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Skullcandy Spoke TWS Review: Quality Truly-Wireless Earbuds On Budget
Skullcandy was the first premium earphone that I bought in 2013, it was a wired earphone that offered great build-quality and sound but did cost a lot of money at that time. It is 2020 and most people who buy audio gear are now looking forward to wireless earphones.
- Bass-centric sound signature
- Good battery life
- Above average build quality
- micro USB charging port
Skullcandy is one brand that has evolved with time and launched products that are relevant to the market. When it comes to the audio accessories industry, TWS (truly wireless stereo) is currently in the trend. Skullcandy has now launched an affordable TWS earphone -- Skullcandy Spoke for Rs. 2,999.
Though the Skullcandy Spoke is not the most affordable TWS in the market (you can get a TWS for less than Rs. 1,000), the Skullcandy Spoke is definitely one of the well-priced products for the feature set that it packs.
There are more than 100 TWS products that cost less than Rs. 2,999. The differentiator between the Skullcandy Spoke and some of the cheap products is the quality and trust. So, how does the most affordable Skullcandy TWS performs in real-life, and is it worth your money? Here is the review of the Skullcandy Spoke.
- Headphone Type: True Wireless Earbud
- Connection Type: Bluetooth 5
- Impedance: 32 Ohms
- Driver Diameter: 6mm
- THD: <3% at 1KHz
- Sound Pressure Level: 96.5-98.4dB,
- Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20KHz
- Weight: 57g
Design And Build Quality
Skullcandy Spoke undoubtedly offers the best-in-class build quality with both case and the earphones itself. The outer case and the earbuds are made using plastic with a matte finish, which gives this package a classic look.
At the front, there are three LEDs, which indicated the battery life of the case. At the back, there is a micro USB port. In my opinion, the brand should have given a Type-C port instead of a micro USB port, given most of the modern phones come with a Type-C. Now, if you have a phone with a type-C charger, then you have to carry an additional charging cable.
At the top, there is a big yet subtle Skullcandy logo, which in my opinion is a good design choice. The logo is embossed in such a way that it is only visible from certain angles. Overall, I have nothing to complain about the build quality of the case or the earbuds.
The Skullcandy Spoke has compact earbuds design, which looks distinctive when compared to the cheap TWSs in the market that try to mimic Apple AirPods and fail miserably. There is an LED on each bud, and they also come with interchangeable ear tips. The buds are IPX4 rated and can be used while jogging or working out without any issue.
Most cheap TWS earphones continue to blink LEDs, which makes them look even cheaper. The Skullcandy Spoke smartly uses these LEDs. They blink red while charging and blue while pairing. Once they are paired, the LED turns off, which is a great feature. It now only saves battery, but it also makes these earbuds look more subtle. The buds magnetically attach to the case and don't fall off of the case. However, when you want to access it, they will come off pretty easily.
The Skullcandy Spoke also supports various in-bud controls. One can answer a call, change volume, summon a voice assistant, and even change tracks with just a tap. Unlike most TWS, it is not touching but tapping, where you have to literally press the earbuds to these operations. Though they work as advertised, pressing a button is definitely something that requires a lot of input. I would have loved if Skullcandy Spoke offered touch-based gestures rather than tap-based ones.
Skullcandy is a synonym for bass, and the Skullcandy Spoke is no different. It's loud, clear, and stays connected to the phone without any issue. In my usage, I tested the Skullcandy Spoke with an iPhone 12 Pro, and I had no issues when it comes to pairing or retaining the connection.
The pack comes with three pairs of ear gels, and one can use the one that fits their ear canal. As the earbud uses silicon earplugs, these earphones also isolate the noise. As they don't offer noise cancellation, it is good that at least they can isolate the background sound.
When it comes to audio performance, the Skullcandy Spoke gets adequately loud, and even at the highest volume level, the sound does not distort. I listen to the music of different genre (rap, pop, Indian classical, and more), and I had no issue with the sound. Do note that, there is a slight emphasis on bass, which is something that I enjoyed while using the Skullcandy Spoke.
A unique feature of the Skullcandy Spoke is that you can use a single earbud (works for both left and right earbud) to receive a call or to listen to music. This is an interesting use case, especially if you are walking in an open road or want to hear what's happening in the surrounding. More and more TWS should come with this feature, and it is definitely a game-changer.
One feature that I really missed on the Skullcandy Spoke is that it does not support auto-pause when you remove a bud. So, if you want to indulge in a conversation with someone, you have to pause the song by tapping or directly from the phone. Prior to testing Skullcandy Spoke, I was using Realme Buds Air, which also costs similar to the Skullcandy Spoke and I definitely missed this feature.
Coming to the call-quality, the Skullcandy Spoke has a built-in microphone on each bud. So, even if you are using a single earbud, you can answer your call without any issue. I did attend a few online meetings and made a couple of calls, where the opposite party was able to hear me clearly. Hence, the microphone on the Skullcandy Spoke does work great.
Depending on the volume level, the earbuds can last anywhere between three and a half hours to four hours. I used these earbuds with the volume set to 100 percent in most situations, and they did last over three and a half hours almost every time. On top of that, the case can charge the buds a little over two cycles, so, one can easily get all-day battery life without any issue.
When it comes to charging, the Skullcandy Spoke takes a little over two hours to fully charge from a 5W charging adapter and the package does include a short micro USB cable. The LED lights on the charging case do help to read out the remaining battery life of the cradle. I was also able to see the live battery percentage of the earbuds on my iPhone. Overall, the Skullcandy Spoke does live up to the claims that the company has made.
Verdict: Go For It
The Skullcandy Spoke is not the perfect TWS earphone, but it is one of the few budget-TWS that covers the basics well. It offers great battery life, good sound quality with quality bass, and also has best-in-class built quality. If you are looking for a budget TWS-style wireless-earphones, then the Skullcandy Spoke is definitely one of the best in the market.