Since Realme expanded to products other than smartphones, one of the key areas the brand has targeted is in-ear audio. After the Realme Buds, Buds Wireless, and two different variants of the Buds Air, the brand has quite a few options to choose from. However, there was a small price bracket where the brand did not really offer an audio product. Further, Realme also realized it did not have a true wireless product that could appeal to people who are not a fan of the stem-shaped Buds Air series. That’s where the Realme Buds Q come in. Also Read - Realme X3 Series, Buds Q India launch today: Livestream details, specifications and more
Not only are the Realme Buds Q the first pair of stem-less true wireless earbuds from the company, but it also is the first true wireless audio product that hits the ultra-budget price segment of below Rs 2,000. Priced precisely at Rs 1,999, the Realme Buds Q is not the cheapest of the competition, but it promises a better value-for-money element than a lot of its competition. Does it manage to stand out and be worthy of its price? Let’s find out in our Realme Buds Q review. Also Read - Realme C11 could launch in Malaysia on June 30, reveals brand; check details
Realme Buds Q Design
One of the first things that is immediately noticeable about the Realme Buds Q is the compact form factor. The case of the buds itself is super small, tiny enough to put in pretty much any pocket, purse, or backpack. It is also very light. There is a very small LED in front of the case that lights up to let you know the case is charging. Do note that like most true wireless cases in this segment, the Realme Buds Q case features a single LED button so there is no way to estimate how much power is remaining in the case.
On the back is a micro-USB port below the hinge. There are zero straight lines throughout the design of the Realme Buds Q. The design of the Realme Buds Q is so minimal that even the branding on top stands out without being too loud in any way. We’re glad Realme went with the glossy-black font on matte-black look, instead of the white on black look pretty much every other product is going for. Open the pebble-shaped case and you’re greeted to the two earbuds. The minimal and classy looking matte black finish of the case extends inside the case too.
The earbuds are also covered in this matte-black finish except for the company branding on each earbud. This small glossy area gives the buds a semi-dual-tone look and also doubles up as the touch area for gesture-based playback control. The earbuds are extremely light at just 3.6 grams per bud. Which is light enough to make you forget you’re wearing the buds after the first few minutes. This may be either good and bad. While the weightlessness is easy on the ears for long hours, it’s also easy to not realize when a bud has fallen off. The lack of a hanging stem or any other form of weight dragging the buds down ensures that the buds stay in your ears, and are less vulnerable to falling down, even without an ear hook.
The Realme Buds Q score well in the design department. Thankfully, they do not disappoint when it comes to sound quality either. Despite the small size and the feather-like weight of the buds, the presence of 10mm dynamic drivers makes sure the sound produced is good. Vocals sound crisp and bass is clean. The sound has a surprising amount of depth to it that I did not expect out of a pair of buds at this price point. Listening to genres like classic rock by AC/DC or even some modern hip-hop ranging from Travis Scott to Kendrick Lamar is an enjoyable experience on the Realme Buds Q.
While the audio is slightly tuned to favor bass output, I did not find the buds lacking when listening to audio that is not bass-heavy. The Realme Buds Q can hold its own through a bunch of acapella performances and instrumental covers. Moreover, the Buds Q also supports the AAC audio codec, something else that budget earphones miss out on at this price.
When it comes to call quality, the Realme Buds Q performed decently but are not the best in extremely noisy outdoor conditions, like most TWS earbuds. When indoors, they work just fine and parties on the other end could hear us fairly clearly.
The Realme Buds Q features IPX4 water resistance as well, but as the brand mentions, the water-resistance applies only to the buds and not the case, which has an open micro-USB port. So while the buds can survive a shower, sweat, or some rain, we suggest you keep the case away from water to avoid any damage.
There is also a ‘Gaming Mode’ that reduces latency during those intense games. The feature can be quickly turned on by long pressing on both earbuds together. It really helps with games where visual and audio sync is important like shooting titles, but the Gaming Mode does take a hit on the battery significantly. We’d use it only when necessary.
The Realme Buds Q also features touch gestures to control calls and playback. Three gestures are available on each earbud – a double-tap, a triple tap, and a long press. If you use the Realme Link app, you even get to customize these gestures to your liking. While the gestures are pretty flexible with music, you cannot customize how they work during calls. For instance, an accidental long press during a call, due to you leaning on say, a cushion, will cut your call. The fact that you cannot change this gesture or turn this off could be a bit frustrating. However, we hope Realme can add a couple of options for this as well in the app.
The Buds Q last for about 4-4.5 hours on a single charge. We observed these figures over a lot of music playback and some calls in-between. Factoring in the case you get about 20 hours of total playback time. The case itself takes about 2 hours to charge completely, which isn’t the best but considering the price and the micro-USB port, is definitely not a deal-breaker.
Should you buy the Realme Buds Q?
The Realme Buds Q are pretty great earbuds for the price and there are no two ways about it. The earbuds are compact and minimal. They are super lightweight and really comfortable to use for long hours. They also have good battery life for the small size they come with. Even when it comes to the audio performance, the buds are pleasing. Not once through my testing did they feel like ‘cheap’ earbuds. The sound is clean, deep, and punchy. This is not Realme’s first pair of earbuds and the brand’s experience with audio shows.
For Rs 1,999, the Realme Buds Q aren’t perfect, but when it’s this affordable, elements like charging speed and the lack of a four-part LED indicator on the case may seem like nitpicking. The earbuds hit all the checkpoints of a good, overall budget true wireless earbuds package.