Realme Buds Air 2 review: A budget TWS with a lot of features
Realme has been on the upswing for a while now and the company has managed to successfully make a name for itself in the Indian smartphone space. Naturally, the brand is now looking to further its domain by expanding into other avenues, the likes of which include launching custom merchandise for ardent Realme fans, lifestyle accessories, and most importantly, audio gear. To that note, the company recently unveiled the Buds Air 2 TWS earphones which come as the successor to the original Buds Air launched over a year ago. Priced at Rs 3,299, the Buds Air 2 comes laden with a slew of features including support for ANC or Active Noise Cancellation. But, should you consider these over say, the OnePlus Buds Z or the OPPO Enco W31? Let’s find out in this Realme Buds Air 2 review.
Design and fit
Design on the true wireless earbuds is something that the brand hasn’t been able to set itself apart from the crowd. You either get a TWS with stem design or without a stem design – the Realme Buds Air 2 opts for the former. It inherits the curvy aesthetics of the previous generation and brings a new two-tone colour finish. The Buds Air 2 is available in two colour options – Closer White and Closer Black. We are using the Closer Black variant in this review, but we think that the white ones look more interesting.
The Black variant is a combination of Black & Blue while the White variant is a mix of Silver & White – I prefer the Closer White variant as it looks classy, especially the stem. The Realme Buds Air 2 comes with a matte finish on the body with an electroplating process on the stem. These are also in-ear style earbuds which is an upgrade from the half in-ear style on the Realme Buds Air from 2019. Although the company claims the buds can withstand fingerprints and smudges, we managed to get fingerprints easily – maybe the White variant will be better in that case.
The carry case that doubles up as a battery pack is pretty much similar to the case of the Realme Buds Air Pro – a cobble shaped design. But there are a couple of changes. Firstly, the metal hinge is gone and you get a plastic one on the Buds Air 2. Secondly, the LED indicator which turns either Green or Red depending on the battery level is now located slightly below and so is the Realme moniker. The rest of the components are placed as they are.
Connectivity, Controls and App Support
The Buds Air 2 comes with Google’s Fast Pair support but unfortunately at the time of filing this review, Google hadn’t catalogued this product yet. But don’t worry, by the time you get your hands on one, it should be there.
Regardless, connecting it using the Bluetooth 5.2 protocol was a cinch. Plus, you get a proper Master-Master pairing for each bud. If there’s one thing that Realme always gets right is the strong, rock solid connectivity. Furthermore, I noticed that the connection didn’t break for 10 metres, as advertised. Although, there’s no multipoint connectivity here and you can’t switch between connected devices.
Sound Quality and Battery life
So, how does the Realme Buds Air 2 sound? Well, the unit ships with 10mm dynamic drivers inside each earbud which outputs a bass-forward sound. That said, while the low-end is quite voluminous, it’s not as tight or precise as I would’ve liked it to be. Correspondingly, you’ll notice that the Buds Air 2 offers a boomy bass which at times, bleeds into the rest of the frequency spectrum. Case in point, the beat drop in Goosebumps by HVME. Around the 50-second mark, you’ll notice that the roaring beats cause a lot of reverb and as a result, cast a shadow on the rest of the frequencies. In a similar fashion, in Billie Eilish’s’ Therefore I am, you’ll notice that at relatively higher volume levels, the beats from the kick drums as well as the tune from the bass guitar subdue the notes of the synthesiser in the song’s first verse.
Should You Buy the Realme Buds Air 2?
Priced comfortably between the Realme Buds Air and the Buds Air Neo, the Buds Air 2 is a clear homerun for Realme. It is so good that I really don’t see any reason to recommend the Buds Air Pro now. In fact, the “Pro” in its moniker is not fitting anymore. It is unfortunate that Realme is cannibalising its own lineup.
The Buds Air 2 has a lot of points in its favour. The noise cancellation is serviceable, the sound signature is well-suited for the masses, gaming latency has been further reduced, you get granular controls using the app, battery life has been improved, and the fit is great.