The Xiaomi Buds 3T Pro are the latest high-end wireless earbuds. They have premium features such as ANC (Active Noise Cancellation), wireless charging, head tracking, and multi-point pairing. I am also a big fan of the sleek matte black version that Xiaomi sent us for review.
If you are an Android device user, chances are your preferred premium wireless earbuds are from Samsung or Sony. Xiaomi’s newest Buds 3T Pro are trying to go toe to toe with the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro and other premium TWS earbuds. So let’s find out if these are good enough for you to plunk down some cash.
The Build quality is excellent and, that includes the case
I like the black color pebble shape case that has a color shift to it. So, sometimes it looks dark blue and other times matte black. The earbuds are super light— just under 5 grams each. In terms of in-ear comfort, they are excellent as well.
During my review period, they did not pop out during jogging or fast-paced evening walks. And, in case you are wondering, the tips applied from the factory worked just fine for me. There are extra tips in the box, so you can choose one that works best for your ears.
The earbuds are IP55 dust and water-resistant, so they should hold up fine in light rain or sweating during an intense workout session. The design of earbuds has a mix of matte and glossy plastic parts with seams. So, there is a possibility that dirt or lint can get trapped in the seam area.
As far as the case goes, it is nice to hold and rounded everywhere with no sharp edges or corners. The earbuds pop in and out with good tactile feedback. And, the lid on the case closes with a nice firm click thanks to a well-designed hinge.
The overall case size is nice to carry around in the pocket. On the bottom of the case are a pairing button and a USB-C charging port. And yes, you can charge the case wirelessly, as well. There is a single LED cutout that indicates the amount of charge left via red/green lights. The Xiaomi Buds 3T Pro come in two colors – Carbon Black and Gloss White.
Connectivity is fantastic, especially with a Xiaomi smartphone
For this review, I paired the Xiaomi Buds 3T Pro with a Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G device. Connectivity via Bluetooth 5.2 is quite easy – open your device’s Bluetooth menu and search for the buds with the case lid open while holding the pairing button on for about 2 seconds.
For the spec nerds, the earbuds support LHDC 4.0 (Low Latency High-Definition Audio Codec) which delivers a bitrate of 900 kbps if you have a compatible smartphone. Xiaomi claims a connection distance of 10 meters and in my review time, I found this claim to be true at least for streaming music.
Touch control operation requires a slight learning curve
On each earbud stem, there is a “Force Sensor Area” which you pinch or squeeze to control the various call/music operations. For folks used to tapping on the earbuds, this does require a slight learning curve. But once you learn the steps, I think there is a lower probability of accidental taps that happen with most other earbuds.
One pinch to answer/end a call, two quick pinches to decline a call – this function can be done on either earbud. For music, one pinch is play/pause, two is skip forward a track and a triple pinch is to go back to the previous track.
In-ear detection is good, taking the earbud out pauses the music. There are spatial audio features along with tracking your head’s movement, but they are only available on select new Xiaomi devices. I didn’t see these on the Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G. Oh, and forget about controlling the volume level via the earbuds’ Force Sensors.
Noise Cancellation is good enough for the price
The tricky part is learning how to cycle through the various Active Noise Cancellation modes. A long two-second press enables ANC, the next long press enters transparency (awareness) mode and one more long-press will disable ANC. I just wish Xiaomi makes a proper companion app to allow better controls for ANC and other features for non-Xiaomi smartphones.
Xiaomi claims about 40 dB noise cancellation/reduction on the Xiaomi Buds 3T Pro. In real-life use, this is good, especially while listening to a podcast or music without having to crank up the volume. However, the ANC noise reduction falls short of something you get from Samsung or Sony. Note that windy conditions outdoors render ANC ineffective while attending a voice or video call.
Audio quality on the Xiaomi Buds 3T Pro is stellar
Xiaomi Buds 3T Pro have 10mm dual-magnet drivers and they produce rich sound across low and high frequencies. The bass is quite good – not too low nor ‘Beats’ level thumping. Vocals come across nicely with good separation. In summary, the audio output is rich and crisp across various genres of music or talk radio/podcasts.
From a loudness perspective, indoors I had to rarely go above 60% on the volume slider for music and podcasts. The surround sound works quite well, and there is good separation in each speaker.
Call quality was middle-of-the-road, just below the premium buds from Samsung but above the run-of-the-mill crowd. Despite a face mask there didn’t seem to be an issue speaking with the other person on a phone call. There is still a reasonable amount of background noise though so keep that in mind if you plan to use these extensively for work calls.
How is the battery life on the Xiaomi Buds 3T Pro?
Xiaomi claims that the battery life is about 6 hours per charge for the Buds 3T Pro. I think that claim is for using these indoors without ANC. With ANC and outdoor usage, I was able to get somewhere between 4 and 5 hours of battery life. This compares well with other earbuds in this category.
One thing to note is not to rely on the battery % left via BT controls, as after using up 50%, the reliability diminishes quite rapidly. The case is able to charge the earbuds about 3 times, so it should be feasible to get about a day’s worth of use easily. A full charge via the USB-C port takes about 70 minutes and longer via Qi wireless charging. If you have a smartphone that supports reverse wireless charging, you can put it to use in a pinch.
Should you buy the Xiaomi Buds 3T Pro?
The Xiaomi Buds 3T Pro offer great sound, premium build quality, and superb in-ear fit in terms of comfort at a good price. There is ANC onboard which works well, although it could be better.
The main gripe is the learning curve for controls, lack of a companion app, and inability to control volume from the earbuds themselves. However, if you have a Xiaomi smartphone, then these earbuds are a bit better to operate in terms of controls/syncing.