True wireless earbuds have finally started coming down in price, making them more affordable for the average person. Not only that, given the size, they are pretty easy to lose. Typically, “cheap” earbuds don’t sound the greatest, but some companies like Skullcandy are really pushing the bar.
Estimated reading time: 9 minutes
Our Skullcandy Dime review looks at a pair of small true wireless earbuds that pack pretty decent sound, all for the low price of US$25. Read on to see why they earned an Editor’s Choice Award of 2021 here at Techaeris!
Table of contents
The Skullcandy Dime true wireless earbuds we reviewed has the following features and specifications:
- 12-hours total battery
- Microphone, call, track, & volume controls
- Secure noise isolating fit
- IPX4 sweat and water-resistant
- Use either bud solo
|Headphone type||True wireless earbud|
|Connection type||Bluetooth 5.0|
|THD||<3% at 1KHz|
|Battery capacity||Earbud: 20mAh (3.5h)|
Charging case: 150mAh (8.5h)
|Frequency response||20Hz – 20KHz|
|Dimensions (case)||2.45 x 1.53″|
What’s in the box
- Skullcandy Dime True Wireless Earbuds
- Charging Case
- Ear Gels (S, M, L)
- Micro-USB Charging Cable
- 1-Year Limited Warranty
- User Guide
The Skullcandy Dime true wireless earbuds are some of the smallest I’ve reviewed. In fact, each one is barely larger than a quarter and fits nicely on a Canadian Loonie ($1 coin). These earbuds follow the stem style, having a short stem that includes a multifunction button (MFB) on each earbud. Just over an inch in length, they are just under an inch wide. With three different included ear gel sizes, I was able to get a secure and comfortable fit.
The short stem, as mentioned, has an MFB which covers the entire length. Raised within this MFB is the Skullcandy skull icon. At the bottom of the stem on each earbud, facing down, is the microphone for making voice commands or taking calls. On the inside of each stem is an L or R to indicate which ear that earbud goes in.
The main earbud component is round, with two gold contacts towards the back for charging when placed in the included case. The eartip stem angles out and down from towards the front. The included ear gels (three sizes in all) are easy to change and have the Skullcandy logo raised on two sides of each one.
The case is small as well, roughly the size of a key fob from a vehicle. Under 2 1/2″ in length and just over 1 1/2″ in width, the case is about 7/8″ thick. On one corner is a small lanyard for attaching these to your keys or backpack. The case does have a curious design, though, as it has two cutouts exactly the size of the MFB on the stem of each earbud. When the earbuds are in the case for charging, the Skullcandy logo on both shows nicely. However, when the earbuds are in use, there are then two oval-shaped cutouts in the case. The case is also constructed from plastic but feels pretty sturdy and should last through multiple open and closing. When opened, you can see the hollowed-out receptacles for each earbud with an L and R stamped on each side to indicate which one goes on what side.
Our review sample was the black colourway, and you can also get dark blue/green, chill grey, or light grey/blue. The earbuds are also IPX4 sweat/water-resistant, so while not waterproof, they do offer some protection against moisture. Overall, these true wireless earbuds are compact with a comfortable fit and look decent at the same time. My only real complaint about the design here is the physical MFB button, as using it forces the earbud deeper into your ear and causes some temporary minor discomfort.
Ease of Use
Pairing is pretty simple. Taking the earbuds out of the case for the first time will put them in pairing mode. Depending on your phone, it might prompt you to pair when detected. If not, you can go into your Bluetooth settings and select Dime <color>, depending on which colourway you have. In our case, they come up as Dime Black. Once paired, you’re good to go.
As far as controls go, some controls can be triggered with the MFB on either earbud, while others are specific to the left or right earbud.
- Power Off: Hold left or right MFB for 4 seconds
- Power On: Hold left or right MFB for 2 seconds
- Volume Down: Tap left MFB twice
- Volume Up: Tap right MFB twice
- Play/Pause: Tap left or right MFB once
- Answer/End call: Tap left or right MFB once
- Skip to next track: Hold right MFB for 1 second
- Skip to previous track: Hold left MFB for 1 second
- Activate Voice Assistant: Tap left or right MFB three times
- Clear Paired Device: Press left or right MFB twice and hold on second press for two seconds
- Pairing Mode: Press and hold left or right MFB for 4 seconds when earbuds are off
The MFB controls are pretty straightforward once you remember how many taps or how long to hold it for the different functions.
The earbuds can also be used one at a time, allowing you to be aware of your surroundings and extending the battery life as you can listen to one while charging the other. Both earbuds have a microphone as well, so you don’t have to worry about which one is in when using it to make or take phone calls. You will be missing some control options if you use one earbud as some, like volume control or skipping tracks, are based on a specific earbud.
Being Skullcandy earbuds, I expected decent sound, but given the price point, I didn’t have the same expectations as I did with the Skullcandy Indy ANC or some of their over-ear offerings. Boy, was I quickly proven wrong!
Simply put, the Skullcandy Dime earbuds impress me every time I put them in my ears. Those who love a bit of extra bass will definitely love these, and for the small physical size and 6mm drivers, they get pretty loud and offer up no distortion even at maximum volume. While they don’t have ANC, they do a great job of cancelling outside noises with their secure noise isolating fit. In fact, typing on mechanical keyboards is indiscernible while having these on, and while mowing the lawn, the lawnmower was reduced to a dull hum.
For testing, each song in my test tracklist from Spotify sounded pretty nicely balanced and with, as mentioned, just the right amount of warm bass that I like. Everything from rock to Top 40 to classical and everything in between sounded just fine. In case you’re curious, the tracklist I test headphones on is below:
While there are most definitely better sounding earbuds and headsets out there, for the price, the Skullcandy Dime easily exceeded my expectations and will be more than adequate for most users.
With Bluetooth 5.0 on board, connecting to my smartphones or Windows 10 PCs was quick and easy. While I tend to keep whatever device I’m streaming from nearby, there were times in the backyard while doing yard work that I was 30 or more feet from my phone. During those times, the Skullcandy Dime stayed connected, and I didn’t notice any cutting out or degrading audio quality.
Each earbud has a microphone in it, so you do have a couple of microphones in play while taking calls. The other benefit is that you can still take or make calls and activate your voice assistant when only using one earbud. On that note, the microphones are pretty standard and while the other party during my test calls said I sounded o.k., they were able to pick up on some background noise like typing on a keyboard.
At up to 3 1/2 hours on a single charge and another 8 1/2 on the case, the Skullcandy Dime earbuds do fall a bit short compared to other true wireless earbuds out there. During testing, I could easily get 3 hours, sometimes closer to the 3 1/2 hours before needing to recharge. The case did provide an extra two-and-a-half charges for a total of between 10 1/2 to 12 hours before needing to recharge the case. Some are getting up to 8 hours on a charge, but keep in mind these are pretty small and compact as well.
Once dead, it takes about an hour to recharge. As mentioned above, you can use one earbud at a time, so that will extend your listening time if you swap them out and listen to one while charging the other.
At US$24.99/CA$39.99, the Skullcandy Dime earbuds offer probably the best bang for the buck on true wireless earbuds that I’ve seen or heard to date. At that price, these are not only impulse buy territory, but if you lose one or damage them, you’re not going to be out a lot. Not only that, if you do lose or damage one or the case, you can contact Skullcandy to order an individual replacement at a reduced price.
Decent true wireless earbuds usually cost at least $100. Skullcandy has proven that users can have decent sound and an affordable price point with the Skullcandy Dime earbuds. Are they perfect? No. But for the price point, they can’t be beaten. If you’re looking for a pair of true wireless earbuds that sounds good, aren’t going to break the bank, can afford to lose, or want to start your kids off with, these will easily do that.
Without a doubt, these were one of the easiest Editor’s Choice Awards here at Techaeris so far this year…