Technophile

Oppo Enco W31: Wireless little wonders with good sound and features

Mala Bhargava | Updated on December 07, 2020

For something that doesn’t cost much, these earbuds are smart, look cool and have some punch to them

For the most part, we refuse point blank to review very low cost earphones or headphones. These are not expected to come with any worthwhile or unique features and they usually live up to those expectations. But it’s amazing how this is beginning to change and earbuds that barely cost anything end up being so feature-filled and sounding as good as the Oppo Enco W31 do.

A nice compact pebble shaped (or idli-shaped, if you like) case houses these earbuds. It’s very easy to slip into a pocket, but because it happens to be all rounded, it tends to roll out of your hand quite easily as well. In fact, it’s a bit tough to handle with one hand and open it. Strangely, the indicator light has been placed on the inside, and that isn’t a great design choice because you absolutely have to open it to see if it’s charged.

The plastic case is in black or white and the black version definitely shows finger smudges that look and feel unclean. You could probably wipe it clean with a damp tissue, though, because it’s IP54 water resistant — not swim-worthy but splash resistant.

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Balanced sound

When you open up the case you’ll find the buds inside are nice and slim and have a metallic finish that makes them look really cool and trendy. Though a few people have said they didn’t find them comfortable, I certainly found them exceptionally so and they also fitted like they’ve known my ears before — snug and firm, refusing to get dislodged at all on their own. They’re so comfortable you can easily lie on a pillow on your side with these because they don’t stick out awkwardly.

The nearest Android phone around me recognised the W31 buds were trying to connect and immediately obliged. There’s no app needed or available. I was immediately surprised and impressed by the balanced sound. Unlike other cheap earphones, the W31 weren’t painfully sharp sounding or trying to overdo any range of frequencies.

Tapping the left bud by mistake I found the sound profile changed to one that emphasised the bass a bit and was amazed to find this smart feature in a product that costs so little. Tapping on the right gives you control over skipping tracks and triggering the assistant. The controls are optimally sensitive and you don’t feel an awful thump into your ear whenever you use them, which is really nice. To stop the music, you take one or both buds out of your ear and they go quiet and come alive again when you wear them. So, no one-ear usage.

The W31 seem to lack a little in volume and I had to listen to them over 80 per cent setting, but they sounded fine at that level too.

A sonic shift during the pandemic

These earbuds support AAC and no other codecs and formats. There’s really not much more one can except for something that’s on so tight a budget. Interestingly, there’s a set of two mics on each bud for noise cancellation, for some suppression of outside sounds. Call quality has also been pretty good on these earbuds.

The battery is around three hours with till you get them topped up again with the case. You can expect around 10 metres of range with these earphones as you move about.

Price: ₹3,999 (available for less in different places)

Pros: Great sound for the price, comfortable, compact, touch controls, two sound profiles; bass and balanced, splash proof, comfortable

Cons: Case shows smudges and can slip out of hand, light and button on inside, a little low volume, battery just okay, have to be taken off to stop the music

Published on December 07, 2020

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