Skullcandy Indy Fuel Truly Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Reviewed Aug 07, 2020 at 08:39 am
Skullcandy Indy Fuel Truly Wireless Picture
6.8
Mixed Usage
6.4
Neutral Sound
7.5
Commute/Travel
7.9
Sports/Fitness
6.5
Office
5.0
Wireless Gaming
4.9
Wired Gaming
5.6
Phone Calls
Type In-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Truly Wireless
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Skullcandy Indy Fuel are good truly wireless headphones for sports and fitness. They’re sturdy-feeling, very portable, do a good job of staying in your ears, and have a reasonably comprehensive control scheme, not to mention a very quick charging time. Unfortunately, their integrated microphone is poor, they don’t last all that long off of a single charge, and their sound profile is severely lacking in treble, somewhat limiting their versatility for different musical genres.

Our Verdict

6.8 Mixed Usage

The Skullcandy Indy Fuel are alright for mixed usage. They have a low-profile, compact design that’s reasonably comfortable, quite secure, and allows them to be tossed in a pocket or a bag without much of an issue. They do a decent job of blocking out background noise and charge very quickly, which is useful if you need to get out the door in a hurry. Unfortunately, their battery life is poor and their integrated mic makes it difficult for people on the other end of the line to understand you.

Pros
  • Sturdy build quality.
  • Decent passive noise isolation performance.
  • Low latency on mobile devices.
  • Stable fit.
Cons
  • Poor single charge battery life.
  • Awful microphone noise handling.
  • Companion app offers very little functionality.
6.4 Neutral Sound

The Skullcandy Indy Fuel are mediocre for neutral sound. While they have a very accurate bass response and mostly well-reproduced mids, vocals and lead instruments may be dulled, veiled, and pushed to the back of the mix due to an extended dip across the higher frequency ranges.

Pros
  • Decent passive noise isolation performance.
  • Low latency on mobile devices.
Cons
  • Poor single charge battery life.
  • Severe lack of treble.
  • Companion app offers very little functionality.
7.5 Commute/Travel

The Skullcandy Indy Fuel are a good fit for commuting and traveling. They do a decent job of passively blocking out ambient noise and are remarkably portable. They feel well-built and recharge very quickly, courtesy of a case that can provide four additional full charges, which should be enough to get you through a couple of long hours on the road. Unfortunately, you’ll have to put them back into the case fairly often, as they only provide three hours of playback on a single charge.

Pros
  • Sturdy build quality.
  • Decent passive noise isolation performance.
  • Low latency on mobile devices.
Cons
  • Poor single charge battery life.
  • Awful microphone noise handling.
  • Companion app offers very little functionality.
7.9 Sports/Fitness

The Skullcandy Indy Fuel are very good for sports and fitness. They’re quite sturdy-feeling and are rated IP55 for dust and sweat resistance, although we don’t test for that. The buds do a good job of staying in your ears, and while their touch-sensitive control scheme isn’t the most intuitive, it places a lot of functions within easy reach so you don’t disrupt your rhythm when trying to make an adjustment.

Pros
  • Sturdy build quality.
  • Decent passive noise isolation performance.
  • Stable fit.
Cons
  • Poor single charge battery life.
  • Companion app offers very little functionality.
6.5 Office

The Skullcandy Indy Fuel aren’t a bad choice for office workers. They’re decently comfortable, block out a fair bit of background speech, and leak next to no audio, so you should be able to listen to your music as loud as you want without fear of disrupting coworkers, even if you work in a quiet office. Unfortunately, they don’t last especially long off of a single charge, and require frequent stints in their case to recharge.

Pros
  • Decent passive noise isolation performance.
  • Low latency on mobile devices.
  • Leak almost no audio.
Cons
  • Poor single charge battery life.
  • Companion app offers very little functionality.
5.0 Wireless Gaming

The Skullcandy Indy Fuel are Bluetooth-only and can’t be used with PS4 or Xbox One consoles. Their audio latency on PC is too high for them to be suitable for gaming.

4.9 Wired Gaming

The Skullcandy Indy Fuel are Bluetooth-only headphones that can’t be used with a wired connection.

5.6 Phone Calls

The Skullcandy Indy Fuel are sub-par for phone calls. While their integrated microphone does a decent job of making your voice sound detailed and mostly distortion-free, it struggles quite a bit with isolating speech from even moderately loud background noise, so people on the other end of the line may struggle to understand you in a crowded or noisy setting.

Pros
  • Decent passive noise isolation performance.
Cons
  • Poor single charge battery life.
  • Awful microphone noise handling.
  • 6.8 Mixed Usage
  • 6.4 Neutral Sound
  • 7.5 Commute/Travel
  • 7.9 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.5 Office
  • 5.0 Wireless Gaming
  • 4.9 Wired Gaming
  • 5.6 Phone Calls

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The Skullcandy Indy Fuel employ a stalk design that looks somewhat similar to the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 Truly Wireless. They feature a matte plastic construction that shouldn’t retain too many fingerprint marks. They’re quite sleek overall and don’t poke out from the ears too much.

7.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.02 lbs
Clamping Force
0 lbs

These headphones are decently comfortable. They weigh very little, don’t put too much pressure on the inside of the ear, and come with a couple of differently sized ear-tips and stability sleeves, so finding a suitable fit isn’t too hard. That said, their slightly larger outer buds can start to cause some fatigue during longer listening sessions.

6.9
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 No
Talk-Through
On/Off
Additional Controls Voice Assistant

The Skullcandy Indy Fuel’s controls are adequate. The touch-sensitive interface isn’t the easiest to get used to, but it does provide quite a bit of functionality once you adapt to it. Media volume can be turned up by tapping the right bud and turned down by tapping the left one. Two-second holds on the right and left buds skip music forward and back, respectively. All other functions can be accessed via either bud, with a quick double-tap pausing and playing music as well as answering calls. Ambient sound mode can be toggled on and off via a tap followed by a two-second hold while switching EQ presets, listed as 'Music', 'Movie', and 'Podcast', requires a quick double-tap followed by a longer two-second hold. Aside from voice prompts for Bluetooth pairing, power on/off, and an EQ preset change, this control scheme provides no feedback.

9.5
Design
Portability
L 1.9 "
W 1.0 "
H 0.7 "
Volume 1.3 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required No

These truly wireless in-ears are remarkably portable, which isn’t especially surprising given their design. They can easily be tossed into a bag or pocket and have a reasonably small charging case that doesn’t take up much space.

7.5
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 2.5 "
W 2.2 "
H 1.1 "
Volume 6.1 Cu. Inches

The Skullcandy Indy Fuel’s charging case is good. It’s made of dense matte plastic that should protect the headphones from bumps, scratches, falls, and minor water exposure. It also supports wireless charging, which is handy if you don’t feel like plugging the case in. Unfortunately, the case’s lid may not close properly if the buds aren’t precisely placed in their cradles.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The Skullcandy Indy Fuel's build quality is good. The buds and case are made of dense plastic that shouldn’t take too much damage from drops or falls. The buds are also rated IP55 for dust and sweat resistance, although this isn’t something we test for.

7.5
Design
Stability

The Skullcandy Indy Fuel are stable in-ear headphones. Thanks to their included stability sleeves, they do a very good job of staying in your ear, especially once you’ve found the right combination of sleeve and ear tip sizes. Due to their truly wireless design, you won’t have to worry about an audio cable snagging on something while you’re on the go.

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

  • Skullcandy Indy Fuel truly wireless headphones
  • Charging case
  • 3x ear tips
  • 2x stability sleeves
  • USB-C charging cable
  • Manuals

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
2.06 db
Treble Amount
-4.57 db

The Skullcandy Indy Fuel’s sound profile is somewhat balanced. Bass is remarkably accurate, providing body and punch to music without any boominess. Mids are fairly well-reproduced, although a sustained dip in the range slightly pushes vocals and lead instruments to the back of the mix and makes them sound a little weak and distant. That drop carries over in a more pronounced fashion into the treble range, meaning that tracks sound dull and very closed-off.

8.1
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.37 dB

The frequency response consistency of these headphones is very good. Mids should sound the same, regardless of the listener, and there’s minimal divergence in the bass range as well. That said, noises in the treble range aren’t especially consistent on separate listening sessions.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
9.5
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
0.67 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
15.65 Hz
Low-Bass
-0.84 dB
Mid-Bass
-0.35 dB
High-Bass
0.72 dB

The Skullcandy Indy Fuel’s bass accuracy is outstanding. It’s very neutral overall and should provide enough kick and thump for most listeners without being boomy or muddy.

7.8
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.91 dB
Low-Mid
0.03 dB
Mid-Mid
-3.46 dB
High-Mid
-3.27 dB

The mid accuracy of these headphones is very good. Vocals and lead instruments shouldn’t sound cluttered, but a sustained dip from the mid to high-mid range pushes them slightly towards the back of the mix and veils them somewhat.

4.4
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
7.53 dB
Low-Treble
-7.35 dB
Mid-Treble
-7.58 dB
High-Treble
-11.61 dB

The Skullcandy Indy Fuel have poor treble accuracy. It’s underemphasized across the entire range, robbing vocals and lead instruments of detail and presence and causing music to sound dull, lispy, and closed-off. However, how treble is heard is heavily dependent on headphone positioning and fit, so your own experience may slightly differ.

8.6
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
0.94 db
Dips
0.74 db

The peaks and dips performance of these headphones is excellent. They’re reasonably well-balanced and stay quite flat throughout the entire frequency range, aside from a couple of very minor bumps in the high-bass and high-mid ranges and a steeper drop in the high-treble range. However, those shifts shouldn’t be that noticeable.

9.2
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.13
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.16
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.42
Weighted Phase Mismatch
1.95

The Skullcandy Indy Fuel's stereo imaging performance is superb. Their weighted group delay falls entirely beneath the audibility threshold, ensuring tight bass and transparent treble. The L/R drivers are exceptionally well-matched in regards to amplitude, frequency, and phase response. This helps to create a more immersive listening experience by accurately placing the location of objects in the stereo image, such as voices and footsteps. It should be noted that these results are only valid for our test unit, and yours may perform differently.

0.6
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
N/A
PRTF Distance
N/A
Openness
2.7
Acoustic Space Excitation
0.3

The Skullcandy Indy Fuel’s passive soundstage is poor. Like most in-ears, these headphones bypass any sort of outer-ear interaction. Combined with their closed-back design, this creates a small soundstage that causes sound to be perceived as coming from the inside of your head rather than from speakers placed in front or around you.

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

These headphones don’t have any virtual soundstage features.

7.9
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.281
WHD @ 100
0.098

The Skullcandy Indy Fuel have a good weighted harmonic distribution performance. Aside from a slight spike in the low to mid-treble range, frequencies stay within good limits, ensuring mostly clean and pure audio reproduction.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
V3.14.18
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 4.2
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
Default
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Silicone (medium)
Microphone
Integrated

These are the settings we used to test the Skullcandy Indy Fuel, with the default EQ being ‘Music’. We also used the medium-sized ear tips, as the smallest tips were too small to ensure a secure fit. Our results are only valid when using this configuration.

Isolation
7.3
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-20.16 dB
Bass
-7.23 dB
Mid
-20.18 dB
Treble
-34.32 dB

The passive noise isolation performance is satisfactory. The volume of background speech and high-pitched ambient noise is reduced quite a bit, so you shouldn’t hear too much chatter from nearby coworkers or the hum of an AC unit. Unfortunately, they aren’t nearly as effective in blocking out ambient noise in the bass range, which consists of sounds like the rumble of bus and plane engines.

9.8
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
22.45 dB

The Skullcandy Indy Fuel’s noise leakage is outstanding. They leak almost no audio, so you can listen to music at very high volumes without worrying about disturbing people nearby.

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

These earbuds have an integrated mic.

7.0
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
184.86 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
3.65 dB
HFE
4561.4 Hz
Weighted THD
0.223
Gain
-11.63 dB

The Skullcandy Indy Fuel’s microphone has decent recording quality. Your voice should be quite easy to understand and reasonably natural-sounding, though it may be a little thin and muffled.

3.0
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
1.93 dB

The Skullcandy Indy Fuel’s microphone's noise handling performance is awful. Listeners on the other end of the line may have a very hard time understanding you over even moderate background noise, so they’re a poor fit for making phone calls in loud or crowded environments.

Active Features
5.3
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
3.0 hrs
Additional Charges
4.0
Total Battery Life
12.0 hrs
Charge Time
0.3 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
Yes
Passive Playback
Charging Port USB-C

These headphones have a disappointing battery life. While promotional material indicates a continuous runtime of six hours, we measured only three hours of playback on a full charge with our test unit. Thankfully, their case provides an additional four full charges, which should be enough for most days. The buds also charge quite quickly, as our test unit was able to provide three hours of playback on a 15-minute charge.

4.0
Active Features
App Support
App Name Skullcandy
iOS Yes
Android Yes
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
No
ANC Control
No
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
No

The Skullcandy Indy Fuel’s companion app is bad. It offers very little in the way of functionality, with the only controls being a toggle switch for the ambient noise mode and enabling firmware updates. It displays your current EQ mode but doesn’t allow you to change it.

Connectivity
7.0
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.0
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
213 ft
PC Latency (SBC)
232 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
79 ms
Android Latency
65 ms

The Skullcandy Indy Fuel have decent Bluetooth connectivity. They support Bluetooth 5.0, but not multi-device or NFC pairing, and their latency is too high on PC to consider playing video games or streaming movies. That said, their latency on mobile iOS and Android devices is very low, so watching videos on YouTube on your phone shouldn't be too big an issue. It should be noted that some apps compensate for audio lag differently, so your own 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

The Skullcandy Indy Fuel aren’t compatible with a wired audio connection, since they’re Bluetooth-only.

Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC/PS4 Analog
No
PC/PS4 Wired USB
No
PC/PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No

The Skullcandy Indy Fuel can be used via Bluetooth on Bluetooth-connected PCs, but they don’t offer any sort of compatibility with PS4 consoles. Due to their very high-latency on PC, they aren’t suitable for gaming.

Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
No
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No

These headphones are Bluetooth-only and therefore can’t be used in conjunction 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 Fuel have a charging case that can provide four additional charges. It can be recharged wirelessly or via the included USB-C charging cable.

Compared to other headphones

The Skullcandy Indy Fuel are good sports-oriented truly wireless headphones. They’re well-built, portable, and have very low latency on mobile devices. However, they don’t last that long off of a single charge, deliver inaccurate treble, and have an integrated microphone that’s quite ineffective in separating speech from background noise. If you’re looking for other options, take a look at our list of recommendations for the best true wireless earbuds, the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds, and the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds for running.

Skullcandy Indy Evo True Wireless

The Skullcandy Indy Evo True Wireless and the Skullcandy Indy Fuel Truly Wireless are almost identical truly wireless in-ears. The primary difference between the Fuel and the Evo is the former’s wireless charging-compatible case. However, there are some small differences. The Evo offer a more consistent listening experience due to their fractionally larger ear tips, while their integrated microphone does a slightly better job of isolating speech from background noise.

Skullcandy Indy Truly Wireless

The Skullcandy Indy Truly Wireless and the Skullcandy Indy Fuel Truly Wireless are very similar truly wireless in-ears. The Fuel have a slightly more comprehensive control suite, feel sturdier, charge much faster, and experience less latency on mobile devices. On the other hand, the originals have a better mic, last longer off of a single charge, and offer a more consistent listening experience on separate re-seats.

Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 Truly Wireless

The Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 Truly Wireless are better truly wireless headphones for mixed usage than the Skullcandy Indy Fuel Truly Wireless. The Anker provide a more consistent listening experience with better-reproduced treble and mids, passively block out more ambient noise, have a far more comprehensive companion app, and last far longer off of a single charge. Meanwhile, the Skullcandy charge substantially faster, offer lower latency on mobile devices, and have a control scheme with greater functionality.

Apple AirPods 2 Truly Wireless 2019

The Skullcandy Indy Fuel Truly Wireless are better suited for mixed usage than the Apple AirPods 2 Truly Wireless 2019. The Skullcandy have a more consistent listening experience with more accurate bass, leak much less audio, feel more secure in the ear, and block out substantially more ambient noise. However, the open-back Apple are better-built, generate a more spacious listening experience with better-reproduced treble, feel more comfortable to wear for extended periods, and have a better-integrated mic.

Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless

The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless are better headphones than the Skullcandy Indy Fuel Truly Wireless. The Samsung have a far more balanced sound profile, last more than four times as long on a single charge, offer a more comfortable, secure fit, and have a far more useful companion app, not to mention a better-integrated mic. Conversely, the Skullcandy offer lower latency on mobile devices, block out more ambient noise, and have a more comprehensive control scheme.

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Skullcandy Indy Fuel Truly Wireless Price

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