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realme Buds Air 2 Neo Unboxing and Review


Launching alongside the realme C25 is two highly competitive active noise-canceling earbuds - the realme Buds Air 2 and realme Buds Air 2 Neo.

realme Buds Air 2 Neo Unboxing and Review

Today, I was able to get my hands to the successor of the realme Buds Air Neo - the realme Buds Air 2 Neo and I’d like to share my unboxing experience as well as the review of the device. So, let's deal first with the unboxing.

Unboxing the realme Buds Air 2 Neo

The packaging comes in realme's typical yellow-colored box with a clean look design.

The front portion indicates the Buds Air 2 Neo branding; while the model number, device variant, color, customer care details and six important key features of the Buds Air 2 Neo - Active Noise Cancellation, 28hrs Total Playback, 10mm Dynamic Bass Boost Driver, 88ms Super Low Latency, Transparency Mode and Dual Mic Noise Cancellation for Calls, are imprinted on the backside of the box.

realme Buds Air 2 Neo - Retail Box Back

You can also find the realme logo on both sides. There is nothing to look at from the top and bottom portions of the box.

realme Buds Air 2 Neo - Retail Box Sides

Inside the Box and Accessories

After opening the box and sliding its contents, you will see the realme Buds Air 2 Neo (Left and Right) and the matte charging case protected by a matte plastic lining.

realme Buds Air 2 Neo - Inside the Box

Inside the box reveals the earbud tips in two sizes (S and L with M-size tips already installed by default on the earbuds), info card, getting started guide, warranty card safety guide and a short Type-C charging cable for charging the case.

realme Buds Air 2 Neo - All Contents

After unboxing, let us now take a look at the physical overview and proceed with my full review of the device.

Design and Walk Around

Unlike the realme Buds Air Neo design which is similar to most TWS you see in the market and sports the looks of the Apple AirPods, realme has introduced a new design language to the Buds Air 2 Neo and is very similar to the realme Buds Q.

realme also changed the shape of the earbuds from a rod to a bean, but still adopts the curvy aesthetic of the previous generation. To create a futuristic design, a “gleaming mirror design” is used in the earbud tips to reflect varying colors in different angles, supplemented by a matting process, turning the earbuds into a work of art.

Also, the Buds Air 2 Neo is as light as it looks. A single bud feels light as a feather, weighing only 4.5g. Even when worn during charging, the earbuds weigh only 45g, around the same as an egg and fit nicely in the pocket.

As for the color, the realme Air 2 Neo comes in two colors, namely: Active Black and Calm Gray. My unit comes in Active Black color.

realme Buds Air 2 Neo - Charging Case

On the top is the lone realme logo. There’s nothing to see at the bottom.

realme Buds Air 2 Neo - Charging Case Front

On the front contains the LED notification, while on the back is the hinge of the charging case and Type-C charging port. The case comes with a Magnetic lid to secure both buds.

realme Buds Air 2 Neo - Charging Case Back

Found inside the charging case are the earbuds and the multi-function key.

Now, let's take a closer look at the earbuds themselves. At the top is where the earbud touch control area, call and noise canceling microphones are located. Meanwhile, the charging contact pins, L/R indicator, back and front tone holes can be seen at the bottom.

realme Buds Air 2 Neo - Charging Case Open

Pairing and realme Link App

For pairing, the realme Buds Air 2 Neo comes with Bluetooth 5.2 and uses Google’s Fast Pair technology. Right out of the box, the realme Buds Air 2 Neo will automatically connect to your phone as soon as you open the charging case and after pressing the multi-function key for 3 seconds using the usual Bluetooth pairing or by downloading the realme Link app. Make sure that both earbuds are inside the charging case before pairing. Open the cover of the charging case, and it will automatically reconnect to the previously paired smartphone.

realme Buds Air 2 Neo - Bluetooth Pairing

To reset the earbuds in case of faulty pairing or when one of the earbuds is not working, just place them back in the case, keep the lid open, and press the multi-function key for 10 seconds until the indicator light flashes in red and green alternately. The earbuds will clear the original pairing record and the factory setting will be restored.

To check the battery life of the earbuds, just open the lid of the charging case and the LED notification will light up to give you an idea of its battery level. If you see the continuous green light, the battery is sufficient and more than 20%. If it's blinking, it means that it's less than 20% and you already need to charge it. The remaining battery of earbuds can be displayed in the phone’s Bluetooth list or inside the realme Link app.

Users are encouraged to download the realme Link application. The realme Link is an IoT management platform where you can easily customize, manage, control your smart devices and more.

realme Buds Air 2 Neo - realme Link

The app will allow you to see if the device is connected, battery levels of each earbud, change the noise control (Noise cancellation, General and Transparency), sound effects (Bass Boost+, Lively and Clear), enable Game mode, volume enhancer, customize the touch controls on the left and right earbuds as well as updates on the firmware.

realme Buds Air 2 Neo - realme Link Settings

The earbud tips feature smart touch functionality, allowing users to toggle earbud settings with just a light tap. The touch control area of the earbuds supports several controls: A double-tap answers or hangs up a call, pauses or plays music and a triple tap skips to the next track. A long press on one earbud rejects incoming calls, while a long press on both earbuds switches between Noise Cancelling mode and Transparency mode; while volume will have to be adjusted on the source device.

Audio Quality and Comfort

As to the audio quality, it’s on the decent side for its price. You can feel the bass, vocals are present and still clear, and it can also get very loud.

realme Buds Air 2 Neo - Comfort

For comfort, the Buds Air 2 Neo is light and comfortable to wear and feels almost like it's not in your ear. It securely fits on my ear but does fall off if I tried shaking, running and jumping really hard.

Noise Cancellation

The Buds Air 2 Neo supports Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), a function that’s only seen in high-end flagship earbuds and headphones. With active noise cancellation of up to 25dB, the realme Buds Air 2 Neo monitors external noise through a feed-forward microphone, allowing the earbuds to send out a reverse anti-noise sound to cancel it out. Users can choose the ear tips that may fit their ears to enhance passive noise reduction for better noise isolation.

Once enabled, the realme Buds Air 2 Neo can filter out most low-frequency noises, including the rumble of vehicle engines and other transportation noises. It also cancels out the noise of home appliances so that you can immerse yourself in music or work without being disturbed.

realme Buds Air 2 Neo - Noise Cancellation

The Buds Air 2 Neo also comes with Transparency Mode, which enables users to listen to ambient sound with just one click. Since the in-ear design brings physical noise cancellation, the Transparency Mode makes it easy to talk to others without taking off the headphones even once.

Latency and Other Features

For a richer gaming experience, realme has upgraded the Game Mode on the Buds Air 2 Neo with latency as low as 88ms. That’s a reduction of 35 percent from the previous generation. The low-latency mode works as expected, it reduces the audio lag which will be greatly appreciated by gamers. Please note that Game Mode needs to be turned on in the realme Link App.

realme Buds Air 2 Neo with realme C25

Additionally, the earbuds come with a 10mm Bass Boost Driver and earbuds of the realme Buds Air 2 Neo also supports IPX5 water resistance to prevent splash, rain and sweat in everyday use scenarios. At the same time, the realme Buds Air 2 Neo has passed strict tests during the production process to make sure it can withstand daily use.

Battery Life

Battery life has been boosted significantly on the Buds Air 2 Neo. The Buds Air 2 Neo can last for about 20 hours with ANC turned on, the same length of time for most other earbuds in the market in normal operation. With ANC turned off, the Buds Air 2 Neo can last up to 28 hours, a 65 percent increase from the 17 hours provided by the previous generation.

The Buds Air 2 Neo also supports fast charging. With just 10 minutes of charging time, you’ll get 3 hours of playback with noise cancellation off at 50% volume. Recharging the entire setup (charging case and earbuds) from 0% to 100% battery capacity takes around two hours. Fully charging the earbuds in the charging case takes one and half hours.

realme Buds Air 2 Neo Specifications:

Chipset: R2
Calling: Dual Mic Noise Cancellation
Noise Reduction Mode: Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)
Bluetooth Version: Bluetooth 5.2
Bluetooth Protocol: HFP, HSP, A2DP, AVRCP
Bluetooth Code: SBC, AAC
Wireless Range: 10m connectivity range (in an obstacle-free environment)
Charging Interface: USB Type-C
Waterproof level: IPX5 water resistance (earphones)
Size: Charging Box (60.34x44.57x32.96mm)
Weight: 45g (charging case+earbuds) / 4.5g (earbuds only)
Colors: Active Black and Calm Gray

Price and Availability

The realme Buds Air 2 Neo retails for Php2,490 and is available nationwide in both online and offline channels.

Verdict

realme is determined to bring noise cancellation to more users and make what was originally a high-end feature more affordable. This way, more young people can experience the joy of active noise cancellation. They won’t have to worry about the noise in their surroundings and can be free to enjoy gaming, music or videos as much as they want.

If you’re thinking of getting a new budget True Wireless Stereo (TWS) earbuds with Active Noise Cancellation in this price range, I highly recommend that you get this one.

realme Buds Air 2 Neo

Edited by Michelle Villa

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