The realme Buds Air 2 promises the best features you need in a TWS earphones. It has ANC, lesser latency and Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity.
The realme Buds Air 2 continues the brand's major push in the AiOT route. With a very promising specs sheet and a practical price of PhP 3,999, it could cast a shade to its older brethren and other TWS earbuds in this segment.
realme Buds Air 2 Review
In this realme Buds Air 2 review, we dig deeper on the device's capabilities when it comes to sound quality, ease of use, ergonomics, and more. We all know that the TWS market has ballooned since the pandemic, and most of us are getting tired of the tangled cables in our home offices or makeshift study tables. With those in mind, we have some questions. Will this TWS earbuds be your ticket to wireless zoom call sessions and online meetings? Is this better to the ones in the market right now? Hold it, we'll answer that right after the jump.
What's inside the box?
The realme Buds Air 2 is packaged inside the familiar yellow box with black accents and texts. Once unboxed, you'll see the cobbled-looking case with plastic contraptions. Underneath, there's a white packet for the paperworks - the warranty card and user guide. The two pairs of extra silicone eartips are also available alongside the USB Type-C cable.
Design, Fit, and Comfort
The realme Buds Air 2 features a two-toned stem design. Though both sections are made of plastic, the main section has a matte finish while the stem has a shiny sheen on it. We have the Closer Black variant as our review unit. Visually, it's a mixture of black and dark metallic navy which we love. There's also a Closer White variant with white and silver tones if you prefer a catchy one. These colorways give homage to one of The Chainsmokers' hit songs. Did I mention the EDM act tune the Buds Air 2 for realme? Well, now you know.
The default pair of eartips that come out of the box has a general fit. I did not mind replacing this with the extra ones. You could barely notice that the earbuds are actually there due to their light construction, even when using them for extended number of hours. The earbuds are also not that easy to fall off from your ears due to the curved design of the actual buds that fit the walls of your ears.
The stem ends have the charging mechanism that comes in contact to the case. Speaking of the case, I am quite impressed by its design, it's cobble-like design makes the whole Buds Air 2 easier to grip. I love the way it feels on the skin, it's glossy and silky. And by that, it could be slippery most of the times so you have to be careful not to drop it.
Opening and closing the lid give me satisfaction...the sound it makes signifies that this case is of good quality. The lid opens in a 90-degree angle, I hope realme increased this opening angle to make it easier to pull out the earbuds...but that's just me being nitpicky. The magnets inside the case are very intact.
There's an LED indicator on the front face of the case right above the realme branding. The right side has the multi function button for pairing and resetting the device, while we have the USB Type-C port below. The case does not support wireless charging but I don't think I need that feature in this price point. There's an Ingress Protection rating of IPX5 which makes the buds splash-proof, you may use these buds in heavy-sweating activities or in slight drizzle of rain.
All in all, the design floats my boat. The TWS earphones really do embody the "Air" moniker due to their slim construction, comfortable design, and secure fit.
realme Buds Air 2 Sound Quality
The realme Buds Air 2 is powered by the company’s proprietary R2 chipset. There’s a 10-mm driver inside, and its connectivity is handled by Bluetooth 5.2. With these combination of hardware, better audio output can be experienced in the new TWS earphones. The earbuds is now faster to detect; in fact, it instantaneously prompts your phone the moment you open the case. It's also fast to play and pause media when putting it on and taking it off your ears via the in-ear detection feature.
Furthermore, I’m quite excited by the thought that realme brings The Chainsmokers on board. To me it promises volumes (pun intended) when it comes to sound quality, and the team did not disappoint.
The realme Buds Air 2 treats you with rich texture of bass in both the main sound stage and the background. If you’re mostly listening to Pop and EDM tracks like Roses by The Chainsmokers feat. ROZES, you’ll be very happy to know that the bass are punchy and very engaging. Plus, if you wanted to crank the bass a bit further, you can activate the Bass Boost+.
Vocals are also crisp and clear by default. If you wanted to have a cleaner vocal registers you can activate the Bright sound effects. Both mids and highs have balanced outputs. Low registers are also clear and satisfying.
The realme Buds Air 2 also offers good separation which can be noticed in the distinction of instrument sounds. It needs a little definition in the treble though. But all in all, this one is a clear contender among its peers.
realme Buds Air 2 Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)
realme capitalizing ANC in its marketing strategy for the Buds Air 2 does not surprise me considering that it has become a sought-after feature in earphones today. Ideally, devices with ANC should serve a complete noise-free experience to users. Premium devices that I have used like the Apple AirPods Pro sets a gold standard in ANC. The Buds Air 2 does the job of cancelling noise, but it may need some improvements in this area. Nonetheless, at this price range, this is a very welcome addition to its well-established sound quality. It’s still a great job that realme added ANC to the Buds Air 2.
realme Link App Support and Call Quality
The Transparency Mode works well. It allows you to listen to media and surrounding sounds at the same time. Aside from the in-ear detection that I mentioned earlier, there's a bucket-full of features that you can control with the realme Link app. The companion app is one of realme's strongest suits for its AiOT devices. You can take advantage of the app in managing controls, settings, sound output, TWS modes, and more. In here, we have the Noise Cancellation, Normal, and Transparency modes.
As in the case of the realme Buds Air 2, there are plenty of customizations that we can control. Gesture or touch controls are supported with the Link app. By default, you can simply double-tap to play or pause a track, triple tap to play the next track, and touch and hold to turn off. But of course, you can also customize these control functions using the app. I have also realized that you need to tap the top part of the stem for better touch recognition.
The realme Buds Air 2 is also very dependable in calls, whether via cellular or online calls. For one, its dual-mic system allows you to transmit clearer calls by filtering the noise on your end. On the flip side, you can also pick up crystal clear audio with the ENC (environmental noise cancellation) feature. Thus, I think this is a great companion for collaborative platform calls which most of us use when working from home, even the kids can rely on this feature for their homeschooling.
Its 88ms low latency is also a welcome feature for gamers and movie junkies. I find it very evident when I tried rounds of gaming apps with this TWS.
In my time using the earbuds, I can squeeze a little over 5 hours. This figure drops to four hours and thirty minutes when I activated the ANC feature. The case can provide almost four more additional charging cycles. All in all, I get roughly 23 to 25 hours of juice. I think this battery life is quite acceptable at this price.
You can charge the case with the USB Type-C cable. It gets full at 55 minutes - that's from zero to 100%. If you're in a hurry, a 10-minute charge can give you almost two hours of playback.
If you're going to ask me what's the best TWS earbuds below PhP 4K, the realme Buds Air 2 would be an easy answer. I'm a sucker for good sound quality, very comfortable fit, stem design, intuitive app support, and solid carrying case. Guess what, the realme Buds Air 2 has all of that.
With realme introducing the ANC feature in this segment and with the earbuds tuned by one of the biggest artists in the world today, I think it's clear that all eyes (or ears) are on the Buds Air 2....for now.
1. Comfortable fit
2. Very good sound stage
3. ANC feature at this price point
4. Chic and light-weight stem design
5. realme Link app support
1. The stem could pick up fingerprints.
2. Case opening angle can be improved.
realme Buds Air 2 Key Specs
Powered by the realme R2 chip
Active Noise Cancellation
ANC up-to 25dB
10mm DLC Hi-Fi Bass Boost Driver
88ms Super Low Latency
Bluetooth Version 5.2
Dual Mic ENC for Calling
Intelligent Touch Controls
Smart Wear detection
Google Fast Pair
IPX5-Certified Water Resistance
Closer Black / Closer White