Skullcandy has many years of experience crafting affordable, fun-sounding headphones and the Skullcandy Method Wireless, the company’s latest wireless earbuds aimed at sports enthusiasts, does well to keep that trend going.
The Method Wireless deviate slightly from the company's traditional bass-heavy sound but the new sound signature is more balanced while still remaining fun.
To that end, as a package the Skullcandy Method Wireless are a great value at just $60 (£35, AU$119) – they sound good, offer a stable wireless connection and good battery life. We weren’t impressed by the plastic build quality and were left wondering how the headphones would hold up to long-term use – but, if the sharp plastic and small stock of included earbuds don’t bother you, the Skullcandy Method Wireless are a decent pair of neck-style earbuds for working out with.
The Skullcandy Method Wireless look similar to other neckband-style wireless headphones with the exception of being able to organize the cable by pressing them into a “channel” along the top of the neckband. This is good for transport as you don’t have to worry about the earbud wires getting caught in your bag.
The Method Wireless’ controls are located on the left side of the neckband. Here you'll find three buttons: volume up, play/pause/power/voice assistant and volume down. You can skip tracks by holding down the volume up button for 3 seconds and you can select previous by doing the same with the volume down button. We liked that the buttons are big, making them easy to distinguish by feel and easy to press.
The neckband itself is made with a slightly rubberized plastic that makes it good for resisting sweat while also staying responsive. The plastic makes the headphones comfortable for working out and listening for extended periods since it’s so lightweight. That said, being lightweight isn't always advantageous: There have been reports of the Method Wireless falling apart from the cable underneath the neckband, so the long term longevity of the headphones is questionable at best.
For the most part, the Method Wireless are comfortable right out of the box – at least for the large majority of folks. Problematically, they only come with two pairs of eartips – one small and one large pair – which may make fit problematic for some.
However, we found the small tips fit just fine in our ears, providing a good seal for bass response and noise isolation so there's hope for finding a good fit.
Skullcandy’s bass-heavy house sound is present with the Method WIreless, though it's more refined from past headphones. While the sound is bass-forward with good impact, mids are still well represented with vocals. There’s slight bass bleed into the mids but nothing major. Highs are a bit lacking as they’re rolled off and lack the sparkle of more expensive headphones.
Taken as a whole, we found the Skullcandy Method Wireless to be a fun-sounding headphone, even though it doesn’t feature aptX support. In comparison, the FIIL DRIFTER offers the aptX codec but sounds noticeably worse with boomy bass that overwhelms both the mids and highs.
Unfortunately, soundstage is expectedly narrow for a headphone at this price, with a forward presentation. Instrument separation is acceptable but imaging is vague, making it hard to place where specific instruments are coming from.
In terms of battery life, the Skullcandy Method Wireless are rated at 9-hours and we found that rating to be fairly accurate. On our typical commute cycle, we had to charge the 'buds every other day, putting the Method Wireless’ battery life average in a comparable range to other headphones of this form factor.
The Skullcandy Method Wireless are a compelling package for those looking for wireless headphones to work out, or simply want a pair of wireless headphones that amplify their favorite rock, rap or EDM songs. While the plastic build is a bit dicey, we loved the headphone’s sound quality for the price. Bass is punchy and fun without compromising too much of the mids or highs.
In terms of competition, the NuForce BE2 are an even better alternative. They’re the same price but you get better balanced sound, better build quality, and a variety of ear tips to choose from. The BE2 are also IPX5-rated so they can withstand workouts. For slightly more money, the NuForce BE Sport3 offer the same balanced sound of the BE2 but with better build quality and multipoint pairing support.
Still, if you're after that overwhelmingly bass-heavy sound and don't have much cash to throw down on a new pair of Beats, you can't do much better than these.