Back in December, we reviewed the Enco Q1, OPPO’s wireless earbuds that offer active noise cancellation (ANC) without breaking the bank. This time, we got a chance to review another pair of earbuds — the OPPO Enco Free. And as the name implies, these of earbuds is free from cables, meaning it’s a pair of true wireless stereo (TWS) headphones.
Given that I found the OPPO Enco Q1 to be a great pair of earbuds thanks to good sound quality and effective ANC, I had high hopes for the Enco Free.
So does the OPPO’s new pair of TWS earbuds deliver great audio quality and everyday usability? Find out here in our full review of the Enco Free!
Design and Fit
While other brands straight-up copy the look of Apple’s AirPods (the first pair that popularized TWS buds), OPPO instead went with a slightly tweaked version of Apple’s signature earbuds. Take the case for instance, unlike the AirPods, the Enco Free’s charging case has a matte texture, making it feel grippier and more resistant to getting dirty.
As for the earbuds themselves, the Enco Free does look a bit like Apple’s AirPods in that it’s also an “open-fit” type pair (they’re not “in-ear” earbuds); but instead of a glossy texture, the Enco Free buds are matte, meaning they likely won’t slip out of your hands or from your ears. The earbuds also have some unique elements such as silver detailing at the stem.
What makes the Enco Free unique when compared to other “open-fit” TWS earbuds is that it comes with two extra pairs of ear tips, one medium and one large (the small tips are on the earbuds by default).
Most other TWS earbuds don’t have extra ear tips, so it’s great that OPPO went for a design that allowed users to change tips. Because of this addition, the Enco Free will better fit a wider range of users. For example, I find that a lot of open-fit earbuds don’t fit me well, but with the Enco Free’s medium eartips, the buds felt more secure in my ears.
Once you find the eartip for you, the Enco Free is comfortable to wear even in long listening sessions thanks to how light it is.
Aside from helping the buds fit better, the Enco Free’s ear tip selection also helps in sound quality, as using the right tips will give a better seal, meaning better noise isolation and improved bass (still not on par with IEMs though). For instance, when I initially tested the Enco Free, I thought that it lacked bass and let in too much noise. Upon changing to the medium ear tips though, there was a marked improvement in sound quality.
Speaking of sound quality, the Enco Free has a good quality audio output, with a good amount of bass, all while not drowning out other frequencies. The Enco Free’s sound signature is fairly similar to the Enco Q1, meaning it’s good for genres such as pop and hip-hop.
If you listen to other genres though such as rock and acoustic, the Enco Free also performs well. Sure, it’s sound might not be detailed enough for discerning audiophiles, but the Enco Free should perform well enough for most listeners.
The only thing I didn’t like too much with the Enco Free is that it still let in environmental noise. This is due to its open-fit design which doesn’t provide much (if any) noise isolation. Still though, thanks to the different ear tips, the Enco Free has better noise isolation that other TWS earbuds in the market.
For battery life, the Enco Free should last for around 3-4 hours of continuous use. With the charging case, the Enco Free will last for around 20 hours in total, around what you’d expect from TWS earbuds. Charing the earbuds takes around an hour from 0, and it uses a Type-C port for charging.
As for connectivity, pairing the Enco Free with your device is quick and easy via Bluetooth. In my time with the Enco Free, I also didn’t encounter much signal interruptions or sudden disconnections.
While I liked most of the OPPO Enco Free’s features, I found that the gesture controls were a bit too finicky. The Enco Free lets users control volume, as well as skip tracks via swipe gestures on the left and on the right earbuds respectively. While useful, they were a bit too sensitive, as I often found myself skipping tracks or adjusting volume inadvertently while adjusting an earbud’s fit.
On the flip side, the double-tap to pause/play function is quite responsive. The Enco Free will also automatically pause your media when you take out one earbud.
Final Geek Lifestyle Verdict — 8.5/10
Overall, I’m quite impressed with the OPPO Enco Free. Thanks to its good sound quality, reliable connectivity, and nifty ear tip selection, the Enco Free is easily one of the best TWS earbuds I’ve tried.
Sure, I would’ve wanted more noise isolation or less finicky gesture controls, though overall the Enco Free is a great deal at it PHP 5,499 price point.