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Skullcandy’s latest wireless buds charge from your phone

SkullCandy EcoBuds connected to a phone.

Skullcandy’s new EcoBuds wireless earbuds take a novel approach to sustainability. Instead of using a rechargeable battery inside a charging case, the $40 EcoBuds come with a charging base with a short, built-in USB-C connector that’s designed to draw power from the USB-C port on most smartphones, including the iPhone 15. The new earbuds are available starting March 5 at various retailers and

Skullcandy says that by eliminating the charging case battery and by building the buds from 65% certified recycled plastics, the EcoBuds achieve a 50% lower carbon footprint than comparable wireless earbuds.

SkullCandy EcoBuds.

In its quest for material reduction, Skullcandy has even nixed the usual case lid that keeps a set of wireless earbuds from coming free of their case accidentally. It claims that the built-in magnets should be enough to keep the buds secure in the case.

The EcoBuds will only come in one color: a blue-and-white marble pattern meant to pay tribute to the glaciers and other natural landscapes that the company says it aims to protect.

Along with their pared-down design and price, the EcoBuds offer a minimal set of features: three EQ modes (Music, Bass Boost and Podcast), Bluetooth 5.2, and IPX4 sweat and water resistance.

Though the absence of a case-based battery reduces the total amount of time the earbuds can go between wired charges, the EcoBuds have plenty of stamina — up to a claimed 8 hours of battery life. When connected to a phone, a rapid charge of 10 minutes gives you an additional 2 hours of playtime.

Of course, you don’t need to use your phone; the EcoBuds can be plugged into almost any USB-C source of power. However, the tiny cable length may make some charging scenarios slightly awkward.

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Simon Cohen
Contributing Editor, A/V
Simon Cohen covers a variety of consumer technologies, but has a special interest in audio and video products, like spatial…
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