Realme Buds Air Pro with Active Noise Cancellation are now available for only 79.99 . The 'Soul White' version of the Realme Buds Air Pro is what I am going to review.
Realme UK is on a roll launching multiple products in a short span of time. We just reviewed Realme 7 Pro and Realme 7 a few weeks ago. This time around Realme UK sent AndroidHeadlines some wearable tech.
Realme has quite a few wired, wireless, and true wireless earbuds in their audio portfolio. The Realme Buds Air Pro are the newest and most expensive pair of earphones yet.
So before dive into the review let’s get the unboxing out of the way.
Box contains earbuds, charging case, USB-C cable, three sets of tips – one on the earbuds from the factory and two additional spares.
Design & hardware wise the Realme Buds Air Pro are excellent
You know what the people say – imitation is the best form of flattery. There’s no getting around the fact that the Realme Buds Air Pro look very much like the substantially more expensive Pro Buds from a certain company based in Cupertino, CA. But in this case it is a good thing for the consumers.
Fit and finish is excellent. The white plastic is smooth to touch and all surfaces are rounded making them easy to handle. The white-colored silicone tips match the body of the earbuds giving it a nice uniform and somewhat premium look. Each earbud is clearly marked L or R on the stem. A chrome ring at the bottom of the stem gives the earbud a nice elegant look. In addition, there are charging terminals are at the bottom of each stem.
The charging case is a pebble or cobble as Realme calls it. A USB-C charging port is at the bottom of the case. There is, however, no support for wireless charging. A small dot LED indicates charge level and a subtle ‘realme’ logo on the front of the case provide a clean and elegant look.
Back of the charging case shows a metal hinge – I wish this was covered in plastic or silicone for an even cleaner look. Also the hinge and the top lid exhibit a slight rattle which is annoying. It also serves as a little reminder that these Pro Buds are in the budget category.
The earbuds latch into the case easily and the lid snaps shut magnetically. Inside the top of the lid are the regulatory markings. For quick pairing, there is a small nondescript button on the right-hand side.
Let's talk a bit more about function
Each earbud has two mics for active and environmental noise cancellation. And there is a third mic to capture your voice for phone calls or summoning the digital assistant. for capturing your voice for calls.
Moving on from mics to the speakers. The earbuds have 10mm Bass Boost drivers and these provide good bass performance from 20Hz to 10KHz. We will discuss a bit more about audio performance in just a couple of sections.
There are touch sensors on the outer part of each earbud and the Realme Buds Air Pro recognizes simple taps for control. Tweaking these taps is easy via the Realme Link Android App. Although I did occasionally have errors, in general, the tap controls work just fine. You can assign four different functions to the double-tap and triple-tap gestures on either side. The various taps can control playback, cycle through noise control modes including ANC and transparency, invoke the default voice assistant on your smartphone, or deactivate the gesture.
The Realme Buds Air Pro have excellent fit within the ears
The biggest complaint people have against earbuds is that they fit within the ears either too tight and uncomfortable or too loose. Well as far as the Realme Buds Air Pro are concerned this is a non-issue. The Realme Buds Air Pro fit really well especially once you insert them in the ear and then adjust the angle of the stem for a proper fit.
Insert the bud in each ear and then rotate them slowly towards your mouth for a tight snug fit. This also ensures that the microphone for picking up your voice are in the right direction. In my particular case, the soft silicone ear cap from the factory fit just right. The in-canal design provides a comfortable fit and a decent amount of noise isolation even when the earbuds are not connected. In addition, there are two extra pairs of tips in the box for folks with different size ears.
From a comfort standpoint, these are probably right up there with the best of them.
Each earbud is only 5 grams in weight. This combined with the snug but comfortable fit means wearing these for long stretches of time is a non-issue. Listening to music for a few hours on stretch did not cause any discomfort. They also stay put in the ear whilst running or jogging which is great. Not once did these pop out of my years during my daily exercise run. And Realme boasts IPX4 water resistance so sweating during aerobic activities will not impact the performance of these earbuds.
Connectivity via Bluetooth is superb especially with Realme Link
Pairing was nearly instantaneous on various Android smartphones thanks to Bluetooth 5.0. Just opening the case connects them automatically to a nearby phone if paired previously. For first-time pairing, there is Google Fast Pair support to connect the Realme Buds Air Pro to your smartphone.
With BT 5.0, the connection stays strong for up to 30 feet. There is support for SBC and AAC codes. During my review, there weren't any drops or lag in music or audio even if the phone wasn't in the immediate vicinity. here is also a super-low-latency mode, which Realme claims can bring down the audio delay to 94ms. This helps in enjoying videos on Netflix or YouTube and also while gaming.
Smart wear detection is another useful feature on the Realme Buds Air Pro. It can sense when the buds are in the ear in real-time and pauses music when taken out.
For further control of your Realme Buds Air Pro you can customize touch functions. These include turning on the active noise cancellation, switching bass boost, besides the standard play/pause/skip functions. Another easy option for full granular level control without having to learn the various touch functions is to download the Realme Link App on your Android smartphone. There is a quick one-page menu that allows an easy and intuitive way to control the earbuds including firmware updates.
Audio performance is all about the bass
Once you pop these earbuds and put some tunes on your favorite streaming app the first thing that hits you is the bass. While the overall audio sound stage is decent you instantly notice the bass performance from the 10mm drivers with dynamic bass boost. Electronic and pop tunes sound very good due to this reason.
However, once you switch to acoustic and vocals you realize that the mid-tones are a bit lacking. Additionally, the vocals lack just a teeny bit of pizzazz. In the absence of these two issues, these would easily be a top pick in this price range. I also wish that the Realme Link app had a few equalizer modes available to help ameliorate this situation but alas that isn't feasible at least currently.
Check out the Spotify playlist below for a wide range of tracks to better evaluate the audio performance of earbuds.
As far as the volume level goes, I rarely went over 40% for most of the music in the playlist. Second, I found myself reducing the volume level often with newer tracks because the sound output felt too loud. So, in my book, not using high volume levels for prolonged times is a definite bonus.
And outside of music, these earbuds sound great for regular phone calls, Zoom Meetings and/or Google Duo calls thanks to ANC. The new S1 chip provides intelligent noise cancellation and up to 35dB noise level reduction. Additionally, I like the ability to control the ANC during work calls depending on the ambient noise.
From an audio perspective, these just fall shy of being great in terms of acoustic performance as far as TWS earbuds go. But overall performance considering the price is still excellent thanks to the ANC and customization options available via the Realme Link app.
Battery life is as advertised so in line with most earbuds out there
Music comes through these buds at a healthy sound output level. In most instances, the volume level was somewhere around 30-40% with ANC on. And even with ANC off exceeding volume past 50% is not required with the Realme Buds Air Pro. Keep in mind my Realme 7 smartphone was always within reach for most of the review period.
Listening to Spotify or YouTube Music results in close to advertised battery life of about 4 hours. The case has the ability to charge the buds at least 5 times so the total listening time is about 20 hours. On top of it, the case supports fast charging which yields 3 hours of playback on a 10-minute quick charge. Charging the case fully though takes 2 hours and 1 hour for the earbuds.
Are the Realme Buds Air Pro worthy of the Pro moniker?
The market for TWS is getting crowded each day with a plethora of options which is great for consumers. But there aren't really a lot of good earbuds that offer good quality sound, ANC, comfortable fit, and decent battery life. Well, I am happy to report that the Realme Air Buds Pro pretty much cover all the bases for being good TWS earbuds at an attractive price.
The 10 mm drivers deliver good sound with a reasonable amount of separation between highs and lows and pack a punch as far as bass goes. You will be quite happy listening to the newer pop tracks and electronic music with these earbuds. And they don't fare too bad as far as other genres of music go as well. Throw in good call quality, ANC that works reasonably well, and good integration via the Realme Link app for good measure.
The Realme Air Buds Pro offer great sound quality and premium design for less. They sound great, are quite comfortable in your ears and come in a nice looking case. I do wish that the case supported wireless charging and maybe slightly better battery life. But for folks looking for ANC these seem to be an excellent choice and will help you in your quest to cut the cord and embrace the future without a headphone jack.