It goes without saying that we live in a wireless world and headphones are no exception. Every smartphone user can benefit from a pair of wireless earbuds to listen to music, podcasts, or take calls hand-free. If you’re in the market for a pair of inexpensive wireless earbuds, this review is for you.
I’m reviewing the Skullcandy Dime wireless earbuds. These are the most inexpensive earbuds I’ve ever reviewed. To reach this price point, compromises were made and I intend to point them out. With that in mind, are they still a good value option for someone looking for a pair of inexpensive earbuds? Let’s start at the unboxing.
Unboxing the Skullcandy Dime earbuds
In the box, you will find the earbuds housed in the carrying case. The earbuds come with medium-sized silicone tips preinstalled. Thankfully, they do come with additional tips, one that is larger, and another smaller pair. The biggest issue most people have is getting a snug fit so they don’t fall out. I’m happy to see that Skullcandy chose to include additional tips. At this price point, I wasn’t sure if they would.
Skullcandy Dime earbuds have the following features.
- Truly wireless design with noise-isolating fit to keep your earbuds in place
- Bluetooth 5.0 technology for cord-free connectivity
- 6mm drivers and NdFeB magnets for powerful, clear sound
- Battery and charging case gives you up to 12 hours of listening time
- IPX4-rated for water and sweat resistance
- Microphones in each earbud for hands-free control, access to your voice assistant, and clear phone calls
- Each earbud can be used on its own
- Stay-Aware mode keeps you alert to your surroundings
- Full suite of controls for a personalized listening experience
- Auto on/connect feature
Also included is the smallest USB cable I’ve ever seen. This was the first budget-conscious compromise I noticed. Even the housing on one end of the USB port is made of plastic. If you’re going to cut some corners, it’s a good idea to start with the cable.
Design of the Skullcandy Dime earbuds
The first noticeable feature is the compact design of both the earbuds and the case. These were designed with portability in mind. The case is made from hard, durable plastic that can handle the occasional drop with ease.
The carrying case has two unique design features. The first is that it has a cut-out on the top to show the earbuds in the case. This was clever thinking, as you visually know if the earbuds are in the case without having to open it. This is something I wasn’t expecting from a pair of budget-friendly earbuds.
The second design feature of the case is the inclusion of a plastic lanyard. Users can attach the case to a pair of keys for ultimate portability. This solves a big issue I have with wireless earbuds. It’s never easy to carry the case around without misplacing it. Because of the compact size of the case, the inclusion of a lanyard makes it a little easier.
The earbuds themselves are also made of plastic with a compact, no-frills design. The stick end of the earbuds is short. I prefer this over earbuds with longer stick ends. Those remind me of electric toothbrush attachments. The Dime earbuds don’t attract too much attention but look good in the ear for everyday use.
Skullcandy Dime earbuds have an impressive fit
In my opinion, the most crucial consideration in any earbud is fit. First, users should be able to wear them for extended periods of time without them falling out. Second, you shouldn’t experience any discomfort. Better yet, you should forget you even have them on. That is the ultimate test of a great earbud fit.
The overall fit of the Skullcandy Dime was the most impressive feature. Instantly, I could tell they were one of the most secure, comfortable fitting earbuds I’ve reviewed in a while. Other earbuds I’ve reviewed protrude a lot out my ears. Looking at myself in the mirror, I felt these looked better.
For me, the big test is the fit during an intense exercise session. I wore these during a run and they didn’t fall out. They stayed in place the whole time with no discomfort or movement. I also wore them while jumping rope. Again, the fit was tight and secure.
To get this type of in-ear fit during exercise, I usually wear earbuds with ear wing tips that help to hold it in place. The Dime earbuds had that same snug fit, sans the additional wingtip.
Physical buttons offer different control options
Each earbud features a button under the Skullcandy logo to execute various commands. For instance, pressing the button on either earbud once will stop or start playback. Volume up is tapping the right button twice and activating voice command is three taps on either button.
While I’m a fan of physical buttons on earbuds, I had some difficulties. It’s hard to press the buttons without moving the earbud around in the ear. This is because the button is located in the middle of the short stick end. I had to tuck my thumb behind the stick end before pressing the button. This felt a little awkward and I never got the hang of it. Other than start and stop, I probably wouldn’t use the buttons much.
Battery life on Skullcandy Dime earbuds
One of the big compromises with the Skullcandy Dime earbuds is the battery life. On a full charge, you can expect about 3.5 hours of playback. I think realistically, it’s more like 3 hours when you factor in volume levels. The case will provide an additional 8.5 hours for a total of 12 hours of battery life.
The one thing missing is quick charging. Fully charging the earbuds will take 2.5 hours. This makes it geared towards casual users who would likely charge the earbuds and case overnight.
Audio quality on Skullcandy Dime
At this price point, I was prepared to manage my expectations. I was pleasantly surprised by the audio quality. While expecting a twangy sound, instead I heard warm, balanced audio. There isn’t a low thumping bass but I could still hear the low-end from kick drums, toms, and bass guitar. For most pop music, the warm sound it produces will be very appealing.
The high-end frequencies did not stick out. Some earbuds do well with higher frequencies but these ones seem to be more balanced with the other frequencies. I doubt most people will notice any difference unless they are an audiophile like myself.
I noticed that spoken word dialogue was super clear with the Skullcandy Dime earbuds. This makes it super appealing for watching videos or listening to podcasts.
There’s an old saying that you get what you pay for. You sometimes also get a lot of value for what you pay for. What you get with the Skullcandy earbuds is a compact, no-frills design that provides a snug fit with warm balanced audio at an exceptional price point. Missing is long battery life, quick charging, and noise cancellation. The button controls on the earbuds could also be better
Nevertheless, it’s great for listening to music, podcasts, and taking the occasional voice call hand-free. This makes it a good choice for the casual user out there who doesn’t want to break the bank.
While there still might be cheaper knockoff earbuds online, I think you’ll be hard-pressed to find earbuds that provide the same value you get with the Skullcandy Dime wireless earbuds. It’s a safe, affordable option that will not disappoint.