Realme has been introducing an astounding number of headphones in the past few years, be it truly wireless earphones, neckband style earphones, and others. The company is pushing towards bringing sought-after features such as Active Noise Cancellation, at an affordable price so that the masses can benefit from them. Now, Realme has launched its latest neckband style wireless earphone – the Realme Buds Wireless 2 that come with an array of features for the lowly price of Rs 2,299. Not only do you get ANC, but also LDAC codec and excellent app support. Let’s find out how this wireless earphone performs and if it’s worth your money.
Realme Buds Wireless 2: Build and comfort
The Realme Buds Wireless 2 is available in two colours – Bass Gray and Bass Yellow. We got the latter for review and it looks pretty much identical to the Realme Buds Wireless Pro that we previously reviewed. The build quality is pretty decent for the price. The neckband is smooth and velvety to the touch but feels pretty robust. It is also very flexible.
The modules on the side feel slightly cheap and plasticky. The left weight module has nothing on it while the right one houses the buttons and the USB-C charging port. There are four buttons in total – Volume up, Volume up, ANC toggle and a Multifunction button. You can use these buttons to change volume, seek through tracks, pause/play music, answer calls, summon your device’s voice assistant, switch between ANC modes, and activate low latency gaming mode. The buttons are not very clicky and don’t have a good satisfying tactile feedback, but they do the job well enough.
The earbuds are simple and have a glossy and matte dual finish. They are angled slightly to help with fit. The buds can attach to each other magnetically and the action of attaching them turns them off and detaching them powers them on. Simply detaching the buds from each other, powers the device on, and connects instantaneously to a paired device. It is pretty convenient but there are chances of the buds accidentally detaching in a bag or purse. The buds would be powered on and the battery would drain unnecessarily.
The neckband weighs merely 29g and is very comfortable to wear over long periods of time. The buds fit inside the ear snugly and offer a comfortable fit. You get three differently-sized pairs of ear tips in total – S, M, and L. The buds are also rated IPX5 for protection against sweat and water. So, they can be used in the gym or while exercising without a worry. Overall, we were impressed by the fit and comfort of the Realme Buds Wireless 2
Realme Buds Wireless 2: Features
The Realme Buds Wireless 2 is an extremely feature-laden pair of wireless earphones. Seeing that it is priced very aggressively at Rs 2,299, this makes these earphones an excellent value for money choice for users. The Buds Wireless 2 come with Active Noise Cancellation that can allegedly offer noise reduction up to 25dB.
In our tests, we found the Active Noise Cancellation performance to be pretty decent, it works decently enough to cancel out some of the low-frequency, constant sounds such as an AC hum. It doesn’t do too much to cancel out other sounds such as traffic and high speed fans. However, for the price, we can’t really complain. The ANC is better than the Realme Buds Wireless Pro that changed the sound profile of the buds drastically, which isn’t the case this time around. The buds also come with Transparency mode that works adequately well. It sounds slightly unnatural at times but does the job.
Apart from ANC and Transparency Mode, the Realme Buds Wireless 2 is supported by the Realme Link app that allows users to tweak some aspects of the earphone. You can customise the controls as per your requirements within the app. Users can customise the single tap, double tap, triple tap, and touch and hold function on both the multifunction button and the Noise Cancellation button.
You can also toggle between noise cancellation modes – Noise Cancellation, Normal and Transparency. There’s also an option to toggle between some preset EQ profiles such as Bass Boost+, Dynamic, and Bright as per your preferences. The profiles did make a difference in the sound signature of the earphones, so you can select any one according to your preference. Apart from these functions, you can check the battery percentage of your earphones, perform firmware updates, enter game mode and more within the app.
Speaking of Game Mode, the Realme Buds Wireless 2 offers 88ms low latency in this mode. There was a slight difference between the latency with this mode active versus when it was inactive so it will be useful to have when you watch videos and play games on your phone with the earbuds on. Do note that Game Mode cannot be turned on when the device is using the LDAC codec, you will have to switch over to SBC or AAC to enjoy game mode.
You also get some other features such as Google Fast Pair, Quick Switch feature to quickly switch between two paired devices, IPX5 water resistance, and Fast Charge. All in all, if you’re looking for a feature-rich pair of wireless earphones under 3K, it doesn’t get much better than the Realme Buds Wireless 2.
Realme Buds Wireless 2: Performance
The Realme Buds Wireless 2 is powered by the R2 chip and comes with Bluetooth 5.0 for connectivity. We were slightly disappointed that we didn’t get Bluetooth v5.2 with these since Realme has used it in other devices recently. The earphones have been tuned in partnership with the popular EDM duo, The Chainsmokers. The buds feature large 13.6mm bass boost drivers with support for SBC, AAC and Sony’s LDAC hi-res codec.
The Realme Buds Wireless 2 has a V-shaped sound signature with boosted bass and boosted highs. Thanks to the large driver, you get loud thumping bass that sounds dynamic and energetic. The low bass range is more boosted in comparison to the upper bass, so it can mask the sounds in the upper bass and mids by bleeding into them. The highs are extremely boosted as well, and can sometimes overwhelm the mix. There’s also a fair amount of sibilance and shrillness due to the boosted highs, especially when listening to genres such as rock.
Turning on the LDAC codec does improve the sound considerably. The soundstage becomes slightly more expansive and the detail in frequencies is much better preserved. However, the sound quality is still pretty mediocre, at best. If you’re a casual listener, it won’t bother you as much but if you’re someone who enjoys balanced sound, it’s best to steer away.
Now, moving on to microphone performance, the Realme Buds Wireless 2 Vocplus AI Noise Cancellation for calls that intelligently removes ambient noise in calls. Thanks to this, we found the microphone performance on these buds to be way above average, especially for this price range. Even when we were in traffic with loud honks in the vicinity, the call quality stayed pretty clear and pristine.
Realme Buds Wireless 2: Battery life
Realme claims that the Realme Buds Wireless 2 come with a battery playtime of a whopping 22 hours with ANC turned off (at 50 percent volume), and 18 hours with ANC turned on. Battery life is extremely important and we’ve seen wireless earphones constantly evolving in this aspect. We put the Realme Buds Wireless 2 through its paces to test out battery life and we’re pleased to say that the buds delivered. At 70 percent volume with ANC turned on, the buds provided 17 hours and 5 minutes of playtime, which is not too far away from the company estimate even though we tested at 70 percent volume.
If you listen with the LDAC codec turned on, the playtime sees a big drop. You get 10 hours of playback with ANC on and 11 hours of playback with ANC off. If you’re not listening to LDAC, the earbuds should easily last 4-5 days on a single charge while using them for listening to music, calls, watching videos, and more.
As for charging, the earbuds can charge to full from an empty battery in merely 50 minutes. Additionally, you also get fast charging support where 10 minutes of charging gives the user 12 hours of listening time (ANC off).
Realme Buds Wireless 2: Verdict
If you’re scouring the market for an inexpensive pair of wireless earbuds with perks such as ANC, app support, good battery life, and more, the Realme Buds Wireless 2 is a very compelling option. It is one of the most, if not the most, feature-rich wireless earphones in this price range. The earphones also offer an excellent fit that is comfortable over long periods of time. Additionally, you get pretty decent ANC performance and great microphone quality. The sound quality is a bit of a hit and miss for us, but most casual users won’t mind it. Overall, at Rs 2,299, these earphones offer a compelling number of features for the price, with decent sound quality and great microphone performance to add to that.