Smartphone maker Oppo launched two new wireless audio products along with its latest Reno 3 Pro smartphone. These products include the Oppo Enco Free and the Oppo Enco W31. As part of the launch, Oppo shared the pricing and specifications of both the wireless audio products in the market. It is worth noting that these are not the first Oppo-branded wireless audio products in India. Oppo is already selling its Enco Q1 in India. The Enco Q1 features a neckband design while the new W31 and Free feature a wireless earbud design.
As noted previously, similar to most earbuds in the market, the Enco Free looks somewhat similar to Apple AirPods. The company has priced the Enco Free at Rs 7,999. This pair of wireless earbuds are available in three color options including White, Black, and Pink. In fact, if you pre-ordered the Oppo Reno 3 Pro, it is possible that the company sent a pair of Enco Free without any additional cost. Taking a closer look, Oppo has entered a crowded market with the Enco Free wireless earbuds. It will compete against offerings from Realme, boAt, Noise, Detel, 1More, Skullcandy, and others. How does the new product stand in a crowded space of wireless earbuds? Let’s find the answer in my Oppo Enco Free review.
Watch: Oppo Enco Free Review
Specifications and features
First, let’s talk about the specifications of the Oppo Enco Free. Oppo claims to have added a 13.4mm “ultra-dynamic” speakers with dual magnetic circuits. Oppo has also added a magnalium-titanium composite for the diaphragm. It also comes with an AI-based uplink noise cancellation. The company has also added two additional ear-tips to provide a comfortable fit. Enco Free can likely offer a battery backup of about 25 hours on one single charge.
Taking a closer look at the connectivity, the device comes with Bluetooth v5.0 along with a 10 meters wireless range. Bluetooth v5.0 allows the device to be connected to multiple devices at the same time. It also ensures that both the earbuds receive the signal at the same time. The company describes this as “binaural simultaneous Bluetooth transmission”. As per the company, this pair of wireless earbuds feature FPC positioning system that is present in high-end stereo equipment. The company has also added touch and tap controls in the Oppo Enco Free.
Oppo Enco Free design and comfort
Now, let’s talk about the design of Enco Free wireless earbuds. Similar to most of the competition in the market, Oppo is trying to emulate the original, and market-leading Apple AirPods. Oppo Enco Free consists of the left and right earbuds along with the charging case. Inspecting the earbuds, we get a similar AirPods design with a somewhat circular module on the top. This module contains the actual speaker and most of the audio-related hardware. The thinner branch connected towards the back of the earbuds likely includes the tiny battery. Comparing the Oppo Enco Free with others in the wireless earbuds segment, we can see a premium looking and objectively better-built product.
Taking a look at the comfort, the out-of-the-box earbuds fit perfectly in my somewhat tiny ears. I could easily use the Oppo Enco Free for hours in the end without any discomfort. However, your mileage may vary. This is the reason Oppo has used “liquid Silicone rubber” for the ear-tips. The company has added two different ear-tip options in three sizes each. This ensures that users have some option to adjust the earbuds according to their needs after buying a pair. Our unit came with the semi-in-ear design in three different sizes. In addition, the material and the design did not offer in passive noise canceling. Though, it did provide us with enough awareness beyond the music, making it safe outdoor use. Last but not least, given that these are truly wireless earbuds, the risk of losing one of the two is always present.
Audio performance: Bass, Treble, and Clarity
Now, let’s talk about the audio quality of the wireless earbuds. We tested a wide range of songs, scenarios, and content to check the quality of the Oppo Enco Free. This includes watching movies and shows on Netflix, playing Call of Duty: Mobile, PUBG Mobile, and streaming music on Spotify. This pair of wireless earbuds performed admirably on all fronts. It is worth noting that the volume levels are quite high on the Enco Free. I found myself turning the volume up to about 75 percent for a comfortable listening experience. However, one can turn the volume up to 85 or even 90 percent to drown out the surrounding noise.
The earbuds showcased good dynamic range and decent bass reproduction in SICKO Mode by Travis Scott. The sound stage is quite wide producing good audio. Another song that demonstrated excellent audio quality is Turn Your Lights Down Low by Bob Marley, and The Wailers along with Ms. Lauryn Hill. Hymn To The Fallen by composer John Williams for Saving Private Ryan showcased good mids and the details in instruments. Armin van Buuren pushed the earbuds to the limit with This is a Test.
It is worth noting that I did experience that something was amiss at the beginning of the testing. However, a closer inspection helped me improve my listening experience. To clarify, the Spotify download quality was set to “Normal” and things became better after I switched it to “Very high”. So, keep in mind the audio quality of your downloads or streams to get better quality. It is also worth noting that the earbuds come with support for AAC encoding. In addition, they don’t support the Qualcomm aptX encoding. Things were good in terms of quality while making calls with the Oppo Enco Free.
The earbuds also come with gesture support, something that works as advertised. They are nothing great as an actual touch sensor but so is every other competitor in the segment. You will get used to the actual positioning of the sensor with practice. The earbuds also feature autoplay and auto-pause feature that is available with some of the competition. As part of the feature, the earbuds automatically pause the song as one takes any one of the earbuds out of the ear. Putting the earbud back in the ear canal starts the music playback
It is also worth noting that Oppo provides additional gesture customization on its smartphones. I got the “Earbud Controls” working on Oppo Reno 3 Pro while the same was not present on OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren. Oppo devices also allow users to update the firmware of the earbuds. Oppo devices also offer a much better pairing experience as compared to other Android devices.
Oppo has opted for a USB Type-C port at the bottom of the charging case. Both the earbuds latch in their spots in the case with the help of magnets. Talking about the case, we get the Oppo logo in the front with a pairing button on the right side. Both the earbuds lasted about four hours each. In addition, the case was successful in charging them back four times over. This means that in total, one can get about 20 hours of playback time. 20 hours was enough for four days of normal use for me.
Should you buy the Oppo Enco Free
Oppo has made a decent offering with its latest Oppo Enco Free pair of truly wireless earbuds. The company has delivered in the design, build quality, and audio performance segments. Things can improve with more creature comforts of wireless charging and aptX codec support. But, even with the lack of these features, Enco Free is a good offering. However, the Rs 7,999 price tag will likely push things for buyers. If you are an Oppo fan or if you want additional controls on your earbuds with your Oppo smartphone, Enco Free is a good choice. However, you can go for other options from Realme, 1More, and more to save some money.