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These $40 Wireless Earbuds Ask a Really Big Question

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Are you willing to sacrifice battery life to help save the planet?


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Skullcandy makes quite a few wireless earbuds and they all cost less than $100. The company’s newest wireless earbuds, the EcoBuds, stay true to form, costing just $40. But they’re also different from most other options in one major way: They don’t come with a charging case that actually charges them. 

As the name suggests, Skullcandy is positioning EcoBuds as the brand’s most sustainable wireless earbuds to date. Yes, they’re made mostly of certified recycled plastics, but what really makes them “eco-friendly” is the fact that their case doesn’t have a lithium-ion battery. That’s because, as noted by TechRadar, a report from the Institute for Energy Research found that the mining and production of lithium-ion batteries can be “worse for the climate than the production of fossil fuel vehicle batteries.”

Of course, this also means that when it isn’t plugged into a power source, the case doesn’t charge the EcoBuds, but simply holds them when they’re not in your ears.

The tradeoff is obvious. Whereas most charging cases can triple or quadruple the battery life of your wireless earbuds, the EcoBuds have a 8-hour battery life. This means you’ll have to recharge them significantly more frequently than most other wireless earbuds.

The Skullcandy EcoBuds have a simple design and fit similar to Apple’s AirPods Pro. Skullcandy

To charge the EcoBuds, you simply put them in the case and then plug the case into your smartphone, laptop or a wall adapter. The case has a built-in USB-C cable that makes it relatively simple to recharge, and it supports fast charging; a quick 10-minute charge promises two hours of juice per earbud. The phone charging (aka reverse charging) element is worth calling out: Assuming your phone has a USB-C port and a decent amount of battery life, it’ll give your buds a pretty nice boost in a pinch, on the go. 

The case has a built-in USB-C cable that supports reverse charging. Skullcandy

While the omission of a true charging case helps the EcoBuds be more environmentally friendly — and helps keep the price down — it also forces consumers to consider a pretty interesting question: Are you willing to sacrifice convenience (aka longer lasting wireless earbuds) to reduce your impact on the planet?

The Skullcandy EcoBuds are available in just one colorway, a white and blue swirl called Glacier. Skullcandy

As for the EcoBuds themselves, these are pretty barebones wireless earbuds. They don’t have fancy features like active noise-cancellation or transparency modes, although you can shuffle between three EQ presets.  They have an IPX4 rating, just like AirPods Pro, so they are splash resistant and safe to work out with. 

The Skullcandy EcoBuds are available now in one rather appropriate color: Glacier.


Skullcandy EcoBuds

The Skullcandy EcoBuds are the company’s most eco-friendly wireless earbuds to date. They’re made mostly out of recycled plastics, but they also lack a case with a lithium-ion battery. To charge them, you connect the case’s built-in USB-C cable to your smartphone, laptop or wall adapter.


Battery Life

8 hours per earbud




Glacier (white/blue)