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Skullcandy Indy ANC True Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Reviewed Jan 22, 2021 at 08:38 am
Skullcandy Indy ANC True Wireless Picture
6.6
Neutral Sound
7.7
Commute/Travel
8.1
Sports/Fitness
7.0
Office
5.5
Wireless Gaming
5.4
Wired Gaming
6.8
Phone Calls
Type In-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Truly Wireless
Noise Cancelling Yes
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Skullcandy Indy ANC True Wireless are well-built in-ears with great noise isolation. Thanks to their ANC feature, they can block out background noises like bus and plane engines and chatter from people around you. Their bass-heavy sound profile adds an extra thump and punch to audio, but can also sound muddy, dark, or veiled. There are a few EQ presets available in the Skullcandy app. Their 5.1-hour continuous battery life may not last through your day, but their portable charging case makes it easy to power up while on-the-go.

Our Verdict

6.6 Neutral Sound

The Skullcandy Indy ANC aren't bad for neutral sound. They have a bass-heavy sound profile that may be muddy or boomy for fans of a more neutral sound. While vocals and lead instruments are clear and present in the mix, upper harmonics are dark and veiled. There are a few EQ presets available in their app, so you have some ability to adjust their sound.

Pros
  • 3 EQ presets.
Cons
  • No graphic EQ.
7.7 Commute/Travel

The Skullcandy Indy ANC are great for commute and travel. Their portable design makes it easy to bring them on-the-go, and their ANC feature does a decent job blocking out bass-heavy background noises like bus and plane engines. The ANC feature does an even better job blocking out the sounds of people chatting around you, too. However, these headphones may not be comfortable for long listening sessions, and their 5.1-hour continuous battery life may not last through long international flights.

Pros
  • Well-built, portable design.
  • Great noise isolation.
  • IPX4 rating for water resistance.
Cons
  • 5.1-hour continuous battery life.
8.1 Sports/Fitness

The Skullcandy Indy ANC are great for sports and fitness. These well-built headphones have a portable design that makes them easy to bring on-the-go. They're stable enough to wear during more intense workouts. They have an IPX4 rating for water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. However, their in-ear design may feel a bit fatiguing after long listening sessions.

Pros
  • Stable enough for exercise.
  • Well-built, portable design.
  • IPX4 rating for water resistance.
Cons
  • 5.1-hour continuous battery life.
7.0 Office

The Skullcandy Indy ANC are alright for office use. These headphones are decently comfortable, and their ANC feature can block out the sounds of coworkers chatting nearby. They don't leak a lot of noise, either, so you can listen to music at loud volumes without really bothering your coworkers. They only offer just over five hours of playback time on a single charge, which may not last through your 9-5 workday.

Pros
  • Great noise isolation.
Cons
  • 5.1-hour continuous battery life.
5.5 Wireless Gaming

The Skullcandy Indy ANC aren't compatible with PS4 or Xbox One consoles. You can use them with Bluetooth-compatible PCs, but their latency is likely too high to be suitable for wireless gaming.

5.4 Wired Gaming

The Skullcandy Indy ANC are wireless-only, so they can't be used for wired gaming.

6.8 Phone Calls

The Skullcandy Indy ANC is okay for phone calls. Their integrated microphone has a decent recording quality, so your voice is understandable but also a bit thin. They have great noise isolation, so you aren't distracted by background noises during your calls. However, they're better suited for making calls from quiet environments as the microphone can struggle to separate your voice from ambient noise.

Pros
  • Great noise isolation.
Cons
  • Mediocre noise handling performance.
  • 6.6 Neutral Sound
  • 7.7 Commute/Travel
  • 8.1 Sports/Fitness
  • 7.0 Office
  • 5.5 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.4 Wired Gaming
  • 6.8 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Jun 29, 2021: Converted to Test Bench 1.5.
  2. Updated Jan 22, 2021: Review published.
  3. Updated Jan 15, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The Skullcandy Indy ANC are truly wireless in-ears with a similar design to the Skullcandy Indy Evo True Wireless. They have a unicolor design with stems that protrude from the earbuds like the Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless. They're available in 'Black' and 'Chill Grey' color variants.

7.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.03 lbs
Clamping Force
0 lbs

The Skullcandy Indy ANC are decently comfortable. They come with several different sizes of earbud tips and stability fins to help you get the best possible fit. When you use their controls, they don't hurt your ear, which is nice. However, the buds protrude from your ears a bit, and they can feel fatiguing after long listening sessions.

7.4
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Okay
Feedback Decent
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control On/Off
Talk-Through
On/Off
Additional Controls Voice Assistant

The controls are decent. They aren't very intuitive at first, but once you familiarize yourself with them, they should be easy to use. You can tap the left earbud to turn the volume down, or the right earbud to turn the volume up. You can tap either bud twice to play/pause audio or three times to answer/end a call or activate the voice assistant. Tap once and hold to turn the ANC on/off, and tap twice and hold to activate EQ mode. You can also hold the left earbud to skip to the previous track or hold the right bud to skip to the next track. The light on each bud changes colors to indicate different inputs. There's a chime when you reach max/min volume and a chime when you turn the buds on/off. However, the commands can be tricky, and sometimes you can accidentally make the wrong input, especially when adjusting the volume.

9.2
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 0.8 ยฐC
9.5
Design
Portability
L 1.9" (4.8 cm)
W 1.0" (2.5 cm)
H 0.7" (1.8 cm)
Volume 1.30 inยณ (21.30 cmยณ)
Transmitter Required No

The Skullcandy Indy ANC are incredibly portable. Like most truly wireless in-ears, they're small and lightweight. You can even put them in their portable charging case when you're on-the-go, and they should fit into your pocket.

7.5
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 2.5" (6.4 cm)
W 2.2" (5.6 cm)
H 1.1" (2.8 cm)
Volume 5.90 inยณ (96.68 cmยณ)

The case is good. Like the Skullcandy Indy Evo True Wireless' case, it's made of plastic, which feels dense and solid. There are four LED lights to indicate the battery level. However, if the stability fins aren't placed properly, the case can't fully close.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The Skullcandy Indy ANC have a good build quality. Though they're mostly made of plastic, they feel pretty solid and durable. They even have an IPX4 rating for water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. The plastic case feels pretty dense and durable, too, although you may have some trouble shutting the lid if the stability fins aren't positioned properly.

7.5
Design
Stability

The Skullcandy Indy ANC are stable. Once you get a proper fit with the included ear tips and stability fins, they shouldn't fall out of your ears, even during more intense workouts.

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

  • Skullcandy Indy ANC headphones
  • Charging case
  • 3x Ear tips
  • 2x Stability sleeves
  • USB-C to USB-A charging cable
  • Manuals

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
4.46 dB
Treble Amount
-4.44 dB

The Skullcandy Indy ANC have a bass-heavy sound profile. They offer extra boom, thump, and punch that can please fans of bass-heavy music genres, but may sound boomy and overwhelming for fans of a more neutral sound. Vocals and lead instruments are clear and present, but higher-frequency noises may be dull and veiled. There are a few EQ presets available to help you adjust their sound to your liking.

9.1
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.19 dB

The Skullcandy Indy ANC have outstanding frequency response accuracy. Once you get a good fit and seal with the provided ear tips, you should get a consistent sound each time you use these headphones.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
7.2
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
4.19 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
Low-Bass
5.51 dB
Mid-Bass
4.56 dB
High-Bass
4.05 dB

The Skullcandy Indy ANC have decent bass accuracy. The entire range is overemphasized, resulting in a thumpy, punchy sound. However, some listeners may find that their mixes sound muddy or boomy.

8.7
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.8 dB
Low-Mid
1.76 dB
Mid-Mid
-1.96 dB
High-Mid
-0.06 dB

These headphones have amazing mid accuracy. There's a slight overemphasis in the low-mids that extends from the bass range, and the slight dip in the mid-mids can nudge vocals and lead instruments towards the back of the mix. However, the range is mostly flat and balanced, resulting in clear as well as present vocals and lead instruments within your mixes.

5.8
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
6.05 dB
Mid-Treble
-6.73 dB
Low-Treble
-3.96 dB
High-Treble
-8.24 dB

These headphones have middling treble accuracy. The range is underemphasized, so vocals, lead instruments, and sibilants like cymbals are dull, dark, and lacking detail.

8.1
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.08 dB
Dips
1.41 dB

The Skullcandy Indy ANC have impressive peaks and dips performance. There are slight peaks in the low-bass and high-bass, which add extra thump and boom to audio, while the dip in the mid-mids nudges vocals and lead instruments towards the back of the mix. The peak in the high-mids can make some vocals and lead instruments honky and harsh. The dip and peak in the mid-treble make sibilants like cymbals alternately weak and piercing.

8.5
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.15
Weighted Phase Mismatch
2.5
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
1.64
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.28

The imaging is amazing. Weighted group delay falls below the audibility threshold, resulting in a tight bass and transparent treble. Also, the L/R drivers of our test unit are well-matched in phase, amplitude, and frequency response, so objects like footsteps and voices are accurately placed and localized within the stereo image. However, these results are only valid for our test unit, so your experience may vary.

0.8
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
N/A
PRTF Distance
N/A
Openness
2.4
Acoustic Space Excitation
1.1

These headphones have a terrible passive soundstage. Due to their in-ear design, they don't interact with the outer ear, which is one of the key factors in creating a large and spacious soundstage. Also, because of their closed-back design, their passive soundstage doesn't seem as open as that of open-back headphones.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No

The Skullcandy Indy ANC don't have any virtual soundstage features.

7.6
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.362
WHD @ 100
0.125

The Skullcandy Indy ANC have a good weighted harmonic distortion performance. There's a peak in the treble range at normal listening volumes, but this may be hard to hear with real-life content. At max volume, the frequency range falls within good limits, resulting in clean and pure audio reproduction.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
0007
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 5.0
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
Music Mode
ANC
On
Tip/Pad
Silicone (small)
Microphone
Integrated

These are the settings we used to test these headphones. Our results are only valid when using these settings.

Isolation
7.6
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-19.43 dB
Bass
-16.46 dB
Mid
-15.31 dB
Treble
-26.2 dB

The Skullcandy Indy ANC have good noise isolation. Thanks to their ANC feature, they do a decent job blocking out bass-heavy background noise like bus and plane engines. They perform even better against higher-frequency ambient noise, so you don't hear the sounds of coworkers chatting nearby or the hum of an AC unit. However, their ANC feature performs similarly to their passive isolation abilities in the treble range.

9.0
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
27.17 dB

The Skullcandy Indy ANC have a remarkable leakage performance. They don't leak a lot of noise, and escaping audio sounds thin. If you listen to audio at high volumes, it shouldn't bother those around you if you're in a typical office setting.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No

These headphones have an integrated microphone.

7.2
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
253.98 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
2.61 dB
HFE
6,001.45 Hz
Weighted THD
1.285
Gain
7.79 dB

The microphone has a decent recording quality. Your voice sounds thin, but it should still be understandable to whoever's on the other end of the line.

6.2
Microphone
Noise Handling
SpNR
12.21 dB
Noise Gate
No
Speech + Pink Noise Handling
7.0
Speech + Pink Noise Audio Sample
Speech + Subway Noise Handling
5.0
Speech + Subway Noise Audio Sample

The microphone has mediocre noise handling. It struggles to separate your voice from background noise, so you may be drowned out if you're calling from a noisy setting.

Active Features
6.0
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
5.1 hrs
Additional Charges
3.0
Total Battery Life
20.4 hrs
Charge Time
0.8 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
Yes
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port USB-C

The Skullcandy Indy ANC have an acceptable battery performance. They last for over five hours off of a single charge with the ANC turned on, though battery life can vary depending on usage. The company claims that they can last for nine hours with the ANC turned off. While they may not last you through your workday, their portable charging case offers around three extra charges so you can power up while on-the-go. You can also listen to audio with one earbud while the other charges, which is nice.

7.5
Active Features
App Support
App Name Skullcandy
iOS Yes
Android Yes
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
Presets
ANC Control
On/Off
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
No

The Skullcandy app is good. You can use it to change the EQ preset and turn the ANC feature on/off. Also, you can turn Ambient Mode on/off, which can help you stay aware of your surroundings, like when you're running outdoors. There's also a feature that optimizes the sound based on the shape of your ear. However, it lacks a full graphic EQ for sound customization based on your preferences.

Connectivity
7.3
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.0
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
255.00 ft (77.72 m)
PC Latency (SBC)
171 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
32 ms
Android Latency
56 ms

The Skullcandy Indy ANC have satisfactory Bluetooth connectivity. They don't support multi-device or NFC pairing, and their latency with PCs is likely too high to be suitable for gaming. However, you should be able to watch movies and videos with iOS and Android devices thanks to their low latency. Note that some apps compensate for latency differently, so your experience may vary.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A

These headphones are Bluetooth-only.

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

These headphones are wireless-only. The USB-C to USB-A cable is for charging only.

Connectivity
PC Compatibility
Analog
No
Wired USB
No
Non-BT Wireless
No
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

These headphones aren't compatible with Xbox One consoles.

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 Indy ANC come with a portable charging case that offers around three extra charges. It charges via the included USB-C cable.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Skullcandy Indy ANC come in 'Black' and 'Chill Grey' color variants. We tested the 'Black' variant, and you can see the label for the model we tested here. There's also a limited edition variant called the 'Feisty Indy ANC True Wireless' which are available via the manufacturer's website. They're pink and come with an 11” x 17”  art print. We expect the other color variants to perform similarly to our model.

If you come across another version, let us know in the discussions so we can update our review.

Update 02/15/2021: We've added another color variant to this review.

Compared To Other Headphones

The Skullcandy Indy ANC are truly wireless in-ears with great noise isolation. They have a similar design to the Skullcandy Indy Evo True Wireless, and their stability fins help them stay in your ear during your workouts. Unlike the Indy Evo, they come with an ANC feature, which helps them block out more background noises. Also, they come with a few EQ presets for sound customization, but they aren't as customizable as headphones with a full graphic EQ. See also our recommendations for the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds, the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds under $100, and the best noise cancelling earbuds.

Skullcandy Indy Evo True Wireless

The Skullcandy Indy ANC True Wireless are similar headphones to the Skullcandy Indy Evo True Wireless, but they have a few extra features. The Indy ANC have an ANC feature that does a better job isolating against background noise. Their continuous battery life is longer, and their app comes with EQ presets. However, the Indy Evo have a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box, which some listeners may prefer.

Skullcandy Indy Fuel Truly Wireless

The Skullcandy Indy ANC True Wireless are a bit better for most uses than the Skullcandy Indy Fuel Truly Wireless. Thanks to their ANC feature, the Indy ANC have better noise isolation. They have longer continuous battery life and presets you can adjust in their app. However, their sound is a bit more bass-heavy than the more neutral Indy Fuel, but both headphones have a dark and dull treble range.

Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless

The Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless are better than the Skullcandy Indy ANC True Wireless. The Apple are better-built, more comfortable, and they have a more stable fit. Also, their sound profile is more neutral and balanced, and they have better noise isolation. However, if you prefer a bass-heavy sound, you may like the Skullcandy instead.

Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 Truly Wireless

The Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 Truly Wireless are better than the Skullcandy Indy ANC True Wireless. The Anker have longer continuous battery life and more customization options thanks to their graphic EQ. Even though the Skullcandy have an ANC feature, the Anker does a better job isolating against background noises passively.

Sony WF-SP800N Truly Wireless

The Skullcandy Indy ANC True Wireless and the Sony WF-SP800N Truly Wireless are similar headphones, so depending on your listening habits, you may prefer one over the other. The Sony have a more comfortable and stable fit, and their battery life is longer. They also have a graphic EQ for greater sound customization. While the Sony have longer continuous battery life, the Skullcandy's portable charging case offers more additional charges. Also, the Skullcandy have better noise isolation.

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