text to speech
When Realme's CEO Madhav Sheth unveiled the Realme X2 Pro in India, he ended his presentation by taking out a pair of Apple AirPods lookalike and kept calling it 'my Airpods' until he walked off the stage wearing it. Realme has since then been teasing its first truly wireless earbuds and the social media crowd hailed it as an AirPods clone. Realme released it under the name of the Buds Air and as rumours suggested, it went for very affordable pricing- Rs 3,999 to be exact.
At Rs 3,999, the Realme Buds Air is extremely cheap by any means, especially when you consider what Realme has to offer. The Buds Air look like AirPods and they also work like AirPods- this is a trait that's not present in the sub-Rs 5,000 category. Realme says the Buds Air pack in a lot of new technology to make life easier and that got me interested in it quite a lot, given that it offered a proposition that doesn't make sense for the price Realme is asking.
Hence, I have been living with Buds Air for a while now and I think Realme has marked a revolution in the wireless earbuds category that the market needed badly for years. How? Read on to find out.
Yes, it's an AirPods clone and that's a good thing
Everything about the Realme Buds Air screams Apple AirPods. Right from the moment I took the Buds Air out of the box, I mistook it for a pair of the new AirPods. The curvy rectangular case seems to have taken massive inspiration from the Apple earbuds. There's also a LED indicator on the top to show the battery and connection status. Even the USB-C port is in the same location as the Lightning port you find on the AirPods case. The only difference is the small pairing button on the front that you need to hold for three seconds to activate the pairing mode.
The AirPods déjà vu doesn't stop as you open the lid. The earbuds themselves resemble the AirPods, complete with the iconic stalk and all the sensors. The shape is also identical to the buds on the AirPods and if you found the AirPods to be a good fit, chances are that it won't be any different for the Buds Air.
Is so much of AirPods inspiration a good thing? For me, it works as the design is extremely practical to live with and it works without bothering in any way- those owning the actual AirPods disapprove of my choices and have stopped talking ever since I started using these (shots fired). The earbuds slot in the ear easily and they stay in comfortably, with the stalk jutting out towards the cheeks. Even when you use the touch controls, they don't dislodge- that's a big win for the user. It would have been better if Realme went for silicon ear tips for a better fit but the plastic ear tips are quite comfortable for hours at a stretch. The ear tips with notable panel gaps, however, scrape up a lot of debris and on the white variant, I had to constantly keep cleaning them as well as wipe my ears every time I had to use the earbuds.
The case is itself is slim and I was able to carry it easily in my trouser pockets. The fit and finish could have been better but considering the price, I honestly can't complain. The best part is that there's USB-C port for charging the case and that meant I only had to carry a single USB-C cable while going around- every other audio accessory maker should bow before Realme for this decision. There's even support for wireless charging that I never ended up using- if you have a Samsung Galaxy S10 or Note 10, you can fill up your Buds Air on the move. Sadly, there's no fast charging and it takes up to two hours for the battery to fill up.