Redmi Buds 4 Active Review: Top audio quality but no customisation available

Redmi Buds 4 Active Review: Top audio quality but no customisation available
  • Redmi has launched the Buds 4 Active to take on the likes of OnePlus and Boat.
  • The buds are priced at ₹1,399
  • The buds feature 12mm bass pro drivers which promise superior performance.
Along with the Xiaomi Pad 6 on June 13, the house of Mi has also introduced a new pair of TWS buds. The Redmi Buds 4 Active are making an entry into a clustered market, where we get new options virtually everyday.

While there are dedicated audio brands like Boat, Boult and Mivi dominating this segment, smartphone brands have also marked their presence. From Oppo Enco Air 3 to , Oneplus Nord Buds 2 and even the Redmi Buds 3 Lite , this market is booming.

At this time, Redmi Buds 4 Active promises a revised audio experience, but does it stand out? And how well does it perform against the Nord Buds 2? I will try to answer this in my review.

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Price & Availability
Redmi Buds 4 Active is priced at ₹1,399 and will be available on the company's website and Amazon India.

Redmi Buds 4 Active Review: Top audio quality but no customisation available
The design for the case is compact and easy to carry.

Unlike the Redmi Buds 3 Lite sporting a dot design, the Buds 4 Active comes with a stick earpiece. I tend to shift towards well executed stick designs because my ears are outwards. Hence, no matter what TWS bud I use, it tends to fall off. This is not the case with the Buds 4 Active, since they are able to sit perfectly in my ears. However, if there are excessive moments like workouts, I find myself sticking them back in more often than not.

The buds come with three additional pairs of ear tips, adding to the convenience. I have used the default tips though and they have worked well for me.

The buds are also very light, so if you are clumsy be a bit more careful so that you don’t lose them.
Redmi Buds 4 Active Review: Top audio quality but no customisation available
The TWS Buds are comfortable and responsive.
The Buds 4 Active also supports touch gestures. Offering a fairly basic menu of gestures Buds 4 Active are easy to understand. A simple tap means play or pause, a longer tap means accessing voice assistant and a double tap lets you shuffle the playlist. The gestures work well at most times, but I did find them missing out when my fingers were sweaty.

Here it’s important to mention the buds are in fact IPX4 sweat and splash resistant. A common but important expectation from a product of this category.
Unfortunately, we can’t set custom gestures here, unlike the Nord Buds 2 where we get a dedicated app for customisation. The supported app situation isn’t something to bother about in this area, but it does have certain implications which I will cover in next sections.

Moving now to the case, which sports a rather generic design. While purists might not like it, but I believe in - why fix when not broken? Ideology.

It’s an ergonomic design, making the case portable and easy to carry around. The case is lightweight, even with the buds, so carrying it in your pocket isn’t a problem. There is a LED indicator at the bottom denoting connectivity, which comes in handy.

At the bottom you will find the USB Type-C charging port, which is placed conveniently for access.

Redmi Buds 4 Active can be connected in multiple ways, of course all are dependent on bluetooth.

First the more conventional way, to add the buds in your bluetooth devices on your smartphone. It’s simple: you go to the bluetooth menu and then wait for it to pop up. It works well and shows up quickly. I used this method to connect it with my iPhone and the process was a breeze.

Second way is Android only - Fast Pair. It essentially means the buds will pop up on your Android device in close range. I tried it out with Google Pixel 7a and the OnePlus 9RT both worked well.

While the process to connect is easy, the buds do miss out on multi-device connectivity. This means you can’t connect the buds simultaneously to say a laptop and your smartphone. This is a major dud for me. By the virtue of being a budget offering I can cut some slack here, but then again I hope someone breaks this barrier.

Audio Performance
Redmi Buds 4 Active Review: Top audio quality but no customisation available
The audio quality of the buds is solid.

The Redmi Buds 4 Active features 12mm drivers which are in line with Nord Buds 12.4mm drivers.

The buds emit a powerful and remarkably clear sound. The audio output possesses a satisfying level of bass, not excessively thumping but substantial enough for you to notice and appreciate.

The optimal audio experience is achieved when the volume is set at 70%. At this level, you can discern the vocals and instruments distinctly. However, raising the volume beyond this point results in a noticeable loss of detail and distortion in the audio.

The lack of a dedicated customisation app starts bothering here. We do have dedicated hardware to take care of multiple profiles but we don’t have the resources to do it. This is a miss in my opinion. Yes most customers won’t require it, but having an option also helps in developing habits for the end consumer.

I was pleasantly surprised by the satisfactory calling experience provided by the buds, which was on par with the Nord Buds. The audio quality was crisp, and the microphone performed flawlessly. However, I must admit that budget TWS buds still fall short in terms of microphone quality compared to high-quality wired earphones, such as my regular wired Apple ear plugs.

The buds promise a battery life of 30 hours, with the case. The real time number is around 25 hours depending on the usage. In real terms for a light user, it should last an entire week before you plug it-in. I was using it to attend calls, listen to music and watch content, hence I had to charge it once every 3 days.

The buds do support fast charging wherein you can get a 90 minutes of battery in 10 minutes of plugging in. This feature comes in handy more often than not, especially when you are getting late and don’t have time to plug in the buds.

Redmi Buds 4 Active are a decent option in the TWS buds space. The strength of the product lies in solid audio performance, fast pair option and decent battery life. It is what I call a safe product.

But if you are more open minded, and don’t mind learning a few new tricks then I suggest checking out OnePlus Nord Buds 2 as well.