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Friday, December 03, 2021

Realme Buds Wireless 2 review: Active Noise Cancellation on a budget

If you are planning to buy affordable wireless earphones and are confused about whether you should buy the Realme Buds Wireless 2, then read our detailed review to clear your doubts.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Rs. 2099
Written by Ankita Garg | Lucknow |
Updated: November 23, 2021 3:24:14 pm
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Realme offers a number of wireless earphones in the Indian market, and it recently added one more to its portfolio. The Realme Buds Wireless 2 is the company’s latest budget Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) earphones. It has features similar to the Realme Buds Wireless Pro launched last year. The difference is very minute, but the Pro version is more expensive.

Here’s our review of the new Realme Buds Wireless 2.

Realme Buds Wireless 2: Design, build, comfort

With the Realme Buds Wireless 2, it seems as though the company has used the same design blueprint as with Realme Buds Wireless Pro. But in fact, it has made some subtle changes. The biggest difference is that the new one comes with CD-inspired non-touch panels, which makes it look cool.

The aesthetic change is also noticeable in the earbud housings, which have a slightly different shape. The neckband design and control module are indistinguishable from the Pro version.

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The earphones are flexible and have a plastic build, but they still feel quite solid. They come with thick rubber cables, but I will still advise users to use them carefully if they don’t want them getting frayed. The new earphones offer a neckband design and are not completely wireless.

But there are certain advantages that you get with a neckband in comparison to TWS. You can hang the Realme Buds Wireless 2 earphones around your neck when you are not using them and there is no extra annoyance of putting earbuds back into a case. Users also don’t have to worry about losing an earbud, which is usually the case with some of the TWS. However, you don’t get the convenience of changing tracks or adjusting the volume using touch controls.

The Realme Buds Wireless 2 comes with an in-line remote, similar to most of the affordable neckband earphones. The controls are easy to reach and one can use the remote to adjust volume, play/pause/change music, or receive/dismiss phone calls.

Realme also offers different modes – Noise Cancellation, Normal, and Transparency. One can also switch between these using the same remote.

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The earbuds support a magnetic clamp mechanism too, a feature that was made popular by OnePlus. It also helps save battery as when you snap the earbuds together, they will automatically turn off. Separating them will play music automatically. However, when I separated the earbuds, the device didn’t play the same song and I had to either listen to another song or switch to the old song using the phone. The magnetic controls also prevent wire tangles; however, the magnets are a bit weak as the earphones get separated when stuffed in a messy bag.

These are budget earphones, but they come with an IPX5 rating and can thus withstand sweat and water splashes too. The Realme Buds Wireless 2 were very comfortable to wear all day. The company bundles Large, Medium, and Small silicone ear tips as well in the box. So, one can try all the sizes to get a snug fit. The default silicone ear tips that you get with the earphones offered me an almost perfect fit.

Realme Buds Wireless 2: Audio quality, ANC

The Realme Buds Wireless 2 comes with the company’s latest R2 chip and has 13.6mm bass boost drivers. It even offers support for SBC and AAC Bluetooth codecs. If your smartphone supports Sony’s LDAC codec, then you will get much better quality and detailed sound than SBC. LDAC is sightly better than Qualcomm’s aptX HD and supports the transfer of 24-bit, 96 kHz (Hi-Res) audio files via Bluetooth. While SBC clocks at 328kbps, LDAC supports up to 990kbps bit-rate, which means that Sony’s tech can transfer a lot more data in comparison to other codecs. It is worth mentioning that you will rarely find LDAC support on cheaper wireless earphones.

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It can offer you some bass-heavy sound, which is good for listening to pop, EDM, and Hip Hop music. However, the bass is a bit over-amplified, which results in unclear vocals and treble sections. This was not the case with the Pro version. The Buds Wireless 2 earphones were not able to offer ample separation for the acoustic instruments. Most casual listeners won’t have much of an issue and will get good enough experience.

The Active Noise Cancellation is not as effective, though not completely useless. It can cancel out the voices of people or if something is playing in the background up to some extent, which should be enough for budget-conscious users. But it won’t be able to remove heavy machinery and other high-frequency sounds. The ANC is claimed to be capable of canceling up to 25dB. All-in-all, ANC did its job, and it did make quite a difference when I enabled it.

The earphones offered very good clarity when I was indoors for calls. Outdoors, the sound clarity was good enough even in a slightly noisy environment. In addition to this, I didn’t notice a delay in the output while gaming or binge-watching when the earphones had enough battery.

But, users are advised to charge the earbuds before it hits 10-15 percent charge to avoid the laggy connection and audio sync issues. The good thing is that the earphones can be charged quickly, so you won’t have to wait for a longer time once the battery percentage is low.

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Realme Link App, Connectivity

The company has a Realme Link app too, which one can download from Google Play Store. It offers several sound effects, a game mode, noise controls, and other features.

There are three noise control modes, Normal, ANC, and Transparency. You can switch to any of these modes using the app or the remote control present on the right module of the earphones. The transparency mode can be used when you want to listen to background noise. The Normal mode lets you hear minimal background noise, whereas the ANC mode helps block it out to some extent.

The app also includes three sound effects, Bass Boost+, Dynamic and Bright. These don’t make a larger impact on the tracks, but I mostly used the Bass or Dynamic mode as it offered slightly better sound than Bright mode. One can also use the app to change button placements and call settings. The Realme Buds Wireless 2 connects easily to your smartphone.

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Realme Buds Wireless 2: Battery life

The company is claiming that these wireless earphones can provide up to 22 hours of battery life. However, I got around 14-15 hours of battery life with ANC. The volume level was mostly less than 70. If you continuously listen to music or watch TV series for more than six hours, then you might be required to charge them in just 2 days, which is fine.

Results may vary based on your usage pattern. I was using Realme’s 65W smartphone charger, which gave an 80 percent charge in less than 15 minutes. With a low 18W or 10W charger, you will likely have to wait for an hour.

Realme Buds Wireless 2 review: Verdict

The Realme Buds Wireless 2 is selling for Rs 2,099 and can be on your buying list. These offer several features at an affordable price, but the audio quality is just fine. You do get good battery life and design, as well as a great companion app to customize a few things. For a better audio experience, you can also consider the Oppo Enco M31. However, this one doesn’t offer support for Active Noise Cancellation and Sony’s LDAC codec.

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