Not long ago, I reviewed the Mi Airdots which were just Meh! The Chinese assistant was annoying, touch controls were highly misplaced and to top that, random disconnection of the earbuds from each other. So now, we have the Redmi Airdots launched which looks quite similar to the previous ones. Even the hardware is exactly the same. First Impression says, Xiaomi just pressed the Dark Mode on Mi Airdots, packed it in a black case and shipped it to TechWiser. Why Xiaomi? Why?
Turns out things are quite different from what it meets the eye. So, here is my full review of Redmi Airdots after a couple of weeks of usage. And, we will also see how different this is from the original Mi Airdots.
Redmi Airdots Review – Revamped Mi Airdots
Before we get into this review, I would like to move the specs out of the way. The specs and the hardware are important but it’s not the only thing. So, below is the spec list, have a quick look.
|Charging case size
|Charging case battery
|Single earbud battery
|Earphones charging time
|Charging case charging time
What’s in the Box?
The box sort of looked like it came from a new brand. All the Xiaomi Products I have opened until now have a minimal look to them. But, this was quite an exception. Maybe, the independent brand “Redmi” is trying hard to make itself distinguishable.
1. Build Quality
Coming from the Mi Airdots, there is nothing new to talk about the build quality. The charging case is the same and so are the earbuds with a major color shift to make them dark. The case has the same old matte-finish dental-floss design. On the inside, the rubber finish has been replaced by a plastic coating. Well, most of us wouldn’t notice that and couldn’t care less about it.
Things change when it comes to the actual earbuds and this change is for the good. The touch-sensitive back is replaced by actual buttons. Although they don’t feel that tactile but it’s relieving. The touch-sensitive back of the Mi Airdots was bizarre and potentially a deal-breaker for many. Apart from that, the size and dimensions of the buds are the same. The lightweight design makes it super comfortable and for most of the time, you wouldn’t feel that a device is plugged in your ears.
Another small incident which happened the previous weekend and it had to make its way in the review. I dropped the earbuds accidentally from around about waist height. A couple of hours later, I noticed a chip wore out near the microphone. This got me interested and I went back to check the Mi Airdots. Now, the Mi Airdots have a rubber coating over them instead of hard plastic. This makes them more shock-absorbent than the Redmi Airdots one. So, this is how Xiaomi managed to cut off $10 on the Redmi Airdots while keeping the same internals.
2. Sound Quality
Most of the hardware on Redmi Airdots are carried from the Mi Airdots. For example, it has the same 7.2 mm sound driver to push the sound into your ears. And well, it kind of works the same. Considering the size of these earbuds, they do get seriously loud. The base is good, not overpowering or extremely deep. The highs do get distorted at times, especially when you are on higher volumes. Midtones appeared to be consistent throughout the volume range.
I discovered a slight Soundstaging issue during my regular commute. In case you don’t know what Soundstaging is, let me elaborate. In simple terms, Soundstaging is a phenomenon which refers to the placement of sound in stereo Bluetooth earphones. An ideal Bluetooth earphone should place the sound between both your ears to get the perfect stereo effect. But, in our case, the Redmi Airdots tend to go towards the right-side. While listening to music at times, I feel the sound and the base is slightly higher on the right side. Now, that’s something most people won’t notice but it’s there.
Another liberty with the truly wireless earphones is picking up phone calls. One-word – No! Don’t do that. The mic is placed at the bottom in such a way that they can pick up your sound. But, mostly they would pick up sound around you. This is something which I have noticed with every budget truly wireless earphone. In a perfectly noiseless environment, it works well but if you step out, it gets really hard for the person on the other side to hear you. So, the mics are a big No-No.
I really loved the Mi Airdots when it came to comfort and this one is no different. The size and shape of the earbuds make it super comfortable during a commute, workout, morning run, etc. You can wear it at any point in time and you wouldn’t realize that you have earbuds on. I have worn them during my morning run, light body-weight exercises and never was a time when I felt it would come off.
You get 2 additional ear tips in the box and mostly the default ones would be the ideal fit. But, you can still experiment with the other ones for a better snug. The case is not huge and could be easily slid into your pocket. A smaller case is extremely important as these are the only place the earbuds would be secure. So, most of the time you need to have the case within your reach so you can drop the earbuds back in it.
4. Battery Life & Connectivity
The smaller form-factor compromises on the battery life. The Redmi Airdots has an average battery life, nothing outstanding. The earbuds last 3-3.5 hours on a full charge and continuous music playback. The charging case can charge the earbuds almost 1.5 times straight from 0 to 100. What’s outstanding is the charging time of the case and earbuds. The earbuds take around 1.5 hours to fully charge from 0 to 100 and the case takes around 2 hours to fully charge. For a smartphone spoiled world that wouldn’t be great numbers. But, in the world of truly wireless earphones, that’s fast charging.
The most annoying thing about the Mi Airdots was the random disconnection. The earbuds would pair off from each other and would take minutes of your time to reset them. This is considering the fact that you know how to reset them. The first time it took me 3-4 hours to figure out how to fix it. Thankfully, the Redmi Airdots don’t have this issue. In case if you face any problem with the connectivity, just drop the buds back into the case and pull it out. They should work fine after that. These truly wireless earbuds are built to be used with a single device and they would behave well if you stick to that.
Also, the Chinese voice assist is replaced by beeps. Thank you so much, Xiaomi or Redmi, that was so needed. I mentioned the same fact in my Mi Airdots Review, that you can replace the voice assist with beeps. That would be more intuitive rather. So, you hear a different sound when the buds pair with your phone and a different sound when they pair with each other. It takes a couple of minutes to figure out the beeps and you would easily do that.
My conclusion for the Mi Airdots was a straight no-no for someone outside China. But, for Redmi Airdots I would take a different stand. The ideal audience for Redmi Airdots would be the college students and kids who want to experience the truly wireless stuff. It’s priced way cheap at $15 or $25 if you get it from Gearbest. It is affordable for them and could be a good experience. It can also be a good gift for your niece or other kids around you.
For you, let’s just say the truly wireless scene hasn’t evolved yet. And if you still persist, well, go ahead. $15 ain’t much of a price.