With the Dime, the US company Skullcandy offers great-sounding, cable-free in-ears at an attractive price. They are characterised by an ultra-portable design in a pocket-friendly format and offer extensive device control via remote button.
What is certain about these headphones is that they are unusually small and very light, appearing almost miniaturised and weighing no more than four grams per side. The same applies to the transport case, which serves as a charging station and weighs 26 grams, easily disappears in one hand and can be attached to a key ring via a lanyard. The case is a little difficult to open, as the lid snaps tightly into place and is also held closed by a magnetic catch, which means that the Dime are safely stowed away when out and about and cannot get lost if clipped to a belt loop. The visually striking recesses in the housing surfaces of these in-ears might turn out to be a dust catcher in the long run. However, the earpieces themselves have an IPX4 water- and sweat-resistant finish, which facilitates easy cleaning, makes them suitable for use during sporting activities and offers protection in the rain. It is also practical that the housings are flat enough to fit under a cap, especially since nothing presses and the light weight makes them hardly noticeable when worn. They are sufficiently stable to wear for a jog, but stronger vibrations during sports should be avoided.
The average listening time with the volume turned up ended up as about three hours and 25 minutes, so compromises definitely have to be made when it comes to battery life. A charging cycle is completed after a good 50 minutes, and the earpieces can be fully charged in the case twice and once with a remaining capacity for one hour and 45 minutes so that the total runtime is about twelve hours. It is an advantage that both the in-ears and the transport case each have a charge level indicator, but the LED of the case only signals after three hours and 30 minutes that the battery reserve has been restored, which means that longer uses require a certain lead time. Since a modern USB-C port has been omitted, power is supplied via a micro-USB socket, for which a corresponding USB charging cable is included.
Pairing the Dime, which supports Bluetooth standard 5.0 and offers a range of eight metres within an urban environment, can be done directly with removal from the case; this turns the system on and automatically puts it into pairing mode. Placing them back in the charger switches the earpieces off, although alternatively, it is also possible to switch them off manually by holding down the buttons embedded in the surfaces for a long press while holding them down briefly switches the in-ears on. Single-sided use in single mode is also supported.
Once a wireless connection is established, playback can be controlled by pressing a button, which can be used on both sides and is also used to answer and end phone calls. Pressing twice controls the volume, reducing the level on the left and increasing it on the right. Also, track selection is available by pressing and holding briefly; in this case, the left headphone is used to go back and the right headphone to skip forward, while voice assistants can be activated on both headphones by pressing three times. The operating concept is impressive with its extensive functionality, even if the buttons are not necessarily smooth. For pressure-sensitive ears, it is therefore recommended to hold the in-ears by the rods while controlling the device. Furthermore, the speech intelligibility during phone calls proved to be impeccable.
The tiny speakers sound very grown-up, have a harmonic, slightly bass-emphasised tuning without noticeable weaknesses and do not have a low output, so that volume reserves are available. The only thing the dime doesn’t have to offer is high-quality audio codecs, so you have to make do with the Bluetooth standard SBC, which results in a slight offset between picture and sound in action-packed films or YouTube clips. Otherwise, these in-ears surprised us with a balanced bass reproduction that reaches deep down, appears full and round, but does not lay it on too thick. In this respect, the bass foundation is not overbearing or booming and does not sound muffled but defined, which makes for a pleasing level of fun with beat-oriented music. The midrange can be described as pleasantly warm, with lead instruments and vocals being reproduced with appealing clarity. It is also remarkable that there is no drop in the highs, which are not unpleasantly hard but do not softly cushion sibilants at high volume levels. Nevertheless, the overall sound is good-natured, which is an advantageous prerequisite for a pleasing all-rounder, especially since the reproduction benefits from the fact that the stereo imaging does not convey a feeling of narrowness. A remarkable achievement considering the reasonable price.
If you don’t need a long battery life, you can get a bargain with the Dime from Skullcandy. The good, powerful sound ensures listening fun across all genres and is not embarrassed by more expensive True Wireless in-ears. In addition, these weatherproof mini-earphones score points with flawless speech intelligibility when making phone calls and extensive device control options.
- very lightweight, comfortable-fitting headphones
- IPX4 water and sweat resistant
- double-sided single mode
- extensive device control
- good speech intelligibility during calls
- ultra-compact charging case
- no USB-C connection
- case with long charging time
- quite low battery life
- Ear couplingIn-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)20-20.000 Hz
- Impedance±15%: 16 ohms
- Weight without cable4 g each, case 26 g
What's in the box
- Eartips in 3 sizes (S/M/L)
- USB charging cable
- Charging case
- available in black, grey, blue/grey and grey/green
- BT codec: SBC
- BT version: 5.0