Skullcandy has released a couple of new pairs of true wireless earbuds onto the market, this time a premium offering, one with and one without ANC.  The new Rail ANC and Rail True Wireless earbuds are priced at $229.95 and $169.95 respectively making them Skullcandy’s most expensive true wireless earbuds.

The Rail ANC and the Rail earbuds differ by very little with the Rail ANC offering a 4-mic ANC offering while the Rail focusing more on the quality of sound only.  

Skullcandy sent us a set of the Rail True Wireless earbuds to check out.  Read on to hear our thoughts.

Design and fit

The Skullcandy Rail earbuds are an AirPod stem-style earbud, albeit with a very short stem.  They include a silicon tip at the end which helps them to fit comfortably into the ear canal without having to be wedged in tightly (and uncomfortably) – there are three different ear tip sizes included for you to get your best fit possible.

The shape of the earbud allows it to sit into the outer section of the ear while the bulb on it secures it into the ear.  The section of the earbud that faces the ear is translucent which, while looks cool when out, cannot be seen while the earbud is in and I’m not convinced has any actual functional purpose.

The Rail earbuds offer IP55 sweat, water and dust resistance which worked just fine to me although I mostly tested them out around the home and at the gym – not out in the rain.

The top of each stem of the earbuds has a touch-sensitive button to allow you to control the media.  This is extremely easy to use and because of the stalk you won’t go accidentally pressing it when removing or adjusting the earbuds.  


Skullcandy offer a fairly comprehensive app, the Skull-IQ app, where you can control the button settings, how much of the external noise is allowed in (Stay Aware), the equaliser, Find with Tile functionality, and multipoint pairing.

Skullcandy also offer their own voice assistant and I’m not sure why.  I was not a fan of it last time I tested it out as I just can’t see a use for it.  Sure, you can use it to control the functionality of the earbuds but why not build that into Google Assistant or Alexa – these are assistants which have a lot more uses.  I just think their time and money could be spent on much better items.

You can trigger your Assistant using the Skull-IQ voice assistant but why?  Some folks may use the Skullcandy assistant while I dare say a lot more would not.  

How do they sound?

The Skullcandy Rail earbuds are priced at $169 so we expect them to sound around that price.  They do not sound anywhere as good as the Jabra Elite 10 but then they cost twice as much.  A similarly priced set of earbuds are the Sony Linkbuds S which, although are over a year old by now, are priced at $165 so I played my usual headphone testing playlist on both of these sets to hear the differences.

The Skullcandy Rail has a deeper and stronger bass, as if often the case with the stem earbuds but the mids and upper end of the register were a lot clearer, louder and crisper on the Sony earbuds.  

It is a difficult thing to determine which you should go for to be honest with one effectively lacking bass and the other being blown off the park in the mid to upper end of the register.  The Sony earbuds offer ANC along with some nice GPS-locale functionality as well so I’d probably defer to them in the end.

I also compared the Rail alongside the JBL Live Pro 2 which these days come in around $160. The JBL earbuds, also a stem design, offer a much crisper mid and upper end but a lot less in the lower register. The Skullcandy Rail earbuds offer better bass but lack the accurate and clear sound in the upper end that the JBL offer.

Should you buy the Skullcandy Rail earbuds?

As a general rule the Skullcandy Rail sounded decent but it is a hard sell at the $169 mark – to be honest I think Skullcandy should have just sold the ANC version at $180 and foregone releasing the non-ANC version at all.

By themselves they do not disappoint with great bass and some decent sound through the mid to upper end but the price is possibly too much for what they offer.  That being said other newly released earbuds of similar sound quality are often more expensive.  

They fit well, are comfortable for long periods of time and are secure within the ears and won’t be dislodged easily. The controls are easy to use and one of the better control experiences you will find on TWS earbuds.

Rail ANC is available now in a True Black colourway for $229.95 RRP while Rail (reviewed here) is offered in True Black and Bone colourways for $169.95 RRP on