Oppo Enco Air3 TWS Buds Review: Looks good, sounds better

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Oppo Enco Air3 TWS Buds Review: Looks good, sounds better
  • Oppo today launched the Enco Air3 TWS Buds in India.
  • The TWS buds are offered at a price of ₹2,999
  • The buds feature 13.4mm drivers and support AI Deep Noise Cancellation
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Oppo today launched two new products - the Reno8 T and the Enco Air3 earbuds. The products are an interesting addition to Oppo's portfolio. Especially since Oppo Reno8 T is the first mid-cycle update from the brand for its Reno series of smartphones.

You can read our review of the Oppo Reno8 T here. Also, make sure to check out the unboxing and overview.

In this review, we are focusing solely on the Enco Air3. Truly wireless market in India is proliferating with a product from legacy and new brands and the Enco Air3 sits at a sweet spot of being affordable and having a credible brand name attached to it. Interestingly, the Enco Air3 goes against the likes of the OnePlus Nord Buds and Redmi Buds 3 Lite, among others.

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So, where does it stand against the competition, and is it worth your investment? I will tell you in my full review.

Price & Availability
The Oppo Enco Air3 is available at a price of ₹2,999, on Flipkart.
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Design & Build

The name Enco Air3 is synonymous with the design and build of this product. Sporting a minimalistic look, it looks clean in white to me. The jelly case, a combination of a translucent cover and a solid white body, looks chic. To give you a reference, it reminded me of the Apple iMacs from the early 2000s. White can be a tricky color to crack if not done right, Oppo’s execution here has worked. But like everything, there is a catch to it - scratches. More precisely, micro scratches on the glossy finish, which you will notice quickly.

There is no physical pairing button on the case, meaning you must perform the setup with the buds. There is only one LED on the case that denotes the pairing status of the device. There is of course a USB Type-C charging port at the bottom, which is a convenient placement. Surprisingly Oppo doesn’t bundle a cable with the product. I believe it's a reasonable reduction since Type-C cables are now a common sighting.

Oppo Enco Air3 TWS Buds Review: Looks good, sounds better
The case is compact and easy to carry.

However, I can see a certain section of buyers being surprised by it. For example, I unboxed the device in my living room, and the only question my father asked was - Where is the cable?

Moving on to the build, the Enco Air3 is lightweight beyond measure. Weighing less than 50 grams, they are light but not to the point that you won’t notice them if they are gone. Initially, I was a bit careful with the plastic cover on the case, but with time it has made me confident in it’s quality. Opening and closing it isn’t a problem, but yes, I still worry that a sudden amount of pressure might break it.
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Oppo Enco Air3 TWS Buds Review: Looks good, sounds better
The buds have a snug fit.

Moving on to the buds, the Air3 does not follow a dot design but a more conventional form factor. I prefer these over dots since my ears are popping outwards, and more often than not, the buds fall out. Regarding aesthetics, the buds follow the same clean form factor we get on the case. Solid white stick paired with translucent casing. The buds have touch-sensitive controls on the edges; we will discuss the performance of the same in the next section.

There are no silicone ear tips on the buds but a plastic casing. While it keeps the buds intact when you are still, they tend to slip out during workouts. This gets annoying after a while. Considering this isn’t an issue with the fit necessarily.


Fortunately, the buds are IP54 water resistant, so don’t worry about the sweat troubling the performance.

Performance
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Pairing and connectivity

Pairing the Oppo Enco Air3 is straightforward. You lift the cover, take the buds out, press the tips for a few seconds, and pair them. I paired them with the Reno 8T and my iPhone, and the results were similar. Quick to pair and set up.

Oppo Enco Air3 also supports multi-device pairing. However, the execution is a bit choppy. The switch between the devices can take a moment or two. But It’s here, so that's appreciable. Fortunately, we do get individual bud pairing, so you can use a single bud at a time.

Gesture

The Enco Air3 supports basic and very easy-to-understand gestures. Oppo has not experimented much here, which is good. A single tap plays and pauses the music or answers phone calls. Then a double tap on left and right but respectively, helps you move forward or backward in a playlist. A longer tap can access the voice assistant.

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While the gestures mostly work well, you need to develop muscle memory to tap on the right spot to access these. Once you do crack it, it’s an easy sail from there on. For the reference against competition, Nord Buds were comparatively easier to use and understand.

As one would expect at this price point, we do not have a gesture to control volume levels on the buds. Something the competition also skips on. I feel a feature like that should be standard on TWS buds. I hope someone breaks the chain and adds it eventually.

Audio performance
The Enco Air3 features 13.4mm drivers which are bigger than the 12.4mm drivers available on the Nord Buds. I mention this because in this price range Nord Buds have been my universal recommendation. But the Oppo Enco Air3 has given me an option to suggest.

The sound produced by the buds is loud, and crystal clear. For that matter I am typing this statement while listening to music on the buds. The audio output is decently bassy when it can be, it’s not thumpy but enough for you to register.

The sweet spot of the audio is when you keep it at 80% volume. This is when you can register the vocals and instruments separately. If you raise the volume, the details tend to lose out significantly and the audio also distorts.
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We do not get any dedicated presets for sound on the Enco Air3. Basically, there is no dedicated game mode or cinema mode among others. This I feel is a miss considering, the hardware on board is capable of providing multiple profiles.

But how is the experience of watching content with the Buds on? Satisfactory. The buds sustain audio clarity, however the background music and action effects tend to mix a bit. Same is the case for gaming, the default latency is satisfactory, but misses out on directional sound.

This is of course when you notice them, otherwise the audio experience is good. For both gaming and watching content.

The calling experience on the buds has been surprisingly good. The AI deep voice cancellation works well, and I could communicate easily. The microphones work perfectly, and the person on the other end could hear me fine. This is applicable even when the paired device is kept far. The buds utilize Bluetooth 5.3 to the best.

Battery Life
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Oppo claims the Enco Air3 has a battery life of 25 hours. The real number was close to the claim. During my week of testing where the Air3 was my primary audio device, I was getting a mileage of 4 hours on the Buds, while the case gave me 3 full charges on the Buds. That means around 20 hours of total playback time.

I have been using the Reno8 T’s SuperVOOC charger. It takes about 1 and a half hours for the buds to go from 0-100% which is in line with the competition.

Verdict
Oppo Enco Air3 has surpassed my expectations. The TWS Buds not only look good but sound even better. If you can handle the learning curve with the gestures, and no audio presets ,this is a solid product. Getting the basics right is sometimes the secret to a good device, and this is a prime example of this saying.

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