Skullcandy is one of those brands that whether you like their products or not, you’ve definitely owned a pair at some point. I remember owning a few sets of both headphones and earbuds when I was in high school before I moved on to more audiophile friendly brands. However, Skullcandy has always stuck to their guns, delivering satisfying consumer headphones at affordable prices. Now, they are the latest brand to break out into the realm of true wireless. The Jib True is their most recent effort, so let’s see if Skullcandy sustains their reputation.
What You Get
- Jib™ True Wireless Earbuds
- Charging Case
- Ear Gels (S, M, L)
- Micro-USB Charging Cable
- 2-Year Warranty
- User Guide
Look and Feel
If you’re familiar with Skullcandy, you probably know their famous Skull logo which is sported on most of their devices. The brand is meant to appeal to an alternative type crowd (a crowd I’m definitely grouped with) and the Jib True is no expectation, featuring black and blue color variations. The blue version also comes with red tips that I feel fit the aesthetic of Skullcandy better, but I don’t mind the black ones either. If I had any criticisms about the build, it’s that the black ones just look pretty standard. Not every wireless earbud needs to be flashy, but Skullcandy is usually the colorful brand, and it’s surprising that they only offer one color variation.
However, in terms of fit, I am quite pleased. The Jib Tune is as light as a feather and sits in your ear naturally and securely. I never needed to adjust them or re-insert. The oval-shaped housing stood in place without obstruction. The nozzle is thin and fits the ear tips perfectly. I’m not positive on if they’ll work well as workout earbuds, but they’re definitely comfortable enough for walks and commutes.
Design and Functionality
The Jib True uses 6mm dynamic drivers and houses an array of different functions that make this earbud an interactive true wireless. This isn’t an earbud that uses touch gestures or tapping interfaces. The Jib Tune uses a physical, click-in button that operates its playback controls. The left and right buds each hold a few different actions associated with playback, and phone operation, like calls and voice assistant. While receiving a phone call, all you need to do is click in once on either bud to pick it up. Pressing it three times will bring up your voice assistant, and while listening to music one click will pause or play your track. Play/pause has a short delay before fading in your music for more natural playback, which is something I always prefer. Otherwise, the rest of the controls are very responsive and work without hassle.
Skullcandy supports Bluetooth 5.0 with most of their recent wireless products, and it’s implemented here on the Jib True as well. It’s not certain what CODECs it uses, but I’m assuming SBC, and AAC are most likely backed here. The pairing was seamless, using quick, automatic connection whenever the buds are removed from their charging case. Aside from a few short dropouts, the connection is fairly smooth.
The earbuds will last you about 6 hours on a single charge which is pretty average for a true wireless. The charging case can replenish the battery with three charges, extending the life to around 22 hours. You should definitely be able to get through a commute or two, and though the Jib True is insanely cheap, there are definitely true wireless systems that have bigger batteries for only a little bit more.
As far as the stage goes the Jib True, it’s not the most offensive I’ve heard in a true wireless, but it is a bit too standard for my taste. The stereo imaging actually fairs quite well, as left/right width is accurate enough to be enjoyable. However, the signature has a consistent closed-in, boxy appearance that lacks a considerable amount of depth. For certain mediums like audiobooks and podcasts, this isn’t an issue and the closed-in nature might help concentrate voices making them easier to pay attention to, but it does most music genres a disservice.
While a strong bass is the main focus for most consumer true wireless systems, it’s easy for some to fall out of control. The Jib True is not one of these products. The bass here is surprisingly controlled, with lows maintaining their strength and remaining balanced and even. If you like some ample bass, the Jib Tune provides some nice punch and warmth for the more low-end centric genres.
One of the other surprisingly satisfying aspects of the Jib True is an impressive clarity of the mid-range. Aside from some upper mid recession, most of the mid-band content is distinct in its accuracy and balance. With tracks like ROM Hack by Origami Angel, the Jib True does an adequate job translating the heavy, growling guitars with the more melancholy acoustic performances. For a $29 true wireless, the mids work to an impressive degree.
The highs won’t be too forward in case you’re worried about brightness. However, they won’t be too attenuated either for more treble taste. Sibilance might be an issue for some, but it’s rather soft and only audible with certain high-end focused elements.
Thirty bucks buy you some pretty nifty true wireless earbuds. On the whole, they aren’t really anything to write home about, but they do everything that an earbud at this price range needs to do and it does those things with some surprising finesse. Skullcandy isn’t an audiophile brand by any means, but for what they are it’s pretty admirable what they accomplish here.
Pros and Cons
Pros: Fit, functionality, warmth
Cons: Soundstage, slightly sibilant
You can find the Skullcandy Jib True on Amazon.
Alternatively, you can try Strauss & Wagner TW401 True Wireless Earbuds
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