People looking to buy affordable true wireless earphones in India are spoiled for choice these days, with various Indian and international brands frequently updating their product portfolios. With a budget of about Rs. 2,500, it’s now possible to buy a decent pair of true wireless earphones with active noise cancellation and app support, such as the Realme Buds Q2, but sound quality is often quite ordinary on such budget options. Oppo, with its latest affordable true wireless headset, the Enco Air 2, hopes to appeal to buyers with a focus on the essentials, including a promise of good sound.
Priced at Rs. 2,499, the Oppo Enco Air 2 is simple in terms of features and abilities. However, Oppo promises good connectivity, good sound quality, and app support. This headset has an outer-ear fit similar to the original AirPods, which some users tend to prefer for commuting. Is this the best-sounding pair of true wireless earphones you can buy under Rs. 2,500 right now? Find out in this review.
See-through lid on the charging case of the Oppo Enco Air 2
The inclusion of active noise cancellation as a feature on affordable true wireless earphones has necessitated a shit towards in-canal earpieces even in this segment, and so we’re now seeing fewer mainstream options with an outer-ear fit, as made popular by the original Apple AirPods. Many buyers still prefer this, and some also like being able to hear their surroundings easily even with audio playing.
The Oppo Enco Air 2 has this outer-ear fit, which makes it a bit safer to use outdoors and in urban environments. Each earpiece weighs just 3.5g, and the headset is IPX4 rated for water resistance. There are 13.4mm dynamic drivers powering the earphones, while connectivity is handled by Bluetooth 5.2 along with support for the SBC and AAC codecs. The earpieces have 27mAh batteries each, while the charging case has a 440mAh battery.
Oppo’s new headset is available in two colours, white and blue. The earpieces are glossy and have stems for the microphones and charging contact points. The top of each stem has a touch-sensitive zone for controls, which can be customised using the HeyMelody app.
The charging case of the Oppo Enco Air 2 has a matte finish with a translucent lid through which you can see the earpieces. The indicator light is on the front of the case, an Oppo logo is at the back, and the bottom has the USB Type-C port for charging. The sales package oddly doesn’t include a charging cable. Although many people will have a usable cable lying around at home, some buyers might not, and could be a bit annoyed with having to buy one separately.
There is no pairing button on the case. The earphones default to pairing mode when first unboxed, but if you want to pair another source device, you’ll have to touch and hold the touch-sensitive zones of both earpieces simultaneously for four seconds to activate pairing mode. There is no active noise cancellation on the Oppo Enco Air 2 earphones, but there is an AI-enabled environmental noise cancellation feature that is said to improve microphone performance on calls.
The HeyMelody app works well with these earphones on Android, but the same app on iOS was unable to detect them. On Android, I was able to use the app to see the battery levels of the earpieces and charging case, customise controls, choose between the three ‘Enco Live’ equaliser presets, activate game mode, and update the firmware of the earphones.
The app allows you to customise touch controls for playback, invoking the default voice assistant on your smartphone, and adjusting the volume. I was happy with the fact that it’s possible to do all these things without needing to choose one function over the other. There’s even an option to activate the low-latency game mode using touch controls.
Battery life on the Oppo Enco Air 2 was a bit underwhelming even for an affordable headset. The earpieces ran for around three hours per charge at moderate volume levels with mixed use, with the charging case adding roughly four additional charges, for a total battery life of around 16 hours per charge cycle. The fact that there’s no active noise cancellation highlights the sub-par battery life on this headset, and heavy use with calls or playing media at high volumes will cause the battery to drain even quicker.
Strong bass on the Oppo Enco Air 2
The outer-ear fit on the Oppo Enco Air 2 naturally means that you can hear a fair amount of ambient sound, but the earphones make up for this, to some extent, with impressive volume. The headset can get quite loud to help drown out ambient sound if you want it to, and sound quality is decent for the price at both moderate and high volume levels. The large driver size also plays a part in this.
I did find the sonic signature a bit too aggressive at times, although many listeners might be particularly interested in the Oppo Enco Air 2 for this very reason. Expectedly, high volume levels tended to further amplify the lows, and this often felt a bit overpowering to me. Despite this, there was still a reasonable amount of detail to be heard in the vocals and highs.
Listening to Freak by Skepsis and TS7, the rumbling lows of this fast-paced electronic track didn’t feel quite as boomy as on the Fastrack Reflex Tunes FT4, and it didn’t muddy up the rest of the track. However, I did find the attack fatiguing at anything above the 70 percent volume level. At home, sticking to moderate volumes wasn’t an issue, but the lack of noise isolation necessitated increasing the volume to fatiguing levels when using these earphones outdoors.
What I did enjoy was how well this sonic signature suited some tracks, such as Living On Video (Claptone Remix) by Trans-X. The deep bass felt powerful and enjoyable with the quick beat of the track, while it allowed the rhythm and melody to shine through capably. I also liked that the track sounded fairly detailed thanks to the large drivers.
The soundstage and imaging on the Oppo Enco Air 2 were decent as well. Listening to Frankie Sinatra by The Avalanches, the various elements of this sample-based track were reproduced impressively for an affordable headset, with a distinct sense of direction and feeling that I don’t typically hear on true wireless headphones priced at under Rs. 5,000. While the punchy bass did strike hard, it felt a bit tighter and more calculated against the rest of this impressively engineered track, as compared to faster, more attacking tracks.
Connectivity and call quality on the Oppo Enco Air 2 were excellent. The earphones maintained a stable connection with the source device from up to 15 feet away even without direct line-of-sight between the two devices. I was able to take calls on this headset without any audio issues on either end of the call, both indoors and outdoors.
The Oppo Enco Air 2 is a bit of a mixed bag. While I didn’t have a bad experience with these earphones, I didn’t find much to praise either. Although affordably priced and with some useful features such as app support and stable connectivity, performance was all over the place and battery life was less than ideal. I found the sound to be a bit too boomy. The earphones do offer a fair amount of detail and a good soundstage. Performance on calls was decent too.
This should be a decent pick if you’re looking for a simple pair of true wireless earphones with good connection stability and call quality, or if you simply like punchy sound. On the other hand, the Realme Buds Q2 is a better all-round option, and you get active noise cancellation as a bonus.