Geek Lifestyle Review: realme Buds Air

A great AirPods alternative for its price!

Two weeks ago, I got my hands on the realme Buds Air, realme’s first true wireless earbuds. Given that I rather liked realme’s other wireless earbuds, the Buds Wireless, I expected the Buds Air to perform just as well, both audio quality-wise and everyday usability.

After trying out the realme Buds Air for two weeks, I can safely say that realme’s first true wireless earbuds deliver both great audio quality and day-to-day reliability. In fact, it stands out among the competition when it comes to audio quality. Want to know why? Read on here in our full review of the realme Buds Air.


Design and Fit

Saying that the realme Buds Air is inspired by Apple’s AirPods is an understatement. While a lot of true wireless earbuds in the market take design cues from the AirPods, the realme Buds Air is almost a 1:1 replica. Save for vents at the top and the slightly larger size, the realme Buds Air looks very much like a pair of AirPods (if you have the Buds Air in the white colorway).

Having a design that’s so similar to the AirPods bring with it some pros and cons. The main thing I liked about the design is that it’s very portable. While other true wireless buds have longer or larger charging cases, the realme Buds Air’s case is small and easy to bring anywhere. It’s also quite comfy to wear even for longer periods of time, provided it fits your ears well as it did mine.

Going with an AirPods style means that the Buds Air is not an in-ear monitor with tips, meaning the earbuds won’t provide much noise isolation. This is both a good thing and a bad thing — it’s great for users who prefer to be aware of their surroundings while listening to music, though users who want to block out most outside noise will be disappointed. In quite environments, the realme Buds Air works well, but in noisy areas, you won’t be able to tune out environmental noise much.


Sound Quality

While I would’ve wanted better noise isolation, the realme Buds Air made up for it with its sound quality. Most consumer earbuds I’ve tried have bass-heavy audio output, which is great for bass-lovers, but not so much for me. The realme Buds Air is an exception as it has a balanced sound signature, all without sacrificing bass too much.

This means that the Buds Air is a great pair of earbuds for rock and indie songs. Where other earbuds drown out rock songs with too much bass, the Buds Air strikes a nice balance, meaning it worked well when I listened to songs such as “My Hero” by the Foo Fighters or “Miracle” by Paramore.

For various other genres such as pop, jazz, and many more, the Buds Air also worked well. What’s surprising is that it has a fairly decent soundstage for earbuds.

The only thing I would’ve wanted is a bit more bass. Sure, I said above that it didn’t sacrifice bass that much to achieve a balanced sound, but it did lack low-end thump in some songs. For example, “Sanctuary” by Joji loses some of its sub-bass impact on the Buds Air.

In spite of this though, I’m still impressed overall with the realme Buds Air’s sound quality.


Everyday Reliability

Aside from its balanced sound signature, I liked the realme Buds Air’s set of features. Like the AirPods, the Buds Air automatically pauses when you take on earbud out. You can also pause and skip tracks via tapping any of the earbuds twice or thrice respectively.

Another nifty feature of the Buds Air is the low-latency mode. Long-pressing both earbuds activates this mode (turning the mode on is indicated by an engine revving sound), and it makes the Buds Air have minimal audio lag which is great for gaming. Take note though, this mode drains a bit more battery life.

Speaking of battery life, the Buds Air is rated to last for around 3 hours of use, and 17 hours overall with the charging case. In my experience, the battery life rating is fairly  accurate as the buds lasted for around 2-3 hours of continuous use. With the charging case, this allowed for around a couple days of use on a single charge. If you do run out of juice, the Buds Air charges quickly, and it uses a Type-C cable for charging to boot (always a plus in my book).

Finally, the realme Buds Air had good connectivity with both my phone and laptop via bluetooth. I rarely experienced connection drops in my time using the Buds Air. It was also hassle free to setup, connecting quickly and easily with all of my devices.


Final Geek Lifestyle Verdict — 8.5/10

Overall, the Buds Air is a great pair of true wireless earbuds. Realme’s newest pair of earbuds offer a nicely balanced sound signature, a bevy of useful features, and a very portable design. While it could’ve used a bit more low end and noise isolation, at its price of PHP 3,990, the realme Buds Air is definitely a worthy choice for budget-minded users on the lookout for a pair of true wireless earbuds.