Skullcandy - Skullcandy XTFree


Intras sport Skullcandy XTFree: simple and light

Aprox. 59€ - see price -

Besides nomadic helmets more colorful than each other, Skullcandy also offers listening solutions for sports souls. The XTFree bring together the best of the brand in this area, with wireless communication and a launch price below 100 euros. Intras which could have been interesting, if they had been more complete and mastered on certain points.

Our review


The Skullcandy XTFree come in a simple and discreet format, all protected by thick plastic and rubber. This design offers lightness and resistance. Each intra is threaded like a classic intra and has a large enough base to accommodate the on-board electronics. The manufacturer therefore does not do like its counterparts, who often choose a passage over the ear. Bluetooth pairing is easy and most of the steps are marked by voice and light indications, except for Bluetooth disconnection.

The control is fairly easy to access during exercise and gives access to essential functions: volume, pause / play, navigation between tracks and call management. Unfortunately, it does not launch the smartphone voice assistant. The accessories consist of a cable tie, a storage pouch and two pairs of silicone end caps with their open version, which greatly reduces the insulation if you want to be aware of your environment. An extra pair of tips, such as memory foam, and a smaller pair of stabilizers wouldn't have been too much.

Indeed, although the XTFree offer overall good comfort for most body types - the intras are easily inserted and stay very well in place, in addition to being light - on small ears (with small ducts and conches), the stabilizer sometimes struggles to fit properly without forcing a minimum. Therefore, the intra can slightly compress this area, which is felt on sessions that last more than 1 hour / 1 hour 30 minutes. Still in practice, we had no problem on the side of sweating: intras are very well protected and did not show any signs of weakness during our two weeks of testing.

Autonomy is announced at 6 o'clock for this pair, which in fact respects its promise without fail. Even if it seems little, it remains a good result against the competition which does not really do better (6 hours for X2 and Powerbeats Wireless, 3 hours for Sport Pace Wireless). The manufacturer does not specify whether the XTFree have a quick recharge function, but in all cases, a short twenty minutes of recharging once the battery is flat allows you to enjoy a good hour of use.

There is nothing in particular to report concerning the on-board microphone in the control: the voice is picked up properly indoors and outdoors, even during the race or in fairly noisy environments.



Good big V signature, that's what the XTFree offers. If you like deep, but not overly invasive bass and sharp treble, you're going to be served.

Contrary to what the measure might suggest, the bass extremes are a little quieter. The bass is generally very present and punchy, but tends to hang around a bit. Therefore, this register is not very defined, but it remains a precise minimum to identify the sources. On the other side, the high mid / treble zone between 5 and 8 kHz is very much in the spotlight, which brings a lot of clarity and brilliance to the sound rendering, but also accelerates hearing fatigue. It can work if you like nasty heavy metal or electro, but it can be problematic if you are used to listening to your music at high volume. Voices and guitars are propelled towards the front of the stage, as is the metallic aspect of cymbals, for example.

Despite this marked sound color, the scene remains quite precise and understandable. The stereo is not extremely wide, but remains readable. Sound insulation is correct for a sporting activity. The XTFree do not completely cut off from the rest of the world and it is possible to hear a minimum of what is going on around you. If you prefer to hear your surroundings clearly, you can opt for the special tips developed by Skullcandy: they are effective, but completely cut the bass and low mids.

This pair of intras offers good power (163 mV to reach 94 dB) with relatively contained distortion. However, it remains too high in the midrange, which partly explains the problems of hearing fatigue that we have observed.

Finally, the Bluetooth communication latency is around 210 ms. It is a bit light to offer comfortable listening when watching a film or series, especially since the phenomenon seems to increase slowly over long periods. To be completely comfortable and limit any possible discrepancies between sound and image, apply a delay on the image or an advance on the sound if your player allows it.



The Skullcandy XTFree prove to be correct in this particular exercise that is sports listening. However, they are placed directly in front of the Jabra Sport Pace Wireless, which, in addition to being more complete, are generally more effective in the essential areas of comfort and quality of sound rendering.