We have reviewed several Bluetooth headphones before although none quite in the premium class of Skybuds, these are a very impressive combination of high end design and technology. As more phones come equipped without 3.5mm jacks a trend I fully expect to continue with high end devices(save for a few with the courage to do otherwise) the market for Bluetooth headphones will mature rapidly as it has already begun to, these headphones are the beginning of that trend.
First impressions with these earbuds are fantastic to say the least, the packaging does everything it can to help the impression that these are a premium product, both earbuds are visible through a clear acrylic window and all the vital stats are visible in an attractive white on blue high contrast text that has all the critical information on the back.
Physically their comfortable to use and i haven’t had any of the issues Paul had with a similar set of earbuds although I may simply not posses the Bluetooth canceling properties that he seems to, removing the left earbud from my ear by an inch or two does cause it to cut out I’ve yet to experience this in normal use, they’re comfortable for extended periods(I used them during multiple full work days)
Pairing was painless, the earbuds are actually capable of walking you through it should you need assistance, Both earbuds and the case actually communicate with the phone although only one earbud must be paired initially, one paired however the app will proceed to connect to both buds and the skydock.
Audio quality is impressive, I was surprised by how full they sounded even without HTC’s audio enhancements, on that note however I would like to see an equalizer added in the skybuds app similar to the HTC audio as I’ve found it very useful, I have minor hearing loss in one year from years of sitting next to flute players which is very obvious after tuning a pair of headphones using this.
A simple press is sufficient to play/pause music, and a one second hold summoned google now without any issue(and will work with siri as well) however the interactivity of these wireless earbuds goes above and beyond that and is best summed up in this chart.
The battery life on these is what I would consider the bare minimum for a device of their type, roughly 4 hours, There was an update during the writing of this article that added an optional low power mode although there wasn’t an indication of exactly how long this will extend the working time. The skydock is capable of recharging the earbuds several times, 4-5 in my testing which is enough for 20-24 hours, they recharge quickly in the dock in about 45 minutes leading to nearly continuous use during the average work day.
Inside the app it’s very easy to see the status of the individual earbuds and skydock in regards to both their charge and location, it will show if the earbuds are in the dock and if the dock is open. The app will throw an error if it looses synchronization with something but this is easily remedied and usually occurs if the dock if left to charge too far from the phone. Recently added under settings is a new low power option that defaults to off. Although basic currently they’ve demonstrated an intent to add more features to the app and the ones that are present work flawlessly.
Overall I’m impressed by every aspect of the skybuds, their design is excellent and their quality is impeccable however their price at 249.99 makes these are far from the cheapest Bluetooth headset I’ve seen although being truly wireless does add to their price understandably. With nothing have performed as well I’m left with a lack of reasons to berate them about their price however. I do look forward to updates adding features such as the ability to locate a lost pair of skybuds(an announced planned feature) as well as some form of equalizer hopefully in the form of multi ear similar to htc’s solution on the htc10.