realme launched its latest true wireless earbuds — the realme Buds Q2 today as the successor to its first Buds Q earbuds that was launched back in June last year. This adds ANC, improves the battery life, has a new R2 chip for 88ms low latency, and comes with Bluetooth 5.2 with AAC audio codec. So, are these the best true wireless earbuds with ANC for the price? Let us find out in this review.
- realme Buds Q2 in Calm Grey colour
- Ear tips in Small and Large sizes
- USB Type-C cable
- User guide
Starting with the design, the headset comes in a pebble shaped charging case that fits in your pocket, same as the predecessor. You can see the charge indicator on the front. Compared to a shiny case in the predecessor that attracts fingerprints, this has a matte finish that feels smooth to hold and doesn’t attract fingerprints, but it is slippery to hold. The Grey version gets dirty easily, so I would prefer the Black colour. The charging case measures 60.34×44.57×32.96mm and weighs 45g (Charging Case+Buds) that makes it slightly bigger and heavier than the predecessor since this has a slightly bigger battery.
There is a function key inside the case, between the space for buds.
The USB Type-C port is on the back of the case.
The headset has a plastic built, but has a matte finish, so doesn’t attract fingerprints. The earbuds weigh about 4.5 grams, which is light. These feature an in-ear design and also come with medium-sized ear tips pre-installed. You can change to bundled Large or Small sized ear tips if you wish. You can also see the charging contacts.
There is a microphone on the back of the headset for noise cancellation, and the bottom microphone is used for calls. The touch area has a gleaming finish that uses “Gleaming lamination technology” reflecting varying colours in different angles. The touch-sensitive area is bigger compared to the Buds Q that lets you you control play/pause, open Google Assistant and attend or disconnect calls.
Overall, the headset offers a decent build quality for the price and fits your ears perfectly so that they don’t fall off your ears easily, even when running or cycling. realme says that you need to keep the earbud tips inclined downwards, put the earbud in the ear canal and rotate it left and right until your ear feels comfortable for a perfect fit. The earbuds also have IPX5 water resistance rating to prevent splash, rain, and sweat in everyday use scenarios, but you can’t use it when swimming.
Connectivity, Pairing, and Controls
The realme Buds Q2 supports Bluetooth 5.2 with AAC high quality audio codec. The connection range is around 10 meters, which is common in most headsets, but the connection quality is good. The pairing process is very easy, simply press and hold the function button on the case for 3 seconds until the status light blinks green, this means that the headset is now ready to be paired to a device. Now open the Bluetooth settings on the phone, and it shows up as realme Buds Q2, and you can connect to it. As soon as the connection is established, the blinking LED should go off. You can take the earbuds out of the case and start using.
Since it has Google fast pairing mode that supports compatible phones, it automatically pairs to the phone when you bring the case with the headset close to the phone with Bluetooth turned on. We tested it on the several phones, and never faced any pairing related issue. Since the phone pairs with the case and not the headset, you will need the case if you want to reconnect it. The touch controls are easy to access, way better than the Buds Q.
|Function||Left earphone (L)||Right earphone (R)|
|Play / Pause, Answer call / Hang calls||Double tap|
|Reject incoming call||Long press 2s|
|Next track||Triple tap|
|Switch between ANC and Transparency Mode||Long press both earbuds for 2s|
The headset doesn’t have Smart wear detection, so it can’t automatically pause the music when taken out and resume when you put back, which is a feature that is present in realme Buds Air 2 and the Buds Air Pro since those have an optical sensor.
You can customize the controls from the settings in the realme Link app on Android and iPhone. You can change actions for the double tap, triple tap, touch and hold one bud and also touch and hold both the earbuds easily, but there is no option for volume control.
Audio Quality, Call Performance and Noise Cancellation
The realme Buds Q2 packs a 10mm bass boost driver which offer good audio output. In addition to Dynamic and Bright modes, it features Bass Boost+ Mode that is targeted at users with a heavy bass. With the AAC enabled, audio quality is good with clear vocals and good amount of bass, thanks to the 10mm driver that handles high, middle and low frequencies well. The low-latency gaming mode is useful when gaming since it reduces the latency by up to 35% compared to the previous generation, and we could feel the difference. The company says that the latency is reduced to 88ms in the gaming mode during internal testing. This is achieved by real-time dual-channel transmission and the new R2 chip. It is also easy to enter the gaming mode when you long press on both sides of the earbuds. You get a notification when you enter and exit the mode.
The earbuds offer a good amount of noise isolation, and dual microphones help when it comes to voice clarity during calls. The earphones also reduce the background noise to a certain extent that helps in a crowded or noisy environment and wind when you are travelling, thanks to its ENC noise-cancelling algorithm. For the price it’s decent, but it can’t manage crowded environment.
Regarding the Noise cancellation, the Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) blocks the ambient sound up to 25dB that helps in most cases. You can feel the difference when you are listening indoors in terms of fan and AC noise. Outdoors, it can block noise to a certain extent. The realme Buds Air Pro has up to 35dB ambient noise cancellation, so you can feel a slight difference in the quality. However, for the price it does a good job. The Transparency mode is also useful.
The earphones promise 7 hours of standalone battery life and 5 hours with ANC enabled in 50% volume. During my run with AAC, I got about 4 and half hours with mixed use of with and without ANC in about 70% volume, so it is decent. It also has fast charging support. The company says that you get 3 hours of playback on 10 minutes of charge (earbuds and charging case combined). This is very useful when you need a quick charge. Both the case and the buds take about 2 hours to charge fully.
With the 400mAh charging case, it promises up to 28 hours of total battery life without ANC and 20 hours of total battery life with noise cancellation enabled. The green light in the case indicates that the battery is full, and when it turns red, it is less than 20%. You can also see the charge left in the case in the realme Link app when the earbuds are placed in the case. Charging the case fully take about 2 hours, and charging the earbuds fully takes about an hour. The charging case doesn’t have wireless charging.
Overall, realme Buds Q2 is a good true wireless earbuds with active noise cancellation (ANC) at Rs. 2499. It offers good audio quality with decent noise cancellation, and the battery life good with support for fast charging that you rarely see in TWS earbuds in the price rage. It will be available for purchase from Amazon.in, realme.com and offline stores starting from June 30th.
- Good audio quality with AAC support
- Bluetooth 5.2 offers strong connectivity
- Low-latency gaming
- Good ANC for the price
- Good battery life with fast charging
- Might be big for some
- No volume control option
- Call noise cancellation could be better