Active noise cancellation (ANC) isn't unheard of on true wireless earphones priced under Rs. 5,000, and brands continue to push the boundaries of performance and features in this segment. Indeed, recent models from Realme and OnePlus have proven that functional ANC and decent sound quality are possible even in the budget TWS segment. Throwing its hat into this ring is Oppo with its latest true wireless earphones, the Enco Air 2 Pro.
Priced at Rs. 3,499, the Oppo Enco Air 2 Pro has been launched shortly after the Enco Air 2, and has some significant differences such as a proper in-canal fit and active noise cancellation. Its current price makes it more affordable than the OnePlus Buds Z2, its direct competitor. Is the Enco Air 2 Pro the best value-driven true wireless headset with ANC that you can buy right now? Find out in this review.
The Oppo Enco Air 2 Pro earpieces are IP54 rated for dust and water resistance
12.4mm dynamic drivers, active noise cancellation on the Oppo Enco Air 2 Pro
The Oppo Enco Air 2 delivered fairly average performance for the price, and I have higher expectations of the ‘Pro' model. The Enco Air 2 Pro has received some key changes in design, specifications, and features. This includes an in-canal fit with silicone ear tips, and a larger charging case.
That said, there are some similarities between the two models such as the design of the earpieces' stems, the touch zones for playback controls, and the glossy finish on the plastics of the earpieces and charging case. A rather interesting touch is that the ‘L' and ‘R' symbols on the earpieces are cut out to form openings for the inner microphones. The earpieces are IP54 rated for dust and water resistance.
The Oppo Enco Air 2 Pro is available in two colours, white and grey. The white version looks a lot nicer in my opinion, because of its obvious aesthetic similarities to the Apple AirPods Pro. The charging case has a translucent upper panel, which I found rather eye-catching and unique. The bottom of the charging case has the USB Type-C port, there's an Oppo logo on the back, and the front has an LED indicator. The shape and size of the case make it easy to pocket along with other items such as a wallet or smartphone.
The touch controls on the Oppo Enco Air 2 Pro worked well for me. They are customisable using the HeyMelody app (available for Android and iOS). The touch gestures allow you to control playback, invoke the default voice assistant on your smartphone, cycle through noise cancellation and hear-through modes, activate game mode, switch between the two most recently paired devices, and adjust the volume. This flexibility allowed me to control my listening experience without having to access my smartphone too often.
The top of the charging case has an interesting translucent panel, and the case itself is a convenient shape and size
The HeyMelody app shows battery levels for both earpieces as well as the charging case. It lets you enable or disable ANC and transparency modes, and also activate the game mode for which it claims 94ms low-latency transmission. It also lets you switch between three equaliser presets (called Enco Live sound effects), and update the earphones' firmware. This app is very well designed, easy to use, and worked pretty flawlessly with the Enco Air 2 Pro.
The Oppo Enco Air 2 Pro has 12.4mm dynamic drivers, and uses Bluetooth 5.2 with support for the SBC and AAC Bluetooth codecs. The earphones have a frequency response range of 20-20,000Hz, and there is active noise cancellation and AI-based environmental noise cancellation that claims to offer better audio on calls.
There is also in-ear detection to play and pause playback when either earpiece is worn or removed, and this worked fairly well for me. Additionally, the Oppo Enco Air 2 Pro supports fast pairing and can be used to control your phone's camera shutter provided you have an Oppo smartphone running ColorOS 11.3 or later.
Battery life on the Oppo Enco Air 2 Pro wasn't too good, even considering its price. The earpieces ran for around three hours with ANC enabled and the volume at around the 60 percent level. The charging case charged them from empty to full three times over, for a total run time of around 12 hours per charge cycle. This is considerably lower than what the OnePlus Buds Z2 offers.
The Oppo Enco Air 2 Pro performs impressively, for the price
The Oppo Enco Air 2 Pro delivers good sound quality. Listening to Get Away From Here by Netsky, the earphones had a strong, attacking sound that pleasantly maintained this track's detail and pace. The sonic signature felt reasonably balanced, although the tight and imposing bass did feel a bit pronounced.
This helped bring out the character of this drum-and-bass track, while also allowing the vocals and highs to push through without being overwhelmed. Above all, the track sounded pleasant, and was enjoyable to listen to even at the 50 percent volume level thanks to the sharp and careful tuning.
Bumping up the volume to around 70 percent brought out the best in the Oppo Enco Air 2 Pro. The noise isolating fit and decent active noise cancellation certainly helped too. Slower tracks such as You by Mk.gee sounded engaging and cohesive at this volume level, with the tonality of the earphones being particularly impressive for a true wireless headset in this price range.
Battery life on the Oppo Enco Air 2 Pro is ordinary, but sound quality and ANC performance make up for this
That said, going anywhere above the 80 percent volume level tended to make music sound shrill and a bit too attacking. This could be an issue when listening outdoors and you need this level of volume, but in most cases, you should be happy with the straightforward and crisp sound as long as the volume is at reasonable levels.
Active noise cancellation performance on the Oppo Enco Air 2 Pro was pretty good, if not the best, for a TWS headset in this price range. It definitely made for easier listening both indoors and outdoors. This headset successfully managed to reduce many routine background noises such as the hum of a ceiling fan or an air conditioner, and some traffic sounds. Combined with good passive noise isolation, it was able to drown out most ambient sounds at home or in an office quite well.
Connection stability and call quality were good on the Oppo Enco Air 2 Pro, and I had no trouble with either during my time with these earphones. The connection was stable and lag-free at distances of up to 4m between the earphones and source device, even without a direct line of sight between them. Game mode made a slight difference in improving latency when playing mobile games, but at the cost of a small reduction in sound quality.
Oppo's audio product range in India has typically offered excellent value for money, although some of the company's most recent launches such as the Enco Air 2 have been rather average on the whole. With the Enco Air 2 Pro, Oppo returns to form. This is a very good pair of true wireless earphones for the price, and comes with useful features such as active noise cancellation and app support.
Above all, sound quality is very good on the Oppo Enco Air 2 Pro, and combined with good ANC, this is among the best TWS headsets you can buy for less than Rs. 5,000. The only real drawback is the ordinary battery life, which holds it back a bit from being an excellent all-rounder. It might be worth considering the pricier OnePlus Buds Z2 if battery life is a major concern. Overall, the Oppo Enco Air 2 Pro wins my recommendation for this price segment if your priority is good ANC performance from a TWS headset.
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