Apple kickstarted the true wireless earphone trend with original AirPods in 2017 and in typical fashion, every smartphone brand has jumped on the bandwagon in the last 3 years. Xiaomi has been quite measured about its entry into this space. But now, with the launch of the true wireless earphones 2, it is well and truly into the fold. While they may be white like Apple’s AirPods, these wireless earphones don’t ape the design of Apple’s famous earphones, instead of making changes to the core design which make these easier to use while also nice in looks. Their promise is a simple one — affordable quality — and boy they sound good while having the same simplistic ease of setup like Apple’s AirPods when paired with a fellow Xiaomi phone.
- The design of these earphones is very enchanting. While it does liberally take inspiration from Apple’s AirPods, Xiaomi has smartly modified the design. They have a squared-off case which also has a matte finish which makes it very nice to hold. It is also extremely light which is another advantage. The earphones themselves have an angular driver canal main horn which fits quite snuggly in my ears. Their fit was vastly more comfortable than even Apple’s AirPods. You still do get AirPod style stems here — but perhaps, the best thing one can say about these is that they don’t look identical to AirPods which isn’t what Xiaomi’s rival Realme has done in India.
- The overall fit and finish of these earphones is superb. You really wouldn’t believe that these earphones cost less than Rs 5,000. You get a supple matte finish, you even get USB type C support which helps charge the earphones pretty quickly and also have a case that houses the earphones securely. The quality of this product is deserving of a much higher price.
- The most mind-blowing thing about TWE 2 is their sound quality. It’s fabulous for a product of this price. I mean, I didn’t miss my Apple AirPods Pro any time while testing these earphones and I’d say the sound quality, particularly for music, was pretty close to the AirPods 2 which is kind of wild. These speakers particularly shined with deep house, though they managed to have good fidelity for even ambient stuff to heavy rock. If you have a diverse taste in music then you are going to love these. Check out my testing playlist here.
- They also sound great for watching movies and are just about the best value for money earbuds you can get if you are going to do numerous conference calls. They may not have active noise cancellation but it doesn’t matter because the calls sound so clear on these considering the price. It’s mind-boggling how Xiaomi was able to get this level of performance out of these puppies. All of this audio magic is happening thanks to the fact that this supports both Bluetooth 5.0 and the LHDC codec. This also means that the audio quality is also quite uniform across iOS and Android regardless of the use of a Xiaomi phone or not.
- The crowning on all this goodness is the battery life. Xiaomi advertises around 4 hours of battery life on a single charge and an additional 2 more charge cycles via the case. In my use managed to hit around the advertised 4 hours of use which is quite sublime. Overall I regularly clocked 12 hours of use on these capping off an almost perfect product.
- On a side note, these earbuds can be paired quite easily as a Xiaomi phone automatically detects them when the top cap of the case is opened. They also support the Google Assistant and have top based controls for pausing music or taking calls. It is a power-packed package.
- I was hardpressed to find an issue with these earphones but at best I can say these earphones don’t put their best foot forward when playing bass-heavy music. If you listen exclusively to that kind of music then this may not be your cup of coffee. Also, as these don’t have active noise cancellation, if you don’t manage a great fit, then they may not sound as phenomenal as they were for me.
- Some people may also find that they aren’t as portable because the case is larger than most other true wireless earphones. However, it is also the secret behind the epic battery life. Life is full of trade offs, this one is a minor one.
- Last but not the least, is the stigma of being a cheap AirPods knock-off which anyways a lot of Chinese smartphones go through. These days that sentiment being higher could be a problem for some. But again, it’s actually a very thoughtfully made product and definitely not a copy cat product if you’d compare it to something like the Realme Buds.
Should you buy this?
If you are in the market for a new wireless earbud, then it is a no brainer especially if you use an Android smartphone. They are comfortable, affordable and fabulously good. That’s an unbeatable combination only eclipsed by the premium integration of Apple’s AirPods on iOS. On Android land, these are amongst the best ones apart from being the de facto choice for Xiaomi users. They represent an incredible value in typical Xiaomi fashion democratising the AirPods Wireless experience for the masses. If you’re looking for a top quality wireless audio product in India for less than Rs 10,000, then this is the only one that matters.