Dangling earbuds are not for all occasions – this is one of my realizations after the launch of different brands with the same tail or stem-like design for the past few months. Although I do like the quality of most of the brands I’ve tried, the design just isn’t fit for people like me who are clumsy enough to knock it off while fixing my hair or as I wipe sweat from my face. So, we circle back to small, lightweight earbuds, which realme Philippines also has. Meet the realme Buds Q – a newly released True Wireless Device that is only 3.6g in weight but still packs a powerful bass and audio.
I’ve already shared a peek inside the box and its features in my previous post, so here’s a full rundown of our thoughts after a week of using the device:
Who needs designer bags and clothes when you can grab an affordable “designer TWS” any time? Despite being an entry-level TWS, this small device is designer-approved as it bears the design of José Lévy, the cooperated designer of Hermès and the art director of the realme Design Studio. It sports a Cobble Design, which resembles cobblestones, in a Quite Black colorway – a color that can definitely go with any outfit that we wear. It’s safe to say that it truly is an “ergonomic masterpiece” since this device fits perfects in our ears and it doesn’t even hurt after prolonged use (I’ve been using it during work hours). Even though it’s small and not-so-visible, the earbuds don’t fall off even if you do jumping jacks during workout. The eartips can also be changed according to a user’s preferred size (small, medium, or large), and it feels different from the other eartips that I’ve tried that seem to be a dust-magnet.
Speaking of working out, sweating or walking while it’s raining (light rain only) would not be an issue for the realme Buds Q since it’s IPX4 water resistant. However, it’s not completely waterproof so it’s not something to get if you want earbuds that you can use in the pool.
The size is very compact as well, the matte-like case can fit in my pocket and smallest purse that I use whenever I go out. The charging case is only 28.2g so that’s not an issue for me. Plus, with earbuds at only 3.6g each, it feels like there’s no added weight in my ears. I would say it feels as if I’m not wearing earbuds if only I couldn’t feel the pressure from the eartips blocking my ear canals (but that part’s necessary so I’m not complaining).
Both the charging case and the earbuds are not fingerprint magnets, so that’s a thumbs up for me.
Not a Nicki Minaj song but the realme Buds Q’s “got that super bass”. With a 10 nm Bass Boost driver, expect nothing less than a good audio quality especially when listening to music. Despite having a powerful bass, the vocals in songs are still crisp and clear. I like the audio quality overall!
For games, the realme Buds Q promises 119ms Super Low Latency so it’s decent enough for shooter games. Just make sure to enable Game Mode in order to appreciate this feature.
For calls, however, it’s worth noting that the device isn’t noise-cancelling so the other person on the line can still hear the wind if you’re using the buds Q outside on a windy day. Overall quality is still decent for calls and it’s good enough for its price.
True to what is written at the back of the box, the realme Buds Q is easy to connect – with or without the realme Link app. It’s easily detected via mobile and laptop, regardless if you’re using a realme mobile phone or not. With its Bluetooth 5.0, I was able to switch from device to device without any fuss. The only challenge (if you would consider a few taps as a challenge) is unpairing it manually from the device where it’s connected before it appears in the radar of a different device. It’s important to remember to unpair it every after use to avoid the fuss.
It’s also worth mentioning that this device was easily detected by the MacBook Pro that I’m using. My laptop usually has issues with Bluetooth devices so I was impressed at how fast I was able to connect the realme Buds Q.
The only issue I have in terms of connectivity is the annoying beeping sound while the Buds Q is looking for a device to pair with. It’s a never-ending beeping sound in intervals of 2, which you can’t remove, so I suggest not putting the earbuds in your ears while it hasn’t been fully paired yet.
It’s easy to get used to the controls of the realme Buds Q. Default controls are the same as other TWS devices:
- Play/pause, answer call: Touch/tap twice
- Play next song/video: Touch/tap three times
- Reject call: Press and hold for 2 seconds
- Enter/exit game mode: Press and hold for 2 seconds on both sides
However, this is also customizable via the realme Link app so users can adjust the commands to their liking. Both left and right earbud can recognize at least three actions (double tap, triple, tap, and hold). Volume cannot be adjusted via the earbuds and there are no auto-pause/play options, though. What you can do is assign each gesture for these actions: Play/pause, next track, previous track, voice assistance, and blank/none.
I like how sensitive the capacitive touchpads are, no matter how fast or slow your taps are. The only thing that could’ve been improved here is the sound effects that come with each action that you do. The motorcycle sound effect when enabling Game Mode and the guitar-like sounds when exiting Game Mode are slightly annoying and kind of unnecessary for me – just like the continuous beeping when pairing the device.
BATTERY AND CHARGING
Although the device is being marketed as having 20-hour long lasting battery life, it’s good to read the fine print to manage expectations. Realme was honest enough to indicate that “the realme Buds Q with charging case plays music at 50% volume for 20 hours” so it does not mean that the earbuds alone can go on for that long. The earbuds can be used for around 4.5 hours when listening to music or watching videos and around 3 hours for continuous calls. I haven’t been to a back-to-back meeting that lasted for 3 hours this week, but I was able to use it for around 5 hours of switching from music playback and calls.
The battery percentage can be viewed via the realme Link app so you can determine when it’s time to charge your earbuds. I make it a habit to put the earbuds back in the charging dock when not in use so I can assure myself that the battery won’t be drained while I’m in an important meeting. The dock isn’t fast-charging so I give it around 15 minutes or more in between tasks.
Compared with the Buds Air Neo that I’ve reviewed before, the indicator lights on the realme Buds Q charging dock isn’t annoying to look at despite still being located outside. It lights up in a faint red color so it’s not super striking even if you charge it in the dark.
|Size||Earbuds: 19.8mm x 17.55mm x 22.5mm Charging Case: 59.8mm x 45mm x 29.9mm|
|Weight||3.6g (earbuds) / 28.2g (charging case)|
|Design||Cobble design by José Lévy|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 5.0, 10m range|
|Battery Life||About 4.5 hours of music playback About 3 hours for continuous calls 20-hr playback (charging case included)|
|Charging Time||Around 2 hours|
|Controls||Customizable via ‘Realme Link’ app|
|Water Resistance||IPX4 water resistance|
|Latency||119ms Super Low Latency|
|Other features||10mm Bass Boost Driver Instant Connection|
PRICE AND DISCOUNTS
The realme Buds Q is now available nationwide for only Php 1,490 but you can get it for FREE with the realme 7 Pro through the following platforms and schedule:
- Home Credit: First 10 to purchase the realme 7 Pro will be receiving the realme Buds Q for FREE starting September 30.
- Lazada: First 200 to purchase the realme 7 Pro via the dedicated product page will be receiving a FREE realme Buds Q. However, in case you just want to purchase the earbuds, you can also get it for Php 500 OFF after 1:00 PM on September 30.