Despite the prevalence of true wireless audio products, the category continues to innovate at a blistering pace. Over the last year, we’ve seen premium features like active noise cancellation (ANC), transparency modes, and more make their way to affordably priced options. However, a major concern for most true wireless earphones has been battery life and Xiaomi thinks it might have solved that issue. The Redmi Earbuds 3 Pro have their sights set on longevity, in addition to obvious improvements like audio quality. In the Android Authority Redmi Earbuds 3 Pro review, we see if there’s enough here to differentiate Redmi’s latest audio product in a segment that’s chock full of very good options.
What you need to know about the Redmi Earbuds 3 Pro
- Redmi Earbuds 3 Pro: Rs. 3,000 (~$40)
The Redmi Earbuds 3 Pro are the Xiaomi sub-brand’s third iteration of its true wireless buds to launch in India. Compared to the entry-level Redmi Earbuds S and Redmi Earbuds 2C, the Redmi Earbuds 3 Pro take aim at a slightly more upmarket position, with a more premium feature set and proportionally higher price. The earbuds are available in three different colors: pink, blue, and white.
Confusingly, the Redmi Earbuds 3 Pro are not the same as the Redmi Buds 3 Pro that are available in the UK and the rest of Europe. Exclusive to India, the Redmi Earbuds 3 Pro are available via Mi.com as well as Amazon.
The Redmi Earbuds 3 Pro don’t stray too far from conventional true wireless earphones as far as design is concerned, but that all-new sandstone pink shade has my heart. Overall build quality is satisfactory, and the case doesn’t feel cheap. Redmi’s even added a soft rubberized texture on the inside, though I noticed that the rubber would often trap lint.
Build quality is satisfactory for the money and the sandstone pink shade looks cute as a button.
As a music listener, latency on wireless earphones has rarely been an issue for me. However, true wireless earphones have traditionally been a less-than-stellar option for gamers. With support for Qualcomm’s aptX Adaptive codec, the Redmi Earbuds 3 Pro claim a latency of about 86ms, which should make them suitable for smartphone gaming. Moreover, the adaptive scaling helps maintain a strong signal when at a distance. I had no trouble at all walking the length of my 2,500 square foot apartment all while streaming a podcast from my phone.
Unlike Redmi’s previously launched earphones, the Earbuds 3 Pro charge over USB-C which is a definite win for convenience.
The real leap forward, however, comes in battery life. The Redmi Earbuds 3 Pro claim to deliver seven hours of use on a single charge. It’s not often that real-world battery life tests match up to manufacturer claims, but in the case of the Earbuds 3 Pro, my tests exceeded Redmi’s claims. With the volume set to 60%, I squeezed out almost eight hours of use on a single charge. Coupled with the battery case, there are about 30 hours of reserve battery available, which should please even the most avid music listeners.
Finally, the earphones retain an IPX4 certification, making them ideal for activities like running.
What’s not so good?
Despite being a fairly affordable set of true wireless earphones, the company has gone big on audio credentials. The dual-driver configuration pairs a dynamic driver for low and mid-range frequencies with a balanced armature driver to handle the high-end.
The Redmi Earbuds 3 Pro have great audio credentials but sloppy tuning lets them down.
Unfortunately, Redmi’s audio tuning leaves much to be desired, with loud bass that negatively impacts other important musical notes. Vocals aren’t very pronounced, and the amplified bass masks mid-range frequencies. Despite the dedicated balanced armature driver, I came away unimpressed with how treble notes sounded, as they were far too amplified — what some might describe as “shrill.” Additionally, the Redmi Earbuds 3 Pro produced a very noticeable ticking sound with volume levels pushed high. I reached out to Redmi regarding the ticking noise, and the company responded saying that it is likely a one-off issue with the unit on hand. While that’s likely the case, potential buyers might want to keep an eye (or ear) out for quality control issues with the Redmi Earbuds 3 Pro.
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Fit can be a bit hit or miss too. While the earphones never fell out of my ear, the fit wasn’t very reassuring and I’d often go back to adjust them.
Elsewhere, the microphones on the Redmi Earbuds 3 Pro sound muffled and distant, making these less than ideal for long calls. Finally, unlike competing products, Redmi doesn’t offer any app to tweak audio quality, nor can you change the default touch-based control scheme.
Redmi Earbuds 3 Pro review: Should I buy it?
As good as the Redmi Earbuds 3 Pro look on paper, the proof is in the pudding and these affordable true wireless earphones falter in more ways than one. Things aren’t all bad, and features like long battery life, IP rating, and solid connection stability are great to have.
The Redmi Earbuds 3 Pro true wireless earphones sound great on paper, but too many compromises have been made to achieve the price.
However, the iffy audio quality, lack of an app, and not-very-reassuring fit cannot be ignored. More so in the light of quality alternatives like the Realme Buds Q2 (Rs. 2,499) that toss in active noise cancellation on a budget, or, say, the Oppo Enco W11 (Rs. 1,999) with their focus on decent sound quality matched with an excellent fit.
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Sure, almost all budget-minded true wireless earphones make a few cuts to hit that price tag, but the Redmi Earbuds 3 Pro have one too many compromises to earn themselves a recommendation.