After owning an iPhone 7 plus, no longer having the 3.5 mm headphone jack has really changed my listening habits. I do not want to use dongles, so my search is for everything wireless. I recently got a chance to try out Skybuds truly wireless earbuds ($219.99) and they are a good entry into the world without wires.
Skybuds are a completely wireless Bluetooth earbuds using Near Field Magnetic Induction to insure uninterrupted, high quality sound. The buds are stored and charged in a small case called the Skydock which will provide an extra 24 hours of listening time. Each bud includes an omnidirectional microphone allowing for calls to be answered easily. The Skybuds are available in Black, Silver, and Pearl.
The first time you use the Skybuds they will walk you through the set up. To wear the buds, you place them in your ear with the driver facing up then twist it down toward the back. This locks the buds into place in the curve of your ear. I was actually surprised how well they fit and stay in place after my first use. They are comfortable to wear and never feel like they will fall out. My thought is that wires constantly pull at earbuds making them more difficult to keep in. They truly provide a comfortable fit for hours.
Following the audio instructions will get the phone connected correctly to the buds and downloading the companion app will provide a few other features. My favorite feature of the app is the battery indicators. The app displays the battery level for the Skydock as well as each bud. You will also be able to detect if a bud is in the charger or in use. There are some other features coming in soon including a find your bud option.
Once connected, the Skybuds work when you place them in your ear. They automatically connect and if you were playing audio it will start up, or tap the button to basically play what was previously playing. After a few uses, the simplicity of use becomes second nature. I no longer fumble with my phone trying to open the podcast or songs, just tap the button and let it go to work. It is an enjoyable experience.
I was kind of leery of taking a phone call on earbuds that have no visible microphone. Even wired buds with a mic that is about mouth high have a hard time often while on a call. This was not the case. The Skybuds perform flawlessly on phone calls. The audio coming in is crisp and clear and there were no problems being heard on the other end. When I told my wife I was using the wireless buds the first time, she was surprised and said she thinks she could hear me better than speaking directly into the phone. To answer or end a call, simply tap the button on the earbud.
Now that we know the Skybuds work well, connect quickly and easily, and charge in their own carrying case, how do they sound? I used my usual method of review and tried several genres of music as well as a podcast. Here is the list:
- Metallica: Atlas, Rise! (I just got my Metallica tickets for June, so have to include them)
- Imagine Dragons: Believer
- Turnpike Troubadours: Every Girl
- The Bourbon Pursuit Podcast
The Skybuds do have great audio. It is not the best listening experience I have ever had, but considering the technology crammed into those tiny buds, it is quite impressive. The high and mid levels are crisp and clear while the bass is there, but not booming. Music that relies heavily on the bass may not sound great, but there is enough bass to give a full sound to most any other music. Rock, country, and pop sound fantastic while rap is pretty good depending on the song. This is actually a common finding with most earbuds now days which probably is just a physical barrier due to magnet and speaker sizes. Spoken word like podcasts sounds really good and I enjoy listening to all of my podcasts on the Skybuds.
Overall, I am really impressed with the Skybuds. The hardware is high quality and they have an intuitive, simple interface. They really have revolutionized the way I listen to earbuds. The audio is great and phone calls work excellent. I absolutely love the carrying case and the fact that it charges the buds. So far I have not run out of battery life on any of my sports road trips, some of which have been pretty far from home. While I have the white version, Skybuds also come in black and silver and retail for $219 on the Skybuds website.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I like: Great sound and no wires! Easy to connect and self charging case
What can be improved: I guess for audiophiles a bit more bass would be nice