Realme at their press event last month launched the Realme Buds Air, the company first Truly Wireless earbuds that can be considered as the best Apple Airpods Knockoff from a reputed OEM. This launch is in line with the brands’ ambitious plans to bring in more IoT and consumer electronics to the country this year.
We got our hands on the white-colored Realme Buds Air and let’s jump right into the review.
Realme Buds Air Specifications
Here are some essential specifications and features of the device.
- Bluetooth Version– 5.0 (LE up to 2 Mbps)
- Drivers –12mm Dynamic Drivers
- Controls: Touch-based
- Earbud Weight – 4g
- Claimed Battery Life – Up to 3 Hours/ Up to 15 hours with the case
- Number of Microphones – 2
- Extra Features – USB C & Wireless charging
- Color – White, Black, and Yellow
- Realme Buds Air
- Quick Start Guide
- Charging Case
- USB Type C charging cable
Right from the second, you lay your eyes on the Buds Air, its blatant Airpods copy is visible. You get the same shallow buds with a long stem and contact pads on the bottom. Unlike the Airpods which have a thick metal insert on the bottom of the buds, you get a fake chrome patch on the Buds Air. One thing to appreciate here is the sheer weight of the buds, which is roughly 4gms each.
The buds are available in 3 shades, White, Black, and Yellow, with the white one being the closest to the whole Airpods look. There are dual-channel mics placed on the buds to aid call quality, while the proximity sensors on-board detect if you’re wearing the buds or not. There are touch panels placed on the tips of the buds and not on the stem which could have a little more ideal place for it.
Similarities just don’t end with the design of the buds, even the case is similar to that of Airpods but is a little compact. You get a fairly decent build quality on the whole unit with a satisfying click on the hinge. There’s a button the face of the charging case to help with the pairing process while the USB Type C charging port on the bottom, and yes Realme managed to add a Type C port to this in under INR 4k. The case also is Qi-certified, meaning you could charge the Buds Air case wirelessly using a certified Qi wireless charger.
Lets now get into the performance aspect of the buds. Realme has managed to fit in a 12mm driver on each of the buds which in our opinion are not that well-tuned. To an average user, they will sound decent but it’s not the case with audiophiles. Now, this issue can be fixed just by changing the EQ settings on your smartphones.
Since the buds are just sitting on the edge of your ears, they don’t necessarily provide a snug fit leading to not so great bass output. In our testing, the sound stage seemed to be balanced with a little more emphasis given on the mids while rolling the highs. One issue we noticed is that at volumes above 80%, the audio will get muddy and distorted to the point that it’ll make you feel uneasy. Then there’s the problem of white noise that you’d notice when no audio is playing on the Buds Air. This high-pitched sound is quite common on cheap TWS buds and might annoy some users, so keep that in mind before securing your purchase.
There’s Bluetooth 5 onboard along with support for SBC and AAC Bluetooth codecs. In order to achieve a stable connection, Realme came up with their chipset called the R1 chip which in our opinion works as expected. Now, this chip also enables Fast-Pair which will be available sometime next month but we’re still not sure how Realme will enable it. Another advantage that R1 chip brings to the table is the addition to the Proximity sensor on each side, to enable play/pause as soon as the buds are taken out or inserted into the ears.
The buds do come with Environment Noise Cancellation technology, which helps in enhancing voice quality while on call. We were impressed with the clarity of the calls as it was clear and the receiver was able to understand every word we said.
Moving on to the battery life, this is where we feel like Realme should have focused a bit more. During our tests, we managed to get just a little over 2 ½ hours of uninterrupted music out of these. The case did juice them back very quickly and provided four full charges in total.
Verdict – Worth buying?
The Realme Buds Air fit comfortably well, offer decent battery life, and sound above average for almost all genres. Hence, if you’re in the market, looking for a good pair of truly wireless earphones in a budget, then these are indeed a worthy option to go for.
That being said, there are some flaws, including latency issues, average build quality, and finicky touch controls. But then again, all these are shadowed by the INR 3,999 sticker price that the Realme Buds Air sells for.