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HomeiPhoneSkullcandy's Rail ANC Earbuds: A Balanced Mix of Performance and Price

Skullcandy’s Rail ANC Earbuds: A Balanced Mix of Performance and Price

  • Skullcandy’s new Rail ANC earbuds offer premium features and ANC technology at a sub-premium price
  • The earbuds provide 38 total hours of battery life with the charging case and wireless charging
  • The sound performance is ‘fine but not amazing’, and ANC performance is just average

Skullcandy might be the king of inexpensive wireless earbuds, but its latest Rail ANC earbuds sing a different tune, raising the budget price with only mediocre performance increases. The Rail ANC features active noise-canceling technology and starts at a higher $99.99 price point, while the non-ANC Rail retails for $79.99. Both products feature Multipoint Pairing, redesigned ergonomic fit, water resistance, voice controls, and stay-aware transparency mode.

Bluntly, the sound performance for listening to music is fine but not amazing. As with most silicon ear tips, you must also get a good seal for the best sound potential. Rail ANC provides enough thump in the low-end bass to keep songs interesting and lively, but don’t expect much more. The app has a personal audio configuration to adapt the sound signature to individual ears, though it didn’t make a noticeable difference for us. Noise-blocking was nearly non-existent unless we spent some time getting the ear tips perfectly sealed. Even with a good seal, we weren’t overly impressed with how well Rail ANC blocked out the sounds of a crowded room.

The earbuds come with a charging case that extends the total battery life to 38 hours and can be recharged wirelessly by laying on a QI charger. The Skullcandy iQ app is available to adjust settings and perform other functions, though the touch controls left much to be desired. Ear detection is not present on the Rail ANC, meaning music won’t pause when you remove an earbud from your ear. Skullcandy’s voice commands are present, but you must say “Hey Skullcandy” each time you want to pause, play, or skip tracks.

The Rail ANC wireless earbuds strike a balance between price and performance, however they may not block noise well enough to justify the extra money over the regular Rail earbuds. The fit and comfort are good, however the sound is barely better than the non-ANC model. Ultimately, it may be worth considering the Rail ANC earbuds, but spending a little more on earbuds with better ANC performance would be recommended if you want to block out distractions. The Rail ANC earbuds are available from Skullcandy for $99.99.

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