Redmi Buds 3 Lite Review: Decent audio quality, choppy gesture support
Redmi Buds 3 Litecomes for a price of ₹1,999
TWS Budsfeature a dedicated game mode
- The buds are competing against budget products from OnePlus and Realme
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A budget offering from the brand, the TWS buds are tuned towards a set of users who are looking for options under a budget. Redmi emphasised that the product is developed keeping the younger generation in mind. But is it enough for the Buds 3 lite to create a name for itself in such a cluttered market? Especially, when competitors like OnePlus and Realme have their own offering to compete. I will try to put things in perspective with this review.
Price & Availability
Design & Build
The Redmi 3 Buds with me are in black color and have an engraved Redmi branding on the case. The case, as I mentioned, is basic and there is nothing to rave about it. Sporting a plastic build, the finishing on the case is a bit slippery, and you might have to maintain a conscious grip around it if you are clumsy like me. The case also gets scratched if you keep it with your keys.
Moving on, Redmi has struck well when it comes to the form factor of the case. It is compact and lightweight. It’s small enough to fit in your pocket along with other items, so full marks for portability. The case has a tiny LED up front for denoting charge once plugged in. On the bottom you will find a USB Type-C charging port.
The buds follow the traditional dot design, which is compact and sits well in the ears. They also have a nylon hook, which is supposed to add a better grip. I personally don’t find them as useful, and unfortunately, the bundled hooks didn’t do the job for me either. However, credit where it’s due, the buds have a snug fit by default and don’t fall from your ears as often.
As for the fit and finish of the buds, they feel premium, and the piano black finish on the panel adds an appeal. The buds are IP54 splash resistant, which means they are supposed to hold well against sweat and minor splashes. As they did, since I didn’t face any problems with the buds during my workout. That being said, I doubt they will hold well against heavy rains, so a heads-up in case you don’t want any surprises.
AdvertisementConnectivity and Gestures
As it is expected, Redmi Buds 3 Lite don’t have a fancy application to pair them up with your devices. It’s a simple 3 tap process. You turn on the Bluetooth on the device, refresh the list and select the accessory. The buds show up on the Bluetooth range instantly, making the pairing process smooth. Once connected, there is a sound notifying the pairing. The buds can also be used individually, a feature I would like to see on all devices of this nature. The execution here gave me no reason to complain and I could use individual buds easily. These results were similar for both my Android phone and iPhone. Another point to note here is that Redmi Buds 3 Lite uses Bluetooth 5.2, which promises better connectivity and audio performance.
The gesture support on the buds is choppy. I have used both the OnePlus Nord Buds and Realme Buds Q2s and in order of ranking the gesture support the Redmi Buds 3 Lite is the weakest. This is disappointing given that there is no real variety in gestures either.
A single tap plays and pauses the music, while a double tap is used on respective buds on either of the buds is used for answering calls. Then there is the classic, a long press for voice assistants.
So far in my 3 days of usage, the buds have rarely responded to the gestures precisely. And it does get annoying after a while. I tried to figure out a crack for this, and as it turns out there are particular spots on the buds where one needs to tap for the gestures to work. Once clear, it was a smooth sail. However, for a generic consumer, this can be jargon and hinders the very convenience that a TWS unit promises to offer. I hope Redmi takes note of this since the hardware on Redmi devices doesn’t usually disappoint.
The multi-device connectivity on the buds is also missing - a common miss on budget buds.
Redmi Buds 3 Lite features 6mm Dynamic drivers, which deliver a decent audio performance. I have used the buds to listen to a variety of music, and made my observations accordingly.
Starting with the good. The volume levels on the buds are fairly loud, and one can actually cut away from their surroundings thanks to the audio output. It has small drivers but they deliver decent thump and bass, sometimes better than Nord Buds and Realme Q2s. This opinion stays concrete for every genre I tested, from classic Kishore Kumar to recent tracks by Tyga.
However, I do wish there was a way I could switch volume levels from the buds, but this feature is missing across the budget segment.
Where the buds miss out is details. The loudness of the buds tends to take over audio details at times. This is noticeable with streaming both music and content. The recurring problem has been the audio output having an echo. It is not noticeable in songs with mellow beats, but gets more prominent with high-energy soundtracks, involving multiple instruments. That said, it does not spoil the experience to the point that you don’t enjoy your music. The range on the buds is also favorable, Redmi claims it has a 10-meter range and practically it’s close to the same. I could plug in my device at charge and listen to music without any issues.
AdvertisementThere is also a game mode on the buds, which gets activated once you press and hold both buds at the same time. I did two sessions of BGMI with its game mode. And there was no noticeable difference between the regular audio and dedicated game modes. Either way, the buds are a good comrade for gaming. I could figure out the direction of sound with the buds on.
The calling experience on the buds was surprisingly decent and on par with Nord Buds. The audio quality was clear, and the microphone performed perfectly. However, I still find budget TWS buds lacking the microphone quality we see on high quality wired earphones. Case in point my regular wired Apple earpods.
Buds 3 Lite promises 18 hour playback on single charge, with the case carrying 13 hours of charge on the go. The real-time performance is around 14 hours, give or take. It means a light user who use the buds on commute will have to plug them once in 3 days. A heavy user who takes them for gyming, commuting and casual streaming will have to plug them in within a day and a half of usage. These numbers shouldn’t be discouraging, though, they are in line with the portfolio of Budget TWS buds. The saving grace is the quick charge feature though, 10 minutes of plug-in time gives you about an hour of usage.
Redmi Buds 3 Lite delivers on the expectations we set with a budget of TWS buds. Still, to put things in perspective, if you are confused between them, Realme Q2s and Nord Buds read the following.
The Redmi Buds 3 Lite are for users who like classic TWS features and can adjust to the minimal aesthetic. You get a loud audio output which is mostly good and decent calling performance, plus Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity.
In the case of Nord Buds and Realme Q2S, there is an aesthetic advantage and better gesture support. But the audio performance is at par and sometimes underwhelming compared to the Redmi Buds 3 Lite. For detailed opinion, here is my review for Nord Buds.
As a reviewer, I can only be happy for the consumers since there are so many great options from credible brands at aggressive price points.
See also -
OnePlus Nord Buds Review: A good balance of price and performance
Garmin Fenix 7 Solar review – a pricey Swiss army knife of fitness smartwatches
Realme Pad X review – a good budget tablet with a few compromises
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