For a smartphone brand that has only been around for a little over a year, Realme has had a major impact on the Indian market. When it comes to the delivery of smartphones in India, the company quickly climbed into the top 5 and continues to be aggressive against the competition. The first audio product, Realme Buds, was offered at competitive prices, but we were less than impressed with the sound quality.
The newest product in the company's range is Realme Buds 2, which was launched together with Realme 5 (Review) and Realme 5 Pro (Review). This new pair of headphones costs Rs. 599 and promises a better design and improved sound quality. We check the Realme Buds 2 to see if they actually live up to expectations.
Realme Buds 2 design and specifications
The Realme Buds 2 have similar functionality to the Realme Buds – the new earbuds are a traditional pair of cables that use the 3.5mm plug to connect compatible devices. On the right cable there is a three-button remote control with microphone for the hands-free function. Other similarities are the fabric-wrapped cable under the Y-splitter and the yellow-black color scheme, which we really liked.
We noticed some improvements in design and build quality: the rubber cables above the Y-splitter feel much more durable on the Realme Buds 2, and there is now a rubber clamp that can hold the cables in place. The earphone housings look a little different, but feel the same as before thanks to the thick plastic material.
There are magnets on the back of each case that hold the two parts together when you are not using them. Since these are analog (passive) earphones, the magnets do not control functions such as music playback and only make it easier to store the headphones when not in use.
The Realme Buds 2 has 11.2 mm drivers with an impedance of 32 ohms each, a sensitivity of 108 dB and a frequency range from 20 to 20,000 Hz. The sales package contains a total of three pairs of earplugs. We found the earphones to be comfortable, with a secure fit and sufficient passive noise isolation. A lot of cable noise could be heard above the Y-splitter, but this can be expected in this price range.
Real buds 2 performance
For our test, we used Realme Buds 2 with a OnePlus 7 Pro (test) (using its official passive USB dongle of type C up to 3.5 mm) and an Apple iPad mini (2019). We spent much of the reporting period listening to music, but also tested the sound quality of movies and TV shows, as well as voice calls.
Starting with Thom Yorke's Not The News, we were immediately impressed by the sound quality of the Realme Buds 2, which has improved significantly compared to the first Realme Buds. While we found the older model's sound to be a bit rough, the Realme Buds 2 are much more sophisticated and detailed.
Bass reproduction was significantly increased compared to mid-range reproduction, and the bass was even a little more aggressive than the treble. However, the sound was mostly clean, pleasant to hear and could be very loud.
The punchy bass can cause a bit of fatigue over time at high volumes, but listeners who prefer it heavily will appreciate the attack and aggression that Realme Buds 2 brings. We also liked the openness and richness of sound of the headphones, which are considerably better and cleaner than all other headphones that cost less than Rs. 1,000 that we heard.
With Brass Against The Machines' incredible cover from Killing In The Name, we were impressed by the sound quality in the middle frequency range. The vocals were strong and sharp, but we also noticed that the high volume of the headphones sometimes made a bass-heavy track like this a bit too warm and out of focus. Apart from a bit more listener fatigue, that didn't bother us much.
We watched the first episode of Sacred Games, Season 2, to get an idea of sound with video content. The strong bass was heard here and the dialogue was sometimes a little overwhelmed, but for the most part these headphones did a good job thanks to their clean sound and relatively wide sound stage. Given the price of this headset, we were also satisfied with the sound quality for voice calls.
Realme is best known for its smartphones, but is well on the way to establishing itself with the Realme Buds 2 as an ecosystem player. These earphones are well built and sound great for just Rs. 599; Bass lovers in particular will enjoy the aggression and drive, while all listeners will like the clear and refined nature of the sound. There were moments when we found the sound to be too bass-heavy, but it never became too uncomfortable.
The Realme Buds 2 are a big step up from the original Realme Buds when it comes to the sound quality and the slight price increase of Rs. 100 is completely justified in our opinion. If you like it a bit more balanced, the 1More Piston Fit is the better choice. However, if you're satisfied with punchy bass and want a pair of well-built headphones, the Realme Buds 2 is our pick from Rs. 1,000.
price: Case 599
- Great design and build quality
- Clean sound, good sound stage
- Aggressive and powerful bass
- Can get very loud
- Good value for money
- Strong bass sometimes overwhelms vocals and dialogue
Reviews (of 5)
- Design / comfort: 4
- Audio quality: 3
- Value for money: 4
- Overall: 3.5