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[Review] A Lightweight TWS Option: The OPPO Enco Air Earbuds

OPPO Enco Air

Price TBD

Along with the recent launch of the OPPO Reno6 Z 5G smartphone, OPPO has also released a new pair of budget TWS earbuds called the OPPO Enco Air. The earbuds boast a long battery life along with Bluetooth 5.2 and High Performance / Low Latency certification from TÜV Rheinland. While they don't feature Active Noise Cancelling, it does feature AI Noise Cancelling for calls.


First impressions

Unboxing the OPPO Enco Air was a simple affair. Removing the lid will reveal the charging case with the buds contained within, and after lifting up a cardboard divider, you'll find the paperwork nestled in the middle compartment, while a short USB-C cable is tucked neatly into the side.

The Enco Air earbuds are available in two colours locally - Misty White and Misty Black. I received the latter variant, which came in the form of a rounded oblong case with a translucent top. It's constructed from matte plastic but still feels solid in the hand. The magnetic lid flips open and shut with a reassuring thud, while the earbuds are nestled securely in their places with powerful magnets as well - they definitely won't be falling out accidentally any time soon.

The only OPPO branding is relegated to a small square box on the hinge, and the entire case is smooth save for the USB-C charging port on the bottom.


A 'semi-in-ear' design

Unlike true in-ear buds, the glossy Enco Air buds do not have a silicone or foam tip attached to the end for a proper closed fit. However, the tips are also slightly elongated compared to open-fit buds like the Apple AirPods or even the Huawei FreeBuds 4 that we recently reviewed. This makes for a slightly better fit which directs the audio into the ear canal better, albeit without the passive noise cancellation that comes from a proper physical seal.

In any case, the earbuds are extremely lightweight, enough so that you'll forget their presence after a while.


Setup and controls

Setting up the buds is a breeze - simply ensure that your device's Bluetooth is turned on, open the lid of the Enco Air's charging case, and pairing prompt will appear. The Enco Air also features Instant Connection, which will automatically connect your buds to your previously paired device as soon as you open the lid. It works like a charm, and by the time the buds are snugly in your ears, it's already ready to go.

When used with an OPPO smartphone, you'll be able to adjust the settings within the Bluetooth connections list itself. However, if you're using a non-OPPO device, you'll have to download the HeyMelody app to do so.

Within the app, you can check the battery status of the buds and the case, as well as download firmware updates and customise the actions you want. The buds recognise 3 types of gestures - double tap, triple tap, as well as touch and hold. It would be nice if it supported swipe gestures as well, but the available ones suffice.


Audio quality and user experience

In terms of audio, the Enco Air is nothing to shout about, which isn't surprising as its targeted towards a lower budget demographic. Music would definitely sound better with some noise cancelling, but unfortunately ANC is not present on this model. Coupled with the lack of a physical seal for passive noise cancelling, the bass tends to leak, resulting in tunes that lack a bit of punch.

Battery life is decent, with OPPO boasting 4 hours of playtime at 50% volume, with the charging case topping that figure up to 24 hours. Charging the case together with the buds will yield up to 8 hours of playtime in 10 minutes, while a full charge takes 1.5 hours.

The touch controls take some time to get used to, but work fine once you do. Unlike some other earbuds, the Enco Air buds do not pause the music when you remove them from your ears. They also feature AI Call Noise Reduction to separate background noise from human voices, as well as an IPX4 rating which renders them splash- and sweat-proof for light workouts. Depending on the shape and size of your ears, the security of the fit may vary though, so I wouldn't recommend them for more vigorous workouts.

Despite its low latency claim, there is a noticeable lag while playing mobile games - especially on non-OPPO smartphones. Turning on Game Mode does reduce this quite a bit, but it is still noticeable and will definitely impact games where immediate audio feedback is essential, such as PUBG Mobile and other FPS titles.


Buy or no buy?

If you're looking for a good-looking pair of buds but don't want to pay AirPods price, the OPPO Enco Air is a decent package with intuitive controls and good battery life. It's difficult to comment further without knowing the official local pricing at the time of writing, but if it falls within my estimation of RM170 - RM250, these are definitely a value buy for casual users looking for TWS buds.

For more information, you may visit the official product page here.

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