The Skullcandy Vert Wireless Earbuds Review
The Skullcandy Vert Wireless Earbuds were born out of the desire to create a set of wireless earbuds that worked for a wide array of adventure sports endeavors. A lot of wireless audio solutions fit very specific needs. Skullcandy set out to create a set of wireless earbuds that fit a wide range of activities…from the slopes to single track to the road, and pretty much anything in between. Being that Skullcandy is based in Park City, Utah, I think they have a pretty good finger on the pulse of what adventure sports enthusiasts truly want. Do the Verts hold up to the demands of those enthusiasts? Read on…
My time with the Skullcandy Vert Wireless Earbuds was spent trail running, mountain biking, road biking, hiking and one short stint of snowshoeing. Conditions ranged from sunny and hot to cold, blustery and snowy. Basically, I threw the kitchen sink at these things in an effort to see if they lived up to Skullcandy’s billing.
Product Features of the Skullcandy Vert Wireless Earbuds:
Versatility (8 out of 10)
Skullcandy markets the Verts as being a one-stop-shop for your adventure sports audio endeavors. To that end, I did my best to put them through their paces on a wide range of activities as mentioned above.
The unique piece of the puzzle with the Skullcandy Vert Wireless Earbuds is the Bluetooth puck that is at the heart of the experience. The puck’s standout feature is that you can pretty much clip it to anything…helmet strap, goggles, backpack, collar, shirt, hat/visor, etc. I did my best to attach it to as many different parts of my gear as possible to see just how well it survived.
I can happily say the puck rocked. We all have preferences in placement based upon dominant hand, wire travel, reach, etc., and the Skullcandy Vert puck handled it all flawlessly. The cord from the puck to the earbuds isn’t exactly long, but as long as you have it placed from your shoulders up, you shouldn’t have any trouble with it pulling or snagging. For most of my testing, the puck simply disappeared as I would forget it was even attached until I needed to replay Jane’s Addiction’s “Just Because” or crank the volume on Guns ’n Roses “Paradise City”. The clip was taut and firm with no bouncing or sliding. It took me a few outings to decide on my favorite placement, but once dialed I found it to be a seamless, comfortable piece of kit that did its job without fuss.
As long as the Skullcandy Vert Wireless Earbuds were either locked in place with a strap, hat or helmet, or the nature of my activity wasn’t too jarring, I never had any trouble with them dislodging from my ear canal. The only time I struggled with them jostling loose was during a few warm-weather trail runs where all I had on my head was a hat without ear coverage. The bouncing nature of rugged running combined with my unique ear canal shape caused the Verts to feel like they wanted to fall out. So much so that I constantly tried to adjust their placement during those runs. Annoying AF. That being said, they never actually came out, but the sensation was enough to distract me.
For a true running-focused set of Bluetooth earbuds, check out our review of the Jaybird RUN XT True Wireless Earbuds.
All other test situations went smoothly and the earbuds just sort of receded into the background as you’d hope they would.
Controls (9 out of 10)
The Skullcandy Vert puck controls were another highlight of the experience. Simple, easy to use, and thoughtful in how it functions, the puck handles all the duties one might need to dive into…whether you’re wearing gloves or not.
All the basics are there…volume control, skip/replay, play/pause, voice assistant activation, phone call handling and even Tile integration (although I wasn’t able to test this feature, it’s a pretty nice bonus in case you’re forgetful.) Once you master the various button pressing combinations and dial twists, the functionality is actually pretty simple.
The only button on the Skullcandy Vert Wireless Earbuds is large and easy to use, even with bulky gloves on. The outer ring of the puck is a dial that rotates a quarter turn or so in each direction to control things like skip/replay, volume up & down, etc. The controls worked well, again, even with bulky gloves on, which is really nice. However, one small note on clipping the puck…if it isn’t uber-secure, rotating the dial to skip a song requires a rotation and hold for 2 seconds that can cause the puck to want to rotate off its perch. This is easily remedied by either being mindful of your rabid rotational skills or by securing the puck firmly to whatever it’s attached to.
Function/Sound Quality (8 out of 10)
At the end of the day, the Skullcandy Vert Wireless Earbuds are purpose-built to play music while you send it, rip it, shred it, or whatever. So, how well do they do that you ask?
Let’s talk about sound quality and how Skullcandy approaches this with the Verts. If I were to judge the Verts based solely on sound quality alone (and in a vacuum) I’d likely give them a score closer to a 6 or 7 out of 10. But you see, Skullcandy intentionally gave the Verts the ability to allow a fair degree of ambient sound to filter through your RapCaviar playlist. The idea being that if you’re on the slopes or singletrack, it isn’t a bad idea to be able to hear a little bit of what’s going on around you. And I couldn’t agree more.
Using the Skullcandy Vert Wireless Earbuds on my road bike, I found it comforting to be able to hear cars approaching while pushing up a steep climb to The Cult’s “Firewoman”. I also appreciated being able to hear a friendly, if not startling, dog closing in on me from behind as I ran my neighborhood to Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” (yeah, that’s right.) The small sacrifice you make in sound isolation and thumping bass is made up for with the ability to still be in touch with your surroundings. And considering the Verts are designed to be used in some rather extreme situations, that’s a pretty good sweet spot.
Do I wish there were a touch more bass? Sure. Am I willing to sacrifice it knowing I have the ability to avert impending doom from forces around me? Hell yes.
Skullcandy Vert Wireless Earbud Summary: (8.5 out of 10)
Wireless earbuds purpose-built to add just enough jam to your shred sandwich, all while keeping you connected to your environment.
With a battery life of 10+ hours, Bluetooth connection that refused to drop, waterproof design, a sonic experience that finds the sweet spot between sound quality and environmental connection and a user interface that just plain works, I surprisingly find myself reaching for the Skullcandy Vert Wireless Earbuds almost every time I head out the door. And that’s really saying something as I’m the guy that prided himself on NEVER relying on music during my various adventures. Consider me sufficiently schooled.
Specs/MSRP of the Skullcandy Vert Wireless Earbuds:
The Skullcandy Vert Wireless Earbuds come in Fearless Black (your guess is as good as mine on what that means) and are available now for an MSRP of $79.99 and can be purchased directly from Skullcandy.