Head on over to Apple’s website and you can get a pair of wired EarPod headphones, the same style the company usually ships with its smartphones, for $29. But for an extra dollar, you can head over to Skullcandy’s website and grab a pair of its new Jib True Wireless earbuds for just $30, and feel less guilty if you happen to lose one.
It should come as no surprise that for $30 these wireless earbuds are a no-frills affair, and while Skullcandy lists a “Noise-Isolating Fit” as one of its features, the Jib True Wireless lack any kind of active electronic noise-cancelling. But with properly-sized silicone tips, they should still do a half-decent job at keeping a lot of noise at bay—certainly better than Apple’s EarPods will.
Battery life is far from industry-leading, but six hours of playback on a single charge is surprisingly decent, with 22 hours in total on-the-go when using the included charging case to top them off. By comparison, Apple’s $160 AirPods only muster five hours of playback time per charge, with 24 hours in total when you factor in their charging case.
Despite the bargain-basement price tag, Skullcandy’s Jib True Wireless earbuds do boast IPX4 sweat and water resistance so you can wear them during a workout, dual microphones for improved voice pickup when making calls, tap-detection for controlling playback, volume, or activating a voice assistant while they’re worn, and the ability to use either bud independently, which is really just a positive way to spin the fact that these won’t automatically pause your music when either earbud is removed.
As for the sound quality, that remains to be seen. Don’t expect these to compete with products from companies like Sony or Sennheiser on the sound quality front, but Skullcandy is a headphone brand that’s been around for quite a while now and presumably knows how to make headphones that people actually want to buy. As an established brand Skullcandy also promises to offer a surprising level of support for these, including offering replacements for the earbuds themselves or the charging case at a discounted price. We typically don’t recommend buying the cheapest version of any gadget, but Skullcandy makes a compelling case for spending just $30 on something that’s just as easy to love as the competition’s products that cost hundreds of dollars.