Realme Buds Wireless 2 review: Active noise cancellation on a budget

Realme offers several wireless earphones in the Indian market, and it recently added another one to its portfolio. The Realme Buds Wireless 2 are the company’s latest budget Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) earphones. It has the same features as the Realme Buds Wireless Pro launched last year. The difference is very small, but the Pro version is more expensive.

Here is our review of the new Realme Buds Wireless 2.

Realme Buds Wireless 2: Design, Build, Comfort

With the Realme Buds Wireless 2, it seems like the company has used the same design blueprint as it did with the Realme Buds Wireless Pro. But in reality, it has undergone some subtle changes. The biggest difference is that the new one comes with a CD-inspired non-touch panel, which gives it a cool look.

The aesthetic change is also noticeable in the earbud housing, which has a slightly different shape. The neckband design and control module are no different from the Pro version.

The Realme Buds Wireless Pro in black and yellow, next to the Realme Buds Wireless 2 in a gray color. (express image)

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

But there are some advantages that you get with a neckband compared to TWS. You can hang the Realme Buds Wireless 2 earphones around your neck when you’re not using them and there’s no added annoyance of putting the earbuds back in the case. Users also don’t have to worry about losing earbuds, which is usually the case with some TWS. However, you don’t get to change tracks or adjust volume using touch controls.

The Realme Buds Wireless 2 comes with an in-line remote, similar to most affordable neckband earphones. The controls are easy to access 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 them using the same remote.

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The earbuds also support a magnetic clamp mechanism, a feature that was made popular by OnePlus. It also helps save battery because when you snap the earbuds together, they will automatically turn off. Taking them apart will start playing the music automatically. However, when I detached the earbuds, the device didn’t play the same song and I either had to listen to another song or switch to the old one using the phone. Magnetic control also prevents wire entanglements; However, the magnets are a bit weak as the earphones tend to detach when stuffed in a dirty bag.

These are budget earphones, but they come with an IPX5 rating and thus can withstand sweat and water splashes. The Realme Buds Wireless 2 was very comfortable to wear all day. The company also bundles large, medium and small silicone ear tips in the box. So, one can try out all sizes to stay fit. The default silicone ear tips that you get with the earphones offer me a nearly perfect fit.

Realme Buds Wireless 2: Audio Quality, ANC

The Realme Buds Wireless 2 comes with the company’s latest R2 chip and features 13.6mm bass boost drivers. It also provides support for SBC and AAC Bluetooth codecs. If your smartphone supports Sony’s LDAC codec, you’ll get much better quality and detailed sound than the SBC. LDAC is significantly superior to Qualcomm’s aptX HD and supports the transfer of 24-bit, 96 kHz (hi-res) audio files via Bluetooth. While SBC clocks in at 328kbps, LDAC supports up to 990kbps bit-rates, which means Sony’s technology can transfer much more data than other codecs. It is worth noting that you will rarely see LDAC support on cheap 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, resulting in fuzzy vocals and treble sections. This was not the case with the Pro version. The Buds Wireless 2 earphones weren’t able to offer enough isolation for acoustic devices. Most casual listeners will have no problem and will gain enough experience.

Active noise cancellation isn’t as effective, though not completely useless. This can cancel out people’s voices or if something is going on in the background, that should be enough for budget-conscious users. But it will not be able to remove heavy machinery and other high-frequency sounds. The ANC is claimed to be able to cancel up to 25dB. Overall, ANC did its job, and it made a big difference when I enabled it.

The earphones provided great clarity when I was indoors for calls. Outside, sound clarity was decent even in slightly noisy environments. Also, when the earphones had ample battery, I didn’t notice any delay in output while gaming or binge-watching.

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

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realme link app connectivity

The company also has a Realme Link app, which can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. It offers several sound effects, a game mode, noise control 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 on the right module of the earphones. Transparency mode can be used when you want to hear background noise. The Normal mode lets you hear minimal background noise, while the ANC mode helps block it to some extent.

The app also includes three sound effects, Bass Boost+, Dynamic and Bright. These don’t make much of an impact on the track, but I’ve mostly used bass or dynamic mode as it sounds a bit better than bright mode. One can also use the app to change button placement 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 claims that these wireless earphones can give up to 22 hours of battery life. However, I got around 14-15 hours of battery life with ANC on. Volume levels were mostly under 70. If you constantly listen to music or watch TV series for more than six hours, you may need to charge them in just 2 days, which is fine.

Results may vary depending on your usage pattern. I was using the 65W smartphone charger from Realme, which gave 80 percent charge in less than 15 minutes. With a lower 18W or 10W charger, you’ll probably have to wait an hour.

Reality Buds Wireless 2 review: Verdict

The Realme Buds Wireless 2 is selling for Rs 2,099 and can be on your shopping list. These offer many features at an affordable price, but the audio quality is fine. You also get good battery life and design, as well as a great companion app for customizing a few things. You can also consider Oppo Enco M31 for a better audio experience. However, it doesn’t offer active noise cancellation and support for Sony’s LDAC codec.

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