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Top 7 Best Skullcandy Earbuds For The Money in 2023

With so many great earbud manufacturers in the market, Skullcandy somehow always gets overlooked. Be it because of their lower prices or smaller marketing budget, finding someone wearing a pair of the best Skullcandy earbuds isn’t as easy as finding someone wearing a pair of Sony’s or AirPods.

Skullcandy actually offers some great earbuds and headphones for great prices, but at the same price, there is a lot of competition from brands like AKG, Panasonic, and even some Sony earphones.

So how do they compare?

Fear not, we have put together this review of the best Skullcandy earbuds to help you find the best one for you and your pocket.

Best Skullcandy Earbuds


Best Skullcandy Earbuds Reviews

  1. Skullcandy Strum In-Ear Earbud – Best Value for the Money Skullcandy Earbuds
  2. Skullcandy Smokin’ Buds 2 – Best Mid Range Skullcandy Earbuds
  3. Skullcandy XTplyo In-Ear Sport Earbuds – Best Skullcandy Earbuds for Sports
  4. Skullcandy XTFree Bluetooth Wireless Earbuds – Best Skullcandy Wireless Earbuds
  5. Skullcandy Riff 3.5mm Stereo Headset for Phones – Best Mega Budget Skullcandy Earbuds
  6. Skullcandy Fix Ear Bud – Best Budget Skullcandy Earbuds
  7. Skullcandy Merge

1 Skullcandy Strum In-Ear Earbud – Best Value for the Money Skullcandy Earbuds

First on our list is Skullcandy’s Strum in-ear earbuds. The earbuds have a simple design, bass focused sound, and are very affordable with minimal flaws.

What’s not to like?

The Strum has three color options, blue, white, and black. The design is quite simple and doesn’t differ from any mainstream budget earbuds at the moment. The cable is thin and flat, which helps with tangling, but doesn’t feel secure.

The earbuds fit firmly in your ears, although only having two sizes to choose from could be a big problem for some. Finding the perfect fit with earbuds is important, and having limited options is a major con. There’s also no carrying pouch.

How’s the sound?

The in-line remote has a volume slider and a single multi-purpose button. The microphone is also found here. The sound profile is quite bass heavy, to its detriment. There are plenty of great-sounding, bass-heavy earbuds like Sony’s MDR-XB50AP around the same price. The Skullcandy Strum suffers from auditory masking.

The bass is heavily boosted, to the point that a lot of the treble is lost, due to the bass being much louder than the rest of the mix. It sounds great if you are listening to EDM or any other genres where the bass is the main focus. If you are an audiophile like us, a well-rounded, neutral sound is much better for listening to music.

Could these earbuds be our favorite?

For its price, it’s a solid buy if you enjoy a very bass-heavy sound. If you are looking for something less bass-heavy around the same price, the Symphonized NGR 3.0 is a better option.

Skullcandy Strum In-Ear Earbud
Our rating:4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)


  • Deep bass.
  • Comfortable and light.
  • Price.


  • Build quality.
  • Lacks treble.
  • Lacks extra accessories.

2 Skullcandy Smokin’ Buds 2 – Best Mid Range Skullcandy Earbuds

he Smokin’ Buds 2 are stylish, colorful earbuds at a pocket-friendly price with the signature Skullcandy sound. What’s not to like about them? The Smokin’ Buds 2 offers a plethora of colors to choose from, some featuring beautiful transparent earpieces showcasing the bass-heavy drivers inside.

The earbuds are super comfortable and won’t ever be falling out due to the firm in-ear fit. There are only two ear tip sizes to choose from, though, which is unfortunate.

When style matters…

The beautiful range of colors will leave lasting impressions on those around you. The flat cable is tangle free but still feels flimsy. It’s rather unfortunate that the build quality isn’t great, and not including a carrying pouch to keep them safe is even worse. It would be wise to invest in a small hard case for the earbuds if you do buy them.

The in-line remote and microphone are simple and easy to use. The microphone quality is decent for calling, even outdoors. The earbuds do a decent job of isolating noise but have no active noise cancelling.

When you’re all about that bass…

The Smokin’ Buds 2 have the signature Skullcandy sound, which is very bass heavy. This is especially apparent with their low-budget options. The bass seems a little too much for the rest of the music. It leaves vocals and most other instruments other than the drums and bass sounding lifeless or not loud enough.

The Smokin’ Buds 2 are cheaper than the Strum, but really, we don’t hear much of a difference between the two. If you wanna save around $10, then the Smokin’ Buds are the better choice. If you want something a little less bass heavy, the KZ ZST are great sounding in-ear monitors that cost about the same as the Smokin’ Buds 2.

Skullcandy Smokin’ Buds 2
Our rating:4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)


  • Wide variety of colors and styles.
  • Good microphone.
  • Strong bass sound.


  • Other than bass, the rest of the mix is lacking.
  • Cheap build quality.
  • Lacking any extra accessories.

3 Skullcandy XTplyo In-Ear Sport Earbuds – Best Skullcandy Earbuds for Sports

The XTplyo earbuds are made for the active-minded people who want a firm fit and great sound without breaking the bank. Skullcandy offers a sweat-resistant build, with rounded cables instead of the flat cables we usually find on their earbuds. There is a great variety of colors, all turning heads when worn.

The best part of these earbuds is the fir fit on offer. The ear tips themselves aren’t really special, but on the side of each of the earbuds are a large, soft piece of rubber that works like winged ear tips, gripping the inside of your ear. These earbuds won’t fall out during vigorous training, giving you a hassle-free exercise session with your favorite music playing.

But you should know…

They do start causing some discomfort after about an hour, so these won’t be replacing your daily office/home headphones. The earbuds offer the standard bass-heavy Skullcandy sound, albeit a bit more restrained than usual.

There are still ample amounts of bass, but it seems that they have pulled back some of the low-end, which means listening to these are quite a pleasurable experience. The sound stage is still quite narrow, even for earbuds, but the higher frequencies are allowed a bit of space to breathe, offering a clearer sound than the Smokin’ Buds 2 or Strum.

Need to make calls?

The in-line microphone is just as good as the one found on the Smokin’ Buds 2, which means using them for calling whilst on a run will be a hassle-free experience.

There is no official waterproofing rating, but Skullcandy does state that these earbuds are sweat resistant.

Skullcandy XTplyo In-Ear Sport Earbuds
Our rating:4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)


  • Firm fit.
  • Good sound.
  • Sweat resistant.
  • Price.


  • Some discomfort after extended periods of use.

4 Skullcandy XTFree Bluetooth Wireless Earbuds – Best Skullcandy Wireless Earbuds

The XTFree wireless earbuds, rock the same rubber ear hook found in the XTPlyto, but in a wireless form. These aren’t true wireless earbuds, which means there is a cable that will be dangling behind your head, with an in-line remote.

The design is quite simple, with black earbuds and a black cable, most of the color comes from the rubber ear hooks, which aren’t really visible when worn anyway.

They’re still great to look at…

They offer a firm fit, although you can expect the same discomfort felt with the XTPlyto earbuds after about an hour. This is mainly due to the ear hook that fits inside your ear. Don’t expect these to replace any frequently used office/work earphones.

The cable is flat and tangle-free, instead of the basic round cables, which is great. The earbuds are sweat resistant, which is a must considering their purpose.

Don’t worry…

The microphone, which is also on the in-line remote, near the left earbud works well enough in and outdoors that you won’t be worried when taking business or family calls whilst out and about. Skullcandy even includes a padded carry pouch this time around, which is a plus in our books.

Still all about that bass…

The standard Skullcandy bass-heavy sound is present, yet again. They have refined it a bit, raising the high frequencies to help compensate for the stronger bass sound.

This leads to a clearer mix, with all the bass you’d expect from a Skullcandy product, but with more pronounced mid and high frequencies. Some of the vocals do sound a little too sculpted or artificially boosted. This is especially noticeable when listening to acoustic singer-songwriters like Ed Sheeran. The vocals sound a little off with a lot of sibilance.

Skullcandy XTFree Bluetooth Wireless Earbuds
Our rating:3.6 out of 5 stars (3.6 / 5)


  • Secure fit.
  • Good microphone.
  • Great sounding bass.


  • Boosted treble sounds strange at times.

5 Skullcandy Riff 3.5mm Stereo Headset for Phones – Best Mega Budget Skullcandy Earbuds

These babies are at the lowest end of budget earbuds. They come packed in a cheap, plastic cover, with only one pair of extra ear tips and the earbuds themselves. Nothing more, nothing less. At this price, you shouldn’t really expect anything more.

The build quality isn’t much better than the cheap earbuds you’d purchase at the airport when you’ve forgotten your own. The in-line microphone is nothing special, but usable. The round cable is thin and leaves you skeptical. One hard tug might be all it takes to break the cable loose.

These earbuds do feel comfy…

But the fact that they only include two sizes is a letdown. If one of the two sized does fit, though, you can expect decent noise isolation.

The sound on offer here is definitely lower quality than any of the other earbuds on the list. Adding an extra $10 should get you the XTPlyo or Smokin’ Buds 2, which are much better in terms of build quality and sound.

A good choice for those on the tightest of budgets…

The earbuds lack any sort of clarity, with some decent low end, but muddled mid and high frequencies. Finding better at this price is quite a challenge, and if you really can’t budge another $10, we are sure these would be fine for you, otherwise look the other way.

Skullcandy Riff 3.5mm Stereo Headset for Phones
Our rating:3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5)


  • Price.
  • Usable microphone.


  • Flimsy build quality.
  • Sub-par sound quality.
  • Lacks any extra accessories or additional ear tips.

6 Skullcandy Fix Ear Bud – Best Budget Skullcandy Earbuds

The Skullcandy Fix ear buds are the best low-budget option on the list. Coming in under $20, you won’t be disappointed. There are two color variants, a white and orange accent or the white with chrome accents. Both look great, as do most Skullcandy earphones. The in-line remote with volume buttons and a microphone is white as well, with the Skullcandy logo acting as a multi-purpose button.

Build quality isn’t great…

Expect to be replacing these within a few months, which isn’t bad if you consider the price. That said, if you add up a years’ worth of replacements, you could have invested in a $50 dollar pair of earbuds that will last for much longer like the urBeats by Dr. Dre.

They fit quite comfortably in your ears for hours on end, which is a big plus. The great fit also means they isolate sound really well.

Speaking about sound…

The sound on here is very similar to the Smokin’ Buds 2. A very bass-forward sound with a lot of the treble frequencies lost. Either you love it or hate it. For bass junkies, this might be enough to get their quick bass fix, but if you’re in any way serious about music, these won’t be for you.

Other than the low build quality, there is little to fault considering the extremely low cost of these earbuds.

Skullcandy Fix Ear Bud
Our rating:3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5)


  • Price.
  • Nice aesthetics.
  • Comfortable.


  • Build-quality.
  • Bass forward sound.

7 Skullcandy Merge

We left the cheapest for last. The Skullcandy Merge can usually be found around $10, depending on where you are buying. At that price, there is very little to actually critique, but we will give it our best shot.

You get what you pay for…

The packaging is cheap, and there are almost no extras included par the extra set of ear tips. The earbuds feel cheap, look cheap, and are cheap, it’s that simple. Buying the earbuds are a gamble because of the low-quality and lack of QC. A pair might last you a few months or break in a week.

The earbuds are comfortable to wear. The in-line microphone did surprise us with some decent in-call sound quality. We can’t say the same about the sound.

That’s where the pros end…

There is some decent bass on these, as you’d expect from any Skullcandy earphones, but the rest of the sound is extremely muddy, and the lack of clarity makes it hard to really enjoy the music you are listening to. If you are in a pinch and want somewhat usable earphones, these will do, but they won’t be replacing any proper earphones soon.

If you can add another $10, you’d be better off with any of the other earbuds on this list. It’s better than having to buy another pair in a week or so. Remember, buying cheap is buying expensive.

Skullcandy Merge
Our rating:3.4 out of 5 stars (3.4 / 5)


  • Price.
  • Usable microphone.


  • Horrible build quality.
  • Sub-par sound.

Want more options?

Well, we have you covered, we’ve reviewed all of the best earbuds and headphones to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

So, check out our reviews of the Powerbeats3 Wireless In-Ear headphones, the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, the Best Headphones And Earbuds For Sleeping, and The Most Durable Earbuds.

And we know you’re going to want to check out our reviews of the Best Noise Cancelling Earbuds, the Most Comfortable Earbuds, and the Best Bluetooth Headphones for Commuting.

So, what are the Best Skullcandy Earbuds?

We’ll start off by saying, avoid the Skullcandy Merge at all costs. It will end up costing you more if you buy them. Now that’s covered, our top pick for the Best earbuds from Skullcandy are the…

Skullcandy XTplyo In-Ear Sport Earbuds

Not only do they offer a great, firm fit, but they have the best overall sound with refined highs and a slightly toned-down bass sound.

They also cost under $30, which is pretty much a steal for what you are getting. The color variations look great, and the microphone sounds good too.

Happy listening.

5/5 - (69 votes)

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About Corey Hoffman

Corey is a multi-instrumentalist who has played in numerous bands over the years, some good, some not so good. He has also written countless songs and recorded five albums in professional studios across America. Today he is a hobby musician but still loves the guitar after over 15 years of playing.

He considers his writing as a way to share what he has learned over the decades with younger generations ad always can't wait to get his hands on the latest gear.

He lives just outside New York with his wife Barbara and their two German Shepherds, Ziggy and Iggy.

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