Realme has been bullish on phone launches and almost all of the new arrivals are accompanied by interesting accessories. The recently launched Realme X2 was accompanied by a very interesting pair of wireless earphones, the Realme Buds Air. (Realme Buds Air Review हिंदी में पढ़िये)
Now, Affordable and truly wireless buds aren’t unheard of as of today, but the feature-price ratio of the new realme buds did catch us by surprise. Besides, the fact that Realme has done quite well with its audio accessories in the past had our expectations soaring high.
Are the Realme Buds Air equally impressive? That’s exactly what we have been trying to figure out for the last ten days and we will now talk details in our Realme Buds Air review.
- Realme Buds Air Review: Design and Fit
- Realme Buds Air Review: Hardware and Connectivity
- Realme Buds Air Review: Audio and Calls
- Realme Buds Air Review: Battery
- Realme Buds Air Review: Verdict with Pros and Cons
Realme Buds Air Review: Design and Fit
Apple AirPods. There, I said it. That’s what Realme Buds Air will remind you of. Even when there are a few differences, the most prominent one being flatter stem for pods, users will inevitably confuse them with AirPods when they are loose or up hanging high.
Whether this is a good thing or bad depends on how you view one tech company taking ‘inspiration’ from another popular product. And I, for one, am a bit disappointed.
Realme Buds Air comes in a square shape charging case. The glossy finish case has an LED indicator and a small (and only) clickable button on the front. There’s Realme branding on the flip side while a USB Type-C charging port at the bottom.
The lid opens and shuts easily with a very gratifying snap and the individual earbuds magnetically cling to the case. Initially, we were a bit skeptical, but the glossy exterior of the case has resisted daily wear and tear and scuff marks remarkably well. The dirt and grime do get into the interstices.
The buds have a unibody design with small spherical shaped tops and side-firing drivers. Lack of Silicone tops means that the sound leaks a bit with high volume.
If you observe closely, there are two sensors visible on the sidelines of the speaker grill. Realme has added two mics on each bud for effective noise cancellation while taking calls. One microphone is positioned at the joint while the other one fitted on the stem itself. The stem truncates with a silver ring and two golden pogo connectors at the bottom.
As for the fit, the Buds Air do feel fairly snug and comfortable. To be doubly sure, I have been wearing them to the gym and to my surprise the buds didn’t stumble out even once. The earbuds are also quite light and comfortable to wear for long durations. I really have no complaints about fit and design.
READ: Realme X2 Review
Realme Buds Air Review: Hardware and Connectivity
The Buds Air is driven by Realme’s own custom R1 chip and offers several interesting features. The first TWS earbuds from Realme house 12mm Dynamic Bass Boost drivers.
Connecting the Realme Buds Air with my phone was a simple process. And after initial pairing, the buds seamlessly connect to your phone every time you flip open the lid.
As for controls, double-tap on the top surface of the buds to receive a call/ play or pause music. Tap three times to skip a song and you can tap and hold (or long-press) on either one of the buds to activate voice assistant or to decline a phone call. A single tap does nothing (and that takes care of accidental touches).
Realme uses real-time dual-channel transmission technology to handle both the earbuds independently so you can control using touch controls on either one of the two earbuds.
There’s also an e-sports mode which gets activated when you long press on both earbuds simultaneously. What does this e-sports mode do, you may ask? Well, it reduces the range to 6-meter to improve bitrate and bring latency down to 120-milliseconds.
The buds also have smart in-ear detection feature which means they have sensors that can detect whether the buds are in your ears and can automatically play or pause audio accordingly.
We have been using the Realme Buds Air for a week now and have to say connectivity wise, we haven’t had a single instance where we faced fluctuations, single drop or latency issue. We did notice some delay in the execution of tap commands at times.
Apart from audio-quality, its the seamless pairing and convenience of use (gestures and zero wires) that make such buds hugely popular. And in these regards, the Realme Buds Air is right up there with the best.
Let’s now discuss the audio quality.
Realme Buds Air Review: Audio and Calls
This is the part that matters the most for any audio equipment. How well does it sound?
For our testing, we paired the Realme Buds Air with Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus, Huawei P30 Pro and Macbook Air. With Realme’s disruptive history, we were hoping for support for at least one of Qualcomm’s proprietary codecs – aptX, aptX LL, and aptX HD. Well, Realme had other plans. The Buds Air support only sub-band codec (SBC) and Advanced audio coding (AAC) codecs out of the box. Nonetheless, the Buds Air delivered similar results across platforms.
What hits you instantly about the Realme Buds Air is the loudness. For a small package, they are really loud. The sound signature is clearly mid-centric trying to find a balance between mids and lows. Bass is decent but lacks the extra punch. Having said that, those who love Jazz or rock music should be satisfied with these budget offerings.
We played tracks like Dave Brubeck’s renowned Take Five symphony from Time Out and Peter Gunn Theme performed by Henry Manchini. For such music, the buds struggled to separate audio from different instruments. Sound staging lacked depth and wasn’t as crisp as some of the costlier counterparts. Having said that, the comparison would be grossly unfair considering the budget. The Realme Buds Air isn’t really designed for the Audiophiles but the average consumer should find these TWS good enough for day-to-day listening.
We also tried these buds for gaming (in low latency mode) and while consuming content on Netflix. With popular first-person shooters (FPS) games and racing games, there was none so lag whatsoever. Even while watching Irishmen on Netflix there was no latency in audio transmission.
We also used these TWS Buds for regular calls. Calling was surprisingly convenient, loud and clear. Noise cancellation works remarkably well while calling, and a big thumbs up to Realme for that.
Realme Buds Air Review: Battery
How long can they last? Realme claims 3 hours of standalone battery life and with the charging case, the backup can be stretched over 17 hours. Well, we verified these claims by streaming Swades which has a runtime of three hours and thirty minutes. We prepared a bowl of popcorn and put on our fully charged Buds Air before we started. Since they deliver clear vocals we set the volume to around 65 percent. And yes, the Buds Air lasted for the entire movie.
From a depleted state it takes about an hour to fully charge the buds. The case does support fast Qi wireless charging. Fast charging isn’t supported, though.
Realme Buds Air Review Verdict: Should you buy it?
What really impressed us about the Realme Buds Air is the ease of use. Convenient pairing, long-lasting battery, comfortable fit, and gestures that work make these TWS earbuds standout.
On the downside, the audio quality, while being above average, isn’t audiophile-grade, and the design is a bit too inspired by Airpods. The aggressive pricing, however, should make it easier for consumers to forgive these flaws.
If you are looking for truly wireless earbuds priced under 5k, the Realme Buds Air are the ones we wholeheartedly recommend.
- Stable Connection
- Excellent mids and decent bass
- Low latency gaming mode
- Type C charging port & QI wireless charging support
- IPX2 rating
- Minor lag in touch response
- Average soundstage