Wireless earbuds and headphones are all the rage now, and you’re completely spoiled for choice if you’re in the market for a pair. Apple AirPods (and the new Pro) is a runaway winner but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any viable alternatives. At the OPPO INNO Day Event last month, OPPO showcased its new OPPO Enco Free true wireless sound (TWS) earbuds and will be releasing this device next week, 16 January 2020.
You may not know this, but long before it got into the smartphone industry, OPPO (through a separate company OPPO Digital) was a critically acclaimed high-end audiovisual (AV) maker in the US. It made amazing Blu-ray players and audio products like the PM3 headphones (still one of my favourite headphones ever) and Sonica Wi-Fi speakers. I’m not sure if any of the magic has trickled down to the OPPO Enco Free; let’s hope it has.
Its uncanny resemblance to the Apple AirPods is disappointing, but like the Apple AirPods Pro, it comes with interchangeable silicone ear tips for a better fit.
The earbuds will give you up to five hours of battery life and up to 25 hours with the charging case. Unfortunately, the charging case does not offer wireless charging. Charging is via its USB-C port.
It offers IPX4 water resistance, so it will be safe to wear them at the gym.
It comes with Bluetooth 5.0 with binaural simultaneous Bluetooth transmission which is claimed to deliver better-synchronised audio. OPPO says the new earbuds have “radically redesigned audio supported by cutting-edge ultra-dynamic speakers.” On the official spec sheet, they’re 13.4mm dynamic drivers with a frequency response range of 16Hz-20kHz. It also comes with an advanced dual-mic beam-forming technology and AI uplink noise cancellation to shield calls from external noise.
Both left and right earbuds offer touch controls. Double-tap on either side to answer calls or control your music. Slide up or down to adjust volume (on the left earbud) or change tracks (on the right earbud).
Another Apple-inspired feature is how the earbuds pair with a smartphone. Just open the case and a pop-up window will appear on the phone; once enabled, the earbuds will automatically connect whenever you open the case.
Pricing and availability
The OPPO Enco Free is expected to retail at MYR499 and will be available from 16 January 2020.