NEW DELHI: Ever since companies started making affordable true wireless headphones, we’ve been waiting for one that really sets the bar for what the minimum audio quality at this range should be like. With the Redmi Earbuds S from Xiaomi, we may finally have that. At ₹1799, there’s little you can really complain about as long as a headphone connects wirelessly, doesn’t drop that connection and delivers at least acceptable audio.
Those are exactly the parameters that the Redmi Earbuds S meet. They are in no way the standard for good audio quality, but they fit the brief as far as affordable wireless earbuds are concerned.
Strictly speaking, the headphones emphasize on bass a bit too much, overpowering vocals and highs quite often. You will see this in almost any song that has percussion. In practice, that means the drums will overpower most everything in rock music, there will be a low drone in the background of acoustic tracks and the string instruments in Jazz tracks will sort of lose their twang.
In many ways it’s the same audio quality on the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2, but it’s much more acceptable at this price point. Those who really care for good audio don’t buy products at this price, but those who do aren’t going to get something exceptionally bad. In fact, if you’re listening to percussion led Punjabi music often, you might actually like these headphones a lot.
The Redmi Earbuds S are for those who want the convenience of wireless earphones, and something that’s super light and easy to carry around. It comes in a distinctly plastic box, which can easily fit in most pockets, it’s really light and despite the low price Xiaomi bundles a few different silicone tips in the box in case the default size doesn’t fit your ears.
You don’t get gesture support as you do with more expensive true wireless headphones, but both the left and right buds have a single multi-function button, which can be used to control music. You tap either of them once to play/pause tracks, double press to invoke the voice assistant on your phone, and thrice to turn on the low latency mode, which Xiaomi claims enhances gaming.
The low latency mode reduces the time lag between something happening on your phone’s screen and its sound reflecting through the earphones. While that may matter to those who play PUBG on their phones really seriously, it won’t matter to everyone. It’s a nifty feature to have though.
Like most wireless earphones, the Redmi Earbuds S will work for calls indoors, but they definitely don’t work for outdoor use cases. I didn’t hear any complaints, or have complaints of my own, while on phone calls.
In sum, for the price you pay, the Redmi Earbuds S brings a lot of value for most anyone. For casual users who just want to get rid of wires, they’re perfect.