SkullCandy XTFree Wireless Headphone Review
Skullcandy is known for cheap/mid-tier, to decent quality headphones in the industry these days. From there cool and hip marketing background, to actual great sounding products, the Skullcandy brand has cemented a firm spot in the affordable headphone market. With that being said, I would have never thought of looking their way when it came to sufficient wireless bluetooth headphones for my fitness needs. Skullcandy has convinced me that they know how to hit all market segments with affordability and reliability quite effortlessly; hence the review of the Skullcandy XTFree.
Design and Comfort
The Skullcandy XTFree’s add credence to this new notion that Skullcandy truly do make stellar headphone products. From a design standpoint, I actually thoroughly enjoy what Skullcandy has done here. The sweat resistant matte black rubbery finish found across the entirety of the device. Even in true Skullcandy fashion, the multi-colored ear tips (with ear wings!) that were once an eye sore are now a welcomed addition to an otherwise bland market. The ear buds fit perfectly in my tiny ear and the ear wings provide a secure, but painful fit at times. Depending on the placement they can hurt over time, so be wary of how you insert. When done correctly, running, causal listening, and weight lifting can all be done with relative ease due to how secure they feel in-ear. They come with 3 different sized ear buds, but only one pair of ear fins for them all.
The cord that connects both ear pieces is tangle-free and long enough to put used in frontal, or behind the neck use case. I found the sweat proof material does tend stick on the back of the neck over time so I preferred the other method. The volume up/down and power controls are located closer to the left ear bud where the micro-USB charging port is located. It’s very discreet and never caused any issues during you. The volume controls themselves are a bit stiff, but also don’t feel cheap which counter acts that. Overall the XTFree’s get an A for effort and execution.
The bass that comes out of the Skullcandy XTFree’s is by far the most impressive and noteworthy aspect of the device. During my workouts, I found the bass to be accurate as well as a non-hindrance to the purity of the sound. You have to understand that a sub $100 pair of wireless of headphones that exude this quality of sound and bass in unison is unheard of. My only gripe with the XTFree’s was the volume of the sound itself; but this is more so a preference rather than a negative element of the headphones. The noise cancellation makes music sounds encompassing and clear. I just prefer my music to make my ears bleed.
I experienced music connectivity issues frequently throughout my use and I think it has more to do with also being connected to another Bluetooth device simultaneously (Fitbit Surge). When I was not wearing another connected device the issues disappeared. This is by no means acceptable and was quite possibly the most frustrating aspect to the XTFree’s in my use.
Battery life on SkullXTFree’s is just enough to be good, but not great. I usually use the headphones during my workouts which range from 1.5 hours to 2 hours. In my use the XTFree’s last about to work periods at max volume before providing the voice indicated low battery warning. Once you hear that warning you have about 5 minutes before the device completely shuts down. For the price, you have to commend Skullcandy for the longevity of the battery life.
The Skullcandy XTFree’s are the biggest bang for your buck in the sub $100 wireless headphone market. For $79.99 they scream all value and few if any compromises. Other than the Jaybird X2, I see no reason the SkullXTFree’s shoudn’t be at the top of the list of potential wireless headphones. I highly recommend buying this device for all of you music needs.