The Skullcandy Mod can be criticised for the low stability of the Bluetooth connection, which seems to restrict freedom of movement, particularly inside buildings. On the other hand, these wireless in-ears score plus points with their fast-charging, long-lasting batteries, earpiece and sound settings available via the app and support for multipoint connections. While the ambient mode offers a successful amplification of outside noise, except for the existing background noise, the warm, throaty sound impresses with good all-rounder qualities.
- Comfortable seat
- IP55 water and dust resistant
- Battery life
- Fast charging function
- Headphone and sound settings via app
- Support multipoint connections
- Low Bluetooth stability
- Ambient mode with background noise
The US company’s compact Skullcandy Mod are powerfully tuned, amplify external noise in Stay-Aware mode and support multipoint connections with two devices simultaneously. The sound and the assignment of the remote buttons can also be adjusted via connection with the wireless in-ears’ app.
With a weight of five grams per side, the Skullcandy Mod are pleasantly light, which promotes a comfortable fit, especially as the housings embed themselves well in the ears and do not pinch even when worn for a long time. Thanks to a dust- and water-resistant finish in accordance with IP55, these earphones are also equipped for outdoor use and sporting activities. These in-ears are practical and can fit under a cap if necessary, as the housings only protrude slightly.
In standard mode, the Skullcandy Mod achieve a runtime of almost eight hours at a raised volume level. However, when ambient mode is active, six hours and twenty minutes per charge are possible. The headphones can be fully charged in the case three times and a further 40 per cent until the battery reserve is exhausted. This results in a total runtime of up to 34 hours in basic mode, while a good 27 hours can be expected when the Stay-Aware function is used.
Both the case and the earpieces have an LED charge indicator, with the in-ears signalling after 40 minutes that they are fully charged. If you are in a hurry, a quick charge of ten minutes is enough for more than two hours of listening time. The case’s reserves can be restored in a little less than two hours via the included USB-C to USB-A charging cable.
Pairing the Skullcandy Mod can be done directly when the earpieces are removed from the case. This turns the system on and automatically puts it into pairing mode, while putting the headphones back in the charger turns them off. Alternatively, it is possible to switch the system on and off manually via the buttons, which makes sense as the batteries are preserved if they are not constantly recharged after each use. In addition to Bluetooth standard 5.2, these earphones support single-sided use in single mode as well as multipoint connections with a smartphone and tablet or laptop simultaneously. However, unfortunately, we noticed that the wireless connection had below-average stability compared to the competition. Although a distance of up to nine metres can be achieved in the open, if walls or a floor need to be bridged, the range is reduced to about four metres before the first dropouts occur.
When a device is paired, playback can be controlled from both sides via remote buttons, and a simple press also serves to answer and end telephone calls. A double-click controls the volume, and this can be reduced on the left and increased on the right. A short press and hold also allows track selection by jumping back with the left headphones and forward with the right. If you wish, you can extend the range of functions via the app by activating a voice assistant and switching the ambient mode on and off; this can be done by pressing three times. Except for the fixed basic functions of playback and call control, the button assignment can be freely adapted to personal needs.
In addition to headphone settings such as remote assignment, the Skullcandy Mod’s app (Android and iOS) offers a battery level indicator for both headphones and several EQ settings for sound control. With “Music”, “Podcast”, and “Film”, there are three pre-configured modes to choose from, which are supplemented by a user pre-set. However, custom EQ settings cannot be saved. Other app functions include activating or deactivating the transparency mode, volume control and the option of firmware updates. A straightforward manual is also available, as well as the option to set up tracking via the Tile app, which should help to find the earpieces again in case they get lost.
Speech intelligibility when making phone calls
Considering the price range, the call quality was fine, as both sides can be understood without any problems. This was true in a quiet environment, but also in a busier background setting, as ambient noise was somewhat muffled by the Skullcandy Mod’s VoiceSmart technology. This meant that the other person’s surroundings could be heard, but apart from loud noises, it was noticeably quieter than the transmission of the voice. However, you will have to accept that the presentation of your own voice tends towards peaks, which is why we don’t recommend overly high volume settings for the other side of the conversation when telephoning.
In transparency mode, there was noticeable background noise, but otherwise there was clear amplification of external noise so that the environment could be better perceived even during playback. During paused playback, it was also possible to have a conversation effortlessly, especially as announcements could be understood without having to take the earpiece out of your ear.
The Skullcandy Mod sound is characteristically gritty and down-to-earth, and it comes across as full and warm but not cramped. At the same time, the powerful bass reproduction offered a successful balance of punch and low bass that sounded appealingly defined and did not boom or thud. The mid-range was also reproduced as full-bodied and had assertiveness for mobile use, voices already had good intelligibility in music mode, and this can be increased even more in podcast mode. When listening to music on the sofa, you don’t have to do without details such as fret noises in the background. There was also energy present in the upper registers. However, they did not seem brash and obtrusive but softly rounded. Only when turned up loud, which is quite possible with these headphones, does the treble reproduction overshoot the mark a little, resulting in a slight sharpness. Apart from that, however, the reproduction seemed round and coherent overall.
- Ear couplingIn-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)20 - 20.000 Hz
- Impedance±15%: 16 ohms
- Sound pressure level (SPL)95dB ± 3 dB
- Weight without cable5 each, case 45 g
What's in the box
- Eartips in 3 sizes (S/M/L)
- Short USB-C to USB-A charging cable
- Charging case
- BT codecs: SBC
- BT version: 5.2