Smokin’ Buds are Bluetooth earbuds from Skullcandy. The generous people at Skullcandy sent us these earbuds for review. Smokin’ Buds are designed to keep everything pure and simple. This allows for every day with its great simplicity. The earbuds are light, compact and easy to carry and sell only at the price of €34.99.
The packaging for these earbuds is very straightforward and slick. At the front of the box, it showcases the single earbuds up close to better grasp its easygoing design. The colours green and black are complementary colours that really grab your attention. Smokin’ Buds come in two different colours: true black and matcha. Matcha is a vibrant green colour that would add a bit of pop to your daily use. The box includes the following items: Smokin’ Buds True Wireless Earbuds, ear gels that come in three different sizes (small, medium, and large), a mini USB-C charging cable, a user guide, a quick start guide and 1-year warranty. The addition of ear gels makes it very convenient for people with different ear sizes to find the best comfort for themselves.
As for the design of the Smokin’ Buds, the colours are kept simple and nice. The ones we had to review were the true black edition. It is a matte black with a shiny Skullcandy logo on top of the charging case. What I like about this colour scheme, which was different from the other Skullcandy items we have reviewed, is that it is one solid colour. If you are not someone who wants bright colours for your earbuds, having a solid colour is great, and black just goes with everything. The earbuds themselves are kept simple, with little shiny Skullcandy logos etched at the top. In addition to this, the earbuds themselves are extremely light and, when in the ear, are not bothersome. The ear gels are made out of silicone, which gives it a soft feel and has no roughness to it. This set weighs around 40.59g, which is very light and easy to carry around. The charging case is about the size of a car key and is made out of plastic. I like this charging case because it fits in the palm of your hand and is very on the go. Some of the other specifications for these earbuds are the following: The connection type is bluetooth® 5.1, impedance is 16 Ω±15, the driver diameter is 6 mm, the THD is <3%, the sound pressure level is 104dB±3dB, and lastly, the frequency response is 20Hz – 20KHz. They have EQ modes and are great for the outdoors because they come with IPX4 sweat and water resistance and are made of 50% certified recycled plastic. Another thing to add is the connectivity of the Bluetooth before it disconnects from a distance of roughly 20 feet.
In our test for the battery life, each bud lasted up to 4 hours before needing a recharge. It takes around 4 hours to completely charge the case with the earbuds inside of it, which is indicated by a red light turning green on the case. A rough total of 15 hours of battery life is supported in total for the earbuds, which is a bit disappointing compared to the promise of a total of 20 hours. Because you can interchange between earbuds, if one is dead, you can pop it back in the case to let it charge and use the other. Bluetooth’s connection is very accessible when using a laptop, Android phone and even an Apple iPad. A really nice feature about the earbuds connecting to devices shows a battery bar and percentage to indicate the battery life of the earbuds. What I really like about these earbuds from the other ones we have reviewed is that it has a USB-C charging port. This makes charging the earbuds so convenient, especially when not having to use the small cables they supply. The change to USB-C charging makes these earbuds so much more worth it.
These earbuds also come with many different features. To begin with, they are touch-sensitive, so the controls all are relative to taps on the earbuds. There are multiple features, from pairing mode to volume up/down to play/pause. One feature that I find very interesting is the EQ mode change. There are two other presets besides the music mode, which allows for a better audio experience when watching a movie or listening to a podcast. Personally, when trying these modes out, there was not much of a difference between the presets. It seemed like the audio quality was relatively the same throughout. The only thing that did seem different was just the standard volume level; in some cases, it picked up more when watching a movie rather than listening to a podcast. Even if you are doing any of these things, I would say that the default mode is just fine justice for these earbuds, though it is a nice touch.
The sound quality for these affordable earbuds is very decent. The earbuds are designed so they have a snug fit into your ears, and the sense of isolation in sound gets through very well. In some cases, they feel like they have noise cancellation. Sound quality differs from person to person, so this is very subjective in how the sound comes across to me. The main mode we tested was just the music mode (default), as we felt that these earbuds would most likely be used for music purposes. For testing the sound quality, the songs I listened to consisted of the genres of R&B and pop.
To start off, the earbuds are a lot louder than other earbuds. I have been using the Dime 2 earbuds for about six months now, and when I first tested out the Smokin’ Buds, the sound was loud and clear. What I liked was that even though the sound was loud, it was not deafening or unclear. Music was heard with clarity, and in some cases, it was softer than others. I do think the default volume adjustment needs to be a bit retouched, as the earbuds are just a bit louder in general. You can clearly hear the bass and all the different instruments and beats. I did not find much distortion in the sounds, nor was there any delay when listening. It felt as if there were mini speakers in the ear. The vocals for all of the songs are extremely clear and come out in a fun musical sound. For what you are paying I think the sound is excellent, you can hear the music clearly and enjoy it without feeling uncomfortable.
As well as listening to music, we also used the earbuds while gaming and found that the sound is not good for FPS (first-person shooter) led games like Fortnite or Valorant. It seems to get a bit hectic, and when the volume is down on the earbuds, it is hard to hear. The earbuds pick up well on subtle noises like footsteps and sneak moves but do not give a great sense of direction, mainly just for gaming. When it comes to watching movies/shows on Netflix or videos on YouTube, the sound is extremely clear, and there seems to be no distortion in the noise at all. Personally, the sound quality of these earbuds is surprisingly good and extremely effective. Many people would prefer different sound tuning and may not find one better than the other, but these earbuds come with a very good tune.
So you may or may not know of Skullcandy’s other true wireless earbuds called Take a Hike Dime® 2. We thought it would be fitting to compare those €45 earbuds to these Smokin’ Buds that sell for €35.
When comparing the mics, both mics are not great. At least the Dime 2 mic gets recognized in most apps; it seems, for Smokin’ Buds, there were some issues with recognizing the mic, so the audio was distorted and quiet. This may have just been an issue with us or just the apps in particular. In some cases, the Smokin’ Buds worked decently in Discord, but they were not good enough to have a proper long conversation with someone. Dime 2 definitely has a better mic response to them. I just would not really use Smokin’ Buds for its mic purposes; it can do, but it’s just not that great.
When comparing the sound quality between the Dime 2 earbuds and the Smokin’ Buds, they both were extremely similar to one another, except for an increase in volume for the Smokin’ Buds. I really would not say that there is much of a difference in the sound. Smokin’ Buds do have an additional feature where you can use other EQ presets that can change the way you hear the sound, but it’s not a major difference. Both of the sound qualities are very decent and can go a long way for their intended purpose. I have zero complaints about the sound quality as I believe for the price, the sound is great. It is tuneful and crisp.
As for the earbud comfort, where you leave them in for an extensive period of time, the Smokin’ Buds are much better than the Dime 2 earbuds. The reason for this is first, the silicone buds for the Dime 2 are slightly harder, whereas the silicone buds for Smokin’ Buds are a lot more smoother and thin. The design for the Smokin’ Buds is also smoother on the inside; it allows for a much more snug feel in your ear. The more comforting gel and bud design is 100% Smokin Buds. There is also a difference in the ‘stem’ length of the earbuds, where Dime 2 is shorter than Smokin’ Buds, but that is mainly for design and touch controls. I would also say I prefer the charging case for the Smokin’ Buds because of its smooth opening and closing. The design is much more simple yet sleek at the same time.
Button controls and features on both earbuds are unique. Dime 2 has actual button controls where you have to press the bud for controls. On the other hand, Smokin’ Buds have touch control, where different taps/holds do different things. I don’t really like touch control, mainly because it disrupts listening to music if you ever feel the need to adjust your earbuds. I much rather prefer the Dime 2 controls rather than the Smokin’ Buds. Both of the earbuds work really well, and I think because of better comfortability, the Smokin’ Buds are better, even though touch controls can be a bit sensitive and annoying.
I would say that the way the earbuds are designed and built is really well done. The only thing I would like is for there to be a longer charging cable, but because they switched to a USB-C port, it already makes the earbuds more accessible. All in all, the Smokin’ Buds are great, affordable earbuds that achieve their purpose.
With IPX, you do not need to worry about sweat destroying the buds. You can wear your Smokin’ Buds while going out for a jog, walk, or working out; they are very much on the GO! Smokin’ Buds True Wireless Earbuds have seamless touch controls, are easy to carry, and have a simple design that goes a long way. Smokin’ Buds are a fantastic choice for anyone in need of reliable, high-quality earbuds at a reasonable price point. The combination of superb sound, comfortable fit, and convenient features make them a top contender in the market. I highly recommend these earbuds to music enthusiasts and casual listeners alike. Make sure you go out and buy yourself Skullcandy Smokin’ Buds!
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