Published on July 4th, 2017 | by Greg0
Skybuds: Feature-Rich Truly Wireless Earbuds
Wireless audio has come a very long way. It used to be that Bluetooth headphones would be bulky, underpowered, limited in range, and have a fairly short battery life. Audio quality was iffy, and to make matters worse, even simply establishing a connection could be finicky and require several steps. But Bluetooth has improved greatly over the years in every aspect, and now offers high-resolution audio with few compromises, all-day battery life, and simple, straightforward connectivity.
The next evolution in wireless audio: the rise of truly wireless earbuds, removing the wire that was previously necessary between each earbud. And that means a few steps back, sort of- more limited range and life, some occasional connectivity issues, more restrained audio. But the new Skybuds add quite a few things to the equation, enough to set them apart from what is becoming a fairly crowded field. And while you might not know the company, they raised almost $230K on Kickstarter to help bring their vision to life. As with most other similar models, battery life isn’t anything to write home about- around four hours- but they have a dock with a built-in battery, that can offer several more full charges (before needing to be recharged itself). And the charging case is pretty nice, able to fit into a pocket and protect your buds on the go.
The Skybuds are confined to a specific shape and form- there isn’t a whole lot you can do with an earbud and they are bigger than some, in fact. They also are plastic, and though fairly light, feel a little more delicate that some other. They have a microphone for calls, which made for decent conversations, and controls on each bud which can take some getting used to (but are more convenient in most cases than trying to hassle with your smartphone). Their audio won’t wow serious aficionados of, say, opera- small drivers and physical constraints of battery life mean that pop and rock sound solid, with driving mids and pretty balanced bass, lacking some presence in the highs. But they are competitive with many wired buds in this class, and sound better for many music sources and genres than other truly wireless set we’ve tried.
What really sets the Skybuds apart though? For starters, they are built for exercise, water-resistant and sweatproof. And we appreciated the location features, allowing you to easily find your buds through their free app (there are limitations, but it’s still very handy and frankly pretty cool). A recent update also brought ‘Awareness’ technology, basically a form of passive noise cancellation that helps eliminate ambient distractions, which is nifty. It’s great to see a product improved via regular software development, and we can’t wait for a v2 as batteries get inevitably better. They aren’t perfect, but that’s no reason not to appreciate a bit of the future now- the Skybuds are a big step in the right direction. Available now, online and in stores for around $200, the Skybuds are great-sounding and offer an impressive feature set.