OPPO has a strong reputation in audio for its Enco series. The series, which makes TWS earbuds and Bluetooth-powered earphones, have developed an ample amount of appraisals in terms of audio quality and affordability in the market. A while ago, we reviewed the OPPO Enco X TWS earbuds, which offered an excellent value proposition when it comes to its ANC offerings. While Enco X did an excellent job for its price, which is on a higher margin; there are other offerings in a more affordable segment from OPPO.
The latest in the Enco series list are the OPPO Enco Buds, which are the entry-level pair of earbuds that are true wireless offerings. While they aim to replace your pair of currently wired earphones and make you shift to true wireless, do they sound good for their price? Let us find out in our full review here.
To begin with, I have spent more than enough time with these OPPO Enco Buds. That translates to me using the review unit for more than two months now. You can consider this as my long-term or an in-depth review.
Let me put out the price of the OPPO Enco Buds first. It costs Rs 1,799 on the official site at this time of writing. Yet, they were initially launched at Rs 1,999 in the Indian market. They come in two colour variants: White and Blue. The review unit came to us in White.
OPPO Enco Buds — Design
The earbuds themselves are light in weight (measure 4 grams, each) that come in a charging case. The case is made of plastic and is compact; you can slip it into your pockets quite easily. The case has a capsule design with a glossy finish. There’s an LED indicator on the front that works well in giving you charge stats of both the charging case and the buds through Red, Yellow, and Green lights. The LED indicator, which denotes the charge of earbuds while they are in the case, and it denotes the charge status of the case while the earbuds are out of them.
On the back, it has a USB Type-C port for charging. The case also comes with a nifty dent on the side that makes it easier to open and close the lid. Once you’re in the case you are greeted with a pair of buds themselves, also in White. And, subsequently, they are open for pairing as well.
The buds are made of plastic and are extremely light in weight. They have a glossy finish and are prone to fingerprints as well. They also come with an IP54 rating for water and dust resistance. The buds are further accompanied by silicone tips, in addition to two spare ones with different sizes provided in the retail packaging. The large-sized silicone tip, however, had a snug fit on my ears. In addition, the well designed angled tip also helped me use the OPPO Enco Buds for an extended period. All in, the buds are designed to be portable, be comfortable in your ears and stay snug, even if you head out for a little jog in the mornings.
Moreover, the buds are connected to the charging case through charge pins. Both the buds have touch controls, which are accompanied by touch commands, for changing tracks/volumes or playing/pausing a soundtrack. A single tap on either bud would allow you to play or pause the music. Likewise, double-tapping on either of them would skip or rewind to the next/previous track accordingly. Long pressing further would change volumes. The double tapping here also works to answer or reject calls. Lastly, there is a native game mode aka low-latency mode, which can be enabled with triple tapping on either side, more on that in a sec.
The Bluetooth connection on the OPPO Enco Buds has been stable throughout my testing. Pairing them is fairly simple, the buds themselves are automatically paired (OPPO calls it Binaural Bluetooth Transmission) — saves you the trouble of pairing them individually. Then, opening the charge case lid gets you into pairing mode (aka Open-Up auto connect). The buds equally support both platforms be it Android or iOS.
Moreover, there’s quick pairing support like we witness in Apple/Samsung devices for their AirPods/Galaxy Buds. That means the buds get detected automatically without initial pairing right after opening the lid, which also means you need an OPPO device to fully utilise this feature.
After the initial pairing, the OPPO Enco Buds thereafter connect to the last paired or used device. This swift pairing has been handy for me in my workflow to shift between devices for personal calls and work calls. The devices here included my phone, laptop, and occasionally a tablet as well. I didn’t have trouble shifting between them as I would know which one I’d used the most or at the last.
How do they sound?
Before answering that, let me give you some insights on what the OPPO Enco Buds feature: they come with 8mm dynamic drivers on the inside, and they support Bluetooth 5.2, for connectivity. Additional prominent features according to OPPO include Bass-driven HD sound, Intelligent Noise Cancellation, and Low-latency mode for gaming. Firstly, they sound good, the audio quality on these buds is adequate, to say the least. They are bass-driven for sure but not a thumping bass, which I would normally like.
The HD sound can be experienced throughout while listening to all kinds of music. The lack of thumping bass was easily recognisable while playing the bass-heavy EDM music, for instance. In other aspects the audio is definite, vocals are very clear and on the whole, the music hearing experience on the OPPO Enco Buds are justified for the price they’re coming in.
Intelligent Noise Cancellation
When it comes to calls, the Intelligent Noise Cancellation worked wonders to me with the Enco Buds. It works on a DNN model-based algorithm that extracts your voice accurately from surrounding sounds to make it clear during calls. I still remember when I first paired these earbuds with my iPhone to experience the audio, I first called my colleague to test the quality: and I am not exaggerating here, he mentioned I sounded crystal clear than my conventional calls through the phone’s microphone.
Not just that, teammates at my workplace haven’t had any issues in hearing through conference calls on Microsoft teams, which I connect with my laptop via these Enco Buds. Users have to bear in mind, I usually connect on teams to wired headphones as they’re always equipped to my work laptop. In my review period with these buds, I didn’t have to face any trouble with the buds, so it eliminated the need for me to go back to my wired headphones.
Then there is a low-latency mode for gaming, which worked as acclaimed. Shifting to the 80ms low-latency gaming mode is simple, as mentioned. Triple tapping on either side enables this mode, and the audio syncs up with the video gameplay pretty neat. This mode is particularly helpful if you’re into the prominent battle royale games out there.
The OPPO Enco Buds come with a 40mAh battery each and the charging case features a 400mAh battery capacity. As promised, in my usage scenario I ended up getting around 5-6 hours of audio listening time in a day, on a single charge. That includes listening to music throughout, and taking up calls quite often — be it phone calls or conference calls. The charging case also gives them enough juice throughout the day, with in-between charges.
I usually charge up the case through the night, albeit it only takes a little over two hours to charge up to full — and use the buds all day with breaks in between. For those wondering, the buds themselves also take around two hours to go from zero to full in the charging case.
The other quirks on the OPPO Enco Buds include support for AAC/SBC codecs. The Bluetooth 5.2 connection across devices is stable, as stated earlier. The range for these buds is 10m and in my testing, it worked as acclaimed. Type-C charging is convenient too. Though the review unit came to me in White, I would personally prefer the Blue colour variant, as it is pretty striking than the conventional White colour. There is a ‘Hey Melody’ companion app on both iOS or Android platforms to customise your Enco Buds even more, but, during my testing, I couldn’t find an option to pair them as they’re not added to the existing Enco series list yet.
For Rs 1,799, the OPPO Enco Buds are even-handedly a viable option to look forward to. They sound good with clear audio. The call quality paired with featured Intelligence Noise cancellation (INC) is unique to the segment and works pretty well. There are other cheaper models in the competition, but INC here is a key takeaway here alongside the good audio experience. The promised battery life is a plus, in addtion to IP54 rating. All in all, this makes the OPPO Enco Buds the fitting choice for those people who are looking to shift from traditional wired earphones/headphones.