The Redmi Buds 3 Pro does a good impression of more expensive true wireless earbuds. These tiny earbuds pack plenty of features, including hybrid active noise cancellation, in-ear detection and ambient mode, for its S$89 price. But some of these features require a Xiaomi or Redmi smartphone with the latest MIUI software. It's a shame because the Redmi Bud 3 Pro should garner a wider audience than just Xiaomi users.
- 9mm drivers
- 35-decibel hybrid active noise cancellation (ANC)
- In-ear detection
- 6 hours of playtime per charge, 28 hours in total (ANC off)
From the initial Bluetooth pairing, I already sense that the Redmi Buds 3 Pro works best with Xiaomi phones. Like Apple's AirPods, simply open its charging case besides a compatible Xiaomi smartphone (with Bluetooth turned on, of course) and you'll get a MIUI pop-up that pairs the earbuds with the phone in a jiffy. It's a tad more work if you don't have a Xiaomi device. You'll need to press the pairing button at the front of the case and scan for the earbuds in the Bluetooth settings. The earbuds can also connect to two devices simultaneously. Since I'm almost always on my PC and smartphone when I'm at work, this feature is very convenient.
Several of the earbuds' advertised features do not work even with the latest Xiaomi 11T Pro. For instance, while I got the MIUI pairing pop-up, I could not switch the hybrid active noise cancellation (ANC) modes (light, balanced and deep). I could only press and hold the earbuds' touch control to toggle between the ANC (deep by default) and transparency mode, which allows sound from the surroundings. The Find feature (locate earbuds by sound) is also available only for select phones. Xiaomi's website shows just four models that support all the earbuds' features currently. The ANC dampens constant noise like the growl of the bus engine, but I could still hear people talking. I also liked the in-ear detection feature which stops the music when an earbud is removed. However, I'm annoyed that the touch controls don't let you adjust the volume. There's no voice assistant support either.
The Redmi Buds 3 Pro sound fairly balanced, though I would have liked more bass. I also found them comfortable enough to wear non-stop for several hours. In any case, you can only use the earbuds for around six hours with ANC disabled and at 50% volume before it's out of battery, which is in line with the specs. You should get around 28 hours of playback altogether with the charging case. It takes around 10 minutes to replenish the earbuds sufficiently for a couple of hours of music playback. The case itself can be charged using its USB-C port or wirelessly through a Qi charging pad.
I did feel slightly shortchanged because some features are missing due to the lack of a compatible Xiaomi/Redmi smartphone. But there's sufficient meat, so to speak, in the Redmi Buds 3 Pro for even non-Xiaomi users. A mobile app for the earbuds would likely solve most of my complaints. But like other major smartphone makers, Xiaomi probably wants to retain users in its ecosystem and these earbuds may play a small part in that. The Redmi Buds 3 Pro are available at S$89 from Lazada and Shopee.
Note: Review set provided by Xiaomi.
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