Skullcandy, a familiar name in the headphone and TWS market, known for its distinctive colours and bass-centric sound profiles, has introduced its latest offering, the Skullcandy RAIL ANC TWS. I’ve been plugged in for a couple of weeks, and here’s how it fared
The Skullcandy Rail ANC TWS looks different with its transparent plastic shell which lets one see the electronics inside the earbuds. Looks aside, the plastic build feels good and looks premium. The fit was cosy and secure when I was typing away at my desk or just swinging by colleagues’ bays nearby. However, it could have been built with a firmer hold to accommodate usage during more dynamic activities such as jogs or playing sports.
The touch-sensitive stem allows for convenient controls, such as play/pause and track skipping. At times it gets a little too sensitive, for example, when I’d remove the headphones to put it back in the case, my touch would register as wanting to play skip to the next track.
I used the Skull-iQ app to activate voice control, change the default control as well as tweak equaliser settings. It also let me fine-tune the active noise cancellation range and transparency options. The app is quite intuitive and also quite easy to navigate. I could also use the built-in voice assistant to control the volume and run basic voice commands by saying “Hey Skullcandy…” followed by some request for the earbuds.
The Skullcandy RAIL ANC TWS is one of the best bass-tuned TWS I have reviewed in recent times. It features 12 mm drivers which gives the earbuds a punchy low and clear mid-audio profile. While listening to a bass-heavy track like The Weeknd’s Starboy ft. Daft Punk, the lower volume vocals were clear with the mid-level audio captured well in the midst of heavy thumps and synth instruments. I ended up enjoying listening to 4 hours of Gundam OSTs on the Rail ANC and felt it did justice to its price point, which I touch upon a little further along.
The Rail also makes for a preferred accessory for watching movies. All the explosive gunfire from Rohit Shetty’s Indian Police Force boomed around, and the actors’ voices still came through clearly on the buds.
The call quality of the Rail ANC was satisfactory, thanks to its four mics. Friends said that while my voice was clear to them, it occasionally has a slightly synthesised effect with ANC on.
The Skullcandy Rail’s battery lasted well over seven hours with ANC on. The overall battery life is rated at 38 hours with the case. The case also supports wireless charging which is a given at this price range. From 0-100, It took 2-3 hours to charge the headphones and case.
The Skullcandy Rail ANC is one of the best true wireless stereo buds when it comes to deep and detailed bass output, and a decent ANC mode as well. However, it does face stiff competition from the likes of Sony WF-1000XM5 and the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd gen), which are around the same price point but deliver even better overall music and call quality.