Oppo Enco W51: Good casual listening and a bit of quiet

Mala Bhargava | Updated on January 06, 2021

Oppo is discovering a hidden talent for true wireless sound. They’ve been bringing advanced features to the untethered buds that are all the rage right now. We looked at the Enco W31 recently that cost a mere ₹3,999 and saw that they sounded pretty good for the price; and now we look at the Enco W51 for ₹4,999, which brings some more features in what has been the domain of very much more expensive audio products.

This time, Oppo adds active noise cancellation to these earphones while still keeping them in the budget segment.

But for all that, these are still a mixed bag, so if you’re thinking of picking them up, here’s what to look out for:

The Enco W51 earbuds come in a case of what looks like pretty good plastic in either white or black and now in a shape that’s more or less square, except for totally rounded edges and corners. The W31 was more round. There are some design choices that are off, straightaway. You’ll have to look at the case to open it because the tactile clues aren’t that many. There’s a USB-C slot on one side and a notch on the other and by just touching you could get them mixed up. But one gets used to anything.

The second baffling thing is that the charging indication light is on the inside as is the little button that you’ll need to press to go into pairing mode. Depending on how fussy you are these could be minor annoyances or a permanent irritant.

These earbuds are meant to be companions to an Oppo phone and will work best with those in terms of smart features but otherwise with any other Android phone.

Pairing and initiation is, thankfully, quite painless.

The buds are the stem style, like the AirPods. But they do have their little distinctive design twist. They have silicone ear-tips and go right into the ear. Comfort is an individual experience but for the most part, they’re fine. I found them slightly less than comfortable in one ear, which just goes to show that everyone can’t expect an identical experience when our ears are so different even on the same head!

These earbuds don’t sound bad at all. For regular everyday casual listening they sound great, in fact. No audiophile would look at earphones of this level so we won’t go there, but for undemanding listeners, these buds more than do the job. There’s a good thump to them, good enough volume, and enough punch and liveliness for those who like to listen to Bollywood, pop, rap, house, etc. The sound is balanced and workable. If you’re looking for a whole lot of detail and separation, again, this isn’t the level.

The active noise cancellation here can be triggered by two taps on the left earbud. This can happen quite often by mistake. Without interrupting the music and with a voice prompt, the ANC kicks in or goes off. The difference you’ll experience is very slight. Rather than eliminating a notice, I found it actually making it importable to properly identify a noise. It’s rather interesting as this inevitably made me take them out of my ears to check what was going on.

Published on January 06, 2021

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