Realme has been very active in the affordable TWS space from the very start. The company has introduced several models over the years and gradually improved its shortcomings. The newly launched Realme Buds Air 2 TWS earphones lie somewhere in the middle of the company’s TWS portfolio and promise ANC for a very competitive price of INR 3299.
How well do the Realme Buds Air 2 sound and perform? How effective is their active noise cancellation? We will answer all these questions and more below in our Realme Buds Air 2 review in order to help you decide if these are the TWS buds that you should buy.
- Realme Buds Air 2 price in India and specifications
- Realme Buds Air 2 review: Design and comfort
- Realme Buds Air 2 review: Features, connectivity and call quality
- Realme Buds Air 2 review: Sound Quality, latency, and ANC
- Realme Buds Air 2 review: Battery
- Realme Buds Air 2 review verdict, pros & cons
Realme Buds Air 2 price in India and Specifications
|Product||Realme Buds Air 2|
|Dimensions and Weight||Charging case – 60.3 x 57 x24 mm; 34.5 grams|
Buds – 4.1 grams each
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 5.2, dual-channel transmission|
|Noise cancellation||ANC, Dual mic calling noise cancellation|
|Touch controls||Yes (capacitive)|
|Proprietary app support||Realme Link app|
|Battery||rated for 25 hours playback (Buds + case)|
Realme Buds Air 2 Review: Design and Comfort
The first thing we noticed was how similar the case is to that of Realme Buds Air Pro. It’s cobble-shaped and made of glossy plastic. The lid feels durable and can be flipped open using just one hand. The magnets holding the buds are quite strong and you will need to operate with both hands to pull the buds out.
There is also a pairing button on the slanted side edge, which we would have certainly missed had the app not pointed to it. The USB C charging port is present at the bottom.
As similar the case may be, the buds have a new and improved design. These are now a lot more comfortable and snuggly fit in our ears (as compared to the Buds Air Pro).
We could wear the Buds Air 2 for long stretches without tiring our ears. The fit also ensures effective passive noise cancellation. As for the looks, the new chrome finish on the stems is likely to draw polarising opinions. To me, the finish looks really weird.
Also Read: Oppo Enco X review
Realme Buds Air 2 Review: Features, connectivity, and call quality
Setting up Realme Buds Air 2 is simple and convenient. The dedicated button on the case can be used to put these in pairing mode. For now, pairing cards popped up on Realme and Oppo phones, and the Google Fast Pair support will also be functional soon.
The Buds Air 2 can be customized and monitored using the Realme Link App. The app lets you customize touch gestures for each bud, monitor battery, switch between sound presets, and manage ANC.
One noticeable omission is gestures for volume up-down. Personally, I prefer the phone’s hard buttons to adjust the volume so this wasn’t a botheration. I would have also liked a toggle to disable all gestures since that proves very useful while wearing TWS buds in bed. In-ear detection for auto play-pause can be disabled from the app.
Audio is transmitted over Bluetooth 5.2, and the connectivity is excellent within the Bluetooth range. We didn’t face any connection drops or any other related hiccups during our testing.
Considering options available in the same budget, the call quality is certainly above average. Audio on most of the calls we made and attended using these buds was clean and clear.
Realme Buds Air 2 Review: Sound Quality, Latency, and ANC
Realme Buds Air 2 have powerful 10mm Hi-Fi drivers and transmit audio via Bluetooth 5 using AAC and SBC codecs. These are meant for common consumers who mostly prefer bass-heavy audio. There are three audio presets in the Link app – Bass-boost, Lively, and Clear – that address low, high, and mid frequencies, respectively.
To start with, the sound stage is really wide and comparable to the pricier Oppo Enco X. There was a considerable distance between the left and right drum beats in the song Hunter by Bjork and the buds could effectively map left to right movement in Yosi Horikawa’s Letter.
The bass is thumpy and fun and with the ‘Bass-boost’ mode turned on the Buds Air 2 can pick up low-bass notes, like the kind at the start of Michelle pfeiffer’s When You Believe. However, the bass response is not very taught and often overpowers and flows into the mids.
With the lively preset and even with third-party equalizers, we couldn’t get high frequencies to sound quite right. For instance, the cymbals in Zanzibar didn’t have the right zing to them. Realme Buds Air 2 also struggled with portions building up to high crescendo. For example, the build-up to treble drop towards the end of
Michelle pfeiffer’s When You Believe sounded flat and the treble drop lacked the defined impact.
Having said that, it doesn’t seem fair to quibble much about these nuances for the lowly starting price of INR 3,299. Consumers who aren’t fastidious about audio should be perfectly happy with how the Buds Air 2 sound.
They get really loud on their own and work great for watching movies. While gaming, latency was very noticeable. This is however resolved by turning on the Game mode in the Realme Link app. If you are into gaming, we’d recommend you reserve ‘Touch and hold’ gesture on either the left or the right buds for Game mode.
The ANC here is similar to the ANC we usually see on the affordable TWS buds priced under 10k – which is to say that it isn’t really effective in most practical scenarios and can only help eliminate low hums. The good thing is that Buds Air 2 fit really snugly in our ears and passively block most of the noise.
Also Read: Oppo Enco W51 review
Realme Buds Air 2 Review: Battery backup
We mostly used the Buds Air 2 with the ANC turned off, and for us these could last for more than 6 hours on a single charge. The charging case stores more than 2 full charges and take around 2 hours for a full charge. Charging time for buds within the case is 1 hour.
With ANC on and with calling, battery will deplete a tad faster. Overall, the battery mileage is quite assuring and there’s no reason to worry in this regards.
Realme Buds Air 2 Review: Verdict
The Realme Buds Air 2 are among the best options available in the vicinity of INR 3,000. They have a fun sound signature for casual listeners, offer decent battery mileage, and are extremely comfortable to wear over long duration. If you want to buy these for ANC, then you’ll need to balance your expectations.
If you are fastidious about audio, you may consider extending your budget by a couple of thousand for Oppo Enco W51 that sound better.
- Very comfortable
- Long-lasting battery
- Gestures work reliably
- Good passive noise cancellation
- ANC is not effective