The Realme audio range in India is now largely made up of real wireless headphones, but the company has some interesting options besides that, including wired and wireless headphones and even portable speakers. The recently released Realme Buds Wireless 2, which I’m reviewing here, is a neck band-style wireless headset that offers premium features at a very competitive price. Above all, this new headset promises an audio quality that matches premium standards, while keeping the price firmly within budget.
The price is Rs. 2,299 in India, Realme Buds Wireless 2 is the successor to the Realme Buds Wireless Pro launched in late 2020. With active noise cancellation and support for the LDAC Bluetooth codec, Buds Wireless 2 is one of the best equipped wireless headphones you can buy with under Rs. 2,500 right now. Will it be my best choice in this price segment? Find out in this review.
ANC and LDAC support on Realme Buds Wireless 2
The style of the neckband is not new to Realme, nor is the idea of a full-featured headset full of features like this. Realme Buds Wireless 2 is the successor to Buds Wireless Pro and has the same position and appeal; This is meant to be a headset for demanding users, thanks to active noise cancellation and support for the advanced LDAC Bluetooth codec.
When it comes to design, Realme Buds Wireless 2 follows an idea that is tried and tested by both Realme and the personal audio industry in general. The headphones have a flexible neck strap with modules at both ends and cables leading from there to the headphones themselves. I found these cables maybe a few inches too long; they often rubbed against my face during normal use, which was a little annoying.
I received the black and yellow version – Realme’s signature color combination – but you can also get the simple gray version. The colors and style make Buds Wireless 2 look a lot like Buds Wireless Pro, but there are small differences. For example, the outer parts of the headphones have an interesting reflective pattern that makes them look translucent, which looks pretty nice.
The Realme Buds Wireless 2 headset has magnetic power controls – by turning on the back of the headphones, the headset is turned off magnetically, and their separation is turned on. There are also controls on the right side of the neckband for volume, playback, answering calls, and to control for noise cancellation and transparency. Pressing the ANC button twice allows you to quickly switch between the most recent two associated source devices.
Other key features of this headset include a low latency mode of 88 ms, Bluetooth 5 with support for Bluetooth LDAC, AAC and SBC codecs, and support for Google Fast Pair. The headphones have 13.6mm dynamic drivers and are said to be tuned in collaboration with the popular electronic music duo The Chainsmokers.
The headset is rated IPX5 for water resistance. Works with the excellent Realme Link application, which allows control over ANC modes and transparency, game mode and equalizer settings. The box includes three pairs of silicone heads and a USB Type-C charging cable.
The battery life of Realme Buds Wireless 2 is similar to that of Buds Wireless Pro, but it is considerably shorter than what the company claims is possible under its very specific conditions of use. With the LDAC codec running, ANC active most of the time and moderate volume levels, I was able to get a little over 9 hours of listening time on my headphones. This is quite disappointing for a set of neckband headphones, even considering the features offered on Realme Buds Wireless 2.
Good sound, active functional noise cancellation on Realme Buds Wireless 2
Advanced Bluetooth codec support helps determine how a pair of headphones or wireless headphones will sound, and Sony’s LDAC codec is considered the best at the moment. It is widely supported on Android devices and many audio producers use it successfully.
Realme himself has implemented LDAC on Buds Wireless Pro, so it’s no surprise that Buds Wireless 2 is getting it too. I used Realme Buds Wireless 2 with a OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren Edition for this review, with the LDAC codec running. I listened to audio songs on Apple Music, took calls, and used headphones when watching videos on my device.
Realme has collaborated with electronic music duo The Chainsmokers for Buds Wireless 2, and his strong bass sound signature suggests the reason behind this. The headphones are suitable for electronic music, with loud bass and clean sound. Starting with Closer by The Chainsmokers, the fist and impulse in the bass were immediately obvious, striking audibly louder than the rest of the frequency range.
That being said, there was still a reasonable amount of detail, a lot of brightness in the highs and a correct answer to the voice. Halsey’s voice, in particular, sounded sharp and managed to withstand even the strong rhythms and low attacks. Throughout this piece, Realme Buds Wireless 2 provided a lot of detail, while keeping the biased sound low.
Listening to Avicii’s classic fast-paced house Fade Into Darkness (Albin Myers Remix), the bass attack was even more determined and powerful. At no point did he feel disturbed or uncomfortable with the rest of the response interval. Happy bass listeners will love how loud and loud the sound on Realme Buds Wireless 2 is, and the loud volume and drive are enough to drown out almost anything else in the background, even if you turn off active noise cancellation. However, this bass aggression can cause the listener to get a little tired at high volumes.
Active noise cancellation on Realme Buds Wireless 2 is not exceptional, but it makes a difference enough to justify its presence as a feature. In particular, it did not affect the sound quality when operating, unlike the Realme Buds Wireless Pro, and slightly reduced the amount of ambient sound I could hear. Although not as effective as I would have liked, the ANC on Buds Wireless 2 makes listening to music and video dialogue a little easier.
There is also the cancellation of ambient noise for better call sound, and the call quality itself is decent on headphones. The stability of the connection was not a problem for the most part at distances of up to about 3 m between headphones and smartphone. The adaptive bitrate of the LDAC allowed constant audio streaming without buffering problems.
As with many Realme products, Buds Wireless 2 is value-based and right. Impressive specs and features, application support and a nice bass-based sound signature make it easily the best pair of wireless headphones you can buy for less than Rs. 2,500 in India right now. Many people may find the neck strap style a bit outdated, and the battery life is average, but the benefits outweigh the disadvantages here.
There aren’t many options available in this segment right now, but you could also consider OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z, or more affordable models from brands like Dizo and Blaupunkt, or real wireless options like Realme Buds Q2. However, Realme Buds Wireless 2 is well worth the investment, thanks to the active cancellation of decent noise and sound.