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Realme Buds Air 2 review: An honest true wireless headphone for Android smartphones

Preface: We strongly recommend that you complete the full test of the Realme Buds Air 2 Neo to approach that of the Buds Air 2 “very closely”. Because the two models are relatively close to each other, this short test mainly focuses on the differences to be known.

Realme Buds Air 2 Neo on the left, Realme Buds Air 2 on the right

Realme Buds Air 2 Neo on the left, Realme Buds Air 2 on the right

At first glance, the Realme Buds Air 2 distinguishes itself from the Buds Air 2 by their “branch” design. This large difference does not affect the overall production quality, which is completely correct, or the accessories supplied. Handling the case with one hand is always a tricky business, especially since the headphones are magnetized even more firmly to the case once stored inside.

The case still easily finds its place in a pocket.

The case still easily finds its place in a pocket.

On the other hand, the wearing experience clearly differs a bit from their “Neo” cousins, for the better by the way: the headphones are more discreet in the hollow of the ear (which is not really surprising, since the contact part is more compact) and are therefore less subject to the minor issues of overly obvious support we had observed. Although they are not completely forgotten, the Buds Air 2 provide a pleasant feeling of comfort even during relatively long sessions of use.

No major changes to be expected in terms of user experience, which is generally correct, especially with Android devices: except for the presence of a wearing sensor in each earphone, which allows you to take advantage of an automatic pause/resume playback (can be deactivated in the accompanying mobile application) and active noise cancellation when the headphones are worn (not deactivated), the Realme Buds Air 2 are similar to their “Neo” version. On the other hand, the autonomy per charge of the headphones does not exceed 4 h 20 min/5 h, depending on whether or not the RBA is activated. That said, the carrying case offers four additional refills.

Another important point: the hands-free kit offers a serious improvement in reception and call quality, making it possible to make calls in unfavorable noise conditions (on a moderately noisy street) without having to repeat yourself or speak excessively loudly to make yourself understood by their interlocutor.

As far as the listening experience is concerned, the Realme Buds Air 2 and Air 2 Neo generally share the same basics, but also differ on a few points here that tip the scales in favor of the former. The Buds Air 2 do indeed do a little better, and can therefore deliver quite correct performances: the return is a bit more balanced, more readable, a bit more light-hearted and above all less grueling. The sound signature of these true wireless headphones is nevertheless colorful with an energetic, even sharp look and a clearly marked sound presence that again requires you to be sensible on the listening volume under penalty of rapid hearing fatigue.



  • Frequency response measurement (balanced mode in black, bass boost in orange, clear in blue) | © The digital

4 photos

Frequency response measurement (balanced mode in black, bass boost in orange, clear in blue), harmonic distortion rate measurement, square wave measurement at 50 and 500 Hz, impulse response measurement (low latency mode in purple)

The precision of the sound reproduction is correct, the bass is always a bit soft and the second part of the spectrum is confused when there is a lot of information to be transcribed (many instruments, pieces rich in harmonics). A slightly more extended and detailed response in the higher frequencies would also have made the sound image a little less compact.

Like the Buds Air 2 Neo, the Buds Air 2 offer only very low passive isolation. Activating active noise cancellation is therefore essential if you want to cut yourself off as much as possible from certain noise sources, and that is also a bit more convincing on this model. The proposed damping is not fundamentally more important and remains quite light, especially to erase the voices. Nevertheless, it is less erratic than that of the Buds Air 2 Neo (no particular handling problem, apart from the still considerable sensitivity to breath caused by the wind).

Strengths

  • Homogeneous sound reproduction, first part of the balanced spectrum.

  • Very good quality hands free kit.

  • Wear comfortably.

Weak points

  • Sound signature that would have benefited from being softer and less timid in the extreme highs.

  • Improved sound precision.

  • Very low passive isolation/very ineffective active noise cancellation on vocals.

  • No volume control.

  • No headphone support in the iOS app (and thus very limited features).

How does the assessment work?

Without really being a good surprise, the Realme Buds Air 2 offer a slightly more experienced and controlled experience than their brothers. Buds 2 Air Neo, which positions them as a model to consider if you want to invest as little as possible in true wireless headphones. However, other slightly more expensive references can be a more interesting investment thanks to a more solid value for money, and this for all users, not just those on Android.

subnotes

  • Production & Accessories

  • Comfort & support

  • Comfort

  • Maintenance

  • User experience

  • Autonomy

  • audio

  • Active Noise Canceling

  • IP certification

  • Latency

  • hands free

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