realme is really branching out from solely being a smartphone company. First stepping into the realm of fashion, now realme is going into accessories. For those who have been keeping an eye out on realme Malaysia’s Facebook page, you might have heard of the realme Buds Wireless – particularly the Alan Walker edition.
The realme Buds Wireless isn’t the company’s first audio accessory – they already have the realme wired earphones before this. For them to come up with a neckband though, is certainly something interesting.
The realme Buds Wireless come in this simple packaging design that shows the product at the front of the box.
Sliding off the sleeve, we can see the realme Buds Wireless sitting in the cradle snugly. The piece of white tag on the neckband lets you pull out the realme Buds Wireless out of the cradle, by the way. Not sure if that’s the intended purpose, but that’s how I use it.
The accessories are found in a box by opening up the bottom compartment. The included items are pretty much the basics:
- Total of 3 sets of eartips (S, M, L sizes)
- Micro USB charging cable
- User manual
- realme Buds Wireless
I think the overall design of the realme Buds Wireless is bold and striking. realme kept the company’s iconic “realme yellow” throughout in both the packaging and the product itself. Now, it’s not completely yellow like Lamborghinis, but serve as a highlight accent to the black body.
The first thing realme got right is to make a flexible neckband encased by a rubbery material. This allows comfort for someone with thick necks like mine, and also being grippy enough to stay in place when sweating.
At the end of the flexible neckband are two metal cylinders. The right side houses the micro USB charging port and the 3 buttons, whereas the left side presumably houses the battery. Clean design overall, but I really would like realme to add some sort of bump on the “R” button so I know where my fingers are placed before pressing. Fortunately, each button press has satisfying tactile feedback.
The buds themselves are simple but very functional in terms of design. realme included silicon hooks – like Jaybird earbuds – hence making it suitable for vigorous activities like zumba without worrying that it will fall off.
If you don’t like the hooks, you can take them off. However, it’s weird that realme made the hooks removable but does not include different sizes of these hooks in the box. If the included hook is too big or too small for you, then might as well remove it.
Despite how simple the realme Buds Wireless looks, it actually has some innovative features. Like many neckbands in the market, both earbuds will magnetically snap to each other. You might not realize this – but the realme Buds Wireless does not have a power button. Snapping the earbuds together automatically turns it off, and vice versa.
This is an excellent design choice as there is one less button to worry about. Unsnapping the earbuds automagically turns it on and pairs with your device, and snapping them back together will turn itself off. If it is turned on but no devices are paired to the realme Buds Wireless for 5 minutes, then it will also turn itself off. Neat feature.
The 3 buttons on the right side does these functions:
- + button
- Short/long press: increase volume by step/continuously
- “R” button
- Single press: play/pause
- Holding for 1 second: evokes voice assistant
- Double press: next track
- Triple press: previous track
- While in a call
- Single press: answer calls
- Holding for 1 second: reject calls
- – button
- Short/long press: decrease volume by step/continuously
For me personally, I prefer realme would just forget about the continuous volume increment feature. Make long-pressing the + and – buttons to go next and previous tracks instead because I will spam the buttons to increase or decrease volumes anyway.
And the double/triple pressing of the “R” button has a weird learning curve to it. You need to time it properly – not too fast and not too slow. Though for me, I have more success in doing it slowly rather than spamming that “R” button. I suggest you watch our video review at the top of this page to know what we mean.
In terms of the nitty-gritty technical aspect, the realme Buds Wireless is quite generic as it Bluetooth 5.0 and supports both SBC and AAC codec.
Sound quality and user experience
Real bass. Unwired. Those were the words plucked from realme’s official page for the Buds Wireless. That is because realme got Alan Walker on board to tune the Buds Wireless. Alan Walker, you know that famous electronic music guy who composed the song used in PUBG Mobile?
Being an electronic music artist, he tuned the realme Buds Wireless to be with a heavy emphasis on the bass – hence suitable for electronic music. And that shows as I was listening to EDM and it sounded better than other genres of music. I also listen to big band jazz and I have to say – anything bass-related, the realme Buds Wireless can play it decently.
While the realme Buds Wireless doesn’t sparkle as much, I find it to be pleasant since other earphones with ear-piercing sparkles sound really annoying.
For the realme Buds Wireless, don’t. The audio delay on the realme Buds Wireless is not suitable for gaming, especially if you’re thinking of PUBG Mobile or COD Mobile. To learn more about audio delay, check out our video below.
As per mentioned earlier, the realme Buds Wireless only supports two commonly-found Bluetooth audio codecs – SBC and AAC. As of now, we found out that only aptX Low Latency (a.k.a. aptX LL) has a delay that is low enough to be suitable for most games.
To learn more about aptX LL, click here.
Generally, neckbands are better than true wireless earbuds because of how it is made and how the buds connect to your phone. It is able to store a larger battery in the left side metal housing, too.
These two plus points in battery life made the realme Buds Wireless being able to achieve over 12 hours in our listening test. We tried at about 25% volume as that is the most comfortable. That means the “12 hour per charge” claim in realme’s website is not a joke – especially if you listen at a lower volume.
Charging might be a little slow, but that’s okay. For me, I just plug it in and go to sleep. When I wake up, I know that the realme Buds Wireless can last me for a full day’s worth of usage.
Wrapping up the realme Buds Wireless review
For us Malaysians, the realme Buds Wireless is only available in the Alan Walker edition – which is the one that we have. It’s in the black/yellow color scheme, and I honestly like how these two colors complement each other. Yet it’s comfortable and has features that make sense – most of it, anyway.
Yes, there is room for improvement, but mostly minor ones. Holding the + and – buttons to go next/previous tracks is much better than what we have now. Adding a little bump on the “R” button would be great, and making the switch to USB-C for charging would be even better.
But then again, for RM149, I think the realme Buds Wireless is a great deal.