The Skullcandy Indy ANC is part of a busy market. That is not surprising, since more and more people need a good set of earplugs or of course a nice pair of headphones. Due to the pandemic and the strict measures, many people work from home. They also have to study at home and they play sports at home. These are all activities where you need good sound. In many cases so that you can take a class, hear clearly what someone is saying in a meeting or just want to hear a tight sound when you are exercising.
Skullcandy Indy ANC: the specs
The set of earplugs supports Bluetooth 5.0 and has a maximum range of ten meters. In many cases this is fine, because you use the earplugs in combination with a phone in your pocket or a computer on the table. If you do go to the kitchen for a while, that is (of course depending on the size of your house) in many cases no problem. You do not hear any interference or noise. The Indy ANC also has built-in Tile support. If you lose your earplugs at home, you will find them very quickly with the Tile app.
The Skullcandy Indy ANC’s internal battery lasts up to nine hours. If you use noise canceling (the noise reduction function), the operating time will decrease to about five hours. You store the earplugs in a supplied case, which also serves as a charger. Charging is done via the included USB cable (without adapter) or wirelessly. If the earpiece is empty, you can extend the usage time to 23 hours without or fourteen hours with noise canceling. There is also fast charging: with ten minutes you can listen to your music for one and a half to two hours.
The Skullcandy Indy ANC has twelve millimeter drivers. There is also an impedance of 32 Ohms. The sound pressure is between 98 and 103 dB and the frequency range is between 20Hz to 20KHz. The earplugs weigh 76 grams each, but fortunately they don’t feel heavy. The manufacturer also brought along several earplugs, as well as a smaller, plastic shell. So if you notice that they are a bit loose or fall out completely, then you have some options with which you can adjust the fit to your ear size.
There are four microphones on board, which control the noise suppression. Moreover, you also use those mics for telephone calls or meetings. The person on the other end of the line understands you perfectly, but the quality doesn’t blow them away. However, we cannot call it bad, since background noise is also reasonably filtered. Furthermore, you control your music via the earplugs, you also call a voice assistant with it and the are water resistant. They can withstand sweat and a light rain shower. They can also be linked to the Skullcandy app.
The Skullcandy application
At first glance, the earplugs resemble the offer that is already available. What sets Skullcandy apart is the application to which you can connect the Indy ANC. This is not mandatory, but you greatly increase the pleasure you get from the set. For example, the app gives you access to three sound modes, intended for music, podcasts and films. You can also use the option for podcasts for meetings, other meetings and online lessons. It ensures that you can follow conversations in a clear manner.
The default mode is music. That is fine, because there is a good chance that you will use the earplugs for this. If you do not use the app, then you cannot personalize the settings of the earplugs as well. And that last word is very important to the manufacturer. Because in that app you get access to Personal Sound. After a short sound test, which in fact checks your hearing, the Skullcandy offers a personalized listening experience. One that is based on the listening ability of your ears.
That makes such a set of earplugs very interesting, especially when no equalizer is present (as in many cases). We will tell you more about the quality of the sound later in the review. Other functions are the noise canceling (which you can switch on and off via the free app) and the ambient mode. The ambient mode is in fact the opposite of noise canceling and lets a lot of sound through. Handy for when you participate in traffic, for example: this way you are still alert to sounds from your environment.
There is a small drawback to using the Skullcandy app. Likewise, you must have your location switched on constantly in order to maintain the connection. This also gives the manufacturer access to your location. You can set the app to only have access while you are using it, but for some people that can be a problem. If you do not like that idea for the sake of privacy, you cannot use the app – and with it actually the unique functions it contains – in combination with the Indy ANC.
Tap, hold and swipe
You operate the earplugs with the app, but you can also do that via the hardware. The small manual explains how to use the various functions. That is fine in principle, but luckily all information is also in the application. You can arrange quite a lot of things (pause songs, go to the next song, speak to the voice assistant, switch off noise canceling), but initially that is quite difficult to remember. Many actions are similar, which means that you sometimes do something wrong.
And that’s a shame, because it gets in the way of the further easy use of the Skullcandy Indy ANC. Once you know how it works, you no longer need both the app and the manual. Nevertheless, it is very nice that the information has been made so accessible. For basic music control you can of course simply go to a music streaming service of your choice, but operating the earplugs without the intervention of your smartphone is simply an ideal situation. So more attention should be paid to this.
Furthermore, the set of earplugs is not very extensive in terms of functionality. For example, you can only connect one device at a time and therefore not just switch devices. And that would have been useful if you often switch from smartphone to laptop. You can listen to your music (or meeting) with one earbud, but then you hear the sound in mono (and the other earbud is off). These are things that often go differently with the competition – but you may pay a little more for that.
Audio with and without personalization
The first time you listen to music through the Skullcandy Indy ANC, you will make a good impression. The bass sounds nice and full and the high tones shoot into your ears. But if you take a few minutes to perform the hearing test, which adjusts the sound to your hearing, you will hear a huge difference in audio quality. When you then go back to the old mode, without the personal sound, the different tones suddenly sound buried and bombastic at the same time. And that is not a nice combination.
That personal sound is really central to the audio experience and should really be the reason why you go for the Skullcandy Indy ANC (provided you are looking for earphones that deliver good sound), since they are somewhat disappointing in terms of other functionality. The personal tuned audio probably sounds different to everyone. With the undersigned, the mode ensures that the bass disappears into the background, but is still present, while the tones in the middle and in the height enjoy much, much more space than before.
Audio is very personal and who knows, the normal setting is fine for you, but then you can also just go for a different set of earplugs. Skullcandy delivers something unique with the personal audio that is really useful in the longer term. Because if you notice that some things do not sound quite good, you can adjust the earplugs again. And otherwise you have to rely on the three available modes, for music, podcasts and movies. The only thing that really doesn’t sound nice is game audio. There is a bit of a delay in that.
We’ve played a lot of music over the past few weeks, both indoors and outdoors. And a number of things stand out. After activating the personal audio mode, the sharp edge in the voices of both Miley Cyrus and Stevie Nicks on the track Edge of Midnight is incredibly detailed. In addition, the voice of Muse singer Matthew Bellamy also flows nicely into the guitar work on the song Supremacy. We really feel like the music is coming in as it is meant to be; Muse’s own Madness can now move you.
Skullcandy Indy ANC – Conclusion
The Skullcandy Indy ANC are basically fine earplugs. The personal tuned sound is central to the audio experience. If you do not go through the hearing test and choose to work with the standard sound, the earplugs can sometimes disappoint by making music sound both buried and bombastic. The details, fine sounds, sharp edge and warm tones only really come into their own when you activate the personal audio experience. Combine that with the noise cancellation and you can hear everything very well.
There are also some drawbacks to the Indy ANC. For example, the earplugs are less suitable for gamers, because there is a little delay on the line. We do not notice that delay when we watch a video, so that should be fine. In addition, there are few extra functions that make it easier to use and we have heard better noise reduction in the meantime. It is therefore not of the highest level, but you are not easily bothered. For two or three bucks less, the Skullcandy Indy ANC is a beautiful set of earplugs; now it is just too expensive.
- Personally tuned sound
- Good noise cancellation
- Wireless charging
- Noise cancellation could be a bit better
- Little extra functionality
- Not suitable for games