O Realme Buds Air Pro is the second Bluetooth phone from the Chinese brand to land in Brazil. The first, Buds Q, is for those who can’t spend a lot of money on a TWS, while the second bets on more technologies, such as noise cancelling, for a more demanding audience. Despite the Pro subscription, Realme’s new product is not considered top of the line, but an intermediary. Costing R$700, does it make sense to bet on this headphone?
As a highlight, it has low latency for games and videos, Bluetooth 5.0, intelligent usage detection, IPX4 certification and battery life for up to 25 hours of playback with the case. Realme Buds Air Pro has been my companion for the past few weeks and I share what I thought of it in the next few minutes.
Realme Buds Air Pro review on video
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Realme Buds Air Pro was provided by Realme on loan and will be returned to the company after testing. For more information, visit tecnoblog.net/etica.
Design, comfort and case
While Realme Buds Q bets on a more unique and original design, Buds Air Pro looks for inspiration in AirPods Pro. It still reminds me of the QCY T11, the Huawei Freebuds 4i and the Pamu Quiet Mini, other models that bet on the copy of the expensive gadget from Apple. The Realme headset is available in black and white; the second option, sent to the Techblog, it is very simple, all plastic and does not give any details to convey an idea of sophistication.
I see that Realme tries to prioritize comfort and lightness in its wearables and it has been quite right on these two points. Buds Air Pro are comfortable headphones that allow you to use them for long hours. Plus, they don’t generate pressure, which means you’ll be able to walk and run smoothly without any discomfort. If you get a start of rain on the way, there’s no reason to worry, that’s because the wearables are IPX4 certified, protection against splashing water.
The case, responsible for housing the Buds Air Pro, has a rounded design that resembles gravel. Its finish is more striking than that of the headphones, due to the glossy plastic throughout the external structure. There is an LED on the front to track the battery, a pairing button on the side, and on the bottom is the USB Type-C connection to power the battery. A small yellow USB-C cable is shipped in the box for this.
Features and connectivity
Realme Buds Air Pro works with Bluetooth 5.0. Pairing, in general, is usually fast and communication remains stable even when walking around the house with the cell phone far away. To expand the list of features and promote versatility, the brand makes available the Realme Link application, available for Android and iPhone (iOS). Interestingly, on the iPhone, there is no option to integrate Buds Air Pro into the app; this means iOS users will be limited. On Android, communication works normally and even other products appear that, in the iPhone app, do not exist.
In Realme Link I can turn noise canceling and transparency mode on and off. The company does not provide any equalizer, but you can use Bass Boost+, which makes the sound more full-bodied. There is also the volume booster which, as its name implies, increases the intensity of the audio. For gamers, Gamer Mode can be used while running PUBG, Call of Duty and other titles to reduce latency.
My experience was as follows: with the headphones connected to a Redmi Note 10 Pro, I put it on PUBG to run and I didn’t feel a low latency with the dedicated gaming setting. However, this experience changes completely when watching videos: without Gamer Mode, the delay is even high. In short, it’s best to leave the gaming setting always on.
Realme Buds Air Pro has capacitive buttons on the cable to control the songs and podcasts that are playing. One thing I liked about the app is the ability to configure actions for each button. Realme Link allows you to program to trigger mobile phone personal assistant, toggle noise control modes, play/pause, skip to next track or rewind.
Sound Quality and Microphone
In sound, Realme Buds Air Pro has a signature close to Realme Buds Q, which sounds very energetic. The bass is dense, the mids are thick and even feel more active, while the highs can be slightly harmed by these more energetic beats. Realme still delivers a spectacular sound stage, with widely separated instruments that allow easy enjoyment.
This experience can be noticed when playing live from How Deep Is Your Love, by PJ Morton. You’ll hear perfectly the violins, the cello at the height of the music, the bass and bass drums, while the choir, at the very end of the song, sounds sweet and without any fuss.
Leaving for a more intense track, in What If, from Creed, I notice that Realme Buds Air Pro tries to maintain stability and I can even identify some instruments in the middle of the dominant vocal. However, there is a little bit of embolism, especially in the chorus, part that the song gets even more alive. It is, in fact, a limitation of Buds Air Pro, because, testing this same range with a more expensive phone, this hindrance does not exist.
Here, my sound quality tests were done with noise cancellation enabled. If you turn off ANC and turn on normal mode, the sound tends to become more open and lacking in vigor. I don’t like it, but it can please those who don’t like the strong bass. Also, I noticed that the normal setting generates a little noise, which bothered me a lot.
The Realme Buds Air Pro’s microphone has a moderately metallic look that won’t disrupt interaction during a video call or phone calls. I would only wear the wearable for quick conversations, because it can be difficult for the person on the other side to understand what you are saying, if you are in a place with intense noise.
Noise and battery cancellation
The Realme Buds Air Pro’s active noise cancellation is good considering the category it’s in. According to the company, the embedded technology can cancel up to 35 dB. In my tests, he managed to reduce the noise of cars, motorcycles and trucks well, but it’s not impressive. You will still hear noise in the background depending on the volume.
Wearables feature intelligent wear detection, which automatically pauses the music when you remove the wearables from your ear, for added autonomy. Even with the technology, the result, in practice, is not impressive. Realme promises up to six hours of playback at 50% volume and ANC on. In one day, during the evaluation, I turned on noise cancellation and left the headphones ringing at 50% intensity via Apple Music: the right earphone rang for only 5h15min; the left one hung up 10 minutes later. The autonomy isn’t quite as horrible as that of the Huawei FreeBuds 3i, which only plays for about 3 hours, but Realme could do better at that point.
Realme Buds Air Pro: is it worth it?
Realme Buds Air Pro is not a headphone for audiophiles, but it can suit you who are a little more demanding and can’t spend more than R$1,000 on a Sony WF-1000XM3, for example. This is a cool product for anyone looking for a good sounding TWS with active noise cancellation. And, on these two points, Realme does not disappoint. Granted, the Huawei FreeBuds 3i ANC performs better, but the Buds Air Pro feature should please a lot of people.
However, the much lower autonomy for today is the point that makes him lose points with me. Even for you who spend more time on the street, it might be better to look for another model with superior autonomy. The app’s incompatibility with the iPhone is a limitation that Realme needs to review and yes, it does mean that Buds Air Pro is a better product for Android users today, so you’ll have access to all the features offered on Realme Link .
And since I mentioned Huawei here, while the company doesn’t release the FreeBuds 4i in Brazil, I see that the 3i can be an option for those who don’t like the stronger bass of this Realme, but it’s good to keep in mind that the 3i has a lower autonomy. Another model worth keeping an eye out for is the JBL Live Free NC+ TWS, which has active noise cancellation, IPX7 certification and Bluetooth 5.1.
Realme Buds Air Pro Bluetooth Headset
- really amazing sound stage
- bass are striking
- Good noise cancellation enabled
- Gamer Mode is a differentiator
- Battery much lower than expected
- App doesn’t work properly on iOS