Entry-level wireless headsets did not have a favourable reputation for a very long time. Often regarded as having an inferior sound profile, most consumers entirely skipped the TWS in the under Rs 2,000 category and simply went for wireless neckband headsets or the more traditional wired headsets.
However, it took only a few category-defining products to set the new standard for entry-level TWS. The Oppo Enco Buds released last year were certainly pivotal in setting the benchmark for what an entry-level TWS should perform like. Now, with Oppo Enco Buds 2, the company seeks to fine-tune its product and even experiment with the design (a little). We tested the Oppo Enco Buds for a little more than a week, here is our review.
Oppo Enco Buds 2 review: Design
Oppo Enco Buds 2 come in compact packaging, with only the warranty and a pack of extra silicone tips inside. Oppo has decided not to include the charging cable to cut down on e-waste (and the price).
The Oppo Enco Buds 2 charging case sports a circular design, a complete departure from its pill-shaped predecessor. The case has a matte black finish on the body with a glossy strip along the circumference. The build is robust, something you don’t usually get to see in entry-level TWS. Getting a feel of the case, it seems like it was designed for heavy, rugged use. The quality of materials used here is easily better than most products in this price segment.
The USB Type-C charging port along with the mini LED notification light are housed at the bottom of the case. The Oppo branding can be found right in the centre, just below the lid. The lid itself is easy to open, and magnetically snaps shut in one satisfying motion.
Flipping the lid open, you’ll notice the light blue interior housing the two earbuds. This offers a nice contrast to the all-black exterior, and the dual-tone look really suits the case. We’d still have preferred if there were a few more colour options, though.
Like the charging case, the earbuds have also undergone a total design revamp. Pull the Oppo Enco Buds 2 out and you’ll notice a new stem design with touch sensors on top. The earbuds fit nicely in the ear and come with an IPX4 rating, which makes them splash and sweat-resistant. The touch sensors are prone to accidental touches like every other headset in this category, but they come in quite handy when you don’t want to unlock your smartphone to perform basic operations.
To put the water resistance to test, we took the Enco Buds 2 out for a run and the performance did not drop at all. We had our doubts about the earbuds falling out after breaking a sweat – mostly due to the glossy finish inside – but they held up quite well.
Oppo Enco Buds 2: Performance
The Oppo Enco Buds 2 come with 10mm dynamic audio drivers in each earbud, an improvement over the 8mm drivers on the Enco Buds 1. The upgrade is clearly noticeable in the volume of the sound produced by the headset, and the thumping surround that comes along with it. You also get Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity with AAC/SBC codec support.
Much like their predecessor, the Oppo Enco Buds 2 bring their A-game when it comes to the sound profile. The bass-heavy tone is something most users will enjoy. The overall sound output is well-rounded, and even though the tone may be bass-rich, it doesn’t overpower the other frequencies.
We played Mdou Moctar’s Afrique Victime, and the sound was well relayed by the Oppo Enco Buds 2. We were impressed by the attention paid even to the more minor details. The clean guitar tone wasn’t suppressed by the bass-y notes and the hi-hat hits were distinct and well integrated into the output. In an indoor environment, the sonic experience was immersive and there weren’t many faults we could pick on.
Perhaps the only minor drawback is that the sound distorts a little at maximum volume. Between the 40-80% volume range, you’ll get a rich, detailed audio output.
The Oppo Enco Buds 2 also offer an ultra-low latency gaming mode. We tested the Gaming Mode with Call of Duty Mobile and it delivered on what it claimed. The audio synced up perfectly with the gameplay and delivered a very crisp output, which made the experience all the more immersive.
With the AI Deep Noise Cancellation on offer, the call quality is on par with the category, but there is a slight room for improvement. In an outdoor setting, the Oppo Enco Buds 2’s noise cancellation could have been a little better. It’s something we hope the Enco Buds improve upon in the next iterations.
You can further customise the Oppo Enco Buds 2 with the HeyMelody app. The app displays the charge status of the earbuds and lets you customise the touch controls. If the earbuds are still in the case with the lid open, the app will even tell you the charge left in the case. You can turn on the ‘Game Mode’ from the app or assign a special touch gesture to activate it. The ‘double tap to take a selfie’ feature is reserved only for Oppo phones.
The app also offers ‘Enco Live sound effects’, which gives you two options – one to boost the bass and the other to boost the vocals. Either effect was too extreme for us and disturbed the well-balanced frequencies of the original preset.
When it comes to charging, Oppo claims a total of 28 hours of playtime, earbuds and charging case combines. Playing music at 70-80% volume, the earbuds lasted a little over 6 hours. The charging case provided an additional 20-21 hours of battery backup, which we found to be quite satisfactory.
The Oppo Enco Buds 2 are currently listed on the Oppo Store at Rs 1,599 (the launch price was Rs 1,799). For that price, this purchase is a no-brainer. If you’re looking for an affordance TWS primarily for the purpose of listening to music, the Oppo Enco Buds 2 should be at the top of your list. Apart from the audio performance, the battery life and low latency mode on offer are a bonus.
Good looking, portable design
Low latency mode
Call quality could be a little better