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The Skullcandy Dime 2 rests with the open case on a weather worn metal surface.

Skullcandy Dime 2 True Wireless Earbuds review

Makes the most of your nickels and dimes, so long as you don't mind a short battery.
By
July 15, 2022
7.2
Skullcandy Dime 2 True Wireless Earbuds
The bottom line
It sounds good at any price, with a generous amount of bass. Where The Dime 2 falters is in the details, like mic connection and noise rejection, and brief battery life. With its IPX4 rating and Tile inclusion, you don't have to worry about sweat destroying the buds or losing the buds.

Skullcandy Dime 2 True Wireless Earbuds

It sounds good at any price, with a generous amount of bass. Where The Dime 2 falters is in the details, like mic connection and noise rejection, and brief battery life. With its IPX4 rating and Tile inclusion, you don't have to worry about sweat destroying the buds or losing the buds.
Release date

February 3, 2022

Price

$28 USD

Dimensions

14.5 x 8 x 2.69 cm (case)

11mm, 12mm, and 14mm (ear tip diameter)

Weight

32g (case and buds)

Model Number

S2DBW-P740

Waterproof

IPX4

What we like
Price
Mono mode, either bud
Water-resistant
Sound quality
Tile integration
What we don't like
microUSB charging
Short battery life
Inconsistent performance for calls
No customization
Isolation
7.2
SoundGuys Rating
8.8
User Rating
Rating Metric
Our Rating
User Rating
Sound Quality
9.6
8.5
9.0
Bass
9.3
7.7
8.0
Midrange
9.8
10.0
10.0
Highs
9.7
10.0
10.0
Isolation / Attenuation
1.8
8.9
9.0
Durability / Build Quality
8.0
9.3
9.0
Value
6.9
10.0
10.0
Design
5.0
8.8
9.0
Connectivity
5.0
8.3
8.0
Portability
9.3
7.7
8.0
Battery Life
4.2
7.6
8.0
Feature
6.0
10.0
10.0
Comfort
8.5
7.6
8.0

Sure, you can do a quick search query and find a lot of inexpensive true wireless earbuds, but it can be hard to tell which ones are worth your time. For under $30 USD the updated Dime 2 has a lot to offer, if you don’t mind making concessions. We spent a week with the Skullcandy Dime 2 to see how this set stacks up against the budget competition. Let’s see what you get for not much scratch, where it surprises, and where the bone head brand slips up.

  • Absent-minded folks prone to misplacing their belongings will benefit from the Tile tech.
  • Music fans looking for a budget-friendly set of wireless earbuds can enjoy the price and good sound.
  • Gift givers will like the value-to-price ratio of the Skullcandy Dime 2.

What is the Skullcandy Dime 2 like to use?

Available in three colorways, our test set of Skullcandy Dime 2 is a matte True Black. Skullcandy also produces a grey cased set with light blue buds, and a black cased set with kelly green buds. Out of the box the low-profile 32g case of the Skullcandy Dime 2 looks easy to lose, but it has Tile app support (more on this in a bit).

On a wood surface with grass and flowers in the background, the Skullcandy Dime 2 is spread out showing its included accessories.
If you’ve ever been someone who misplaces your keys, the ever-diminishing size of true wireless earbuds may seem harrowing, especially pricey ones.

Housing 6mm dynamic drivers, the Skullcandy buds come with three sets of silicone ear tips: 14mm, 12mm, and 11mm. The short-stemmed buds are easy to wear with the default 12mm. While the plastic feels a little cheap and the seams are rough—especially along the middle of the stem—each bud fits in my ears really well and the interior plastic is smooth. Fortunately, that rough seam doesn’t make contact with your ears, so it does not impede comfort. Honestly, Skullcandy has done what Marshall should have done with the ill-fitting and roughly finished Marshall Minor III.

The Dime 2 uses a single button on each bud. These buttons have the upshot of providing immediate tactile feedback so you have no doubt when you enter a command. With that said, the Dime 2 buttons are oddly stiff, requiring not just one finger, but also a thumb to hold the stem so you don’t jam the buds hard into your ears when pressing. The buttons work okay, but not as effortlessly as buttons along the top, or a squeezable stem might. Conceivably, the stiff buttons successfully counteract misfires when adjusting the buds.

Yes, you can work out with the Dime 2. With its IPX4 rating, the buds work just fine with sweat exposure. The buds do not have any stabilizers, therefore, much of this answer depends on your individual fit. I can exercise without losing the buds and minimal adjustments.

If you lose a bud, at least you can track its location with Tile, and the price makes it less daunting if something goes sideways and a bud somehow breaks. One missing feature is any kind of transparency mode, so if you want to talk to people while exercising, the Dime 2 isn’t the ideal choice. Its slightly exaggerated bass response might be a good pick for people who find extra bass motivates their routine.

What’s the Skullcandy Dime 2 case like?

Standing on its side the Skullcandy Dime 2 sits closed with the exposed buttons with metal and wood.
The exposed buttons offer no benefit.

The company’s budget constraints show when looking at the Skullcandy Dime 2 case and its microUSB connection, rather than the current, USB-C. It still charges, so at worst this is only annoying and not an impediment. The Dime 2 case has slots that expose the buttons on the buds, but it’s unclear why. Because the buds power off when slotted into the case, you can’t initiate Bluetooth pairing mode with the buds in the case. Basically you just get less protection against dust, debris, and bumps.

Otherwise, the case is extremely compact with both a magnetic and snap-on lid. The lid itself has very little flex. If one spot seems a bit weaker, the hinge looks easy to bust. Even so, the buds lock solidly into place with strong magnets, and Skullcandy includes the tiniest lanyard to connect to a keychain. The tool included with your phone to open the SIM card tray works pretty well for threading the lanyard, because it’s very small.

As an OS-agnostic app, you can download Tile for Android or Apple for free (though the app strongly pushes you to upgrade to paid) to keep location data on your compatible items. Once you register and give the app the rights to your location settings, it walks you through each step to track and identify the left and right earbuds. When you tap to find the buds, the buds will emit a whirring noise.

You can’t add the case, so if you lose the case when the buds aren’t in it Tile can’t locate it for you. If you already have a Tile account and use the system, it’s handy to have it in one app.

Because the Dime 2 controls aren’t customizable you’re stuck with the default settings. This is where the budget further reveals itself. It can also be easy to forget some of the commands. Besides volume and track skipping, the controls are the same on both buds, which is considerate for accessibility reasons. The Dime 2 supports mono listening with either earbud, at least.

LEFT EARBUDRIGHT EARBUD
One press
LEFT EARBUD
  • Play / Pause
  • Answer / End call
  • Find with Tile

RIGHT EARBUD
  • Play / Pause
  • Answer / End call
  • Find with Tile

Two presses
LEFT EARBUD
  • Volume down

RIGHT EARBUD
  • Volume up

Three presses
LEFT EARBUD
  • Voice assistant

RIGHT EARBUD
  • Voice assistant

Four presses
LEFT EARBUD
  • Cycle Bluetooth to connect both earbuds

RIGHT EARBUD
  • Cycle Bluetooth to connect both earbuds

LEFT EARBUDRIGHT EARBUD
Hold 1 second
LEFT EARBUD
  • Skip previous

RIGHT EARBUD
  • Skip forward

Hold 2 seconds
LEFT EARBUD
  • Power on / off

RIGHT EARBUD
  • Power on / off

Hold 4 seconds
LEFT EARBUD
  • Pairing mode from off from power off

RIGHT EARBUD
  • Pairing mode from off from power off

Two presses and hold 2 seconds
LEFT EARBUD
  • Clear paired device

RIGHT EARBUD
  • Clear paired device

How does the Skullcandy Dime 2 connect?

On a wood surface outside the Skullcandy Dime 2 buds have droplets of water on them next to a water bottle and the case.
With an IPX4 rating, the buds can get a bit wet without issue but do not submerge them.

The Dime 2 connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth 5.2. After setting the Dime 2 up, the buds maintain a stable connection over 10 meters with walls and doors in between. The buds are fast to pair with my last used device. I’ve only lost connection once, and the earbuds are great about automatically reconnecting.

You get your choice of the SBC and AAC codecs—no aptX here. At under $30 USD this isn’t surprising. For Apple users, the AAC codec is as good as it gets. Given that AAC and SBC don’t tend to prioritize low latency with Android, the Dime 2 might not be the best pick for streaming video for these users. For audio-only, it works fine with most applications, though if you want a better quality codec, this isn’t ideal for Android.

Connecting the Skullcandy Dime 2 theoretically should be as simple as popping the buds out and waiting to hear a voice saying “pairing” while the buds flash red and blue interchangeably. In reality, pairing the earbuds takes several attempts, and requires popping the earbuds out of the case and holding down the button on the stems (where the Skullcandy logo is) for four seconds to manually prompt pairing. It can take a while for my iPhone to find the Dime 2, and at first only the left bud connects, which means having to do the process again with the right one.

How long will the Skullcandy Dime 2 battery last?

In our test of constant music playback peaking at 75dB(SPL), the Dime 2 battery lasted 3 hours, 3 minutes. If there’s a significant quibble to make with the Dime 2, the battery life is it. While most people don’t listen to anything for 3 hours straight, some of us do. Think about audiobooks, podcasts, and long work days wearing your buds in the office. I can easily drain the Dime 2 during one session from a full charge. Skullcandy doesn’t give you a quick charge to top up the battery either. It takes an hour to fully recharge the buds. This battery life is workable if you only wear buds for a short workout or commute.

Being a cheap pair of earbuds, the Dime 2 lacks fast charging.

Skullcandy suggests there are 8.5 hours of juice in the case. Depending on the volume of your playback, it might be difficult to reach that figure. The lack of quick charge, additionally, means your buds could spend a lot of time charging and not playing. It takes 5 hours for the case to fully charge from empty, at which point the case’s LED changes from red to green.

How well does the Skullcandy Dime 2 isolate noise?

Charts depicts the isolation performance of the Skullcandy Dime 2.
The Dime 2 only isolates higher frequency sounds.

The Skullcandy Dime 2 relies entirely on isolation to block noise. It does this with limited effectiveness, blocking sounds above 1kHz only. It still muffles incidental noise like crashing plates. Because the Dime 2 is pretty basic, there’s no active noise cancelling to tackle low repeating droning sounds. You don’t get transparency mode for when you want to hear the environment either.

How does the Skullcandy Dime 2 sound?

Charts shows a comparison between our ideal and the Skullcandy Dime 2.
The mids follow our curve very well.

Skullcandy proves you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to get a good frequency response. The Dime 2 has a distinctly consumer-oriented curve, with some exaggeration in the lows, and peaks above our target around 5kHz to 7kHz by over 5dB. This treble exaggeration alongside bass and sub-bass receiving 3dB to 5dB in over-emphasis can lead to slightly too quiet sounding mids. Sounds above 8kHz receive too little volume, meaning the Dime 2 reproduces those harmonic overtones more quietly than our ideal.

Lows, mids, and highs

Listening to Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going To Be A Long, Long Time) by Elton John sounds, broadly speaking, good. The kick drum and bass guitar play too loudly (for example at 00:30 when the bass comes in is downright distracting) compared particularly with the piano once the full instrumentation begins. The volume of the acoustic rhythm guitar edges towards a little loud, but not unpleasantly so. John’s double-tracked lead vocals sound clear, with a good amount of detail. In comparison, the Master & Dynamic MW07 Go plays John’s vocals and acoustic guitar slightly quieter and reproduces the percussive elements of strummed guitar strings and initial hits of the cymbals with more emphasis than the Dime 2. Both have some bass emphasis.

A man faces left smiling while wearing the Skullcandy Dime 2 with trees and a street in the background.
Each bud has a single mic at the tip of the stem. The button runs the length of the stem itself with a rubberized texture.

The song One Less Set of Footsteps by Jim Croce sounds quite nice, except for the slightly boosted sibilance (s sounds) due to that 5kHz to 7kHz over-emphasis. Otherwise, that extra bass volume on the Dime 2 adds some low-end oomph to a mainly trebly track.

Certainly, pricier earbuds exist that sound objectively worse, and a bit of extra low-end oomph is somewhat down to personal taste within reason. The Dime 2 toes that line: in the sub-bass, it’s too loud but around 100Hz, the exaggeration isn’t overwhelming. Overall, the frequency curve is one of these earbuds’ strengths.

How is the microphone on the Dime 2 from Skullcandy?

This chart shows the Skullcandy Dime 2 microphone frequency response.
In theory, the Dime 2 ought to sound true to life with a lot of exaggeration where the human voice lands, though it suffers in real-world use.

In ideal circumstances, the Skullcandy Dime 2 microphone sounds reasonably good, especially at this price point. Where the dual mics stumble is with the introduction of environmental noise. Clatter from your office will be captured by the mics, though your voice ought to come through still. Once you try using the Dime 2 on the street, or outside when it’s windy, the mics will start to clip and lose portions of what you say. If you only occasionally need to use buds for phone calls indoors, it sounds decent.

With our Dime 2 paired to an iPhone, the earbuds can’t play the caller’s voice through the headset. Instead, the iPhone delivers audio to the phone’s speaker, rather than the earbuds. What results is a scramble to turn off Bluetooth or to place the buds in the case before answering.

It doesn’t make a difference whether the Settings > Accessibility > Touch > Call Audio Routing is set to “Bluetooth Headset” or to “Automatic”: we still experience the same issue. After re-syncing the earbuds, resetting the earbuds, “forgetting” them from our iPhone’s device settings, and ensuring they’re fully charged, the issue persists. Weirdly, when making a call from the iPhone (as opposed to answering), the buds work just fine. It also works just fine from an Android device, whether initiating or receiving a call.

Unfortunately, the Skullcandy Dime 2 doesn’t have any app to look to for updates to fix such problems. We reached out to the Skullcandy team and it doesn’t appear to be a known, widespread issue. Keep this inconsistent performance in mind depending on your device.

Skullcandy Dime 2 microphone sample (ideal):

Skullcandy Dime 2 microphone sample (office):

Skullcandy Dime 2 microphone sample (wind noise):

Skullcandy Dime 2 microphone sample (street noise):

How does the microphone sound to you?

134 votes

Should you buy the Skullcandy Dime 2?

For under $30 USD you can’t knock the Dime 2 too hard. It fits more comfortably than some pricier competition, for one thing. The case is compact, though the brief battery life and lack of quick charging impede its usefulness. These buds are definitely meant as a straightforward music package, and for that purpose, they perform, but they’re a little rough around the edges.

A hand holds the open case of the Skullcandy Dime 2 in front of a garden of wildflowers.
Sporting a short battery life without quick charging is a real drawback.

You don’t get the frills of mappable button commands, and the buttons themselves are stiff. This one is not for you if you take a lot of phone calls, because the mic is mediocre and works unreliably, particularly with iPhones. Skullcandy doesn’t provide additional app support for updates (besides Tile if you lose it), but you do get mono listening and an IPX4 rating.

With the low price, it’s a low-risk investment. The Dime 2 is a decent set of backup buds for those times when you don’t want to risk your more upscale buds. If it weren’t for the lackluster battery life, I’d say everyone should have a pair as a spare for music.

Chart compares frequency responses of the Skullcandy Dime and Skullcandy Dime 2 with our target response.
Sounding largely the same in the highs, the original Dime neglects the rest of the frequencies.

Sometimes it’s worth saving a few bucks; this is not one of those times. The original Skullcandy Dime seriously rolls off the midrange and bass. Unless you only listen to podcasts, that frequency response difference alone is reason to spend the extra $10 USD for the newer, Dime 2.

Shown in True Black colorway on a white background is the Skullcandy Dime 2 True Wireless Earbuds.
Skullcandy Dime 2 True Wireless Earbuds
All prices listed in USD unless otherwise specified. Prices may change over time, and vary by region. Unfortunately, we cannot list Amazon prices on the site, as they vary greatly by currency.

What should you get instead of the Skullcandy Dime 2?

At about $20 USD, the JLab GO Air POP pushes the price-to-features ratio to the limit. Surprisingly, it has a good sound, if a little light on the low end. The GO Air POP has an IPX4 rating like the Dime 2. If your main concern is phone calls, it’s probably not the best pick. The GO Air POP has an incredible 11 hours, 4 minutes of battery life. This completely trounces the Dime 2 battery life.

The JLab GO Air POP with one earbud outside of the case.
The JLab GO Air POP has mono listening mode and staggering battery life.

In the land of budget options, consider the Anker Soundcore Life A1. For sizeable doses of bass, the A1 delivers. You still retain some luxuries like a very nice IPX7 rating, which you don’t find on even some of the most pricey true wireless buds. Anker gave the Soundcore Life A1 wireless charging compatibility and an impressive 8 hours, 23 minutes of battery life on a single charge. Still, it’s worth noting that while the A1 sells in the neighborhood of $50 USD, that’s nearly double the price of the Dime 2.

Frequently asked questions about the Skullcandy Dime 2

Nope, the Dime 2 does not work with the Skullcandy app, so controls and firmware are not able to customize or update. It does use Tile for tracking the earbuds.

Skullcandy claims the Dime 2 is better for the environment, but besides recyclable packaging, it’s not clear how the Dime 2 is better for the environment than other true wireless earbuds with batteries.