Oppo's approach to true wireless earphones has always been a value-driven one, with the company actively promising and delivering more than you would expect from similarly-priced alternatives. The recently-launched Oppo Enco X2 is a great example of just how far Oppo is willing to go to position itself as the brand delivering the most bang for your buck. However, you can't talk about the value-for-money proposition without taking on the truly affordable segment, and that's where the new Oppo Enco Buds 2 comes in.
Priced at Rs. 1,999 in India, the Oppo Enco Buds 2 is among the company's most affordable true wireless headsets right now, and is the successor to the Oppo Enco Buds launched in 2021. With an interesting and entirely different design to the Enco Buds, as well as a promise of good performance, is the Enco Buds 2 the best affordable true wireless headset you can buy right now? Find out in this review.
The Oppo Enco Buds 2 has a design that is considerably different from that of the original Enco Buds
Oppo Enco Buds 2 design and features
Although the Enco Buds 2 is pitched as the successor to the original Enco Buds, the new headset is significantly different, particularly when it comes to the design. The stem-less design of the original makes way for one with a full-length stem, and naturally, smaller casings near the top. The earphones are made from plastic and have a proper in-canal fit, which offers good passive noise isolation. The earpieces are also quite light at 4g each, adding to the overall comfort level.
The Oppo Enco Buds 2 is available in a single colour in India — black. The earpieces are completely black in colour with a matte finish, while the charging case has a similar matte black finish on the outside and a glossy light blue colour on the inside. It's a strange combination of colours, but it doesn't look bad.
Touch controls are present on the earpieces of the Oppo Enco Buds 2, which can be customised using the app or native Bluetooth settings on Android devices. The touch-sensitive area is near the top of the stems, and has a slightly flattened-out texture to distinguish it from the rest of the stems. Gestures can be set up to control playback, volume, invoking the default voice assistant on your smartphone, or activating game mode.
The charging case of the Oppo Enco Buds 2 also sees some big changes in design, essentially in line with the shape of the earphones themselves. It is now a bit flatter and wider, with the USB Type-C charging port and indicator light at the bottom. It's small and easy enough to carry in a pocket or a compartment of a handbag.
Although fairly basic, there is app support for the Oppo Enco Buds 2, along with features such as using the earpieces to control the camera shutter on supported devices, AI environmental noise cancellation on calls, and IPX4 water resistance for the earpieces. The sales package has three pairs of silicone ear tips of different sizes, but notably no charging cable, which is a bit disappointing even at this price.
There is no ANC on the Oppo Enco Buds 2, but there is environmental noise cancellation for calls
Oppo Enco Buds 2 app and specifications
Like many other Oppo and OnePlus audio products, the Oppo Enco Buds 2 works with the HeyMelody app to enable customisation, and some additional features and functions. If you have some Oppo or OnePlus smartphones, you won't even need the app; the same functionality has been integrated into the native Bluetooth settings menu, and can be accessed by tapping on the earphones within the Bluetooth settings.
It's worth mentioning here that while HeyMelody is available for iOS, the Oppo Enco Buds 2 is not supported on iOS and only works with Android smartphones. I used the earphones with a OnePlus 9 Pro for this review, which had the app functionality built into the Bluetooth settings.
Once paired and connected, I could access the app-based functions, including equaliser presets (original sound, bass boost, and clear vocals), customisation for the controls based on tap or touch-and-hold gestures, and the toggle that enables you to use the earpieces to control the camera shutter when taking a photo. You can also view the battery levels for the earpieces and case, and update the firmware. All of this is well presented and worked as expected for me.
Oppo Enco Buds 2 performance and battery life
Oppo's value-for-money approach to the true wireless earphones segment deserves a lot more attention than it already gets, particularly thanks to excellent headsets such as the Enco X2. With the Enco Buds 2, Oppo hopes to make a strong impact on the affordable segment, and it does have a strong contender that can take the fight to products from competing brands.
Things have changed significantly in this price segment over the past year, and apart from the improvements in the features on offer, even sound quality seems to have improved a fair amount. The Oppo Enco Buds 2 offers sound that is loud, punchy, and driven, while retaining a fair amount of detail and capability even in the mid-range and highs. It's a characteristically aggressive sound — typical of what you'd expect on a true wireless headset priced at under Rs. 2,000 — but didn't feel too overbearing or fatiguing.
Battery life is decent on the Oppo Enco Buds 2, with the charging case adding three full charges to the earpieces
Listening to Conundrum by Shur-i-Kan, the mid-tempo beat of this deep house track immediately felt punchy and attention-grabbing. That said, the gentle, soulful melody did have plenty of room to shine, and the rumbling lows never felt too aggressive or overpowering. The secure fit and decent passive noise isolation helped in making for good, clean sound for much of my listening.
Even with the volume at around the 30 percent level, the earphones sounded adequately loud for typical indoor use. Anything beyond the 60 percent volume level was unsafe to listen, in my opinion, so it's fair to say that this is a very loud pair of true wireless earphones. Aggressive electronic tracks were best listened to with the volume on the lower end, while some soft, gentle tracks such as Truth by Kamasi Washington sounded best at around the 50 percent volume level.
The lows didn't quite strike as capably and precisely as I've heard on slightly more expensive headsets such as the Oppo Enco Air 2 Pro, but this is an expected point given the price of the Enco Buds 2. The tuning of the sound does manage to keep the headset in control with the low end, but it often sounded like the headset was facing a fair amount of strain in holding itself back.
The loud volume capabilities of the Oppo Enco Buds 2 helps cover for the lack of active noise cancellation, and also makes it an effective headset for voice-based content such as videos, movies, and TV shows. Call quality was decent on the headset as well, both indoors and outdoors.
Battery life on the Oppo Enco Buds 2 is very good even for a budget headset, with the earphones having 40mAh batteries and the charging case having a 460mAh battery. I was able to use the earphones for around six hours on a single charge with the volume at around the 30-40 percent level, and the charging case added three full charges, for a total run time of around 24 hours per charge cycle.
Brands are often tempted to double-down on features with affordable true wireless headsets, but I've found that simplicity and a focus on sound quality is a far better than earphones that can do many things, but none too well. The Oppo Enco Buds 2 ticks the boxes for what is expected at under Rs. 2,000, offering a music-focused, clean listening experience for the most part, along with decent battery life and app support.
Although the sound did sometimes feel a bit strained, the Enco Buds 2 are, for the most part, a capable pair of true wireless earphones for its price. You might also want to consider options such as the Realme Buds Air 3 Neo and OnePlus Nord Buds CE which are similarly priced, but the Enco Buds 2 is an equally reliable choice that's worth checking out.
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