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Reviewed on Jun 28, 2019 , Jake Thauvette, Marc Henney, Sam Vafaei, Yannick Khong

Skullcandy Indy Truly Wireless
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

Test Benches:

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2017
  • 0.9: Winter 2016
6.7
Mixed Usage
What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
6.4
Critical Listening
What it is: The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
7.2
Commute/Travel
What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
8.0
Sports/Fitness
What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
7.0
Office
What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
4.6
Gaming
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
Sound 6.1
Isolation 7.6
Microphone 6.3
Active Features 5.3
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.

Check Price

7.6

Design

Score components:

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.

7.0 Comfort
What it is: Adjustability and degrees of freedom, pressure, stiffness and weight.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used for long durations.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Weight : 0.02 lbs
Clamping Force
What it is: The force that the headphones exert on your head, once you have them on. This is purely a measurement of the force applied, which does not take into account the earpad's surface area and the resulting pressure you will feel, on or around your ears.
When it matters: The tighter the headphones, the more force they put on your head. This can get uncomfortable or cause pain and soreness during long listening sessions.
:
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
What it is: The control scheme of the headphones, the number of functions provided, button layout and ergonomics as well as the quality of tactile feedback.
When it matters: If you want to control volume, pause your music or make phone calls without directly interacting with your audio device.
Ease of use : Okay
Feedback : Decent
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
What it is: Being able to mix audio channels directly on the headphones.
When it matters: This is most useful when using a separate chat software so that you can mix in-game audio and chat audio depending on your needs.
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through
What it is: A transparency feature that uses the mics of the headphones to let you hear what is doing on around you without removing them.
When it matters: If you want to be aware of what is going on around you without removing your headphones or while still listening to your audio. This is typically a feature for the noise canceling headphones and passively isolating in-ears that block a lot of noise.
Good value: Yes or adjustable.
:
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
What it is: How hot the headphones get when you wear them for an extended period of time.
When it matters: If you often have long listening sessions or use your headphones while doing physical activities like running or working out.
Score components:
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.

9.4 Portability
What it is: The volume of space occupied by the headphones when folded into their most compact format.
When it matters: If you're often on the move and need to carry your headphones in a bag, purse , or pocket.
Score components:
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
What it is: The provided carrying options to protect your headphones when transporting them.
When it matters: To prevent damaging your headphones, if you often carry them in your bag or pocket.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
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
What it is: Durability, material quality, cheap/expensive feel.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used by multiple users (classes/studios), by children, in tough conditions, on a daily basis, or for exercise.
Score components: Subjectively assigned

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.

7.5 Stability
What it is: How the headphones are designed to prevent them from slipping off your ears or falling off your head.
When it matters: If you plan on using the headphones while doing sports or other physical activities that requires a lot of movement.
Score components: Subjectively assigned

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.

Cable
Detachable : N/A
Length : N/A
Connection : N/A

As expected, these truly wireless headphones don’t have an audio cable, but they do come with a very short USB to micro-USB charging cable.

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Headshots 1
Headshots 2
6.1

Sound

What it is: How accurately the audio is reproduced. The tests are performed with the headphones' most commonly used features enabled (noise-cancelling, wireless, etc.)

The Skullcandy Indy are mediocre sounding closed-back in-ear headphones. 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.

8.0 Bass
What it is: Frequency Response from 20Hz-250Hz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on bass frequencies, such as those of kick drums and bass guitar.
Score components:
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in bass frequency response (20Hz-250Hz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) bass performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.97 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
What it is: The lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: Shows how extended the bass is.
Good value: <40Hz
Noticeable difference: 5Hz
:
11.06 Hz
Low-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 20Hz-60Hz.
When it matters: Kick drums and low frequency effects get their 'thump' from this range. Mostly felt than heard.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.81 dB
Mid-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 60Hz-120Hz.
When it matters: Melodic bass instruments have most of their fundamental frequencies in this range. This is where the 'body' and 'punch' of the bass sits.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.75 dB
High-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 120Hz-250Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments get their warmth and full-ness from this range. When over-emphasized, mixes tend to get muddy and boomy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
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
What it is: Frequency Response from 250Hz-2KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on mid-range frequencies. This is the case for the majority of audio content.
Score components:
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in mid frequency response (250Hz-2.5KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) mid performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.79 dB
Low-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 250Hz-500Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments have their fundamentals or low harmonics in this range. Over-emphasis in this range sounds muddy and cluttered. Under-emphasis, thins out the vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.26 dB
Mid-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 500Hz-1KHz.
When it matters: This range is occupied mostly by upper harmonics. Over-emphasis sounds forward and boxy. Under-emphasis pushes instruments to the back of the mix.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-2.59 dB
High-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 1KHz-2KHz.
When it matters: Most instruments, especially vocals, get their intensity and clarity from this range. Over-emphasis sounds honky and harsh, under-emphasis sounds weak and distant.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-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
What it is: Frequency Response from 2KHz-20KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on high-range frequencies, such as voice, cymbals, and any other material where brightness, brilliance and airiness is desired.
Score components:
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in treble frequency response (2.5KHz-20KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) treble performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
5.18 dB
Low-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 2KHz-5KHz.
When it matters: Almost all instruments rely on this range for their presence, detail, and articulation. Over-emphasis can sound harsh and painful. Under-emphasis hurts the comprehensibility of vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-4.47 dB
Mid-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under emphasis in frequency response from 5KHz-10KHz.
When it matters: This is the sibilance range. Cymbals, vocals, and lead instruments rely on this range for brightness and presence. Over-emphasis sounds piercing and painful, under-emphasis sounds dull and lispy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-4.03 dB
High-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 10KHz-20KHz.
When it matters: This range gives brilliance and airiness to the sound. Over-emphasis sounds hissy, under-emphasis sounds closed-up and lifeless.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
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.

Raw Frequency Response
What it is: The average uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. For in-ears and earbuds, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the dummy head (HMS). For over/on-ear headphones, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the HMS (Head Measurement System) for the mid and treble ranges, and 5 measurements/re-seats on 5 human subjects for the bass range.
When it matters: This is for those who want to see the raw and uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. Some of the more advanced users, are able to read and evaluate headphone frequency response in its raw form and without compensation. This will be especially useful to them if they have their own headphone compensation/target curve, which may differ from the compensation curve/target response used by RTINGS.com.
9.3 Frequency Response Consistency
What it is: The amount of deviation of each frequency response pass, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Score components:
Avg. Std. Deviation
What it is: The average amount of deviation in frequency response of 5 re-seats, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
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.

6.9 Imaging
What it is: Imaging qualities are inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'reproduce' them rather than 'create' them. They determine how accurately the objects are positioned in the stereo image, and how transparent the imaging is.
When it matters: When accurate positioning of the objects in the stereo image, and clear and transparent imaging is desired.
Weighted Group Delay
What it is: The average amount of group delay calculated based on a perceptual weighting filter. Group delay indicates how long it takes for each frequency to reach their maximum amplitude. This is a monaural quality and can be perceived even with one ear.
When it matters: Headphones with lower group delay have more transparent imaging and a tighter bass. Headphones with higher group delay in the bass range tend to have a wimpy and loose bass, and headphones with higher group delay in the treble range tend to have a less transparent imaging.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.25
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
What it is: The Left/Right balance of our test unit, that is, the amount of amplitude difference between the left and right drivers. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When a properly balanced stereo image and low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates a noticeable difference in level between the left and right drivers.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
1.91
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the frequency response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance, is desired. A poor score indicates there may be 'holes' in the stereo image at certain frequencies.
Good value: <2
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
5.48
Weighted Phase Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the phase response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates there may be inaccuracies in the stereo image reproduction at certain frequencies.
Good value: <16
Noticeable difference: 3
:
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.

1.2 Soundstage
What it is: Soundstage qualities are not inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'create' them rather than 'reproduce' them. They determine whether the sound is perceived to be coming from inside or in front of the head, how open and spacious the soundstage is, how much the headphones acoustically interact with the environment, and how strong the phantom center is.
When it matters: When an accurately produced, large and spacious soundstage, similar to that of a stereo loudspeaker setup is desired.
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
What it is: The standard deviation of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: An accurate pinna activation is mainly responsible for how natural and speaker-like the soundstage is perceived to be. The less error in the shape of the PRTF, the more natrual and speaker-like the perception of the soundstage will be. High amounts of error may indicate a soundstage that is unnatural or odd.
Good value: <2.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
What it is: The average amplitude of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to that of a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is responsible for the perceived size of the soundstage. The higher the value, the larger the perceived size of the soundstage. However, values above the reference (5.0dB) could result in a soundstage that is perceived as unnatural or odd.
Good value: >3.7
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
N/A
PRTF Distance
What it is: The depth of the "10KHz notch" of the headphone's PRTF, which is caused by phase cancellations at the concha. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is mainly responsible for the perceived distance and elevation of the soundstage. A small distance value may result in a soundstage that is perceived to be located inside the head. Larger values may help pull the soundstage out from inside of the head and bring it to the front.
Good value: >13
Noticeable difference: 1
:
N/A
Openness
What it is: How open the headphones are, and how open and spacious they sound. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test differentiates between acoustically and electronically produced crosstalk and only takes the acoustically generated crosstalk into account. This value is the inverse of the Noise Isolation test score, and could be indirectly related the acoustic impedance of the headphones.
When it matters: When a headphone with a sense of an open, and spacious soundstage is desired. A value of 10 indicates a fully open headphone, and a value of 0 indicates a fully closed headphone.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
3.4
Acoustic Space Excitation
What it is: How loud the headphones are, and how much they excite their environment acoustically. If the headphones are loud and open enough, the sound leaking from the headphones will be affected by the environment (reflections/reverb) before reflecting back into the open headphones and to the listener's ears. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This value is the inverse of the Leakage test score.
When it matters: Headphones with higher excitation values, similar to openness, tend to have soundstages that are perceived as more open and spacious.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
0.2
Correlated Crosstalk
What it is: How strong and solid the phantom center is. This is mostly a stereo quality and its effects on mono content are minimal. This test is sensitive to the phase of the crosstalk and whether it is produced acoustically or electronically.
When it matters: When a true reproduction of the stereo image is desired. A value of 0 indicates no crosstalk, or that the existing crosstalk is not correlated enough to affect the phantom center. A negative score means the crosstalk is out of phase with the original signal, resulting in a slightly wider stereo image at the expense of creating a 'hole' at the center of the stereo field. A positive score means the crosstalk is in phase and positively affecting the phantom center.
Good value: >1dB
Noticeable difference: 0.3dB
:
0.0 dB

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.

7.0 Total Harmonic Distortion
What it is: The subtle, unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Score components:
Weighted THD @ 90
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 90dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: <0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.243
Weighted THD @ 100
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 100dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at loud listening levels.
Good value: <0.300
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
5.46

The harmonic distortion performance of these headphones is decent. The THD in the bass range is within good limits, but there are a few spikes in the mid and treble ranges. This will make those frequencies a bit harsh and impure, which can get fatiguing over time. Also, there’s a jump in THD under heavier loads, meaning these headphones might have a bit of trouble reproducing clear sound at high volumes.

7.6

Isolation

Score components:

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.

6.6 Noise Isolation
What it is: How much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on.
When it matters: If the headphones are going to be used in a noisy environment (airplane, subway, etc.)
Score components:
Isolation Audio
What it is: The simulated noise isolation of the headphones, demonstrating how much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording. For headphones with ANC (active noise cancellation), the playback simulates the isolation with ANC enabled.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
:
Overall Attenuation
What it is: The overall amount of environmental noise reduction in dB.
When it matters: In loud envinronments like planes, trains, offices, etc.
Good value: <-20dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-19.15 dB
Bass
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the bass range (20Hz-250Hz).
When it matters: When the outside noise is bass-heavy, like in airplanes.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-5.88 dB
Mid
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the mid-range (250Hz-2.5KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is mid-heavy, like in an office.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-19.41 dB
Treble
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the treble range (2.5KHz-20KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is treble-heavy. Although uncommon, areas with sharp sounds fall under this category.
Good value: <-30dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-33.49 dB
Self-Noise
What it is: The amount of noise created by the active electronics of the headphones (if applicable), measured from 300Hz-20KHz. Applies mostly to wireless and noise-cancelling headphones.
When it matters: If too loud, it could become distracting when listening to quiet material like podcasts and audiobooks.
Good value: <16dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
20.62 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
What it is: The amount of sound bleeding out of the headphones.
When it matters: When the listener doesn't want people around them (in office, recording studio, etc.) to hear what is being listened to.
Score components:
Leakage Audio
What it is: The simulated sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording.
When it matters: When you don't want people to hear what you are listening to.
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
What it is: The amount of sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal.
When it matters: When you don't want people hear what you are listening to.
Good value: <35dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
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.

6.3

Microphone

What it is: The microphone section shows the quality of speech capture and transmission by the mic, as well as how well the microphone under test handles noisy environments.
When it matters: For your speech to be transmitted to and understood properly by the listener, the microphone needs to have a good recording quality. If the environment the microphone is being used in is noisy, a microphone with a good noise handling performance would be needed as well.
Score components:
Integrated
What it is: The microphone integrated in the ear cup or ear bud of a wireless headphone.
When it matters: For calls, gaming and voice over IP software or for any other use of the microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
In-line
What it is: The microphone inside the in-line remote of audio cables for wired and wireless headsets.
When it matters: In-line microphone are usually better than integrated mics. If you need better recording quality and noise handling for calls, gaming and voice over IP software then use the audio cable of your wired or wireless headphone if it has an inline microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Boom
What it is: A typically better microphone, that's also adjustable and extends so that the mic is closer to your mouth.
When it matters: Much better recording quality and noise handling than in-line or integrated mics. Primarily used for gaming and voice over IP software.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Detachable Boom
What it is: A boom mic that is detachable from the headset.
When it matters: If you want to use your headphone outdoors without the bulk and hassle of the Boom mic.
:
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.

6.6 Recording Quality
What it is: Microphone recording quality shows how natural, neutral, extended and intelligible speech would be with the device under test, in a quiet environment.
When it matters: A microphone with a good recording quality ensures that the person listening to you would hear a full, clear, and easily understandable speech. Therefore, it is important whenever a good quality of speech transmission and intelligibility is needed.
Score components:
Recorded Speech
What it is: Actual audio recording of the headphone's microphone, recorded while placed on the dummy head, with speech being played back through the dummy head's mouth simulator.
When it matters: When a clean, full, and intelligible speech transmission is required.
:
LFE
What it is: Low-frequency extension shows how deep the bass response of the microphone is, and therefore, how deep and full your voice would sound to the listener. It is the lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: LFE is not a big factor in speech intelligibility and even speech recorded with a mic that has an LFE of 500Hz could still be easily understood. Therefore, it is mostly important if you are concerned with how deep and full your voice would be heard.
Good value: <150Hz
Noticeable difference: 30Hz
:
253.98 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
What it is: Frequency Response Standard Deviation shows how accurately and balanced sound is captured by the microphone at each frequency. FR Std. Dev. is calculated between LFE and HFE, and the rest of the spectrum is ignored.
When it matters: A good frequency response is desired when a natural and neutral speech quality is desired. As opposed to HFE which is more a metric for speech intelligibility, frequency response could be considered as a metric for a natural and neutral sound.
Good value: >3.5dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5dB
:
2.67 dB
HFE
What it is: High-frequency extension is the highest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response. It shows how extended the treble response of the microphone is.
When it matters: HFE is one the most important factors in speech intelligibility. The higher the HFE, the brighter, more open, and more extended the speech quality will be which makes it a lot easier to understand by the listener.
Good value: >8KHz
Noticeable difference: 1KHz
:
3319.91 Hz
Weighted THD
What it is: The unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies, which cause deformation of an output signal compared to its input.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 1.0
:
4.392
Gain
What it is: Shows how much louder the microphone can go above our reference loudness level. The gain value is reported relative to our reference level, which is 94dB at a distance of 5cm from the mouth.
When it matters: A microphone with a high gain is important when the input signal (speech) is very quiet. For example when whispering, or talking on the phone in a library.
Good value: >18dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
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
What it is: How well the microphone is able to separate speech from background noise, so that the transmission would include more voice and less noise.
When it matters: When a clean and intelligible speech transmission is desired in a noisy situation like talking on the phone on a busy street or on the bus.
Score components:
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
What it is: Speech to Noise Ratio is the difference in level between speech and background noise as heard by the listener
When it matters: If the microphone is going to be used in a noisy environment, it is important for it to be able to separate the speech from background noise, so the voice would be easily audible and understandable.
Good value: >24dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
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.

5.3

Active Features

What it is: Headphones with active components that require a battery. This includes noise cancelling and wireless headphones that actively reduce noise or transmit audio via a wireless connection.
When it matters: How suitable the power and wireless specifications of an active headphone will be, depending on your listening habits. The range and/or discharge time of the active headphone you select will be important if you're often on the move or have long uninterrupted listening sessions.
Score components:

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.

5.9 Battery
What it is: The power source of your headphones. All headphones with active features have a battery that will deplete over time.
When it matters: To continue using the active features of your headphones. Some models lose features or switch off completely when the battery is drained, which limits what you can do with them until the next charge.
Battery Type
What it is: The type of battery that the headphones use. Usually AAA or embedded, Li-ion rechargeable batteries.
When it matters: When your headphones run out of power. Rechargeable batteries usually charge via the headphones Micro-USB port whereas AAA batteries have to be replaced or charged with an external device.
:
Rechargable
Battery Life
What it is: The amount of time it takes for a headphones' battery to be completely drained. Battery life will vary depending on the active features used and volume level.
When it matters: For active headphones that connect wirelessly, have noise cancellation or other audio-enhancing features, that cease to work once the battery is dead.
Good value: >10hrs
Noticeable difference: 0.5hrs
:
4.5 hrs
Charge Time
What it is: The amount of time your active headphones have to be connected to a power source to charge from 0 to a 100%. However, charging time will vary depending on your power source.
When it matters: To be able to use the active features of your headphones. Especially, wireless ones that completely switch off and need to be recharged when the battery is dead.
Good value: 2h or less
Noticeable difference: 0.25h
:
2.0 hrs
Power Saving Feature
What it is: A feature that turns off the headphones, after a set time, when they're not in use.
When it matters: To prolong battery life when the headphones are not being used, or if you forget to manually turn off your headphones.
:
Standby mode
Audio while charging
What it is: Some active headphones remain usable while charging. They continue to stream audio and do not disable other active features.
When it matters: This makes sure that your headphones's battery are not being drained when you're relatively close to a power source. However, this means wireless headphones will need a wired connection to the power source during the charging process.
:
No
Passive Playback
What it is: Active headphones that still work when all their active features are turned off or out of power.
When it matters: If you run out of power and do not have spare AA/AAA batteries or access to a power source to recharge your headphones.
:
No

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
What it is: The additional app provided to enhance your listening experience. They typically deliver a set of practical features that give you more control over the sound, noise cancelling and effects that the headphones produce.
When it matters: An app with a lot of features allows you to customize your listening experience to suit your taste and preferences. For example, additions like an equalizer can give you more bass or treble and room effects can simulate a bigger Soundstage in closed back headphones.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
App Name : N/A
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
What it is: Parametric, graphic or preset sound profiles that slightly alter the frequency response.
When it matters: If you want to tailor, your listening experience. Depending on what you're listening to you may want more or less bass for some tracks or more mid-range for vocals-heavy audio.
:
N/A
ANC control
What it is: Control over the Active noise canceling technology. This could be either a simple on/off button, and adjustable slider or even adaptive self-regulating noise cancellation.
When it matters: If you're in an environment where you need to monitor your surroundings or completely isolate yourself from ambient noise.
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
What it is: Room effects that enhance the audio quality to make it more immersive.
When it matters: If you want to further tweak your listening experience. Adding room effects, can simulate a more spacious Soundstage or deliver a surround sound-like feel.
:
N/A
Playback control
What it is: An in-app player that gives you access to play/stop, track skipping or volume controls directly with the app.
When it matters: It's a shortcut that allows you to control your audio without leaving the application.
:
N/A
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

These headphones don’t have a companion app.

3.0

Connectivity

What it is: The inputs and outputs of wired and wireless headphones, as well as their latency performance and range.
When it matters: When you want to know whether your headphones will be compatible with your various audio sources, like your smartphone, tablet, gaming consoles, PC, smart TV, amplifiers, etc.
Score components:

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.

6.0 Bluetooth
What it is: Bluetooth support for wireless headphones.
When it matters: When you want to connect your headphones wirelessly to a Bluetooth source, like your smartphone, tablet, PC or smart TV.
Score components:
Bluetooth Version
What it is: The version of Bluetooth that the headphones support.
When it matters: Newer versions of Bluetooth, when paired with devices that support the same version, may have improved latency and wireless range performance.
:
5.0
Multi-Device Pairing
What it is: A Bluetooth profile that allows some headphones to be simultaneously connected to multiple Bluetooth sources, and have full call and media support on both/all devices they are connected to.
When it matters: To quickly switch between your Bluetooth sources. For example, switching from your phone to your home or work PC and still have call and media support on both devices.
Good value: 2 devices.
:
No
NFC Pairing
What it is: Near Field Communication technology that allows you to quickly, pair your headphones with your Bluetooth and NFC-enabled device.
When it matters: This makes pairing with an NFC-enabled device a lot easier than the typical and often tedious hold-to-pair procedure that most wireless headphones have.
Good value: Yes
:
No

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.

0 Wired
What it is: The type and compatibility of audio cables for wired and wireless headphones.
When it matters: When you want to use your headphones wired with a device that has a regular audio jack (line-out), like a smartphone, PC, or gaming console controller.
OS Compatibility
What it is: Testing the headphones' cable to see which operating system it works with.
When it matters: Some wired headphones don't support all operating systems so this allows you to check if the headphones will work with your device.
:
N/A
Analog Audio
What it is: When your headphones can play analog media using a standard 1/8" TRS audio jack. Includes using a 1/4" or 1/16" TRS with a 1/8" TRS adapter.
When it matters: For listening to music with devices that have a standard 1/8" TRS audio jack, like an MP3 player, tablet, smartphone or PC.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
USB Audio
What it is: When your headphones can play digital media using a standard USB connector.
When it matters: For listening to music on a PC. A digital USB adapter can offer some advantages over a regular audio jack, like a DAC or added software support.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
What it is: PS4 compatibility with a regular 1/8" TRS or TRRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PS4 controller.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Xbox One compatibility with a regular 1/8" TRS or TRRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your Xbox One controller.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
PC Compatible
What it is: PC compatibility with a regular 1/8" TRS or TRRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PC.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A

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

2.1 Base/Dock
What it is: The base station, dock, or dongle transmitter of wireless headphones that receive data/audio via a specific frequency range or wired headphones that have a proprietary amp.
When it matters: When you need to know which inputs and outputs the headphones support, so you can set them up with your home theatre system for gaming or watching movies.
Type
What it is: The type of base/dock the headphones use, whether a USB dongle, charging case or docking station. Wired or wireless.
When it matters: Larger docking stations tend to have more controls and sometimes even customization options while smaller USB dongles are more portable. Charging cases allow you to keep your earbuds charged on-the-go.
:
Charging Case
Optical Input
What it is: Optical input for audio.
When it matters: Optical can carry a bit more data at faster speeds than typical wired connection which allows for more high quality, lossless audio.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Line In
What it is: The regular wired input via a 1/8" TRS audio jack.
When it matters: For any device that has a line out for audio transmission.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Line Out
What it is: A regular 1/8TRS audio jack output.
When it matters: If you need to share the audio source with other devices. A line out lets you connect other headphones or speakers to the dock/base station.
Good value: Yes
:
No
USB Input
What it is: A digital USB input instead of a typical 1/8 TRS line-in.
When it matters: A USB connection can provide both an audio input and power to the Dock or Base station.
:
No
RCA Input
What it is: Audio input using via an RCA connectors.
When it matters: Provides better stereo audio to the dock/base that's then transmitted to the headphones.
Good value: Yes
:
No
PS4 Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
:
N/A
PC Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with your Personal Computer.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Power Supply
What it is: The connector type of the power source for the base/dock.
When it matters: The accessibility of the power source. For example, a power supply with USB/USB-C connects to multiple devices, PC , PS4, Xbox One or even with your regular phone charger whereas an AC adapter is less common.
Good value: USB/USB-C
:
USB
Dock Charging
What it is: Charging the headphones via the dock/base station instead of a charging cable.
When it matters: It makes charging your headphones easier and gives you a sport to store your headphones when they are not in use.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes

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.

9.9 Wireless Range
What it is: Headphones that offer a cable-free listening experience over a wireless network, typically via Bluetooth or radio frequency.
When it matters: When you don't want to be limited by the length of an audio cable. This means having the freedom to move around in your home or office with much greater range than an audio cable could provide, especially if the audio source is heavy or difficult to carry. Note that wireless range also depends on your audio source's signal strength, which may vary between devices.
Score components:
Obstructed Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when the Bluetooth source was placed in another room. We test our obstructed range with a Moto E4 Plus. Results may vary depending on your phone model or Bluetooth source.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you while listening to your audio in an indoor environment. Although, the obstructed wireless range will slightly depend on your home or office layout. Note that wireless range also depends on your Bluetooth source's signal strength which may vary from device to device or depending on your phone model.
Good value: >35ft
Noticeable difference: 5ft
:
65 ft
Line of Sight Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when in direct line of sight of the Bluetooth device.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you while listening to your audio in a large and open environment.
Good value: 170ft or more
Noticeable difference: 10ft
:
270 ft

The Indy have an amazing wireless range. With 65ft of wireless range, you’ll be able to leave your Bluetooth source at one spot and move around in a small apartment or office without hearing audio cuts due to limited range. You shouldn’t have too many problems, especially if you keep your audio source on you. These results may vary depending on your Bluetooth source.

0 Latency
What it is: How long it takes for audio to play through your headphones once the audio signal has been sent from a source.
When it matters: When gaming or watching movies. High latency means you will hear the audio much later than the images you see on screen. Note that latency also depends on the device and applications you use.
Score components:
Default Latency
What it is: The base RF latency or the default sub-band coding (SBC) of most Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos wirelessly, high latency can cause sync issues between the images you see and the audio you hear.
Good value: 50 ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
301 ms
aptX Latency
What it is: An audio coding algorithm (codec) that improves bit rate efficiency. It reduces latency and improves sound quality over Bluetooth.
When it matters: For better sound quality if you often stream music over Bluetooth. It also slightly improves latency when watching videos with wireless headphones.
Good value: 50 ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
What it is: Low latency variation of aptX that significantly reduces sync issues between video and sound when using Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: Latency is a lot more noticeable when watching videos or gaming than when just listening to music.
Good value: 50 ms or less
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
N/A

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.

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 Push Truly Wireless

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

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.

Apple AirPods 2 Truly Wireless 2019

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.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Truly Wireless

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.

Conclusion

6.7 Mixed Usage
What it is: This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
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.
6.4 Critical Listening
What it is: The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
Okay for critical 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.
7.2 Commute/Travel
What it is: How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
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
What it is: How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
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.
7.0 Office
What it is: How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy 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.
Sub-par for watching TV. Their latency will be too high for watching video content on your TV. Their sound profile is also too dark to fully enjoy movies and TV shows. Overall, they won’t be the ideal headphones for this use.
4.6 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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