realme is getting serious into personal gadget accessories, or the growing category of IoT devices. Called as TWS (True Wireless Sound), the brand just introduced its own Buds Air to combat or take a share of the massive market of audio devices for every smartphone.
Introduced by Apple during the iPhone 7 launch, the Airpods is now a 13 Billion USD product with massive income. All these by just removing the headphone jack, and introducing a new method of listening to music more independently.
In a nutshell here are the main features
- R1 Chip for fast connection
- Wireless Charging or Type-C Charging
- Bluetooth 5.0 + Super Low Latency Mode for Gaming
- Wear detection sensor
- Auto-Connect upon opening
- Touch Sensor Controls
- Up to 3 hours per charge and 17 hours via the provided case
So how does the realme Buds Air fair to the competition? Fortunately, Buds Air inherits the majority of the characteristics of realme for being competitive while still delivering value.
Nothing surprising here, the realme Buds Air looks inspired by the Airpods at one glance. Though it has some characteristics that make it different.
Primarily the buds themselves are small and light, just 4.2 grams for the buds and 42.3 grams for the whole unit. Making it very portable in weight, and manageable to the ears that you still feel something for a more secure fit.
At the back of the case is a text saying “Designed by realme” which is very inspired by the tech giant. While the overall shape of the case is slightly bigger and more round than the Airpods. At the front, you can also see the indicator light for charging, paring, and also battery indication.
A small chrome finish at the bottom can be seen to swipe the base, making it squarish as well in overall shape as compared to the circular stem of usual TWS. This square-rounded edge makes it more manageable to hold with a better overall grip.
At the bottom is the USB Type-C port that can intake charging for the 3.7V / 400mAh battery in the case. This translates to 17 hours of usage according to realme, but we still have to verify this with more use, so far 2 charges are enough for us in a day of use.
Pairing & Connection
Connecting to the phone simply requires to push the button on the case to blink orange and it will prompt pairing. But you will only have to do it once, cause the realme Buds Air is equipped with Google Fast Pair technology that automatically connects upon opening the case. So by the time it reaches to your ears to wear, its already paired once again and ready to play music.
We like the fact that the earbuds are also equipped with a sensor to tell if you’re wearing them or not. It saves battery when not in use and ultimately avoids the unnecessary songs playing while not using. Still, you can use the Buds Air with one ear when necessary, but we think it’s still better to use two at the same time as the environmental noise cancellation isn’t muffling enough to make you unaware of your surroundings.
Overall control is easy, we actually like that realme was able to maximize the controls up to triple taps and even simultaneous touches.
- Double-tap: Answer a call; play/pause music playback.
- Triple-tap: Skip to next song.
- Press and hold one side: Launch voice assistant; end/decline a call;
- Press and hold both sides: Enter/exit Gaming Mode.
Ear-Fit / Comfort
Fit into the ear is nice, the plastic finish is smooth for the overall earcup. The size might be one size fits all, but we think it can fit most ears today even with the ones with big sizes. The overall goal is that the buds can have a snug fit to the ear to avoid it falling off.
Weight-wise isn’t annoying, just enough like a normal wired earphone.
The overall audio quality of the Buds Air is above average, most affordable TWS tends to overpower the lows or Bass to jack up impression. But the realme Buds Air has a decent driver that delivers proper audio bass that doesn’t overpower the mid and highs to hear instruments and even vocals.
Low – Bass are felt but without the overpowering of the instruments in music. Bass preference audio junkies might find it weak, but it’s understandable for a driver this small.
Mid – Instruments are clear and distinguished, we hear most instruments with the exemption of side sounds like chimes or rattling like maracas.
High – Vocals are to high instruments are felt nice, perhaps this is one factor that can distinguish the Buds Air against cheaper TWS devices.
Overall volume is actually loud, too loud that can damage the ear. So we suggest operating only up to 75% volume in order to avoid distortion of music and care for your eardrums.
Super Low Latency Mode – Gaming
realme is promoting a Super Low Latency mode to enhance the wireless latency down to 119ms or the decent latency to play games well. With games like Mobile Legends giving a warning for lags in audio and WiFi, when playing with Bluetooth speakers/audio.
Activating the Super Low Latency Mode is easy by simply pressing the sensor for both sides and holding for 5 seconds. You will hear a car revving initiating the mode for the super low latency mode. Playing 3 ranked games of Mobile Legends didn’t result in any lag given with proper internet connection. This is completely opposite when connected to Bluetooth speakers such as the JBL Flip 4 where the audio has delayed the actual game.
In our experience, we like the overall feeling of using the Buds Air where you get the audio more immersive straight to the ear rather than the speakers of your phone.
Charging can be done both wired or wireless in our experience, the wireless charger is a cool addition in our preference. But technically the Buds Air is faster to charge with a Type-C cable. Our charging time took less than 45 minutes, so it shouldn’t be an issue for charging but more of the battery life.
The Buds Air can definitely take 2 hours minimum of music per charge session, though we still have to do the overall 17 hours as advertised. 2 Charges in a day using the Buds Air is enough for our busy lifestyle, we think its just safety to avoid charging the case every day.
Overall the Buds Air actually delivers all the features that the Airpods 2 can deliver including wireless charging. Audio quality is above average, with even the impressive Super Low Latency mode for playing games is a delight.
The realme Buds Air’s SRP is Php3,990 but will be initially available for Php2,990 via Lazada, with the first 100 purchasers will have a free wireless charger. Sale starts January 22, 2020 12 Midnight. Plus you can also avail the special 2,990 price on January 29, and February 5, 2020.
Overall the package the Buds Air provides can definitely fight over the Airpods 2, technically 3 Buds Air is already one Airpods 2.
Additionally, realme is offering vouchers to get the realme Buds Air for Php3,490 via their Facebook Page. Plus an offer to get a Php1,000 discount if you get the realme Buds Air with a realme smartphone in one purchase.