Wireless Earphones under Rs 1,500- Technology News, FirstpostJuly 19, 2021
Ameya DalviJul 19, 2021 09:48:02 IST
Realme recently launched their new sub-brand, Dizo, targeted at budget-conscious buyers. Among other things, they launched a couple of wireless audio products under Rs 1,500, which we have for review today. Realme has done quite well in the budget audio department over the past year or so, and it would be interesting to see what it can bring to the table at an even lower price point.
The Dizo GoPods D are true wireless (TWS) earbuds, while the Dizo Wireless is a wireless neckband. Before we dissect the individual products, let me touch upon what’s common to both. For starters, both products are Bluetooth 5.0 compliant and have support for only the SBC codec. One cannot expect aptX compliance at this price point, but there’s no support for AAC either. Both the earphones have an IPX4 rating for sweat resistance; so wearing them to the gym or in a light drizzle is fine, but avoid spilling liquids on them.
The wireless range is also similar with both products maintaining a stable connection at 10 metres with clear line of sight, and a little over half of that with a concrete wall in the way. The sound profile and button configuration can be modified in the Realme Link app. You get three sound presets – “Bass Boost+”, “Dynamic” and “Bright”; I’d suggest sticking to “Dynamic”. The “Bright” option makes it overly treble-heavy, and “Bass Boost+” adds even more bass to the already bass-heavy sound of these audio products; that’s like selling water to a drowning person.
Time to take a closer look at each of these earphones.
Dizo GoPods D TWS Earbuds Review
The Dizo GoPods D bears a striking resemblance to the Realme Buds Q2, with similar shaped buds sporting touch-enabled zones at the back and the same egg-shaped charging case. Beyond this, they are fairly different products. The buds fit snugly in the ears, don’t stick out and offer decent passive noise isolation with the preinstalled medium-sized silicone tips (there are two more pairs in the bundle). They stay in place even during a jog or a sprint. There is no active noise cancellation (ANC) here, nor was I expecting the democratisation of ANC to reach this price bracket, at least for now.
However, I was surprised to see touch controls at this price point. There is a sizable touch-enabled zone at the back of the earbuds and it’s very responsive. Additionally, the controls can be configured in the Realme Link app. You may choose to assign play/pause, previous/next tracks, voice assistant or nothing to double-tap, triple-tap or touch+hold. Touching and holding both buds simultaneously lets you switch gaming mode (110 ms low latency) on and off. There is no volume control option, nor can you assign anything to a single tap. While I would have preferred the former, I am fine with the latter, as it eliminates unintended actions when trying to adjust the buds.
Moving on to the sound quality of the Dizo GoPods D, though it is more than decent for this budget, the 10 mm dynamic drivers produce a bass-heavy sound. Those who love extra bass (a fairly common demographic) will probably enjoy the output. While the emphasis is on low-end frequencies, the highs are reasonably well tempered and have a fair degree of sharpness. The mids suffer the most due to the abundance of bass that’s not very tight. There is significant auditory masking in bass-heavy tracks and the midrange frequencies are noticeably suppressed.
The vocal clarity doesn’t take as much of a hit, as certain instruments do towards the lower end of the midrange spectrum. The soundstage isn’t too broad and the detail in sound is average at best. But then, one needs to remember that this is a Rs 1,500 pair, and one can be a bit lenient on certain aspects of the output, as they sound better than most TWS buds at this price point. Also, the buds are quite loud at 70 percent volume, and the call quality is pretty good. People on either end of the call were perfectly audible to each other with very little background noise seeping through; that’s commendable.
The overall battery backup of the Dizo GoPods D is decent, with the buds and charging case combined providing close to 17 hours of playback. The buds managed to last for about 4 hours and 15 minutes on a full charge, which is slightly below par, but manageable. I do wish that the company had opted for a USB-C port on the charging case instead of the older Micro USB. It takes less than 90 minutes to charge fully (case + buds). Another point I would like to highlight is the Bluetooth pairing technique. Unlike most TWS buds that get into pairing mode when you take them out of the case, here, you need to keep the buds in the case and touch their backs for 3 to 5 seconds to do the same. Quite a strange method, that!
All said and done, the Dizo GoPods D offers plenty for their introductory price of Rs 1,399 with a one year warranty. The price is expected to go up to Rs 1,599 shortly, but that’s still fair. They may not sound spectacular, but at that price, you get your money’s worth and not many will complain. Also, it would be hard to find another pair in this budget that sounds as good and also flaunts features such as programmable touch controls. One option that comes to mind is the Redmi Buds S, which sound better than the Dizo but lack touch controls and the battery backup is 25 percent lower. Beyond that, you need to stretch your budget to 2K to get the Oppo Enco W11 for sharper sound with less bass.
- Above average sound quality for the price
- Comfortable to wear with a snug fit
- Programmable and responsive touch controls
- Decent battery life; up to 17 hours with charging case
- IPX4 sweat resistant
- Good call quality
- Well priced
- Excessive bass
- Micro USB charging port
- No volume control option
- No support for the AAC codec
Price: Rs 1,399 to Rs 1,599
Dizo Wireless Neckband Review
The Dizo Wireless Neckband is well built, right from the earbud shells to the band, and yet weighs just 23.1 grams. There isn’t anything striking about its appearance, but nothing offensive either. You will barely feel the presence of the rubberised band around your neck, and the buds sit well in the ears without any discomfort, helped by the angular tips. They stay put during jogs too. You get volume controls and a programmable multifunction button on the control pod to handle all its functions; the key press feels just right. You can assign play/pause, previous/next tracks, voice assistant and more to single click, double click, triple click and long press through the Realme Link app.
Each earbud is fitted with an 11.2 mm dynamic driver and the back of the buds have magnetic tips that act as an on/off switch too; off when stuck together and on when separated. The magnets are fairly powerful and there was rarely any accidental separation. I quite like this feature right from the OnePlus Bullets Wireless days, and it’s great to see it on an entry-level neckband. The sound signature is quite similar to that of the GoPods D above. So I won’t repeat myself. The output is again bass-heavy, but there is one difference – the soundstage seems a bit broader in comparison, giving the audio a fuller feel with slightly more resolved detail.
These earphones are also loud enough around the 70 percent mark, and if you need more, you can enable the “Volume Enhancer” from the companion app. The call quality here is not as good as the GoPods D. Though the spec-sheet mentions the presence of “Environmental Noise Cancellation”, it doesn’t seem to work. It picks up way too much ambient noise, and the person on the line can hear almost everything around you. On the bright side, the latency figures in gaming mode are lower at 88 ms, and I couldn’t notice any delay between the audio and video even in normal mode.
Another plus here is the presence of a USB-C port for charging this neckband, however, it is uncovered and may gather dust over time or be susceptible to moisture. The battery backup of this Dizo neckband is pretty good at close to 15 hours on a full charge at 70 percent loudness. Though the company states two hours of charging time to take its 150 mAh battery from 0 to 100 percent, I managed it in about 75 minutes using a Realme Dart (fast) charger. If you are in a hurry, 10 minutes of charge gives you two hours of audio playback; this feature works as advertised.
The Dizo Wireless Neckband is priced at Rs 1,299 with a one year warranty, which makes it a pretty decent deal for its overall performance and features, unless call quality is a high priority. When compared to its similarly priced rival, the Redmi SonicBass wireless neckband, the Dizo comes out on top in almost every department ranging from sound and build quality to battery backup. We have received a couple of other budget wireless neckbands for review in this price bracket, and we will let you know how they compare. Either way, this Dizo neckband remains a good option in this budget.
- Decent sound quality for the segment
- Good build quality and comfortable to wear
- Magnetic On/Off switch
- Programmable button
- Good battery life up to 15 hours; quick charge support
- IPX4 splash resistant
- USB Type-C charging port
- Below par call quality
- Excessive bass
- No support for AAC codecs
Price: Rs 1,299