It’s strange to think that it’s been just a short couple of years since Realme has come into being and has already cemented its name as one of the hottest smartphone brands in the country. Attention to detail along with the vast understanding of the Indian market has propelled Realme into a position where virtually all of its competitors aspire to be.
After dropping banger after banger of smartphones, Realme is gradually branching out into a smartphone accessory brand. All of Realme’s recent smartphone launches share the spotlight with accessories such as earphones and power banks.
Earlier this month, Realme introduced the Buds Wireless, a sporty neckband-style earphone that offers premium bass, Magnetic Fast Pair (MFP) technology, and drivers that have been custom-tuned by world-renowned DJ — Alan Walker.
Having put these feature-filled earphones to the test, here are our thoughts on whether you should cop them or not.
The Realme Buds Wireless follows in the same design philosophy such as the OnePlus Bullets Wireless and this standard of earphones is rapidly being adopted by several brands the world over. Dubbed as Elastic Metal String Necklace, the Realme Buds Wireless’ neckband comprises of high-quality silica gel and memory metal that’s constructed from a nickel-titanium alloy. This makes the earphones comfortable to use for long amounts of time as well as gives wearers the option of neatly stowing them when not in use. Realme claims that the user-friendly ergonomic arc is specially designed for the user’s comfort and in our experience, the brand has got it bang on.
Apart from the impressive materials used on the neckband, the unit housing the battery and controls are also fitted with metallic protection. This ensures that the entire earphones remain durable enough for extended uses without the fear that accidental tugs will destroy them. The in-ear monitors are also made of metal and they have magnets which apart from keeping the earphones secure when not in use, also come with other nifty tricks. This elevates the technological prowess of the Realme Buds Wireless and leads us to be pretty amazed at how the brand has managed to price this so effectively.
Elaborating on the in-ear monitors, Realme has thrown in ear-hooks that help with keeping them in place. Apart from this, you also get various sized silicone ear-tips. We recommend trying all possible sizes in order to get the perfect seal that’s needed for the best audio quality.
Realme has launched the Buds Wireless in three colour options — Black/Yellow, Green and Orange. While the latter options could appeal to a lot of you out there, we personally love the Black/Yellow option as it has a fair mix of cool as well as classy. The cables that extend down to the buds are built well, and with the entire earphone coming with a silicone matte finish, it appears to be capable to withstand all the elements that could ruin it.
When it comes to controls, Realme has taken a different route as opposed to the OnePlus Bullet Wireless. All the controls are located on the neckband and not as part of a separate in-line microphone module on the cable. While this design decision could work for Realme, we found it a bit difficult to access the controls for quickly changing tracks and/or play/pause music. This odd decision to fit the controls on the neckband takes a bit of getting used to, and the more you use it, the quicker it should get. However, in this case, we would have preferred an inline mic with multifunctional as opposed to this. With that being said, the buttons in and of itself are pretty tactile and have been built of the best materials. You can expect them to last quite a while, even with frequent use.
When it comes to features, you will be absolutely blown by the fact of how Realme managed to price it aggressively. The Realme Buds Wireless costs just Rs 1,799 and it comes with features found in earphones that are double the cost. With Magnetic Fast Pair (MFP), the Realme Buds Wireless is automatically propelled into the upper echelon of audio accessories.
With MFP, you get one of the most convenient audio experiences imaginable. With this magnetic lock-like trait, you get a ton of features like quick-syncing to a Realme smartphone such as the XT. This feature works like the Apple AirPods and an iPhone, or OnePlus Bullets Wireless and a OnePlus device. When the buds are detached and next to a Realme XT, a message pops-up on the smartphone indicating the buds are ready to be paired. This works if the Bluetooth is enabled on the handset. For other devices, all you need to do is head on over to the settings menu and search for the earphones in the Bluetooth menu and pair it easily.
After the earbuds are paired the listening experience is seamless and every time they are attached or detached, the music turns on or off respectively. What this means is that when the buds are separated, the earphones connect automatically to the last paired smartphone for quick connectivity.
At Rs 1,799, the Realme Buds Wireless is one of the better-sounding earphones in this price range. There is a warmth that’s rarely found on products at this stunning price tag and this in itself allows it to pose as a threat to products in and around the Rs 5K bracket.
By adding an 11.2mm Bass Boost driver, this earphone is geared at the bass-heads out there. There is a nice warm thump that’s observed even at lower volumes which allow for an enjoyable experience. While these cannot be classified as audiophile-grade earphones, they will certainly not disappoint the masses of casual listeners out there. The various frequencies had the separation which very few budget options can master and you will be astounded that Realme has done such a fine job with the Buds Wireless.
The in-ear seal makes a massive difference when it comes to passive noise isolation. Having used these earphones on a recent plane journey, they performed well to block out ambient noise without muting the surroundings altogether. Because of this, we really loved using the Buds Wireless while travelling.
When it comes to the call quality, these babies are solid performers. The recipient on the other end managed to hear us clearly without any distortion. Also, during video calls, the earbuds worked like a charm with the overall call quality being greatly appreciated.
The battery life on the Buds Wireless is exceptional. Realme rates it at 12-hours on a single charge with audio at 50 per cent volume and it does live up to the claim. Also, Realme has added Bluetooth 5.0 here so that also aids with the energy-saving on these earphones. Additionally, a simple 10-minute charge will give you 100-minutes of listening which is a nice add-on here.
The market is filled with several brands offering earphones in the sub-Rs 2K price range. However, very few of them come from reputed brands. With Realme pricing the Buds Wireless at Rs 1,799, they have potentially blown away the completion by offering features that are seldom found at this price point. Sure, the earphones aren’t audiophile-grade and even don’t come with a USB-C charging port; however, the pros outweigh the cons and Realme is targeting a segment that’s being waited to be exploited. The Realme Buds Wireless is a testament to the fact that you don’t need to break the bank to get quality earphones on the cheap and Realme is doing this with a panache that only they know how to offer.