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Skullcandy's $100 ANC earbuds promise a comfortable fit and custom EQ

Along with the Rail ANC, it unveiled the $80 Rail with hands-free voice control and more.


Skullcandy is known for its budget wireless earphones like the $20 Smokin' Buds, but it's going a bit more upmarket with a new line of products. Called Rail, it offers both ANC and non-ANC versions that cost less than $100 but have features typically found on more costly wireless earbuds.

The first model is the Rail ANC with adjustable 4-mic active noise cancellation, along with a "Stay-Aware" mode when out and about. It also has a "Smart Mic" option that reduces background noise so others can hear you better. You get up to 10 hours of battery life or seven with ANC on, along with an extra 25/20 hours (ANC off/on) when using the charging case. It's sweat, water and dust resistant, though the company didn't supply a specific IPX rating.

The Rail ANC is loaded with other intelligent features, some more useful-looking than others. Those include the ability to issue simple, hands-free voice commands (via its own device assistant) to turn on and adjust Stay-Aware mode, activate the device assistant, launch Spotify Tap and more. It's supposed to get smarter over time via new features released over-the-air on the Skull-iQ app. With Bluetooth 5.2, it comes with multipoint pairing, letting you pair to two devices at once, regardless of platform or manufacturer.

You can tune audio to your own hearing ability "by taking a real-time audio test to create a personal sound profile," the company said. On top of that, it comes with custom EQ modes and you can also customize the buttons via the Skull-iQ app. One nice feature is support for Tile's Finding tech, so if you misplace an earbud, you can "ring" it using the Tile app.

The Rail, meanwhile, has no ANC but a bit more battery life, with eight hours in the earbuds and 34 hours in the charging case. As for charging speeds, 10 minutes of charge equals two hours of playtime. Otherwise, the feature set is the same, and they look identical as well. With both models, the company is promising a "universally ergonomic fit," thanks to the use of VR and other "cutting-edge" design tools. The company didn't say much about sound quality in the PR, though.

The Rail (in True Black and Bone) and Rail ANC (in True Black) are now available exclusively on Skullcandy's website for $80 and $100 respectively.