Realme introduced its first TWS earphones Buds Air at the end of 2019 and when we reviewed them, we found them to be unrivaled in terms of value for money. Now the company also has another true wireless set – Realme Buds Q.
Already selling in China, India, and Europe, we decided to give them a go and see if they really are as good as they look or if the company cut too many corners to make the €30 price tag.
Our unit is in Quite Black color which has yellow accents but they become hidden once the earbud is plugged into your ear. Unlike the Buds Air, the Buds Q are bean-shaped with rubber tips, similar to the Samsung Galaxy Buds design.
Realme is really proud that it signed Jose Levy to lead its design and for good reason – the Buds Q truly look premium.
Sadly, the initial impression slightly suffers when you hold the all-plastic case in your hand as the build isn’t quite as impressive. While we appreciate that it weighs just 35.3 grams, we can’t shake the feeling of a toy that was won at the county fair.
You would expect TWS earbuds for €30 to be sub-par on sound, but Realme put some rather solid 10mm driver with dynamic bass boost, and the result is a deep realistic sound that truly immerses you into the music. We have a colleague whose playlist looks like a collaboration between Mozart and Dr. Dre, produced by Tiesto and DJ Khalid, and even he was impressed with how the Realme Buds Q sounded.
The Realme Buds Q are lacking active noise cancellation – that almost goes without saying at this price point, so you are left with the passive cancellation as provided by the reasonably tight seal of the rubber tip.
You do geta touch sensor on both buds which can be used for different features – Play/Pause, next track, or hold for Gaming Mode. That mode improves latency to 119 ms, which is one millisecond faster than the Realme Buds Air.
However, unlike its sibling that is totally not a copy off the Apple AirPods, the Buds Q do not have any sort of wireless charging.
Worse yet you get a micro USB port, which is very hard to live with in 2020. The company tried to save the day with providing 400 mAh battery into the case that would provide 20 hours on a single charge, with each bud having about 4.5 hours playback time on its own – both very respectable numbers.
It is easy to find where Realme cut costs to bring the price to a minimum. But even with the wonky build, the lack of active noise cancellation and the unimpressive charging capabilities, the Buds Q is unlikely to have a challenger at this price tag with its remarkable sound and quick effortless connectivity.