Realme Buds T300 Review: A little bit of everything at an affordable price point
Realme Buds T300 Review: A little bit of everything at an affordable price point
– Good sound output after tweaks
– Surprisingly good ANC for the segment
– Customisable sound and controls
– Pleasant design, comfortable in-ear fit
– IP55 dust and splash resistance
– Impressive battery backup, fast charging
– Decent call quality
– Excellent value for money
– Most sound presets are no good
– Average Transparency mode
– No wear detection sensors or dual-pairing support
Price: Rs 2,299
Realme launched their Buds Q2 true wireless (TWS) earbuds over two years ago. Not only did they sound good, but were packed with features like active noise cancellation (ANC), something unheard of in TWS earphones under Rs 2,500 back then. No wonder they were hard to beat in the segment for a long time while their stocks lasted. Though not its literal successor, the new Realme Buds T300 looks poised to take over courtesy of its updated hardware and extensive feature list.
It is not just about succession, but also about taking the competition head-on. And, going by the specifications sheet, it can prove to be a major threat to the OnePlus Nord Buds 2, which itself is a solid all-round product. We have an interesting contest on our hands today. Let’s see how it plays out.
Realme Buds T300: Design and Comfort (8/10)
One looks at the charging case and you can guess the source of inspiration for the design. It is unmistakably Apple; this is not the first product or brand, nor will it be the last to take a dip in that pool. Having said that, Realme has done a good job with the build quality and the T300 has a well-rounded and polished look. The case and buds are completely glossy but the finish is good, and they don’t look cheap. They are prone to fingerprints and smudge marks but are a lot less conspicuous on the white variant that we received.
While everything is largely white here, the inside of the case is grey, which breaks the monotony. The case is fairly compact, lightweight and pocketable. It hosts a 460 mAh battery, with a tiny charge indicator LED and a USB-C charging port located towards the base. A Bluetooth pairing/reset button is absent here, but that function can be performed by touching and holding both buds simultaneously for a few seconds. There is a small indentation at the back of the buds to mark the touch zones.
The touch sensitivity is generally not bad but can be a little iffy with the triple clicks, where the third click fails to register at times. The buds are quite light at 4.1 grams each. The fit is snug and comfortable, and they don’t pop out of the ear during a workout or a jog. The buds are IP55-rated dust and splash-resistant to add to the sturdiness. The right-sized silicon tips from the three bundled pairs offer decent passive noise isolation and eventually help in enhancing ANC too.
Realme Buds T300: Features and Specifications (8/10)
Each earbud is fitted with a 12.4 mm dynamic driver with a titanized diaphragm. They have a pair of microphones each for calling and ANC. The Realme Buds T300 can suppress up to 30 decibels of ambient noise; an impressive number for budget earbuds. Unlike some midrange earphones like the Realme Buds 5 Pro, you do not get varying degrees of noise cancellation. Things have been kept simple, and ANC On, ANC Off and Transparency mode are the choices available here.
While you do get ANC, wear detection sensors have been given a skip. These Bluetooth 5.3-compliant TWS buds support SBC and AAC codecs. You also get 360-degree Spacial Audio Effect, but keep your expectations in check as it doesn’t always enhance the output. The Realme Link app lets you access and tweak certain features of these earphones. The app comes pre-installed on Realme phones and needs to be installed on other devices. The app is available for Android and iOS both.
It lets you alter the sound profile, configure the controls and more. You can assign play/pause, previous/next track, voice assistant, volume control or nothing to double tap and triple tap gestures. Touch-and-hold lets you switch between the ANC profiles. While volume control is available here, you do not have enough gestures to assign all the functions to, and you will need to skip some. The presence of wear detection sensors would have freed up a slot here.
Realme Buds T300: Performance (7.5/10)
The first thing you notice is how loud these earphones are. And if you need them to be louder for whatever reason, you can turn on the Volume enhancer from the app. I rarely had to go beyond 50% during the test run even when outdoors. The wireless range is not an issue either with the buds maintaining a stable connection at 10 metres with no obstruction between them and the source device. Now, let’s talk about the sound quality.
The default sound signature of the Realme Buds T300 is noticeably bass-heavy. You get four sound presets in the Realme Link app – Clear Vocals, Nature Balance, Clear Bass and Bass Boost, in the increasing order of bass. While Clear Vocals is not bass-heavy, it is too mids-forward to be enjoyable in music. It is usable in podcasts though. Even Nature Balance, which is otherwise on the brighter side, has excess bass that masks the mids a bit too much. The last two are almost unusable with way too much bass and poor vocal clarity.
Probably the bassheads may not complain about the output when using Clear Bass. Just like in the case of all the Nord Buds, the sound presets are a mere formality, and the real deal is the 6-band equaliser that lets you tweak the audio to your liking and create custom presets. Feel free to play around with it till you find the output that suits your taste. Try lowering the upper bass and pushing the mids up for a far better balance, or simply try our custom EQ displayed in the app screenshot and finetune it further if necessary.
After those sound tweaks, the T300 produces a more energetic sound output with better balance and sharpness. There is still enough thump in the bass, just a little tighter and not as boomy as before. The vocal clarity is much better and the highs are sharp without sounding sibilant. The soundstage here is not too broad but fine for the segment. The latency is low enough to not cause any noticeable lag between the video and audio when streaming videos from OTT platforms. It can supposedly drop further to 50 ms in Game Mode.
The T300 sound quality is good enough for a pair of TWS buds selling under 2K, but what gives the product an edge is the presence of ANC that actually works well. These buds can reduce ambient noise up to 30 dB, which is 6 dB higher than what the Nord Buds 2 can manage. Numbers aside, the ANC here is perfectly functional and noticeably reduces certain low-frequency ambient sounds like the whirr of the fan. It also cuts down on certain midrange sounds like human voices, but cannot eliminate them entirely.
Having said that, the ANC is highly effective in reducing background chatter when on public transport. The Transparency mode is average at best and needs a bit more work. It tends to amplify all the sounds and could have done with a focus on just the vocal frequencies. While you cannot have an extended conversation in this mode, it is still useful in keeping you aware of your surroundings when outdoors. Overall, the ANC is arguably the best you get on TWS earbuds under Rs 3,000. And there are very few who offer ANC in that budget to begin with.
Realme Buds T300: Call quality (7/10)
The call quality of the T300 is quite good indoors, with people on the line clearly audible to each other. When in busy areas outdoors, you are still audible with a good degree of clarity but not as good when in quieter areas. While the background noise cancellation circuitry does a decent job of keeping the ambient noise in check, it also impacts the sharpness of your voice. The caller immediately reported a drop in vocal clarity as soon as I stepped out on a buzzing street. Having said that, these earbuds are still pretty good for calling.
Realme Buds T300: Battery life (8.5/10)
The battery backup on the Realme Buds T300 is impressive. The company claims 6 and 8 hours of audio playback for the buds with ANC on and off respectively, and 30 and 40 hours overall with the charging case in similar conditions at 50% volume. With the loudness mostly around 50% during the course of testing, the earbuds actually managed to get quite close to those figures with the buds going on for a little over 5 hours with ANC on and just under 7 and a half hours without ANC. The case can recharge them four more times.
That translates into an overall battery backup in the range of 25 to 37 hours for the buds and case combined depending on your use of ANC. These are excellent figures and among the best in the segment. If that wasn’t good enough, they support fast charging too. A 10-minute charge promises close to 7 hours of playtime without ANC, which is very good. The buds and case can be charged fully in a little over an hour.
Realme Buds T300: Price and verdict
The Realme Buds T300 is officially priced at Rs 2,299 but can be purchased for Rs 1,999 at the moment with a one-year warranty. Given its performance and features, you get excellent value for your money. The T300 looks good, sounds good (after using the equaliser), is comfortable to wear for long, offers impressive battery backup with fast charging and the ANC is better than anything you get in the sub-3K category of TWS earbuds.
It does have a few minor shortcomings but the pros far outweigh the cons, and for a selling price of Rs 1,999, there’s very little to complain about. As for competition, we cannot think of anything close to 2K that offers everything that the Realme Buds T300 does. If you don’t care about ANC, then the Oppo Enco Buds2 does sound a little better for a couple of hundred Rupees less.
For a like-for-like alternative, you will need to shell out 3K and consider the OnePlus Nord Buds 2. But other than a different design and superior call quality outdoors, there are no other benefits of buying that over the T300 for the extra money. All things considered, the Realme Buds T300 is a great all-round product around Rs 2,000 and improves upon the Realme Buds Q2 in almost all departments. Though it probably wasn’t meant to be, it is the perfect successor to the Q2.
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