If a cheap but good in-ear with active noise cancelling is what you're looking for, there's the Realme Buds Air Pro. These wireless in-ears offer great sound and ANC, while also keeping the price low at just S$79. It's good enough to keep engine noises and the like out of your daily commute.
- 5 hours playback with ANC, 20 hours with case
- 10 minute charge for 3 hours playback
- IPX water resistance
- 10mm drivers
The design of the Buds Air Pro will look familiar for Apple fans. While similar to the AirPods Pro, the Buds Air Pro has longer tips, more like the design of the normal AirPods. Mind you, I'm not knocking the looks, but it's definitely not as original as Samsung's Galaxy Buds Pro. Audio wise, the sound quality of the wireless in-ear is good. The highs are clear and the mids come through great. The bass is there but could be stronger. It's better when you turn off ANC. I would say though, it's a pretty clean sound overall.
The ANC is capable of cancelling out most of your daily background noise, and features a Transparency mode similar to the AirPods Pro and Galaxy Buds Pro. It lets you hear your surroundings clearly, but it lacks the auto activation found on the Samsung earphones. You switch between modes by touching the top section of the stem of the Buds Air Pro. You can also turn both ANC and Transparency off, but you'll need to download the realme Link app to add that setting. It comes with three different tip sizes to give you the right fit.
Note that the noise cancellation doesn't quite work well if you're in a windy area, or using it while cycling. The microphones don't quite cancel out the wind noise, which comes through as static. I've spoken to realme about it, and they have acknowledged the issue. They did not say when this would be fixed. You can turn off ANC and Transparency to rely on the natural sound isolation of the in-ears to enjoy static-free hearing in a windy area, though.
Honestly, at S$79, the Realme Buds Air Pro is a pretty good buy if you're hunting for a cheap pair of active noise cancelling earphones. It's available on Shopee and Lazada. As long as you're not using this in an windy area, it's a great buy to help keep your daily commute a little more peaceful.
Note: Review unit provided by realme.
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