Realme has solidified its presence in India, which is no mean feat considering the company set foot in the subcontinent a mere three years ago. In that time, the brand has not just launched a bevy of enticing smartphones, but has managed to create an ecosystem of products that comprises IoT gear, TVs, audio products, and other accessories. And, it looks like the brand is going full steam ahead, as the company recently launched a slew of new earphones in the country, including the Buds Wireless 2 Bluetooth earphones. I managed to get my hands on a pair and here’s what I make of it.
Design and Comfort
The Buds Wireless 2 looks undeniably like a Realme product, which can be accredited to the unit’s yellow accents. Now, some of you might have grown out of the company’s iconic colourway, but I still adore the brand’s trendy accents. That said, you can opt for a more inconspicuous gray shade too, which is nice.
It’s clear that Realme has gone above and beyond with the design of its latest product. Not only do the Buds Wireless 2 look good, but they pack a bevy of features that make them that more convenient to use. Now, let’s see if the earphones impress in the sound department too.
Spec-wise, the Realme Buds Wireless 2 draws quite a lot of parallels with the Buds Wireless Pro launched a while ago. For instance, both the earphones ship with a pair of 13.6mm drivers, offer support for Sony’s LDAC codec, and are high-res certified. That being said, in my testing, the Buds Wireless Pro sounds much better. Now, honestly, I can’t put a finger on why the Buds Wireless 2 doesn’t sound as good – it could have something to do with the new Realme R2 chip which has been put in place of the S1 chip, or maybe the company has employed different 13.6mm drivers. Regardless, I would like to preface that while the two earphones share the same spec-sheet, their acoustic prowess could not be any more different.
So, how do the Buds Wireless 2 sound? Well, the earphones offer a bass-forward sound signature to boot, that can overwhelm other frequencies. However, with the ‘Bright’ preset enabled from the Realme Link app, the bass output changes for the better. In particular, the vocals open up and the beats sound less boomy. Unfortunately, the bass still bleeds into the rest of the frequency spectrum, thereby muddying the overall sound output. The same was evident in Tyler the Creator’s Juggernaut and here, not only did the vocals sound gratuitously deep, but the instruments in the background struggled to make a mark. Similarly, the highs felt lackluster with little to no sparkle and quick roll-offs, even before a note hit its peak. Listening to The Killers Mr. Brightside, I was expecting the chorus to sound energetic, but the treble output made the strums from the electric guitar feel a bit too relaxed.
Battery Life, Call Quality, and ANC
The Realme Buds Wireless 2 allegedly offers 10 hours of battery life on LDAC codec with ANC enabled. In my testing, the pair managed to last me a little over eight hours off a single charge, and that’s with the ANC and LDAC enabled and the volume hovering around 70-80 percent. That said, you can get much better battery life out of the pair if you use the AAC codec instead. What’s more, the unit also ships with the company’s Dart charge technology which should come in handy if you’re in a rush as it offers up to 12 hours of music playback off a 10-minute top-up.
The call quality was to my liking as well. I didn’t notice any erratic voice drops, and the clarity was sublime too, so no complaints here. As for the ANC, well, it’s fantastic too – at least for the price. It’s not as strong as what you’d get with the Buds Wireless Pro, which combines FeedForward and FeedBack mics to maximize ANC. On the flip side, the Buds Wireless 2 only offers FeedForward mics, which is to be expected given the earphone’s wallet-friendly pricing. Regardless, the earphones managed to dampen all sorts of noise, including construction noises ensuing from the house next door that’s undergoing renovation, to the birds chirping near my window, etc.
The Buds Wireless 2 retail for Rs 2,299 and for the price, bring a lot to the table. That said, the earphones can’t hold a candle to the OPPO Enco M31, which in my books, is still the best neckband-style wireless headset around Rs 2K. So, if you preface the audio quality over everything else, I’d recommend you opt for OPPO’s offering. However, if you can make do with a bass-heavy sound signature and want added niceties like ANC, as well as better battery life, then the Realme Buds Wireless 2 is a solid buy too.
Editor’s rating : 3.5 / 5
- Good-looking, sturdy design
- Powerful ANC
- Long-lasting battery life
- Sound signature could do with some tuning