Skullcandy Indy Truly Wireless HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.3.1
6.9
Mixed Usage
6.5
Neutral Sound
7.5
Commute/Travel
8.0
Sports/Fitness
6.7
Office
5.2
Wireless Gaming
5.1
Wired Gaming
6.5
Phone Call
Type : In-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Truly Wireless
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Skullcandy Indy are truly wireless headphones that have an overall disappointing performance. They have a very dark sound profile and will be better for bass-heavy music, but will still sound fairly boomy and muffled. Our unit also had mismatched drivers and the right earbud was noticeably louder. On the upside, they are decently comfortable and have a good IP55 rating for dust and water resistance, although we don't currently have a test to confirm this. These headphones will be a decent option with good value for people who want a stable and breathable truly wireless design for sports without caring too much about sound quality.

Test Results
Design 7.6
Isolation 7.9
Microphone 6.4
Active Features 5.4
Connectivity 3.0
Pros
  • Decently comfortable in-ear fit.
  • Durable design with a good IP55 rating.
  • Portable, stable and breathable design for sports.
Cons
  • Dark sound profile.
  • Unit with mismatched drivers.
  1. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  2. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.

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7.6

Design

The Skullcandy Indy are well-designed truly wireless headphones that have a bit of a bulkier design than similar headphones. They are well-built but might feel a bit cheap for some, especially when compared to higher-end headphones. They're lightweight and are fairly comfortable, but since they enter your ear canal deeply, they might be a bit uncomfortable after long listening sessions. On the upside, they come with stability fin sleeves, which help to get a more secure fit but make their overall design a bit bulkier too. They have a nice touch-sensitive control scheme, but it get can frustrating to use at times as the feedback isn’t consistent. Nevertheless, these truly wireless in-ears are portable and easy to carry around thanks to their nice charging case.

Style

The Skullcandy Indy have a stalk design, similar to the Apple AirPods 2 2019 or the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air. They have a semi-glossy finish that isn’t as fingerprint-prone as that of the Liberty Air, which is nice. The overall design of the buds is quite bulky for truly wireless in-ears, especially if you add the stability sleeves. They protrude quite a bit out of your ears. If you prefer a earbud-like design at an affordable price, check out the JBL Tune 120.

7.0 Comfort
Weight : 0.02 lbs
Clamping Force
:
0 lbs

These headphones are fairly comfortable and are lightweight. They have a traditional in-ear fit that can get fatiguing over time, but they don’t put too much pressure in your inner ear. Also, since their control scheme is touch-sensitive, you don’t have to push the headphones further into your ear canal, which is nice. They come with 3 tip sizes, but only one size of stability fins, which makes the headphones a bit less comfortable but assures a more secure fit.

7.1 Controls
OS Compatibility
:
N/A
Ease of use : Okay
Feedback : Decent
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through
:
N/A
Additional Buttons : N/A

The control scheme of the Indy is straightforward but slightly frustrating to use at times. Their touch-sensitive surface is fairly easy to press on, but its performance isn’t consistent. You get common functionalities such as call, music, and volume controls, on top of being able to skip tracks forward and backward. However, the procedure isn’t very intuitive for some commands. A 2-second hold skips tracks, a 4-second hold puts the headphones in pairing mode, and a 6-second hold turns the headphones off.

Sometimes, you don’t get any audio feedback and the headphones would turn off instead of going into pairing mode like we wanted to. Additionally, since the track skipper needs a 2-second hold, you need to be very fast to rewind as your song will restart. This makes going to the previous song a hassle, as it simply rewinds your song to the beginning again.

9.2 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 0.8 C

Like most in-ear headphones, the Indy are very breathable and are a good option for sports. Even if they are a bit bulkier than similarly designed truly wireless in-ears, they don’t trap heat inside your ears and you won’t sweat more than usual.

9.3 Portability
L : 2.0 "
W : 1.1 "
H : 1.0 "
Volume : 2 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

Like most truly wireless in-ears, the Skullcandy Indy True Wireless can easily fit in your pockets or in a bag. They are easy to carry around at all times, especially since they come with a small charging case that protects the headphones when you’re on the move.

7.5 Case
Type : Hard case
L : 2.2 "
W : 2.6 "
H : 1.2 "
Volume : 7 Cu. Inches

The hard charging case of the Skullcandy Indy is good. It is fairly solid and protects the headphones against physical damage from falls, scratches, and minor water exposure. However, it is ever so slightly bulkier than the Anker Soundcore Liberty Air case, but you shouldn’t have any trouble fitting it inside pants pockets.

7.0 Build Quality

These headphones are decently well-built and shouldn’t break from normal usage. The buds are dense enough to survive a few accidental drops. They have a semi-glossy finish, which gives them a bit of a cheap feel, but they won’t be as fingerprint-prone as the Liberty Air. They are also rated IP55 for dust and water resistance, which is great, although we don’t test this internally. The case is also decently made and should help protect the headphones. The Skullcandy Sesh are slightly better-built than the Indy.

7.5 Stability

The Indy are stable truly wireless in-ears and don’t move too much when doing physical activity. They won’t fall out when you’re jogging around, but head movement might make them break their airtight seal. They also come with stability fin sleeves. While the fit is slightly less comfortable, they feel more secure inside the ears with the sleeve. Also, since they are truly wireless, you won’t have a cable in your way, meaning it won’t be able to get stuck on something and yank the headphones out of your ears.

Headshots 1
Headshots 2
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Sound

Their bass is slightly overdone and boomy, with excess thump and rumble, although some may prefer this for bass-heavy genres. The vocals and lead instruments also sound thick and cluttered and their treble lacks a lot of detail and brightness, giving the Indy a dark sound profile that won’t be suited for vocal-centric genres and instrumental music. Our unit also had a noticeable amplitude and frequency mismatch between the left and right drivers. This resulted in the right driver sounding much louder and a skewed stereo image.

Sound Profile
Bass Amount
:
2.77 db
Treble Amount
:
-0.24 db
9.3 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
0.15 dB

The frequency response consistency is excellent. If the user can achieve a proper fit and an airtight seal using the assortment of tips that come with the headphones, then they should be able to get consistent bass and treble delivery every time they use the headphones.

7.9 Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
:
2.97 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
:
11.06 Hz
Low-Bass
:
1.81 dB
Mid-Bass
:
1.75 dB
High-Bass
:
3.75 dB

The bass performance of the Skullcandy Indy is good but slightly overdone. Their LFE ( low-frequency extension) is down to 11Hz, which is excellent. There’s also a 2dB bump in low-bass, which means these headphones will have a bit of excess thump and rumble that is common to bass-heavy genres. The overemphasis is present throughout the range, giving the Indy a dark sounding bass that is thumpy and boomy.

7.9 Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
:
2.79 dB
Low-Mid
:
1.26 dB
Mid-Mid
:
-2.59 dB
High-Mid
:
-2.76 dB

The mid-range of the Indy is also good, but slightly uneven. There is a 5dB tilt favoring lower frequencies, which results in thick and cluttered vocals and lead instruments. The dip in mid-mid also means that the vocals and leads will be pushed to the back of the mix.

5.9 Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
:
5.18 dB
Low-Treble
:
-4.47 dB
Mid-Treble
:
-4.03 dB
High-Treble
:
5.51 dB

The Skullcandy Indy have sub-par treble performance. Their overall performance lacks a lot of detail and presence. Their response is about 4dB under our target curve. This lack of brightness mixed with the overemphasized bass gives them a dark sounding sound profile.

7.2 Peaks/Dips
Peaks
:
1.64 db
Dips
:
1.86 db
6.9 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.25
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
1.91
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
5.48
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
5.42

The stereo imaging of the Indy is decent. Their weighted group delay is within very good limits. The group delay graph also shows that the entire response is well below the audibility threshold. This ensures a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. However, we measured an important mismatch in frequency between the left and right driver. This will skew the sound in one direction and can create holes in the stereo image at certain frequencies. There’s also a mismatch in amplitude, making the right driver slightly louder than the left, which is noticeable. Note that these results are only valid for our unit and yours may perform differently.

0.6 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
N/A
PRTF Distance
:
N/A
Openness
:
3.0
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
0.3

The soundstage is poor. This is because creating an out-of-head and speaker-like soundstage is largely dependent on activating the resonances of the pinna (outer ear). The design of in-ears and earbuds is in such a way that fully bypasses the pinna and doesn't interact with it. Also, because these headphones have a closed-back enclosure, their soundstage won't be perceived to be as open as that of open-back earbuds like the Apple AirPods 2 2019 or the Bose SoundSport Free.

7.6 Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
:
0.319
WHD @ 100
:
0.129
7.9

Isolation

The Skullcandy Indy have good overall isolation performance thanks to their in-ear fit. Unfortunately, they don’t do a very good job against lower-end noises like bus engines, meaning they won’t be ideal for blocking out the noise from a busy commute but will be good in an office setting. While they only have an okay overall noise isolation performance, they barely leak, which means you could block out more ambient noise by raising your volume without disturbing people surrounding you.

7.0 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-19.15 dB
Bass
:
-5.88 dB
Mid
:
-19.41 dB
Treble
:
-33.49 dB

The noise isolation performance of the Indy True Wireless is okay. These in-ears don’t have an ANC feature which means they only passively isolate. They achieved about 6dB of isolation in the bass range, where engine rumbles sit, which is okay but won’t be the best option for commuting. Also, there seems to be a weak spot around the 200Hz mark. In the mid-range, important for blocking ambient chatter, they achieved an isolation of 19dB, which is very good and suitable for an office. In the treble range, occupied by S and T sounds and fan noises like A/C systems, they provide about 33dB of isolation, which is also very good.

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

The leakage performance is excellent. The Indy basically don’t leak, so there's no need to worry about disturbing people around with your music, even if you listen at very loud volumes. With the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage at 1 foot away averages at 22dB SPL and peaks at 33dB SPL, which is roughly as loud as a very calm room and well under the noise floor of an average office.

6.4

Microphone

Integrated
:
Yes
In-line
:
No
Boom
:
No
Detachable Boom
:
N/A

The Skullcandy Indy’s integrated mic has a passable performance that is common to Bluetooth microphones. Speech recorded or transmitted with the microphone will sound thin and lacking in brightness. However, it will be easily intelligible in quiet environments. However, they will struggle to separate speech from background noise in moderately loud situations like a busy street.

6.7 Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
:
LFE
:
253.98 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
:
2.67 dB
HFE
:
3319.91 Hz
Weighted THD
:
4.392
Gain
:
28.76 dB

The Indy’s integrated mic has an okay recording quality. The LFE (low-frequency extension) of 253Hz means speech recorded or transmitted will sound noticeably thin. The HFE (high-frequency extension) of 3.3kHz is poor and results in speech that is muffled and lacking in detail. However, in quiet environments, this shouldn’t affect the intelligibility of speech and people on the line should still be able to understand you.

6.1 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
:
13.15 dB

The integrated microphone of the Skullcandy Indy is mediocre at noise handling. In our SpNR test, it achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of about 13dB, indicating they are best suited for quiet environments. However, the mic will struggle to separate speech from ambient noise in moderately loud situations.

5.4

Active Features

Like most truly wireless headphones, the Skullcandy Indy have poor battery performance. They only provide about 4.5 hours of battery on one charge. That said, this is on par with most truly wireless headphones and, according to the specs sheet, their case can extend that total number to 16 hours. However, you’ll need to charge the headphones for about 2 hours to get a full charge, which is a bit long. Unfortunately, they don't have a companion app, so you won't have access to any customizable features, and you'll need to use a third-party EQ if you want to change the way they sound.

6.0 Battery
Battery Type
:
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
:
4.5 hrs
Additional Charges
:
3
Total Battery Life
:
18 hrs
Charge Time
:
2.0 hrs
Power Saving Feature
:
Standby mode
Audio while charging
:
No
Passive Playback
:
No
Charging Port : micro-USB

We measured about 4.5 hours of continuous playback on one charge of the Indy, which is about average for truly wireless headphones. This won’t be enough for a full work day, but since you can get up to 16 hours thanks to the charging case, you’ll be able to charge them easily during your lunch time. However, they do take a bit of time to charge fully for the low amount of playback you get. On the upside, they enter a standby mode after about 5 minutes of being idle to save battery life.

0 App Support
App Name : N/A
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
macOS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
:
N/A
ANC control
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
:
N/A
Playback control
:
N/A
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

These headphones don’t have a companion app.

3.0

Connectivity

The Skullcandy Indy are pretty straightforward truly wireless in-ears. They have a remarkable wireless range, but their latency will be too high for watching video content without any delay. On the upside, their charging case gives you about 3 extra charges and they also support Bluetooth 5.0, which might improve your overall performance if your source supports it as well.

7.3 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
5.0
Multi-Device Pairing
:
No
NFC Pairing
:
No
Line of Sight Range
:
270 ft
Default Latency
:
301 ms
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

These headphones can only be connected to a single device at a time and they don’t support NFC for a quicker and easier pairing procedure. On the upside, your overall performance might be slightly improved if your source supports Bluetooth 5.0 as well.

Their latency is too high to watch video content or for gaming. It's also higher than the average Bluetooth headphones that usually measure around 200-220ms of delay. On the upside, some apps and devices seem to compensate for the delay, so you might not notice it as much.

0 Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
:
N/A
Non-BT Latency
:
N/A
0 Wired
Analog Audio
:
N/A
USB Audio
:
N/A
Detachable : N/A
Length : N/A
Connection : N/A
Wired Latency
:
N/A

As expected, these truly wireless headphones don’t have an audio cable.

PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
:
No
PC / PS4 Wired USB
:
No
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
:
No
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
:
No
Xbox One Wired USB
:
No
Xbox One Wireless
:
No
2.2 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

The Skullcandy Indy have a charging case that gives you about 3 additional charges, for a total of about 16 hours, but the case doesn’t have any inputs.

In the box

  • Skullcandy Indy headphones
  • Charging case
  • 3x tip sizes
  • 1x stability sleeve
  • USB to micro-USB charging cable
  • Manuals

Compared to other Headphones

The Skullcandy Indy are okay truly wireless headphones that will be better suited for bass-heavy music. Unfortunately, our unit had a noticeable mismatch and their overall performance is quite disappointing. They won’t be the best option and their value gets beaten by most other budget truly wireless headphones we’ve reviewed so far. See our recommendations for the best true wireless earbuds, the best wireless earbuds under $50, the best earbuds for small ears, and the best noise cancelling earbuds.

Skullcandy Sesh Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Skullcandy Sesh Truly Wireless are a little bit better than the Skullcandy Indy Truly Wireless. They feel slightly better made and have a better-balanced sound profile, though it's still quite bass-heavy. On the downside, their battery life is almost an hour less off a single charge, and you get one less full charge from the case. Overall, the Sesh are better value for most people.

Skullcandy Push Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Skullcandy Indy and the Skullcandy Push Truly Wireless are fairly similar performing headphones, but overall, since our Indy unit had mismatched drivers, the Push might be a better option. The Push do have a bulkier case which isn’t as easy to carry around, but they have an overall better audio quality and still pack a powerful bass. You also get 6.5 hours of battery life on one charge, which is 2 hours more than the Indy. On the other hand, the Indy have a sleeker stalk design and a smaller case, but might sound too dark for some.

Anker SoundCore Liberty Air Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Anker SoundCore Liberty Air are better mixed-usage truly wireless headphones than the Skullcandy Indy. They have a much better audio quality and their fit isolates against more ambient noise than the Indy. Their design is also a bit less bulky, making them easier to fit in most ears. On the other hand, the Skullcandy Indy have volume controls, which the Liberty Air are lacking. They also have a better sounding microphone for calls. However, our unit had noticeably mismatched drivers and overall, the Liberty Air offers better performance and value.

JBL Tune 120 Truly Wireless
Unavailable
Amazon.com

The Skullcandy Indy Truly Wireless and the JBL Tune 120 Truly Wireless are rather similar performing headphones, but with different designs. The Tune 120 have more of an earbud-like design, while the Indy have a stem design. The Indy have volume control, which the Tune 120 lack. Our JBL unit also had mismatched drivers, especially in the bass range, but the Indy have sub-par treble accuracy since it lacks a lot of detail, making them better suited for bass-heavy genres.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Samsung Galaxy Buds are better truly wireless headphones than the Skullcandy Indy. They are very small earbuds that fit nicely inside the ear and are more comfortable than the Indy. They also have a better sound quality, on top of being able to EQ’ed in a companion app, which the Indy are lacking. The Galaxy Buds also have noticeably better battery life and take less time to charge. However, they lack volume control by default, but you can set it in their app, while the Indy have that feature by default.

Apple AirPods 2 Truly Wireless 2019
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Apple AirPods 2 2019 might offer better overall performance when it comes to sound than the Skullcandy Indy. The Apple lack sub-bass, but the rest of their frequency response is well-balanced. The open-back design of the Apple results in poor isolation performance, but it also helps to stay aware of your surroundings. They also only take about 30 minutes to charge fully, which is 4 times quicker than the Indy. On the other hand, if you listen to a lot of bass-heavy music and want to drown out ambient noise, then the Skullcandy Indy might be a better option for you.

+ Show more
6.9 Mixed Usage

Passable for mixed usage. These truly wireless headphones won’t be ideal for critical listeners as they have a very dark sound profile. On the upside, their in-ear fit is quite comfortable and blocks a good amount of ambient noise, which can make them a decent option for commuting and at the office. Their portable and breathable design is great for sports, especially if you also use the stability fins for a more secure fit too. However, like most truly wireless headphones, these shouldn’t be used for watching TV or gaming due to their latency and mediocre microphone performance.

6.5 Neutral Sound

Okay for neutral listening. These headphones don’t have the most neutral sound profile. They have overdone bass that sound thumpy and boomy. They also lack quite a bit of detail and brightness and their mid-range also favors lower frequencies. Overall, they will sound very dark and will be better suited for bass-heavy genres. Additionally, our unit had mismatched drivers which skewed the stereo image to the right side as the right driver was noticeably louder than the left.

7.5 Commute/Travel

Decent for commuting. These headphones are lightweight and fairly comfortable, but they might not be as comfortable as over-ear headphones for long trips. On the upside, their battery life should be enough for your daily commute and their in-ear fit does a decent job at isolating ambient noise, although they won’t completely cancel out the rumbling noise of a bus engine. They are very easy to carry around and their charging case will fit in your pockets.

8.0 Sports/Fitness

Great for sports. These headphones are a bit bulkier than most truly wireless headphones but they won’t trap heat inside your ears, which means you shouldn’t sweat more than usual when working out. They also come with stability fins, which offers a more secure fit in the ear. They shouldn’t fall out of your ears when working out, but it’s possible that heavy head movement breaks the air-tight seal which will need you to reposition them. They are also rated IP55 for dust and water resistance, which is great, but we don't test this internally.

6.7 Office

Decent for the office. The Skullcandy Indy have very good isolation performance against work environment noise like ambient chatter and A/C systems. Unfortunately, their 4.5 hours battery life might not be ideal for a full work day and you’ll need to charge them during your breaks. Also, the in-ear fit might not be the most comfortable one to wear during a full day and you might feel fatigue as their bulky design can put a bit of pressure inside your ears during long listening sessions. This shouldn’t be a problem if you listen to music from time to time during your day and often take them out of your ears.

5.2 Wireless Gaming

Bad for gaming. The Indy shouldn’t be used for gaming as their latency is way too high and you’ll have a noticeable delay between audio and the video content of your games. Their microphone performance is also mediocre and won’t sound as great as a gaming headset boom microphone. They also aren’t customizable like gaming headsets we’ve reviewed so far.

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