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Realme Buds Air Pro Review: active noise cancellation for ₹4,499!

Oct 12, 2020 12:20 IST

When it comes to true wireless earbuds, most companies seem to be producing fairly similar devices in the under 10k segment. But with growing competition threatening to replace them, Realme has launched a new contender. With active noise cancellation technology and a long list of features for just 5 thousand rupees, are these the earbuds your ears deserve? Now when you first look at the Buds Air Pro you’ll immediately notice the inspiration for their design, but it’s for good reason. The cobble-shaped design helps the earbuds fit snug in your ear, and with the silicon eartips, creates a good seal for passive noise cancellation. But unlike rivals, this in-ear design doesn’t hurt—they’re comfortable enough to be worn for long hours of usage, and with each earbud weighing only 5g, you’ll barely notice them in your ears. Connectivity is through Bluetooth 5.0 that gives a stable link, and didn’t fail on us despite moving quite far away from the connected device. The on board S1 chip enables features like Open-up Auto Connection and Google Fast Pair that lets you sync these to a compatible device quickly. It also helps with wear detection, so your music is paused when you remove the buds, and resumed when you plug them back in. There’s touch controls as well that can be customised to summon a voice assistant, but it’s worth noting that customisation requires using the realme link app and parting with user details and a whole bunch of app permissions. But let’s keep all that aside for now and get to the meat of it—sound quality. The Buds Air Pro definitely lean more towards the bass thanks to a 10mm bass boost driver, which isn’t a bad thing at all. If you’re listening to pop or electronic music, you’re in for a good time, but if your tastes are more classical, you may feel like details are a bit lacking. On the whole though, sound quality is easily at par with similarly priced competitors, if not better at times. Where these earbuds run rings around rivals however, is in the active noise cancellation department. There’s three modes on offer—transparent, normal and noise cancelling. The first is where the outer mics let ambient sound in, keeping you aware of your surroundings. Normal is for when you want to concentrate on the music, but still want to be able to hear someone call out your name. Finally, Noise Cancelling is when the earbuds use the dual mic array to cancel out ambient noise by up to 35dB. Considering the fact that these are earbuds and not over-ear headphones, the experience is quite good, with background noises being filtered out pretty well. There’s support for the high quality AAC codec here, along with a 94ms Super Low Latency Gaming Mode that helps while playing mobile games. It’s enabled by pressing both buds at the same time and does reduce the lag between audio and video considerably, compared to when it’s not enabled. An additional side note—the Buds Air Pro feature an IPX4 water resistance rating, which means they can handle sweaty workouts and the odd splash without any trouble. Finally, let’s talk about battery life. The Buds Air Pro are rated to deliver 25 hours of total playback time with the included 486mAh charging case. With ANC on, that’s supposed to dip down to 20 hours, but fast charging for just 10 minutes promises to offer 3 hours of playback time. In our experience, the Buds Air Pro last around two days with light to moderate usage, and nearly a whole day with heavy usage. However, unlike the previous Buds Air earbuds, the case doesn’t support wireless charging—only USB Type-C, but honestly, it’s not a huge deal breaker. So let’s round up—active noise cancellation, good battery life and most importantly, good sound quality—all for ₹4,999. If you’re on the hunt for a reliable and affordable pair of true wireless earbuds with tons of tech packed in, the Buds Air Pro are definitely worth the money.

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