OPPO Enco X review: acoustic supremacy

OPPO Enco X punch way above their weight in terms of sound quality

Smartphone brands routinely diversify their portfolios to incorporate the most sought-after devices and accessories. Off late, TWS earphones have been on everyone’s mind (and ears) and as a result, we’re seeing more and more companies foray into the audio space with their offerings. OPPO, for instance, put forth some enticing options last year, and to kickstart 2021, the brand has launched the OPPO Enco X, a pair of premium TWS earphones that support ANC (Active Noise Cancellation). Having used the pair for well over a month, I am convinced that these are the best TWS earphones under Rs 10K and if you’re curious as to why, read on.

Design and Comfort

I won’t beat around the bush at all – the OPPO Enco X draws a lot of similarities to Apple’s AirPods Pro in the design department. Now, in all fairness, there are only so many ways to design a pair of in-ear type headphones and consequently, it’s impossible to completely mitigate any similarities in the design of two different sets of buds. But, during my time with the Enco X, I was routinely asked whether they were the ‘new Apple buds’ or not. 

Thankfully, the casing for the Enco X looks unlike anything on the market and the individual earbuds come nestled inside a premium pebble-shaped case. The case also features a silver band that wraps over the unit’s circumference and gives the otherwise understated design an edgy look. You’ll also notice the ‘co-created with Dynaudio’ badge etched on one side of the case, along with a USB Type-C port at the bottom to charge the earphones. There’s only one physical button on the case that is present near the unit’s right-hand spine and is used to put the Enco X in pairing mode. Some other notable design elements include IP54 certification for the buds as well as support for Qi-wireless charging for the case. 

The OPPO Enco X leaves no stone unturned in the comfort department either. For one, the individual earbuds shift the scales at just 4.8g and consequently, they won’t weigh your ears down. Secondly, OPPO has greatly minimised the length of the protruding stems too. Coupled with the earbuds’ angular nozzles, the Enco X ensures a snug fit in the ear, and the buds stay anchored even when you’re working out.


I was also quite satisfied with the OPPO Enco X’ touch controls which can be invoked by tapping the stem on either the left or the right earbud. Now, as prefaced earlier, the Enco X feature rather minuscule stems, but I didn’t run into any issues using touch/swipe-based gestures on the unit. You can somewhat interchange the layout for the functions using the HeyMelody app, but as things stand, the customisability options are far and few in between. All things considered, the OPPO Enco X features a familiar yet good-looking design that’s extremely comfortable to wear over extended periods of time.

Sound Quality

Coming to the meat of the matter, the OPPO Enco X are easily the best-sounding earphones in their price segment. In fact, the buds punch way above their weight and can go toe-to-toe with the industry’s finest TWS, including the likes of the Jabra Elite 85T, the Galaxy Buds Pro, and more. But, before I talk more about the unit’s sound quality, let’s talk specs. The OPPO Enco X ship with a Coaxial dual-driver design featuring an 11mm dynamic driver and a 6mm balanced membrane driver inside each earpiece. The earphones can operate across a frequency range of 20Hz-20KHz and are compatible with SBC, AAC, and LHDC codecs. For the uninitiated, LHDC is a proprietary codec that is on par with Qualcomm’s aptX HD and LDAC in terms of bandwidth and latency. However, there are only a handful of devices that come with support for the same (the Mi 10T Pro, for instance), and at the time of testing the earphones, I didn’t have a compatible smartphone on hand. Consequently, the majority of my testing was done on AAC codec. 


With that out of the way, you should know that the OPPO Enco X offers a fairly neutral sound signature with a slight emphasis on the highs. The unit’s treble output is phenomenal and I reveled listening to guitar-heavy songs via the Enco X earphones. Clearly, the presence of two drivers is helping the Enco X’ cause immensely as the 6mm balanced membrane driver is tasked with handling solely the highs, and the segregation of frequencies ensures a more refined output. Case in point, 24KGoldn’s City of Angels, a song that employs a variety of different musical instruments, and here, the strums of the guitar at the start of the track don’t lose their bite when the kickdrums or the vocals come into the picture. 

This also speaks volumes about the Enco X’ instrument separation, mind you. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised by how well the earbuds managed to distinguish one instrument from the other in the Avalanches’ Frontier Psychiatrist, which simply put, is a cacophony of sounds. As for the low-end, well, there’s plenty to like here too. While the bass output isn’t as thunderous as what you might expect from a pair of Sony TWS, it’s extremely fastidious and offers little to no decay. So, if your playlist comprises tracks from artists like Billie Eilish, Nas, etc, you’ll find yourself tapping to the beats in no time.

ANC and Battery Life

Much like the OPPO W51 launched a while ago, the Enco X also come with support for ANC. Now, from my experience, the ANC is strong-enough to eliminate background noise and create a quiet atmosphere for work, but it’s not as impactful as what you’d get with the Galaxy Buds Pro, or Sony’s WF-1000xM3 TWS earphones. Bear in mind that for the price, the ANC chops on the Enco X are unmatched. What’s more, the earphones also come with a transparency mode, as well as two different levels of ANC, making them a tad diverse and usable in different scenarios. 


In terms of battery life, the OPPO Enco X leave a little to be desired and I managed to get around three hours of use from the buds (with ANC disabled) off a single charge. I am currently working from home and therefore, wasn’t too fazed by the unit’s lower-than-average battery backup. But, I’m sure the scenery will change when I have to commute to work. So, if you find yourself away from a wall outlet often, you might want to invest in a power bank when you buy the OPPO Enco X earphones. Thankfully, the Enco X offered a robust connection to my phone which didn’t falter even when I was a couple of feet away from the device. I was also quite pleased with the unit’s call quality and my voice was relayed clearly over to the other end, which is great.

Verdict

The OPPO Enco X retail for Rs 9,999 in India and for the price, the earphones are a no-brainer. In fact, I am convinced that for their asking price, you cannot get better-sounding earphones at the moment. Add to that the Enco X’s stylish and comfortable design, and the powerful ANC, and looks like OPPO has a winner on its hands. So, if you have a budget of around Rs 10K, I urge you to give the OPPO Enco X a shot – you will not be disappointed. 

Editor’s rating: 4.5 / 5

Pros: 

  • Surreal sound signature 
  • Stylish and Comfortable Design 
  • Powerful ANC

Cons:

  • Devices that support LHDC codec aren’t as widely available 
  • Sub-par battery backup 
Photos by Raj Rout