Ameya DalviJan 25, 2021 10:02:20 IST
Price: Rs 9,990
We have reviewed a handful of wireless earphones from Oppo over the past 12 months, and each of them has impressed us. The company has now joined hands with the Danish audio brand Dynaudio to create their new flagship TWS buds, the Oppo Enco X. Its feature set and innards look impressive on paper. Time to see if they translate into top-notch real-world performance.
Oppo Enco X TWS Earphones: Build, design and features (9/10)
The design draws some noticeable inspiration from the Apple Airpods Pro; not the first, won’t be the last to do that. The body is glossy white with a hint of silver for the charging pins. The build quality is solid, but the buds are quite light and weigh under 5 grams each. The preinstalled medium-sized silicone tips go into the ear canals, offering decent noise isolation. You get two more pairs of silicone tips (small and large) in case medium isn’t the right fit for you.
The Oppo Enco X earbuds have a coaxial dual-driver setup. In simpler terms, the buds are fitted with two drivers each -- at the front is a 6 mm balanced membrane driver to handle the highs, and at the back, on a parallel axis, is an 11 mm triple-layer composite dynamic driver to take care of the mids and lows. Collectively, they intend to offer the best of all frequency ranges. Each bud also has three microphones -- one feedback mic, one feedforward mic for noise cancellation, along with the regular one for making calls. It also has wear detection sensors to pause the audio when you remove a bud from your ear, and resume when you put it back on.
The charging case is quite compact and pocketable, and resembles a tiny travel soap. It looks quite elegant with the glossy white finish and a brushed metal band running across the periphery. It has a USB Type-C charging port at the bottom, and a USB-A to Type-C cable is bundled in the package. The case also supports wireless charging. A tiny, multi-coloured LED indicates the level of charge for the buds. It glows red when low, yellow for average and green when they are close to full.
The Oppo Enco X are IP54 rated dust and water resistant. They flaunt the latest Bluetooth 5.2 standard, but support for popular codecs is limited to SBC and AAC. It is compliant with the newer LHDC audio codec, but very few phones support it as of now. I would have preferred to see aptX or LDAC compliance instead. The earbuds are touch-enabled and let you perform a handful of tasks that can be configured from the HeyMelody app, if you do not have one of the select Oppo phones. I like the way one can make use of touch as well as slide gestures.
You get to assign functions for double tap, long press, along with upward and downward slide on the stems. I used double tap for play/pause, long press as a toggle for ANC (active noise cancellation) modes and slide gesture on left and right buds for volume control and previous/next tracks respectively. Thus, you get total control over the playback functions without the need to go to the source device. Speaking of ANC, the app lets you choose any two out of “ANC off”, “Transparency” mode, “Normal noise cancellation” and “Max noise cancellation”. I would have preferred access to all four split across the two buds.
Having said that, these are perhaps the most comprehensive set of features I have come across in TWS buds, and can’t think of anything important that the company has missed out on, barring a couple of codecs.
Oppo Enco X TWS Earphones: Comfort (8.5/10)
Despite the dual driver architecture, the earbuds have a small footprint and fit nicely into the ears, and provide good passive noise isolation. Though the fit isn’t as snug as that of the Oppo Enco W51, they stay in place pretty well even during jogs, and do not cause any discomfort in the ear, even after wearing them for a few hours. It is always advisable to spend a couple of minutes choosing the right sized eartips, as that goes a long way in achieving better noise cancellation.
Oppo Enco X TWS Earphones: Performance (8.5/10)
Pairing these earphones with the phone was a breeze. All you need to do is get the buds out of the case, find them in the list of Bluetooth devices on the phone/source device and connect. The connection stays strong for a little over 12 metres with a clear line of sight, and close to 7 metres with a concrete wall in between; quite an impressive range. Of the four noise reduction modes I mentioned above, the “Transparency mode” lets ambient noise in and is meant to be used when you wish to be aware of your surroundings or need to converse with someone without taking the earphones off.
The “normal noise cancellation” mode reduces a bit of ambient sounds, while the “Max mode”, as the name suggests, does the same thing a lot better at the cost of a bit more battery. The ANC is nowhere in the league of the Sony WF-1000XM3 (Review) that costs twice as much, but feels better than what you get on earbuds priced under Rs 5,000 like Realme Buds Air Pro (Review) or Oppo Enco W51. Again, that’s not a fair comparison either, given the price delta, but is mentioned here as a reference point. Neither of the ANC modes negatively impact the sound profile, which is good.
The Oppo Enco X aren’t the loudest around, but can get sufficiently loud when you push the volume beyond 80% level. You need to push it a little higher when outdoors, but never did I have to go beyond 90%. As for the sound quality, it is thoroughly enjoyable across various genres of music, and one of the finest on TWS earphones in this segment. Typically, I find the sound profile of Oppo earphones slightly on the brighter side with a good amount of detail in audio. The sound signature here is pleasantly warm, without compromising on the details, thus making it more enjoyable for those who prefer their sound on the warmer side of neutral.
The change in sound profile can be attributed to the dual driver setup as well as Dynaudio’s tuning. Whatever it is, it works very well. While there is warmth in the audio, the bass isn’t excessive, and doesn’t overshadow other frequency ranges, especially the mids. It is tight and punchy, just the way I like it. The mids are reproduced quite well with clear vocals and ample instrument separation. There is a slight auditory masking towards the lower end of the midrange spectrum, especially in bass-heavy tracks, but for the most part, things are distinctly audible.
The highs have a dedicated driver and are expected to be sharp, and they don’t disappoint. What’s even better is that they are tempered to perfection, without losing out on sparkle, but without being sibilant. The overall detail in sound is excellent for this price range. There is very little to complain about in the imaging department, and while the sound stage isn’t the most expansive, it feels reasonably broad. Most genres of music sound good on these Oppo buds, and as a result, they will appeal to a broader audience.
All the sound tests on the Enco X were run with AAC codecs enabled, as I did not have a device compatible with LHDC. I expect things to be even better on those codecs, but I will reserve my opinion on the same till I actually try them. All said and done, I was extremely pleased with the sound quality of this joint venture between Oppo and Dynaudio; easily the best sounding Oppo TWS buds in India currently.
Oppo Enco X TWS Earphones: Call quality (8/10)
The call quality on the Oppo Enco X is pretty good. The person on the line was clearly audible, and I was heard with a good amount of clarity by the other person when indoors as well. The wind detection and other circuitry on the earphones do a good job of cutting out some of the ambient noise when outdoors, but not all. Interestingly, a couple of people on the line informed me that though there wasn’t much background noise, I sounded a little different when outdoors, and voice clarity was slightly inferior as compared to when I was indoors. Despite that, my voice was clear enough.
Oppo Enco X TWS Earphones: Battery life (7.5/10)
The battery life of the Enco X varies, depending on your usage of ANC. With Max ANC, the buds last just a little over 3 and a half hours on full charge, with normal ANC they go for about 4 hours, and without ANC, I got a shade under 5 hours out of them, when primarily listening to music and a bit of calling. The case can recharge the buds four more times, thus taking the total battery back up into the 18 to 24 hours range. While those are decent figures for buds and case combined, 3.5 hours for the buds are on the lower side by today's standards, even with active noise cancellation on. The battery status of each earbud as well as that of the charging case is visible in the HeyMelody app.
Oppo Enco X TWS Earphones: Price and verdict
The Oppo Enco X noise cancelling TWS earphones can be purchased for Rs 9,990 starting from 22nd January, with a one year warranty. The price may seem a bit on the higher side, but TWS earphones with a dual driver setup are extremely rare under 10K. On top of that, the warm and detailed sound profile is excellent, if you are ok with sound that's not purely neutral. Functional ANC, wireless charging and smarter-than-usual touch controls are additional benefits that you get here, making the Enco X a well-rounded package.
If you don't care about noise cancellation, wireless charging or a warm sound signature, and prefer better battery life and a close-to-neutral sound profile, you should strongly consider the Lypertek Tevi. For the rest, this Oppo pair has ample draw in this price bracket.
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