Oppo's personal audio product range in India is largely focused around mid-range and upper mid-range earphones, particularly the popular true wireless form factor. However, recent months have seen the brand take on the budget segment, which caters to buyers looking for basic levels of reliability when it comes to connectivity, sound quality, and battery life. After the Oppo Enco Buds in September, the company's latest launch is the Oppo Enco M32, an affordable wireless neckband-style headset.
The Oppo Enco M32 costs Rs. 1,799 in India, but is currently available for a limited-time offer price of Rs. 1,499 just after its launch. This headset focuses on the basics, promising good battery life, a comfortable fit, and decent audio quality for the price. Does the Enco M32 live up to expectations? Find out in this review.
The Oppo Enco M32 has 10mm dynamic drivers and supports the SBC and AAC Bluetooth codecs
Fast charging, IP55 dust and water resistance on the Oppo Enco M32
The Oppo Enco M32 is a typical wireless neckband-style headset when it comes to design, and keeps the focus on comfort and ease of use with a subtle and unassuming aesthetic. It's available only in black, with just one Oppo logo on the left module of the neckband. As with most headsets in this form factor, the neckband is flexible and can be twisted significantly without much risk of damage. The headset is also IP55 rated for dust and water resistance.
The plastic module on the right side of the neckband has the USB Type-C port for charging which is protected by a rubber flap, and the playback and volume controls. The earpieces extend from the ends of the left and right modules through short cables, and they can be snapped together magnetically. This magnetic link also controls power on the Oppo Enco M32; separating the earpieces turns the headset on, and snapping them together turns it off. The magnetic force isn't too strong and the two earpieces come apart without much effort, which can cause the headset to switch on accidentally when stored in a backpack or purse.
I found the earphones very comfortable to wear, thanks to the in-canal fit. This also makes for an acceptable noise-isolating seal. There is a pre-fitted, removable rubber grip on the inside of each earpiece that wedges against your inner ear to help it stay in place when you wear the headset. These can be removed for cleaning, which I found to be quite a sensible design choice. The glossy finish on the outer portions of the earpieces and the reflective silver magnetic zone look pretty decent. A total of three pairs of silicone ear tips are included in the sales package, along with a USB Type-C charging cable. You don't get any extra ear grips though.
For connectivity, the Oppo Enco M32 uses Bluetooth 5, with support for the SBC and AAC Bluetooth codecs. The earphones have 10mm dynamic drivers, and a frequency response range of 20-20,000Hz. Other features include dual-device fast switching. You can press the volume up and down buttons simultaneously for two seconds to quickly switch between the last two paired devices.
The headset is IP55 rated for dust and water resistance
Battery life on the Oppo Enco M32 is claimed to be 28 hours per charge, with the company promising up to 20 hours of listening with 10 minutes of charging. I was able to use the earphones for around 21-22 hours on a single charge at moderate volumes, and I found that a 10 minute charge could give the earphones enough power to run for around 14-15 hours. A full charge of the headset took around 35 minutes with a 10W charger, matching the figure claimed by the company. This are decent for a wireless neckband-style headset in this price range.
Inoffensive sound on the Oppo Enco M32
The focus of the Oppo Enco M32 is to get the basics right, and the headset fares quite well when it comes to sound quality and performance with voice calls. The support for the AAC Bluetooth codec is useful, and I didn't have any issues with connection stability during my time with the headset.
The sonic tuning is bass-focused, which is a safe way to go for a pair of wireless earphones priced under Rs. 2,000. These earphones can get very loud, and I was able to comfortably use them indoors at even the 50 percent volume level. Turning the volume up to around the 60 percent level brought out a bit more attack in the sound, and anything higher than that was either unpleasantly loud or tended to reveal a bit of distortion and weakness in the sound.
Listening to Keep It Close by Seven Lions, the rumble and low-end sub-bass growl in the track was expectedly at the centre of the listening experience, and even the mid-bass ranges tended to stand out and felt a bit more pronounced. This was particularly noticeable in the beat and the bassline which form the soul of this dubstep track. Combined with the impressive volume capabilities, this made for an engaging and energetic listening experience.
The sonic signature of the Oppo Enco M32 is bass-heavy, but lacking in detail
To put the bass to the real test, I played Boom by Tiesto and Sevenn next. While my initial impression was positive, the powerful bass-driven beat of this track quickly got fatiguing due to a bit of roughness that tended to overpower the rest of the frequency range. This was a recurring factor during my review of these earphones, and is something that I have also noticed with other affordable headsets.
The bass-happy tendency of the Oppo Enco M32 extended into and affected the sound of just about every genre of music I listened to, and made for a somewhat awkward experience with slower, subtler, and more detailed tracks such as Golden Brown by The Stranglers. The bass elements stood out even when they didn't need to, and while some of the finer details in this beautiful track could be heard, it was hard to decipher much past the rumbling bass. The Enco M32 is best suited to fast-paced, energetic tracks that don't need too much on detail in the mids and highs to sound good.
Connection stability wasn't an issue with the Oppo Enco M32; I was able to use this headset without any trouble at distances of up to 4m from the source device. Call quality was decent indoors, with the high volume and comfortable fit ensuring a good experience even on long calls. Microphone performance was decent indoors, but not as good in noisy, outdoor environments.
There are plenty of decent options in the affordable wireless headphones segment, such as the Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro which even features active noise cancellation. However, if you're on a slightly tighter budget and are just looking for something that gets the basics right, the Oppo Enco M32 might be worth considering.
The sound is energetic and lively, the earpieces offer a comfortable fit, and battery life is good as well. Fast charging is a particularly useful and practical feature, and getting 14-15 hours of usage with just a 10-minute charge is a significant selling point. Detail is lacking in the sound and call quality is a bit iffy outdoors, but overall, the Enco M32 gets the basics right, which is what one should expect at this price.
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