Skullcandy recently launched in India the Indy ANC wireless earbuds, which is the American audio accessory maker’s first offering in its true wireless stereo (TWS) line-up to boast an active noise cancellation (ANC) feature. For a company’s debutant ANC earbuds, the Skullcandy Indy ANC is good with regard to blocking external noise from hampering the user experience. It, however, is not the best that you get for its price – Rs 10,999. This is because the earbuds struggle to filter high frequency noise such as that of crowd, horns, moving metro, etc.
As for the audio performance, it is a mixed bag of hits and misses. In default settings, the earbuds sound muffled but maintain a clear distinction between lows, mids and highs. The audio can be tweaked through the earbuds supplementary smartphone app named Skullcandy app. The app has preset audio profiles for music, podcast, movies, etc. Each profile changes the audio output but does not improve the performance much. The earbuds support only the SBC audio codec, and the support for AAC or AptX may have improved the audio quality. Nevertheless, the earbuds are powered by Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity.
Design wise, the earbuds look similar to its siblings in the Skullcandy Indy range of earbuds. Made of plastic, the earbuds have matte finish that look premium and aid handling. The earbuds’ charging case is of decent size but its build quality does not look assuring. The Indy ANC comes with silicone ear tips of three different sizes and ear gels for snug in-ear fit. It is unlikely for the earbuds to fall off accidentally, thanks to the in-ear design and rubber winged tips. What is better is the ear gels are softer than what it was in Indy Evo and gives a secure grip that makes it ideal for long use or workouts. Its in-ear design provides good noise isolation as well.
Each earbud features a touch-sensitive outer shell, which lets you control volume and playback, skip tracks, or switch between ANC and ambient mode. The touch controls respond well to the touches. Like other Skullcandy earphones, the Indy ANC has a built-in tracker powered by Tile that helps you find the earbuds if you misplace them by accident. The earbuds boasts an IPX4 rating for limited protection against water and sweat.
In terms of battery life, the Indy ANC provides five hours of playback on a single charge, with the carry case providing an additional 14 hours, giving it a total of 19 hours with noise-canceling turned on. The earbuds offer 32 hours of battery life without noise cancellation. The charging case also supports quick charging with a 10-minute charge giving about a couple of hours of on-battery time.
In regular use, the battery output remains around what Skullcandy claims which is decent, if not impressive.
Priced at Rs 10,999, the Skullcandy Indy ANC are good earbuds for everyday use but expensive. For its price, there are earbuds like OPPO Enco X, Jabra Elite 75t, Sony WF-XB700, and many others that offer much better experience with regard to active noise cancellation and sound quality. The Indy ANC brings major improvements over its predecessor but not enough to compete with its peers.