In this Realme Buds Air 3 review, you’ll be able to find out everything you need to know about this pair of cheap wireless earbuds. But the most interesting thing about them is the design because they look really cool.
Realme is primarily an affordable smartphone brand but also sells headphones, tablets and watches. You can’t expect to be completely impressed with what they have to offer in the audio realm but you can be sure to get fantastic value for money.
Watch if you’re willing to splash out The best true wireless earbuds Instead, or look for more affordable options Best budget wireless earbuds.
Realme Buds Air 3 Review: Price and Availability
The Realme Buds Air 3 will set you back $59.98 in the US and £54.99 in the UK. You can pick up a pair from Amazon but to see where you can buy them, check out the widgets on this page.
Realme Buds Air 3 Review: Design and Fit
For a cheap pair of earbuds, Realme Buds Air 3 looks great. They are sleek and stylish with a tube-shaped hanging stem with a glossy top. You can buy them in white or blue, I tested the latter.
The matching charging case it comes with is shaped like a bullet and easily slips into a small pocket, with a flat top with a glossy Realme logo. You can check its battery level using the small LED light on the front and activate the pairing mode using the small button on the side.
To find the right fit, these silicone eartips come with 3 sizes and since they are so lightweight, I found them quite comfortable, even though I got tired of wearing them after a few hours. I loved how secure they felt, I could exercise in them and they wouldn’t move around inside my ears.
Another reason why you might not know these are so affordable is because the build quality feels sturdy and long-lasting. They’re IPX5 water-resistant, so not only will they withstand knocks and bumps, but they’ll also survive rain or sweat splashes.
You can control your music without reaching for your phone using the touch function on the stem of each earbud: double tap to pause or play music, triple tap to skip ahead, press and hold to start noise cancellation. You can also use the controls to answer phone calls or turn on game modes.
Combining the case and earbuds will give you up to 30 hours of playtime at 50% volume from each charge, which drops to 22 hours with noise cancellation off, with it on.
If you want continuous listening, you’ll get 7 hours at a time without ANC, or it drops to 5.5. Hours either way, battery life will be more than enough for most people.
When you need to plug in the case, it takes about 100 minutes to fully charge. Or a quick 10 minutes connected to power will give you 100 minutes of playtime. Unfortunately, there is no wireless charging here.
Realme Buds Air 3 Review: Performance and Features
Right out of the box, Realme Buds Air 3’s default tuning is good even if it doesn’t quite match Best noise canceling headphones in the world. Sound is delivered through 10mm drivers in AAC and SBC codecs.
The result is punchy and punchy audio, although the bass sometimes crosses the treble so you lose high-end detail, affecting vocals more than anything else. But if you’re after deep rich audio, they certainly deliver in that area.
Using the accompanying smartphone app, Realme Link, you can choose from three different preset sound modes – Bass Boost+, Balanced and Bright. I was perfectly happy with the Balanced, the Bass Boost+ was a bit too solid for my liking. You can also choose to turn up the volume, but again, I didn’t really feel the need to use it because the sound was loud as it was.
You can also create customized audio tuning profiles. To make it the app will run you through a series of beeps, asking if you can hear each one before presenting your full profile.
For listening to spoken word content like podcasts, these earbuds are really clear even with a little background noise. It’s made even better by the noise canceling which does a good job of reducing ambient noise, especially when you set it to full ‘Strong’ ANC mode. I couldn’t hear the road, there was chatter near me, and even my keyboard taps were dull.
When you want to know what’s going on around you, there’s an additional transparency mode, but it didn’t make a world of difference as I still struggled to hear conversations or announcements on public transport.
Other features in the app include an earbud fit test to check how well the seal is in your ear, in-ear detection that stops music when you pull out one of the buds, and you can choose to turn on auto-answer. Pick up your phone call as soon as you remove the earbuds from the case. You’ll also get firmware updates in the app so it’s worth the download.
I really like that you can connect to multiple devices at once using the Realme Buds Air 3 as it makes it very easy to disconnect and switch between them so if you’re watching a video on your laptop and you get a call on your phone, you can disconnect and reconnect to switch over. No need to.
Connectivity here was good thanks to Bluetooth 5.2, I was able to walk away from my phone without disconnecting the bud.
Last but not least, call quality. Realme Buds Air 3 has dual microphones in each earbud, when I tested it, my voice came through clearly but very quietly. I was also in a very quiet environment so this is one thing that doesn’t do so well.
Realme Buds Air 3 Review: Verdict
One of my biggest takeaways from the Realme Buds Air 3 true wireless earbuds is that they offer pretty incredible value for money. Admittedly, it doesn’t have a soundstage to match these most popular price buds, but given the price, there’s still plenty of depth in the audio.
So they look good, they feel good, and they have a lot of extra features, most of which you won’t find elsewhere at this kind of price. The noise cancellation also does a decent job of keeping your focus on the music. Very impressive!
Realme Buds Air 3 Review: Also Consider
If you’re not set on an AirPods-style design Sony WF-C500 Still undoubtedly the best cheap earbuds you can buy purely because they sound great considering the price tag. You won’t get some of the fancier features like ANC or wireless charging, but you’ll be able to tweak the equalizer via a nearby app – something most of its rivals don’t offer.
Worried about call quality? Take a look above OnePlus Nord Buds. As such, they are much cheaper but you still get good call quality with reliable sound and IP55 water resistance.