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[Accessory Review Challenge] OPPO Enco W31 – The best budget TWS headphones?

  1. asishgrwl
    Ice Cream Sandwich Sep 11, 2020

    asishgrwl , Sep 11, 2020 :
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    As an entry for the OnePlus Accessory Testers Recruitment / Accessory Review Challenge, I am happy to share my thoughts on the OPPO Enco W31 which I’ve been using for the past few months (thanks to WFH). So, let's get started.

    Unboxing
    The unboxing experience here was pretty simple. We have this round case that the earbuds come in, the OPPO Enco W31 themselves along with couple of pairs of differently sized interchangeable ear tips, some documentation and a type-A to type-C charging cable.
    Unbox.jpg

    Design
    OPPO has chosen to go with an unusual design here. This round case feels like a pebble and weighing in at just 55g, it’s light enough to be easily pocketable. Now, two criticisms I’ve about this case is that it’s quite difficult to open with one hand and that we don’t get that satisfying snap/click sound when we shut it close either. So, while it looks cool and quite unique, I wish, OPPO had stuck to the design of the Enco Free as it’s smaller and much easier to open. But the good thing is that we do get type-C charging here unlike many other TWS headphones available at this price.
    Case_top.jpg Case_front.jpg
    USB-C.jpg

    Opening up the case, we can find the headphones themselves. These are held in by magnets, so they just snap into place. Now, unlike many TWS headphones available at this price and sporting a semi in-ear design, the Enco W31 sports a complete in-ear design. So, this means that the W31s have a much better fit then any of the semi in-ear style earbuds. The interchangeable ear tips make sure that it is great fit for most ear shapes and the way the W31 seals up the ear canal, it provides really great sound isolation. The earbuds themselves are light enough that I can wear them all day long without any kind of discomfort. The fit isn’t too tight so I never felt like there’s any kind of pressure building up inside my ears like it does with some other in-ear style earbuds and the best part here is that the primary mic is at the end of the stem unlike some TWS headphones where people can’t hear us talking in a noisy environment. In fact, we also have another mic in here and we get dual mic noise cancellation but that’s only for voice calls.

    Case_open_front.jpg

    The call quality here is one of the best that I’ve tried out and the person at the other end never complained that they weren’t able to hear me clearly. We even get IP54 dust and water resistance here making the W31s perfect for the gym or maybe some dusty outdoor trails.

    Buds.jpg
    Buds_Mic.jpg

    The metallic finish on these earbuds really caught my eye the first time I unboxed it and does so even today. Now, the fit and finish here is great. Personally, I think that it combines the best of both worlds, i.e., the in-ear style and the primary mic at the end of the stem. But at the end of the day what matters the most for any earbuds is how they sound.

    Sound Quality
    In one word it’s GOOD.

    The 7mm drivers here won’t blow anybody away but what’s good here is the balanced sound profile. There’s a clear separation between the mids and highs and one can easily make the instruments playing in the background. The W31 can get pretty loud too but at the higher volume settings, the mids get a bit muddy and the instrument separation is lost.

    Now you may be thinking that, all that’s well and good but what about the bass?

    Modes.jpg
    Image credit: OPPO India website

    Well, OPPO has included a special bass mode here. Double tapping on the left earbud activates the same and you can clearly hear the sound signature of the Enco W31 change. Playing some EDM or Bollywood songs, I could clearly hear the thump inside my ears and thanks to the excellent seal, there was no sound leak either. Despite sporting such small 7mm drivers, the W31s deliver great bass. Now, I wouldn’t go as far as saying that they have the best sound quality of all TWS headphones but once again, OPPO has tried to bring the best of both worlds here. We get the bass and we also get a balanced sound profile. So, for that alone, the Enco W31 deserves my praise. As far as codec support is concerned, we have support for AAC but no LDAC or aptX HD. But honestly, most Bluetooth earphones don’t offer those at this price range.

    Battery
    Talking about the battery life here, we have 25 mAh batteries on each earbud and OPPO claims that at 50% volume the battery life on a single charge should last around 3.5 hours and with the included 350 mAh battery in the case, the same number jumps up to 15 hours. Although, when I tested them, the earbuds lasted nearly 3 hours at around 80% volume.

    As far as charging times are concerned, OPPO claims that the headphones themselves can go from 0 – 100% in 80 minutes while the headphones plus the charging case should take 2.5 hours. Also, like many other TWS headphones there’s no wireless charging here too.

    Pairing
    Pair.jpg
    Image credit: OPPO India website
    We have a quick pair feature that works with certain OPPO phones running on ColorOS 7 and above. On supported phones, we can see a card pop-up on the display as soon as we open the case and once, we click on connect, it shows us the battery stats. For other phones, the connection method is pretty simple too, flip open the lid and press down the button till the white LED starts blinking and from there it’s business as usual. We have Bluetooth 5.0 on board so the reach here is pretty good. There’s no dedicated low latency mode for gaming but OPPO claims that the latency here is as low as 94ms, which is better than all the other TWS headphones available at or around this price. As far as real-life performance goes, I did feel that it was a tad bit faster but then I’m no competitive mobile gamer so, take that as you will.

    Also, one interesting thing here is that OPPO mentions the low latency mode works only with Qualcomm and MediaTek SoCs. So, I guess the latency is higher if we connect the Enco W31 with an iPhone (maybe I’ll have to buy one to check the same).

    Touch Controls
    The touch controls here are actually pretty simple. Double tap on the right earbud to skip to the next track. Double tap on the left earbud to switch between balanced and bass modes. Triple tap on either earbud to activate voice assistant.

    You may now be thinking, how do we pause and play then?

    Well, we have an infrared based optical wear detection sensor on either earbuds and they stop playing as soon as we pull them out of our ears and resume playing when we put them back in. Neat!

    Buds_Sensor.jpg

    Honestly, I like the touch controls here. There aren’t a lot of them, so, no chances of getting confused but if there had been an app to customize the double and triple tap functionalities, well, that would have been an icing on the cake.

    Verdict
    Case_open_with_buds.jpg
    Be it an in-ear design, binaural low-latency, dedicated bass mode, dual microphone noise cancellation for calls or wearing detection, the OPPO Enco W31 nails a lot of the fundamentals of a good truly wireless headphones and priced at just ₹3,499 (launch price of ₹3999) I would say that it is the best budget TWS headphones one could buy.
     

    #1
  2. G_plusone
    Nougat Sep 11, 2020

    G_plusone , Sep 11, 2020 :
    Nice one @asishgrwl
    The price is great too.
    I am looking for better designs next ear.
    Like the Samsung Beans or Buds Plus or Google buds
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2020

    #2
    Helder_DAlmeida, asishgrwl and SRD. like this.
  3. SRD.
    Lollipop Sep 11, 2020

    SRD. , via OnePlus 7T , Sep 11, 2020 :
    Wrong tag my friend. It's really an awesome review.

     

    #3
  4. AlienEye
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Sep 11, 2020


    #4
  5. asishgrwl
    Ice Cream Sandwich Sep 11, 2020

    asishgrwl , Sep 11, 2020 :
    Thanks!:p
     

    #5
    Helder_DAlmeida and G_plusone like this.
  6. asishgrwl
    Ice Cream Sandwich Sep 11, 2020

    asishgrwl , Sep 11, 2020 :
    Thank you.:)
     

    #6
    Helder_DAlmeida and G_plusone like this.
  7. asishgrwl
    Ice Cream Sandwich Sep 11, 2020

    asishgrwl , Sep 11, 2020 :
    Thanks:)
    Yeah it's close to airpods pro but then it's quite different too.
    BTW, they announced W51 with faster + wireless charging, better battery and better hybrid noise cancellation last week and that too for just ₹4,999.:)
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2020

    #7
    Helder_DAlmeida and yashwant24 like this.
  8. Oreo.
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Sep 11, 2020


    #8
    asishgrwl and Helder_DAlmeida like this.
  9. asishgrwl
    Ice Cream Sandwich Sep 11, 2020

    asishgrwl , Sep 11, 2020 :
    Thanks!:)
    Like I said, the in-ear design and the interchangeable ear tips make sure that it is great fit for most ear shapes.
    So, they keep stuck in-ear and don't fall out.:)
     

    #9
    Oreo. likes this.

  10. #10
    asishgrwl and Oreo. like this.
  11. asishgrwl
    Ice Cream Sandwich Sep 11, 2020


    #11
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  12. Girish.Pranav
    Jelly Bean Sep 12, 2020

  13. asishgrwl
    Ice Cream Sandwich Sep 12, 2020


    #13
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  14. #14