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The Skullcandy Mod XT earbuds inside of its case.
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Skullcandy Mod XT review

Here's our nod to the Mod.

Published onDecember 14, 2023

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Skullcandy Mod XT
The bottom line
The Skullcandy Mod XT doesn't fully set itself apart from other earbuds in a similar price range, but it does what it can do quite well. The IP55 rating, Bluetooth multipoint, and good isolation make this pair of earbuds a great choice for anyone not trying to break the bank.
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Skullcandy Mod XT

The Skullcandy Mod XT doesn't fully set itself apart from other earbuds in a similar price range, but it does what it can do quite well. The IP55 rating, Bluetooth multipoint, and good isolation make this pair of earbuds a great choice for anyone not trying to break the bank.
Product release date
July 21, 2022
$59.99 USD
62 x 58 x 26 mm (case)
54.8g (case); 4.7g (one earbud)
Model Number
What we like
Bluetooth multipoint
Tile integration
Fast charging
What we don't like
Buttons are hard to press
Case isn't very secure
SoundGuys Rating
User Rating
Rating Metric
Our Rating
User Rating
Isolation / Attenuation
Durability / Build Quality
Battery Life

Skullcandy headphones got a lot of us through the 2000s with their affordable style and widespread availability. The Skullcandy Mod XT is an affordable and minimalist pair of true wireless earbuds, but can it set itself apart from other cheap true wireless buds?

We spent a week with the Skullcandy Mod XT and found out everything you need to know.

Editor’s note: this review was updated on December 14, 2023, to add our new frequency response charts and an FAQ to address the differences from the earbud’s non-XT counterparts.

Anyone looking for budget, true wireless earbuds will appreciate the simplicity and durability of the Skullcandy Mod XT.

What’s it like to use the Skullcandy Mod XT?

The matte black case of the Skullcandy Mod XT.
The case is small and light, but the hinges can be a bit loose.

The Skullcandy Mod XT is a pair of true wireless earbuds. It’s only available in matte black, and the design is simple but familiar to anyone who knows about Skullcandy products. The individual earbuds are oval-shaped with silicone ear tips, which come in three sizes. The case is similarly matte black, and both the buds and case have a glossy black Skullcandy logo on the side. The hinge feels a bit flimsy, and the case opens easily. The buds are held in with magnets, but if the case is shuffling around at the bottom of your bag, it will likely open, and the buds may end up strewn across your belongings.

Wearing the Skullcandy Mod XT is comfortable. The small ear tips fit me really well, though they sometimes slide out of my ears after a few hours — that’s normal for me and may not happen with you. However, the earbuds can also fall out when using touch controls, which I’ll touch on in the next section. There is no stabilizing ear wing to keep it in place, so even though the Mod XT has IP55 water and dust resistance, exercising won’t be the best. That said, the IP rating is helpful if you get caught in the rain, or the buds fall into a puddle or the dirt.

How do you control the Skullcandy Mod XT?

The Skullcandy Mod XT earbuds in a hand.
The earbuds are pretty comfortable to wear, though touch controls can make them dislodge.

Initially, I thought the controls on the earbuds were capacitive touch controls, like most other true wireless earbuds, but there’s actually a physical button on each earbud. This means you need to push on your ear to control it, which can range from uncomfortable to painful, sometimes making the earbud fall right out of my ears. Not a great design, especially considering how many earbuds, even budget ones, have capacitive touch controls.

Press once
Press twice
Volume down
Volume up
Hold one second
Track back
Track forward

Should you use the Skullcandy app?

The Skullcandy app is really useful for the Mod XT. The app is laid out oddly, with the menus flowing rather than having dedicated pages. You can see how much battery is left in each earbud, turn on Stay Aware mode, change some touch controls, and view guides for how to use your earbuds. You can also adjust your EQ between the music, podcast, and movie presets or make a custom EQ.

The Skullcandy Mod XT also allows for Tile integration for tracking your earbuds if you lose them. If you download the Tile app, you can pair the Mod XT with it so that your earbuds will ring to help you track them down. However, this requires allowing location permissions, so if you’re big on internet privacy, this won’t be a great feature for you.

How does the Skullcandy Mod XT connect?

The Skullcandy Mod XT being worn by a person while they hold a phone.
The Mod XT has Bluetooth multipoint, which is super convenient.

The Skullcandy Mod XT connects over Bluetooth 5.2, using the SBC and AAC Bluetooth codecs. This means there’s no high-quality Bluetooth audio option for Android, but that’s not surprising for budget earbuds. It supports Bluetooth multipoint, so you can easily switch between your computer and phone. If multipoint is set up, the earbuds will automatically switch to your phone if you get a phone call while you’re using the buds on your computer.

How long does the Skullcandy Mod XT’s battery last?

Skullcandy claims the Mod XT battery lasts seven hours, and we found that pretty accurate. In our objective battery testing, with a constant output peaking at 75dB(SPL), the battery lasts 7 hours and 25 minutes. The case also adds an extra 27 hours of charge, for a total of 34 hours from the buds and case. It also has rapid charging, which gives you two hours of playtime from only 10 minutes of charging. The Skullcandy Mod XT charges via USB-C, and the earbuds come with a very short USB-C to USB-A cable.

How well does the Skullcandy Mod XT block out noise?

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The Skullcandy Mod XT does a good job of blocking out noise. Low-end noise is blocked out quite well compared to other true wireless earbuds I’ve used, which allows for it to dampen noises like the low droning frequencies of an air conditioner or a garbage truck in the alley. It doesn’t completely get rid of these noises, but they’re definitely quieter and less distracting.

Getting the right fit is vital to getting good isolation from in-ears like the Mod XT, so test out each ear tip in order to block out as much noise as possible. If you don’t get a secure fit from your ear tips, you’re not going to have the best level of isolation, which can make music a lot less enjoyable, and it can make you turn the volume up to dangerous levels to make up for it.

How does the Skullcandy Mod XT sound?

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The frequency response chart for the Skullcandy Mod XT is surprising compared to the legacy of Skullcandy’s sound profiles. There’s a big boost in the bass and sub-bass frequencies, but overall,l it’s very close to our Headphone Preference Curve. Music should sound fine for most people across all genres. There are also EQ presets for other media, like the podcast preset, that boost highs and vastly de-emphasize lows.

Lows, mids, highs

When I listen to Chloroform by Phoenix, the loud bass, sub-bass synth, and kick drum throughout the song are present and prominent, but they don’t distract from the higher synth, snare, or vocals. The bass boost is rather enjoyable for a song like this and doesn’t present any issues.

At the beginning of Loose Lips by Kimya Dawson, the guitar strumming creates some low and boomy sounds, which is slightly distracting, but that issue goes away fairly quickly. The bass emphasis from this headset definitely makes it more noticeable than if I listen to the song through headphones with a flatter frequency response. So, if you plan on listening to indie music where the track isn’t necessarily the most polished, you may notice more quirks of recording like this.

Can you use the Skullcandy Mod XT for phone calls?

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The microphone on the Skullcandy Mod XT is perfectly fine for phone calls. In ideal conditions with no background noise, voices are fully intelligible. Background noise like street noise or wind can make voices cut out, so if you’re taking a phone call, make sure to be in a quiet area with little background noise.

Skullcandy Mod XT microphone demo (Ideal):

Skullcandy Mod XT microphone demo (Street):

Skullcandy Mod XT microphone demo (Wind):

How does the microphone sound to you?

711 votes

Should you buy the Skullcandy Mod XT?

The Skullcandy Mod XT earbuds beside the case.
The Mod XT is a reasonable choice if you want cheap and durable earbuds.

If you’re in need of an affordable pair of true wireless earbuds, the Skullcandy Mod XT might be worth considering.

With an IP55 rating, comfortable and secure fit, and pretty good sound, the Mod XT does what it does well. The sound profile is slightly bassy but not overwhelmingly so, and the EQ options in the app make it even more versatile. The annoying buttons on the earbuds is a significant downside if you like to control your music through touch controls primarily. Still, if you prefer using your device for controls anyway, that can be easy to look past.

Skullcandy Mod XTSkullcandy Mod XT
Skullcandy Mod XT
Affordable • IP55 • Isolation
MSRP: $59.99
Great earbuds that don't break the bank
The Skullcandy Mod XT does what it can do quite well. With IP55 rating, Bluetooth multipoint, and good isolation, this pair of earbuds are a great choice for anyone not trying to break the bank.

What should you get instead of the Skullcandy Mod XT?

The JLab JBuds Air Pro inside the open case.
This is a fair choice for athletes on a budget.

If you want a bassier sound from your earbuds, the JLab JBuds Air Pro is also IP55 rated, and it has capacitive touch controls rather than buttons. The sound profile can be a downside if you want a more neutral-leaning sound, and the battery life also isn’t quite as good as the Mod XT. It’s similarly priced at $59 at Amazon, so depending on your preferences, the JLab JBuds Air Pro might be worth considering.

The Jabra Elite 3 is a little more expensive at $59 at Amazon, but it’s IP55 rated, sounds good, and supports the aptX Bluetooth codec. It doesn’t support AAC, but if you want higher quality audio on Android, this is a good consideration for an overall similar pair of earbuds.

The Jabra Elite 3 sits on a wooden table in front of a window with one bud out.
The Jabra Elite 3 delivers premium features at an affordable price.

If you want to go really cheap, the JLab GO Air POP is $24 at Amazon, IPX4 rated, and has a great 11-hour battery life. This is an excellent entry-level true wireless option for anyone trying not to break the bank. The TOZO T6 is another affordable pair of earbuds, but it has an IPX8 rating for added water resistance. It also has six ear tips to choose from to find your perfect fit, and a longer battery life than the Mod XT, clocking in at 8 hours and 8 minutes in our testing. It’s available for $26 at Amazon.

Frequently asked questions about the Skullcandy Mod XT

First off, the Skullcandy Mod XT, Skullcandy Indy ($29 at Amazon), and Skullcandy Indy Evo ($28 at Amazon) have the same IP55 rating. The sound of the Skullcandy Indy is markedly worse than the Skullcandy Mod XT and Skullcandy Indy Evo because the original Skullcandy Indy drastically rolls off low-end frequencies. Meanwhile, the Skullcandy Indy Evo has more bass than the Mod Xt (a bit too much unless you want bassy earbuds), but it has the worst isolation of the three earbuds. Most people are best off with the Mod XT out of the three options.

No, the Mod XT does not support voice controls.

The Skullcandy Mod XT and the standard Skullcandy Mod earbuds are essentially identical in terms of features and performance. The key difference lies in their availability and appearance: the XT models are exclusive to Walmart and offer unique color options. Beyond these cosmetic variations, the XT earbuds are the same as their non-XT counterparts, including the Evo models.

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