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Realme Buds Air 2 TWS Earbuds Review: Gratifying Performance Fused With ANC On Budget
Realme's new budget true wireless earbuds have taken the competition a notch higher in the sub-5K category. Priced aggressively at Rs. 3,299, the Buds Air 2 is the most affordable pair of TWS earbuds with active noise cancellation (ANC), a feature commonly seen on premium offerings. The successor to the well-received Realme Buds Air also improves on design, in-ear fit, battery life, and most importantly- the sound quality.
- Loud And Clean Audio
- Comfortable Fit
- Long-lasting Battery
- Crystal Clean Voice Calling Experience
- No Volume Controls
- Audio Lacks Refinement
I spent some time with the Realme Buds Air 2 to evaluate its audio and the ANC performance. Here's our review of the all-new Realme Buds Air 2 which is going to start a new trend of affordable ANC-enabled true wireless earbuds in India.
Realme Buds Air 2 Touch Controls
The Buds Air 2 supports ‘Smart Wear Detection' which works efficiently to automatically pause music when you take either buds out. And as far as touch controls are concerned, you can double-tap to play/pause music and answer or hang-up calls. A triple tap plays the next track and long-pressing (2s) on one earbud lets you reject calls. If you long-press both earbuds (2s), you can quickly switch between ANC and Transparency Mode. These functions are enabled by default but you can customize the touch controls in the Realme Link App.
How Good Is ANC?
The Buds Air 2 is the most affordable pair of TWS earbuds with active noise cancellation. The truly wireless earbuds feature a feed-forward mic that can cut down the external noise up to 25dB. This is not a big number but what more can you expect from a sub Rs. 3,500 TWS earbuds. Having a dedicated setup to cut down external noise is itself a feat at this price-point.
As far as real-life performance is concerned, the entry-level ANC setup is good enough to suppress low humming sounds (Computer fan noise, home appliances' noises, etc.) but fails to obstruct higher frequency sounds. It is obviously not as effective as ANCs we have tested on premium earphones but for a sub Rs. 3,500 TWS earbuds, it serves just right. The ANC becomes more effective when you play the music on the Buds Air 2. It makes the overall listening experience more immersive than non-ANC earphones.
Overall, if you haven't experienced ANC before, the Readme Buds Air 2 will be a good start. The companion app offers three ANC modes- Noise cancellation, General, and Transparency. The former worked just fine for my music requirements.
Realme Buds Air 2 Audio Performance
Similar to the Buds Air Pro, the Buds Air 2 is also powered by 10mm Hi-Fi drivers with support for AAC codecs. For a sub-Rs. 3,500 true wireless earbuds, the buds Air 2 sound excellent. The sound quality is better than the OnePlus Buds Z and even some true wireless earbuds that are priced higher. The audio delivery largely focuses on two things- Heavy bass and powerful audio, which is a tried and tested formula at the budget price segment and has been working well for many brands. The 10mm drives produce very loud audio which when combined with ANC makes for an immersive listening experience.
What's truly impressive here is the wide soundstage achieved by these budget TWS earbuds. I could hear music left, right and middle and it did sound good on these budget earbuds. Although it is impressive but can make audio sound unnatural if the music sweeps in from different directions when it is not called. But that's a concern for true audiophiles that know what soundstage they want (wide or narrow) and I am sure that's not the audience for Realme at this price-point.
Moving on, the low-frequency response is good but the bass could have been tighter. It sounds thumpy and is good enough to make music enjoyable. The vocals are clean but the treble seems to be too rich for my taste. Also, these earbuds struggle when you play a complicated track with too many instruments playing together. These earbuds largely serve well for bass-heavy tracks and music with rich vocals.
Moving on, you can also make some adjustments to audio from the companion app. The app offers some presets including- Bass Boost+, Lively and Clear. The latter worked well for my audio taste.
Realme Buds Air 2 Voice Calling And Gaming Experience
I found the Buds Air 2 to be a better pair of TWS earbuds for voice calling than the Realme Buds Air Pro. The two microphones on each bud enable noise reduction during a call to offer a clean voice call experience. Further, the earbuds claim to have 88ms low latency to allow for a smooth gameplay experience.
Realme Buds Air 2 Battery Life And Connectivity
The Buds Air 2 lasted for about 4 hours on one full charge with ANC enabled and volume levels fluctuating between 70% and 80%. The charging case adds another 3-4 charge cycles which should give you a total audio playback of 13 to 15 hours. As far as the charging cycle is concerned, it takes around 1hr to charge the earbuds from flat to 100%. Overall, the Buds Air 2 has pretty good battery life.
The Buds Air 2 maintained a stable connection with all devices I tested including various Android phones, iOS devices and Windows PC and I did not experience any connection drops. The earbuds work on the latest Bluetooth 5.2 and have a transmission distance of up to 10 meters.
The Realme Buds Air 2 is a well-rounded package for anyone looking for feature-rich budget TWS earbuds. It brings a workable ANC setup, comfortable fit, immersive audio and long-lasting battery life at a very aggressive price. It is hard to find a better overall deal than the Realme Buds Air 2 at this price. If you can shed some extra money to buy something better, you can check out the Oppo W51.