With the Indy Fuel, Skullcandy add travel-ready sporty True-Wireless headphones to their product range. They can be recharged at lightning speed; this is made especially possible as this compact set of in-ears and their transport case support advanced technologies such as inductive charging via Qi. While high-quality audio codecs have been dispensed with, the three available EQ modes offer a wide range of applications, covering not only listening to music but also spoken content as well as action movies and games. An expansion of the app, which has little functionality, would be desirable. And despite the existence of background noise, the ambient mode represents useful added value.
- Sturdy, sport fit
- Charging time
- Comprehensive device control
- USB-C connection plus wireless charging via Qi
- Three EQ modes for sound adjustment
- Occasional Bluetooth dropouts
- No support of high quality audio codecs
Indy Fuel, Skullcandy’s wired in-ears, play powerful, bass-driven music and are equipped with an ambient mode, EQ settings for music, podcasts and movies, and an app connection. A sturdy fit, plus the sweat, water and dust resistant IP55 finish also makes these headphones ideal for sports use.
These ergonomically designed in-ears embed themselves well into your ear and only protrude slightly, which makes it possible to wear a cap. At the same time, the wings offer stability even in the event of stronger shocks and vibrations, so that there is plenty of freedom of movement for use in everyday life as well as during sports. While the EarWings relieve the auditory canal, the low weight of six grams per side is also a positive feature, meaning that the tight fit does not cause any complaints about pressure. If you’re outdoors a lot, you will benefit from the weatherproof properties of this robust system, which also makes them easy to clean.
In our battery test, the Indy Fuel proved to be very suitable for travelling. These headphones offer a running time of approximately five hours at raised volume, while the quick-charging function allows you to use them for up to two hours after ten-minutes of power supply in the transport case, which serves as a charging station. What is particularly impressive and unusual, however, is that these in-ears are fully recharged in less than 30 minutes, which makes them very flexible for use on longer journeys. Especially since the battery reserve of the handy transport case is sufficient to charge the headphones five times, making the total running time around 30 hours. The case itself has a USB-C connection and can be recharged in just under two hours using the USB-C to USB-A charging cable supplied, or alternatively it can be powered wirelessly via a Wireless Charging Pad.
In combination with various Android and iOS devices, these in-ears, which support Bluetooth standard 5.0, offered stable ranges of eight to nine metres within an urban environment, although occasional dropouts did occur. Pairing, on the other hand, did not present any problems. This can be done by removing the device from the case. This switches the system on and automatically puts it into pairing mode, while the headphones are switched off when they are put back into the charging case. Switching on and off manually is also made possible by a long press on the touch surfaces, and both in-ears can also be used individually in single mode.
If a wireless connection exists the volume is controlled by a simple tap; reducing the volume by tapping the left-hand headphone and increasing it on the right-hand side. Playback can be controlled by double-tapping, and this is also used to answer and end calls, while a triple tap activates voice assistants. In addition, title selection is supported by holding down your finger for two seconds, here the right-hand headphone can be used to move forward and the left-hand headphone to move back. This feature works well; the remote reacts without delay, even if using multiple taps requires you to pay attention to avoid possible misinterpretation. When talking on the phone, the person on the other end of the line is easy to understand, while your own voice is quite quiet, a little dull and is accompanied by a hissing sound.
These in-ears have been tuned for listening pleasure and reproduce with full, present bass, while also offering a rich low bass range. Although the massive bass loses some precision and has a slight dullness, otherwise the bass foundation seems compact, rounded and powerful. Both the mids and the highs seem rather more reserved, but are not overpowered and are pleasantly clear. It is pleasing that the high frequencies sound neither sharp nor hard and they do not tend to exaggerate sibilants. The overall sound is earthy and warm rather than bright or cold, but also a bit hazy. Without higher quality audio codecs such as aptX and the AAC format, these headphones aren’t going to score extra points; they just use Bluetooth standard SBC. What they do offer, however, is a dynamic approach, agility and a high output with reserves.
Via the EQ selector, it is also possible to make adjustments to the sound that increase the intelligibility of voices in podcast mode and reduce the bass response, which results in a noticeably brighter sound image. For action-rich media, on the other hand, the movie mode is intended to enhance the bass range and the perceived volume. An advantage here is that switching modes can be done directly on the headphones, switching from music to podcast and movie mode is done by double-tapping and then holding the headphone’s surface.
Outside perception, tracking function and app connection
As these in-ears have quite high insulation properties due to their construction, the ambient mode should serve to improve your perception of the outside environment, especially in urban areas. For this purpose, external sounds are amplified via the microphones, which helps with orientation. In addition, voices and announcements can be understood during paused playback without having to remove the headphones, even if there is perceptible background noise. Ambient Listening can be activated and deactivated directly on the headphones by tapping and then holding. In addition, the Indy Fuel is supported by the free Skullcandy app, which also includes an option to switch on and off. The app seems to have room for improvement at the moment, as there are no further functions like a battery status display or the option to make your own EQ settings. The EQ mode in use is displayed, but switching is not possible via the app. However, helpful information such as a user guide and instructions on how to set up the optional tracking function via the Tile app are available, making it easy to find the headphones if necessary.
- Ear couplingIn-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)20 - 20.000 Hz
- Impedance±15%: 32 ohms
- Sound pressure level (SPL)99 - 105 dB
- Weight without cableIn-Ears: 12g; incl. case 61 g
What's in the box
- Eartips in three sizes (S/M/L)
- EarWings in two sizes (S/L)
- USB-C to USB-A charging cable
- Transport case
- available in black and grey
- BT codecs: SBC
- BT version: 5.0