* Balanced sound output
* Good build quality
* Acceptable battery life
To borrow or be inspired from others’ traits isn’t necessarily a bad thing but maintaining a distinct identity at the same time is really important. Oppo with its first true-wireless earbuds Enco Free is trying to do both with design that gives the glimpse of Apple AirPods and certain features show that it wants to follow its own path and set itself apart from all the earbuds currently available.
The Oppo Enco Free is priced at Rs 7,999 and comes in three colour options – White, Pink and Black. The earbuds also come with a long list of features such as 13.4mm dynamic drivers, tap and slide gestures, interchangeable tips and battery backup that can last for the entire day including the charging case.
But how does the first true-wireless earphones from the company sound and does it stand to the promises made by the company? Let’s find out in our review.
Oppo Enco Free: Design
Unlike a few other earbuds, the Enco Free does not look like a complete rip off of the Apple AirPods as it has its own design cues that sets it apart from the me-too AirPods out there. The earbuds and the charging case are made from good quality polycarbonate material and has matte finish to it. There are no rough edges around the corner and without a doubt, it does not feel cheap at all. The earbuds and the case feel premium and sturdy as well.
Each earbud comes with a glowing light that not only sets it apart in the crowd, but also represents the tap and slide gesture. Then there are the interchangeable ear tips that allow users to change them as per their need and obviously for the perfect fit they can get. After all not everyone likes Starbucks’ coffee or McDonald’s burgers, right? In other words, giving people choice is what Oppo is trying to do here.
The earbuds itself is light and feels comfortable in ears as well given the right ear tips you are using.
Moving to the charging case, it is compact and squared out design too which makes it more pocket friendly. At the front, there’s the Oppo logo engraved over an oval shaped metallic surface along with an indicator light. The right side of the charging case has a button that serves as the pairing button and charging port is built at the bottom, which is USB Type-C by the way.
Oppo Enco Free: Audio quality and connectivity
Music is an art and art come with perception. In that sense at times perception about a product may be altered because of its price and Oppo wants to shy away from that image. Oppo Enco Free comes with 13.4mm dynamic drives with dual magnetic circuit and composite diaphragm made of titanium dome and magnesium cladding. Combining everything, Oppo claims that the six patented technologies helps the earbuds to produce studio-quality sound output. But, only offering top notch hardware is not enough.
The audio quality also depends upon the audio tuning and it also determines whether the earphones are bass heavy or it is good for enjoying some trance with sharp trebles and it can be best of both worlds by offering both bass and trebles in equal proportions. At this moment, you must be wondering what about mids or the vocals. Well, we will come to that later. For now, we will stick to the bass and treble.
Starting with the bass output for the earbuds, we were not expecting groundbreaking stuff here. But the Enco Free produces surprisingly crisp and punchy bass output and the thump can be felt inside the ear canals without even cracking up the volume to full. Here’s where the treble comes to play and chops out the unnecessary rattle from the bass output and balances the audio completely. Bass and treble are supposed to stick on their own frequency range and Oppo has ensured that with Enco Free. The treble too is not that harsh, and it certainly does not create a sense of fatigue during the long listening hours.
Coming to vocals and mids, after listening to a few songs from different genres, we concluded that this is the department where Oppo Enco Free shines. It produces crisp and clear vocals and the bass does not overpower it as we usually see in bass-heavy earphones.
Combining all three, the Enco Free produces a balanced sound output overall with good amount of bass overall.
Enco Free comes with Bluetooth 5.0 as the connectivity option and as expected, it offers good connectivity and range that keeps up with you for a respectable distance. For us, it never failed inside a 2BHK house.
Each earbud also comes with a tap and slide gesture, which works just fine and are responsive as well. Double-tap on either earbud to pickup or drop a call, slide up and down on the right one to change tracks and doing the same on left earbud adjusts the volume. Now, we were fine with this setup until one day, we decided to use only right earbud to take a call and realised we cannot adjust the volume and the same happened while listening to a song with only the left earbuds and we were unable to skip tracks. Having an option to customise the gesture setting would have made more sense.
Oppo Enco Free: Battery
Oppo claims that each earbud will last for 5 hours while listening to music and 20 additional hours with the included charging case. Well, that was not the case with our review unit. At maximum volume, Enco Free only lasted for around 4.5 hours with additional 18 hours using the charging case. However, it is still respectable battery life as per the current standards in TWS earphones category.
Oppo Enco Free: Verdict
At the price of Rs 7,999, the Oppo Enco Free is a strong competitor and makes a lot of sense for those looking for a lightweight, compact and premium true-wireless earbuds. It also has a good sound signature that can please almost everyone given their taste in music. Oppo wanted to create an AirPods alternative for Android, but Oppo Enco Free is something of its own and carries its own character.