Looking for in-ears for your online meetings and media consumption? Check out realme's second generation of its line of TWS devices, and they are now loaded with more capabilities usually found in pricier devices. Check out the realme Buds Air 2 Neo.
What's in the box
- Earbuds x 2Charging case
- USB-C charging cable
- User guide and warranty card
- Silicon earbud tips (S, M, and L)
- Information card
- realme R2 chip
- 10mm Sound Driver
- Audio Codecs: AAC, SBC
- 25 dB Noise reduction
- Active Noise Cancellation and Environmental Nose Cancellation
- IPX5 (earbuds only)
- Bluetooth 5.2
- Intelligent Touch Control
- realme Link App-compatible
- 88ms latency in game mode
For the second iteration of the Buds Air line, realme made use of the cobblestone- form factor of the Buds Q from the shape of its charging case, to the design of the earbud. It loses its rod form factor and now comes in a bean form with silicon tips that help keep the bud in place, while improving the sound quality.
The Buds Air 2 Neo comes in two neutral colors: Active Black and Calm Gray. Giving the relatively plain buds a little extra zing is the "gleaming mirror design" of its touchpads that reflects varying colors. This contrasts well with the matte surface of the rest of the earbuds, as well as the charging case.
Same as the pricier realme Buds Air 2, the realme Buds Air 2 Neo supports an active noise cancellation (ANC) of up to 25dB. It monitors external noise through a feed-forward microphone, allowing the earbuds to send out a reverse anti-noise sound to cancel it out. The operating provide different levels of isolation that are useful for varied conditions.
With ANC on, the realme Buds Air 2 Neo is said to last for about 20 hours, about the same length of time as most other earbuds in the market in normal operation. With ANC turned off, however, operating time can last up to 28 hours, a 65 percent increase from the 17 hours provided by the previous generation. The buds also support fast charging that is very handy when in a pinch. It takes about two hours to fully charge both the buds and charging case, but a mere 10 minutes in the charging case can give up to three hours of playback and get you through a Zoom meeting or two.
The 10mm Bass Boost Driver, along with a realme bass enhancement algorithm composite, makes the new Bass Boost+ a deeper and richer audio experience. It also comes with AAC high-quality audio technology, an encoding algorithm with a high compression rate provided by Dolby Laboratories, for higher fidelity.
The Game Mode of the realme Buds Air 2 Neo now features latency as low as 88ms, which is said to be the industry’s lowest. Each bud connects to the source with an individual Bluetooth 5.2 link that ensures a more stable and low-latency connection. Low latency audio means that there is little to no lag between what's on-screen and what you hear. This is best appreciated when playing games but since not everyone is a gamer, this is good for those who binge-watch on shows, too.
Using the realme Link app, one can easily control the device without guesswork. Choosing between the three modes (Transparency, Normal, Noise Cancelling); the sound effects (Bright, Dynamic, or Bass Boost+); Game mode (on or off); as well as other settings including reassigning functions for the actions (taps) that the Intelligent Touch Control recognizes is pretty straight forward. It's the easiest way to set up the device to your liking and to experience the differences between the settings.
Straight out of the box, the realme Buds Air 2 Neo will automatically connect to your phone as soon as you open the charging case. Google Fast Pair helps set up the connection when you're pairing for the first time, and a short pop-up will even show you power information. For Android users, installing the realme Link App is very useful even if you don't own other realme devices. From the app, you can see the power levels as well as have access to all the odes and options available for the earphones. The buds come programmed with a set of actions to control the buds (the kodigo is in the manual if you forget), but these presets can be customized to your liking using the app. If you are like me and find tapping on the phone more convenient, you can even turn the Intelligent Touch Control off so that you don't accidentally change the settings while adjusting the position of the buds.
If you need one good reason to buy these buds it has to be active noise canceling. It is the bomb. It is even more useful in our current work-from-home situation because it helps you zone out from the ambient noises and zone in on the work that has to be done. I never realized how loud the hum of the air conditioner was, or how noisy the fan beside my desk is. It also helps minimize the more obvious sounds like a television or radio playing nearby or even people's footsteps. The active noise canceling of these buds is so good that when I first started testing the device, I thought my housemates were playing tricks on me by just moving their lips and pretending to be talking to me. Pretty cool. It also has Dual Mic Noise Cancellation for calls so I switched from listening to Spotify to joining Zoom meetings without having to change devices.
Despite weighing almost nothing (4.5 grams per piece; 45 grams in total with the charging case), the earbuds are not tiny. At its biggest point, it is about as big as a 25-centavo coin, and for my ears at least, it doesn't quite fit inside my ear cavity and sort of sticks out. While this is fine when I am just at my desk, I would be scared to lose it while running even if it is IPX5 rated to be splash- and sweat-proof. The extra silicone pads are useful if you need smaller or bigger ones to fit your needs or preference.
The battery life of the Buds Air 2 Neo is solid. It takes about 2 hours for the charging case and buds to fully change. Once full, there is enough juice in the charger for about 3 full charges. One full charge for the buds lasted me a few minutes shy of six hours of continuous use with ANC and Bass Boost+ on using medium to high volume watching videos and listening to music. This isn't normal consumption for me, but it's good to know that it can last that long. After 2 charging cycles for the buds, the charging case still had about 40% juice left that is more than enough for another cycle. Ergo, daily charging isn't something you need to worry about.
Value / Price / Availability
At PHP 2,490, the realme Buds Air 2 neo is easily one of the most affordable TWS devices with Active Noise Cancellation. If you are lucky enough, you can get it at a discount from the online selling platforms that have monthly double-digit sales.
If you are looking for an affordable TWS for work or play, this one gives you a lot of bang for your back with more than decent performance. For the more serious audiophile, however, you may also want to check out the slightly more expensive realme Buds Air 2 which is currently the brand's top range offering.
What we like
- Noise control modes are awesome -- useful for different situations
- Great price point for a branded device (as always)
- Quick charging
- Battery life is longer than my attention span haha
What we don't like
- The actual bud is BIG; For my ears, it needs a bit of getting used to
- The gray charging case scratches easily :(
realme Buds Air 2 Neo unboxing
Full review and specs here ➜ http://bit.ly/ignitionPH_realmeBuds...
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