Realme recently launched their latest true wireless Buds Air 2, the successor to their first-generation Buds Air. With more companies entering the competitive market for earbuds priced under ₹5,000 there’s even more pressure on companies to innovate and add features that are missing on offerings from the competition.
The new Buds Air 2 does exactly that, by bringing active noise cancellation at a price point previously considered unlikely or impossible to allow for its inclusion – at ₹3,299 the closest competitor is the Oppo Enco W51 that costs ₹4,999. We’ve spent some time with the Realme Buds Air 2 so here are our thoughts on the company’s latest challenger in the affordable true wireless segment.
Design and build quality
The black colour variant of the Buds Air 2 is called Closer Black and comes in a shiny black ‘squircle’ shaped case which is quite slim and easily fits in most pockets. The buds stay firmly in place but are also easy to take out of the case due to the matte finish on the buds – something that was an issue on their predecessor. The earbuds also fit snugly in the ear and did not fall out during a short jogging session.
Realme has chosen the tried and tested ‘in-ear canal earbud with stem’ design for the Buds Air 2, with a shiny tip at the top of the stem (pictures below) and charging contacts at the bottom. The stem has a glossy finish, unlike the buds, which gives it an interesting overall look and also supports touch controls with a few useful tweaks, but we’ll get to them in a bit.
The case itself is rather smooth and looks very glossy, so it’s going to be a fingerprint and smudge magnet. Realme has included a USB-C port at the bottom, and an RGB light above the logo on the front, that shows the earbuds battery level when you open the case and the battery level of the carrying case when you shut it.
Features and performance
The Realme Buds Air 2 sport a 10 mm dynamic driver and the company says it has included a Hi-Res “diamond” carbon diaphragm – after about week with these buds it seems like they will be well received by users who listen to bass-heavy music. There are a couple of reasons as to why this is the case.
Realme partnered with The Chainsmokers during the creation of the headset and the duo were involved in the process of audio tuning, the company says. The headphones also feature a bass-booster setting in the Realme Link app, which we found unnecessary because the default mode already features a powerful bass response. Due to this, tracks like Blinding Lights by The Weeknd and Hit ‘Em Up by 2Pac sound fantastic.
Meanwhile, the vocals on the Buds Air 2 are mostly crisp and clean, with only a couple of complex songs where the bass slightly muffled the vocals ever so slightly. Listening to ‘All the Good Girls Go to Hell’ by Billie Eilish makes one realise that there are very small voices that play alternately on both left and right channels, that are otherwise not easily noticeable. Those who like listening to classical music will also appreciate the ability of the earbuds to isolate those tiny little sounds in an orchestra.