Realme has launched its latest true wireless headset. Buds Air 3 has been launched. These are similar to the Buds Air 2 but seem to make up for some of the shortcomings left in the older model. It can be said that after their arrival, the competition in the market has become tougher in which Oppo Enco Air 2 Pro And OnePlus Buds Z2 are also included. Are these the best TWS headsets under Rs 5000? Will find out in this review.
Compact and efficient design of Realme Buds Air 3
Realme Buds Air 3 is priced at Rs 3,999 in India and comes in Starry Blue and Galaxy White colours. Recently, the company has also launched its Nitro Blue version, on which white colored racing stripes have also been given. The price of this variant is Rs 4,999.
A new product version usually means you’ll see some improvements. In terms of design, some useful changes have been made in Realme Buds Air 3. The earpiece and charging case are slightly smaller than the older model, even though they look and feel the same. These have a great in-canal fit, which further improves noise isolation with active noise cancellation.
Like the Buds Air 2, the stem in the Realme Buds Air 3 is modularized separately from the main chamber of the earpiece. Their color is also different. My review unit came with a silver stem and white earpieces. Like the old model, this time also there is no ‘L’ and ‘R’ mark on the earpiece. The earpieces have an IPX5 rating for water resistance and weigh 4.2 grams each.
I really liked the look of Realme Buds Air 3. Its compact design and comfortable fit worked great for me. The cell package also comes with a short charging cable and three pairs of silicone ear tips of different sizes for a customizable fit. The outer side of the stem is sensitive to touch controls. These can be customized through the Realme Link app. The app is available on both Android and iOS platforms.
I found the performance of its touch controls to be fine. However, on several occasions the triple tap gesture registered the double tap, or did not register at all. The touch sensitive area on the earpiece is very small and not even shown. Maybe because of this it was not able to read the input. Through these touch controls it is possible to control playback, switch between ANC and hear-through modes, activate the default voice assistant on the paired device, and activate game mode directly from the earphones.
The color and finish of the charging case on the Realme Buds Air 3 is similar to the earpiece. There’s an indicator light up front, a USB Type-C port at the bottom, and a Bluetooth pairing button on the right. There is Realme logo on the top. The review unit sent to me had my name printed on the back of the case, but realme has confirmed that it is not yet available to customers in India.
Like other wireless audio products of the company, Realme Link app has been given to support the functions of Realme Buds Air 3. Through the app, users can switch between ANC and hear-through modes, activate game mode, and control other features such as dual device connectivity. You can also customize the touch controls on the earpiece through the app.
Using the app, you can choose from three equalizer presets, or you can tune through a customized audio tuning process. I used the ‘Balanced’ sound preset. Custom audio signature may suit some people, you have to undergo a hearing test so that the tuning can be set specifically for you.
The Realme Buds Air 3 feature 10mm dynamic drivers and support SBC and AAC Bluetooth codecs. For this, connectivity of Bluetooth 5.2 has been given in them. The ANC is claimed to reduce sound by up to 42dB. Latency in low latency game mode is up to 88ms. It also has the feature of connecting two devices simultaneously.
Battery life was good in wearable. It lasted for 4.5 hours on a single charge. You get three complete charging cycles in the charging case. The charging case is slightly smaller than the older model and gives more charging cycles.
Improvement found in ANC and sound of Realme Buds Air 3
The older model was average in terms of sound. Active noise cancellation was also very minor in that. There is a lot of improvement in Realme Buds Air 3 from that. The support for SBC and AAC Bluetooth codecs means that it will have the same music experience on Android and iOS devices. I used an iPhone for this review. I listened to Martin Solveig’s Intoxicated on this. The sound quality was much better than any other Realme headset I’ve reviewed.
Its sonic signature is tuned for strong bass, but the low points of the track sounded clean and tight. Whereas this is not available in other devices of this price range. The high points of the track were also comfortable and clean. Mid range was a bit low. The track felt very clean, especially during its strong and fast beat.
The detail level in Childish Gambino’s Feels Like Summer was decent. It is a down tempo and soothing track which sounds great at different volume levels. This is where the Realme Buds Air 3 have improved to deliver enjoyable and comfortable sound.
The sound of Realme Buds Air 3 feels quite comfortable in the ears. I didn’t feel tired while listening to music. However, in terms of attack and drive sound, the earphones lag behind the Oppo Enco Air 2 Pro and the OnePlus Buds Z2.
Active noise cancellation in Realme Buds Air 3 was much better than its older model. This feature worked well even in indoor. The hum sound of the AC was barely audible. At the same time, the noise of the office and the street noise in the outdoor were reduced slightly. This made listening comfortable but you will get better ANC performance in slightly more expensive options like OnePlus Buds Z2 or Nothing Ear 1.
Transparency mode sounded a bit over-amplified but I could obviously hear my surroundings better. I found it more comfortable to rely on the automatic play and pause functions while taking short calls while listening with one earpiece. Its connectivity is very good. The earpieces work great up to a distance of 4 meters. Multipoint connectivity also worked well. For calls, I was able to use these earphones without any problem.
Realme has a very good track record in terms of value for money products. Realme Buds Air 3 has carried forward this quality of the company. This time the sound quality and active noise cancellation have improved. Some useful features such as multi-point connectivity have also been given in it. If you are looking for true wireless earphones under Rs 5000, then you can take these.
In terms of price, the sound quality and ANC performance in Realme Buds Air 3 is quite good. Although the quality is less than Oppo Enco Air 2 Pro or OnePlus Buds Z2. Nevertheless, the overall experience makes this handset worth buying in this price range.