuitive to memorize and use while exercising.

Pros
  • Portable and lightweight design.
  • Reasonably comfortable and stable fit.
Cons
  • Controls aren't the most intuitive to use.
7.0 Office

The Skullcandy Dime 3 are decent for office use. They're reasonably comfortable, and their in-ear design does a fair job of isolating you passively against office chit-chat. Their battery life performance can get you through an average workday without recharging from the case, and Bluetooth multi-point is useful if you want to connect two devices while working. The integrated mic's poor recording quality means they're not the best choice for online meetings.

Pros
  • Portable and lightweight design.
  • Reasonably comfortable and stable fit.
Cons
  • Bad passive soundstage.
  • Poor microphone recording quality.
5.2 Wireless Gaming

The Skullcandy Dime 3 have a high latency performance when connected via Bluetooth, so they're unsuitable for wireless gaming use.

5.1 Wired Gaming

You can't use the Skullcandy Dime 3 with a wired connection, so they're unsuitable for wired gaming.

6.3 Phone Calls

The Skullcandy Dime 3 are passable for phone calls. While they're reasonably comfortable and can pair with up to two devices simultaneously via Bluetooth, their integrated mic's quality is disappointing, and your voice will sound thin and distant while on calls. They offer a degree of passive isolation through their in-ear fit that can help isolate you against office chatter, but you'll struggle to take calls in noisier environments.

Pros
  • Consistent sound delivery.
Cons
  • Poor microphone recording quality.
  • 7.5 Neutral Sound
  • 7.5 Commute/Travel
  • 8.1 Sports/Fitness
  • 7.0 Office
  • 5.2 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.1 Wired Gaming
  • 6.3 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Dec 20, 2023: We've added a comparison between these headphones and the JBL Vibe Buds True Wireless in Comfort.
  2. Updated Dec 19, 2023: We've added a comparison between these headphones and the Anker Soundcore P25i/P20i True Wireless in Comfort.
  3. Updated Dec 14, 2023: Review published.
  4. Updated Dec 08, 2023: Early access published.
  5. Updated Dec 05, 2023: Our testers have started testing this product.
  6. Updated Nov 03, 2023: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  7. Updated Oct 16, 2023: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Skullcandy Dime 3 come in two main color variants: 'True Black' and 'Bone'. In November 2023, Skullcandy also announced a limited edition selection of 'Acid Snow Camo' colorways to celebrate their 20th anniversary, which feature a camouflage patterned design in additional colors: 'Black', 'Slate', 'Meta Mauve' and 'Dark Moss'. We tested the 'True Black' variant, and you can see our unit's label here.

If you encounter another variant, please let us know in the forums, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

The Skullcandy Dime 3 are budget-friendly wireless in-ears designed with portability and on-the-go use in mind. They're similar in design and features to the previous generation, the Skullcandy Dime 2 True Wireless, but bring new features to the table, like AI-assisted noise handling technology that helps separate your voice from background noise, as well as Bluetooth multi-point connectivity and a 'Stay-Aware' mode that allows in some external noise so you can hear your surroundings. However, unlike the Dime 2, they can't connect to the Skullcandy app. While they can provide some isolation against ambient noise, their noise isolation performance isn't as good as the ANC-equipped Skullcandy Sesh ANC True Wireless.

Check out our picks for the best cheap earbuds, the best wireless earbuds under $50, and the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds.

Skullcandy Smokin' Buds/Buds XT True Wireless

The Skullcandy Dime 3 True Wireless are better for most uses than the Skullcandy Smokin' Buds/Buds XT True Wireless. While EDM and hip-hop fans might prefer the bass-heavy sound profile of the Smokin' Buds, the Dime 3 offer a more neutral sound profile. They also feature multi-device connectivity with Bluetooth. Both buds have a similar continuous battery life, but the Dime 3 carry an additional half-charge in their case. The Smokin' Buds' mic has better recording quality.

Skullcandy Dime 2 True Wireless

The Skullcandy Dime 3 True Wireless are a slight improvement on the Skullcandy Dime 2 True Wireless. While they have a similar design and portability, the Dime 3 have a far longer continuous battery life and feature multi-point Bluetooth connectivity, so you can connect them to two devices simultaneously. They also have a more neutral bass and mid response, with built-in EQ presets. However, the Dime 2 have a better noise isolation performance and a more accurate treble response and can connect to the Skullcandy app.

JBL Vibe Buds True Wireless

The JBL Vibe Buds True Wireless offer a slightly better performance than the Skullcandy Dime 3 True Wireless. While both buds are well-built, the JBL are more comfortable, have a better overall battery performance, and have a companion app, so you can adjust their sound to your liking. Conversely, the Skullcandy support multi-device pairing, so you can stay connected to your PC and smartphone simultaneously.

Anker Soundcore P25i/P20i True Wireless

The Skullcandy Dime 3 True Wireless are better budget-friendly buds than the Anker Soundcore P25i/P20i True Wireless. While both buds are well-built, the Skullcandy have a more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer; they can block out more background noise and support multi-device pairing. However, the Anker are more comfortable and have many more EQ presets to help you adjust their sound. Their integrated mic offers a significantly better overall performance, too.

JBL Vibe Beam True Wireless

The Skullcandy Dime 3 True Wireless and the JBL Vibe Beam True Wireless are wireless in-ears with slightly different strengths. While they're both reasonably comfortable and have a very similar battery life performance, the Skullcandy have a more neutral and consistent sound overall and feature Bluetooth multi-point, making it easy to connect multiple devices while you're at the office or on the go. However, the JBL have a better mic recording quality and noise handling, making them a better choice for calls. They're also compatible with the excellent JBL Headphones app, which lets you customize the sound with a parametric EQ.

Anker SoundCore Life P2 Truly Wireless

The Skullcandy Dime 3 True Wireless and the Anker SoundCore Life P2 Truly Wireless are similarly performing wireless earbuds, but the Skullcandy offer better features. The Skullcandy have a more neutral sound profile overall and a longer continuous battery life, making them a great choice for commutes. They also feature Bluetooth multi-point, allowing you to connect to multiple devices while working in the office. The Skullcandy also have better controls. The Anker have a longer total battery life, making them a solid choice for long journeys.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Type In-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Truly Wireless
Transducer Dynamic

The Skullcandy Dime 3 look similar to the Skullcandy Dime 2 True Wireless. They have a simple, sleek design with a brand logo positioned high up on each stem. They come in two colorways: 'True Black' and 'Bone'. Skullcandy also announced a limited edition selection of 'Acid Snow Camo' colorways to celebrate their 20th anniversary, which feature a camouflage patterned design in 'Black', 'Slate', 'Meta Mauve' and 'Dark Moss'.

6.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.02 lbs
Clamping Force
0 lbs

The Skullcandy Dime 3 are reasonably comfortable. They come with three differently sized ear-tips to help you achieve a comfortable fit. They have a deep in-ear fit, which can put pressure on your ear, though, especially when you use the controls. It's also easy to accidentally hit the controls while re-adjusting the fit. Try the Anker Soundcore P25i/P20i True Wireless if you want more comfortable, wallet-friendly buds. The JBL Vibe Buds True Wireless also have a similar style but are more comfortable too.

7.1
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Decent
Feedback Good
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
On/Off
Additional Controls Multi function + Voice Assistant

The controls are decent. They're clicky and responsive in a similar way to the Skullcandy Dime 2 True Wireless. There's audible feedback upon connecting, pairing, or disconnecting and audio prompts for changing the EQ mode or hitting maximum and minimum volume. Unfortunately, due to the deep in-ear fit, pressing the controls can press the buds against your ear canals, which can be uncomfortable. The controls could also be more intuitive: it takes a lot of clicks to input simple commands like decreasing the volume, and there's no default command for skipping tracks. On the bright side, you can input controls from either earbud.

On either earbud:

  • Single press: Plays and pauses audio. Also answers and ends a call.
  • Double press: Increases the volume.
  • Triple press: Decreases the volume.
  • Press four times: Toggles between different EQ modes (Music, Bass Boost, Podcast).
  • Press and hold: Toggles Stay-Aware (talk-through) mode on/off.
  • Press and hold for one second: Activates your device's voice assistant.
  • Press and hold for six seconds: Resets pairing list.

9.5
Design
Portability
L 1.5" (3.8 cm)
W 1.0" (2.5 cm)
H 0.9" (2.3 cm)
Volume 1.33 in³ (21.85 cm³)
Transmitter Required No

These earbuds are very portable. They have a lightweight design and take up minimal space. Even when they're housed in their small carrying case, you can easily stash them in a bag or coat pocket.

7.5
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 2.5" (6.4 cm)
W 1.5" (3.9 cm)
H 0.9" (2.4 cm)
Volume 3.68 in³ (60.23 cm³)

They come with a good, lightweight carry case with a braided strap so you can easily attach it to a keychain. There are two openings where you can place the buds. The buds stick out of these openings somewhat, and an LED light on each stem lights up to indicate they're charging.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

Like the other earbuds in the Dime series, they have a good build quality. They're made of dense, durable-feeling plastic and certified IPX4 for resistance against water splashes. However, the clicking mechanism used to input controls on the stem feels a little flimsy, and the ear tips feel weak and prone to damage over time.

7.5
Design
Stability

These buds have good stability. Once you get a good fit, they'll stay in place during moderate exercise, so you don't need to worry about them falling out while jogging around the block or listening at home.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Skullcandy Dime 3 earbuds
  • Charging case
  • USB-C to USB-A charging cable
  • 3x tip size options
  • Manuals

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-0.87 dB
Treble Amount
-0.02 dB

The Skullcandy Dime 3 have a fairly neutral sound profile, with a warm bass that doesn't overwhelm mid-range instruments. Their treble range reproduction is slightly overemphasized and helps bring out detail in voices and lead instruments. A sharp peak in the mid-treble can make sibilants sound bright. Our results show a discrepancy between the left and right drivers, but this is due to an issue with our test rig's right ear. While you can't adjust the sound profile via an app, you can cycle through three EQ presets (Music, Bass Boost, and Podcast) using the integrated controls. You can see the frequency response of each of these modes here.

8.9
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.22 dB

The Skullcandy Dime 3 have amazing frequency response consistency. Once you get a good seal with the included eartips, you'll experience consistent audio delivery every time you use them.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
9.1
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.36 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
11.39 Hz
Low-Bass
-2.07 dB
Mid-Bass
-0.28 dB
High-Bass
1.47 dB

The headphones have remarkable bass accuracy. The response is very neutral across the entire range, giving your audio plenty of thump and rumble. Users who need a bit more bass can activate the 'Bass Boost' EQ mode to add some extra boom to their mixes.

9.0
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.38 dB
Low-Mid
-0.03 dB
Mid-Mid
-1.61 dB
High-Mid
-0.09 dB

Their mid accuracy is superb. The response is quite flat across the entire range. While a slight dip in the mid-mid pushes vocals and lead instruments back in the mix slightly, they still have plenty of detail and clarity overall. On tracks like Shania Twain's That Don't Impress Me Much, both the electric guitar and the lead vocals sound balanced and present in the choruses amid dense layers of pop production.

8.1
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.91 dB
Low-Treble
-0.05 dB
Mid-Treble
2.53 dB
High-Treble
-4.82 dB

The treble accuracy is impressive. Most of the range is balanced, but there's a peak in the mid-treble that adds brightness and sizzle to sibilants, like hi-hats and cymbals, which can sometimes be piercing.

7.7
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.65 dB
Dips
0.75 dB

These earbuds have good peaks and dips performance. They generally follow their own sound profile well, with some deviations in certain ranges. A peak in the high-bass across both drivers adds additional warmth to mixes. There's a small dip in the mid-mid that nudges vocals and instruments to the back of the mix slightly. The drivers are mismatched somewhat in the high-mid and low-treble, and the response is overemphasized in the right driver in this range, so the upper harmonic of vocals sound harsher in the right channel. Finally, a sharp peak in the mid-treble can make sibilants, like S and T sounds, sound piercing.

8.1
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.11
Weighted Phase Mismatch
12.58
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
1.41
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.3

The Skullcandy Dime 3 have a great imaging performance. Most of the Skullcandy headphones we've tested have had a good imaging performance, which indicates the manufacturer's quality control and ergonomics. Our unit's weighted group delay falls below the audibility threshold, resulting in tight bass and transparent highs. The left and right drivers are reasonably well-matched in amplitude and frequency, but there's some phase mismatch in the mid-range. While this is difficult to hear in real-life content, it can make it harder to perceive where voices and instruments are coming from within the stereo image. That said, imaging performance tends to vary between units.

0.9
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
N/A
PRTF Distance
N/A
Openness
3.2
Acoustic Space Excitation
0.8

These buds have an awful passive soundstage performance, which is normal from in-ear headphones. In-ear designs allow for very little interaction with the outer ear, resulting in a soundstage lacking the immersive quality of open-back headphones. Audio seems like it's coming from inside your head rather than from speakers placed around you.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No App
7.7
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.251
WHD @ 100
0.136

The weighted harmonic distortion performance is good. While there are a few peaks in the high-bass and low-treble at normal listening levels, they'll be tough to hear for anyone who's not an astute audiophile. Otherwise, all frequencies fall within good limits, and the resulting audio reproduction is clean and pure.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
Unknown
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 5.3
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
Music Mode
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Silicone (small)
Microphone
Integrated

These are the settings used to test these headphones; our results are only valid in this configuration.

Isolation
6.8
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-19.48 dB
Noise Cancelling No
Bass
-6.57 dB
Mid
-21.26 dB
Treble
-32.13 dB

The Skullcandy Dime 3 have an alright noise isolation performance. They don't have ANC, but their in-ear design provides a degree of isolation, which can help block out higher-frequency sounds like fridge hum. They also do a good job of blocking out mid-range sounds, like background conversations. They offer very little isolation against bass-range noise, like engine rumble, so these noises will find their way into your audio.

9.3
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
25.2 dB

They have an outstanding leakage performance. Even at high volumes, the level of leaked audio is very low and concentrated in the treble range, where it sounds tinny. Even if you're cranking your tunes in the office, others around you won't be able to hear what you're playing.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No
Mic Yes
5.2
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
273 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
3.43 dB
HFE
1,974.03 Hz
Weighted THD
1.98
Gain
-7.53 dB

The integrated mic's recording quality is disappointing. While your voice is understandable, it lacks body and sounds distant.

6.6
Microphone
Noise Handling
SpNR
20.2 dB
Noise Gate
Always On
Speech + Pink Noise Handling
8.0
Speech + Pink Noise Audio Sample
Speech + Subway Noise Handling
4.5
Speech + Subway Noise Audio Sample

The mic has an alright noise handling performance. These buds use AI-assisted technology to help isolate your voice against background noise and this means their performance is better than their predecessor in this regard. This technology does a great job of tackling consistent sound, like background chatter at the office. However, your voice will easily be drowned out if you're in a place with loud, inconsistent noise, like on a busy street.

Active Features
6.7
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
8.4 hrs
Additional Charges
2.0
Total Battery Life
25.2 hrs
Charge Time
0.7 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
Yes
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port USB-C

The Skullcandy Dime 3 have a satisfactory battery performance. The manufacturer advertises eight hours of continuous battery life, with two additional charges from the case. We measured slightly more than this, but battery life tends to vary based on use. The manufacturer claims the quick-charge feature will add two hours of battery life with a quick ten-minute charge. You can even play audio from one bud while the other one charges. Frustratingly, these buds lack the power-saving features found in the Skullcandy Dime 2 True Wireless, so they won't turn off automatically after a certain amount of inactivity.

0
Active Features
App Support
App Name No App
iOS No
Android No
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
No
ANC Control
No
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
No

These earbuds are incompatible with the Skullcandy app but are compatible with the Tile app, which you can use to locate your buds if you lose them.

Connectivity
0
Connectivity
Wired Connection
Analog Audio
No
USB Audio
No
Detachable
No
Length
N/A
Connector
No Wired Option
Latency - Analog
N/A
Latency - USB
N/A
Recorded Latency
N/A
Recorded Latency Connection No Wired Audio

You can only use these headphones wirelessly. They come with a USB-A to USB-C cable to charge their carrying case.

7.9
Connectivity
Bluetooth Connection
Bluetooth Version
5.3
Multi-Device Pairing
2 Devices
Quick Pair (Android)
No
Quick Pair (iOS)
No
Line Of Sight Range
262.47 ft (80.00 m)
Latency - SBC
238 ms
Latency - aptX
N/A
Latency - aptX Adaptive (High Quality)
N/A
Latency - aptX Adaptive (Low Latency)
N/A
Latency - LDAC
N/A
Recorded Latency
Recorded Latency Codec SBC
AAC Support
Yes

Their Bluetooth performance is very good. While they don't support Google Quick Pair or Microsoft Swift Pair, these buds feature multi-device pairing, allowing you to pair with up to two devices via Bluetooth. Latency via the default SBC codec is quite high, so your audio and video will be out of sync when watching videos. They also support AAC codec, which is an alternative to SBC and offers slightly better audio quality. However, you'll be disappointed if you want to stream hi-res audio with these earbuds since they don't support codecs like aptX Adaptive or LDAC, which are designed for this purpose.

0
Connectivity
Wireless Connection (Dongle)
Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Latency - Dongle
N/A
Recorded Latency
N/A
Connectivity
PC Compatibility
Analog
No
Wired USB
No
Non-BT Wireless
No

These buds are only compatible with Bluetooth-enabled PCs. You can't connect them in any other way.

Connectivity
PlayStation Compatibility
PS4 Analog
No
PS4 Wired USB
No
PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
PS5 Analog
No
PS5 Wired USB
No
PS5 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
No
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No
Xbox Series X|S Analog
No
Xbox Series X|S Wired USB
No
Xbox Series X|S Non-BT Wireless
No
2.2
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
Charging Case
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
Yes
Power Supply
USB-C

The Skullcandy Dime 3 come with a lightweight charging case that carries roughly two additional charges. You can charge the case using the included USB-A to USB-C cable. Sadly, it can't charge wirelessly.