(Pocket-lint) – Oppo is doing a good job of grabbing an ever-growing slice of the smartphone market with smartly priced handsets that undercut some of the bigger names in the industry – without losing a huge amount of quality.
That’s a pretty nice position to be able to boast about, and it makes sense that the company is also trying to muscle in on the accessories market, with a similarly growing list of wireless earbuds, in particular, grabbing the attention.
None of its previous efforts have yet looked as slick as the Enco X, though, which is a maverick entry into the earbud oeuvre.
- Plastic build in white or black finishes
- Stem design with multiple tip sizes
- IP54 dust- and water-resistance
As far as looks go, Oppo isn’t reinventing the wheel with the Enco X – although, to its credit, we think these are the nicest-looking earbuds in its Enco line so far. The ‘buds look a bit like a more angular AirPods Pro, or, indeed, a standard AirPod crossed with its Pro sibling.
You get a straight stem connected to an in-ear ‘bud – and can choose from a few different tip sizes that come in the box. If you’re using Android you’ll be able to run a test to see if they fit right too.
The stem has a lightly contrasting material that’s a little iridescent, but it’s subtle enough to go unnoticed. The ‘buds are small and lightweight, too, so we found them comfortable to wear.
The case is also made of glossy plastic, with a narrow band of metal around its outside. There’s a sole LED to let you know the case is charging or in pairing mode, and a button to initiate that process as well. Finally, a USB-C port is there for charging – although wireless charging is also supported, which we always like to see.
It’s hardly a standout look, but there’s nothing wrong with imitating a design that’s as ubiquitous and popular as Apple’s earbuds, and being able to get the Enco X in a black finish gives them a leg-up in some ways. Still, there isn’t much here to write home about.
- Two levels of active noise-cancelling (ANC)
- Sound in partnership with Dynaudio
The real question when it comes to judging any earbuds is how they sound, though. Oppo’s previous earbuds have been a mixed bag, so it’s made an interesting play by bringing in audiophile experts Dynaudio to run the sound side of things on the Enco X. The partnership is emblazoned on the back of the case’s hinge, but it isn’t something that’ll slap you in the face constantly as you use the Enco X earbuds. Instead, it’s all about the under-the-hood influence.
The Danish sound company has seen fit to install a dual-driver system to power the Enco X’s sound, and that more complex design has reaped benefits. It means the ‘buds deliver a delicate and impressive sound-stage that deals well with even diverse playlists, and has a sprightly feel that’s great for upbeat tracks, while still being creditable when you go for something that’s a little more subtle.
You shouldn’t expect crazy performance from what is still fundamentally a mid-range pair of earbuds, but this is still fairly impressive stuff considering the price, and it’s augmented by an interesting active noise-cancelling (ANC) offering.
There are two levels of ANC on offer here – it’s possible to toggle between standard and high (although you can also leave it off) – and you can tell the clear difference between them. Standard is like ANC you’ve used before – the kind that muffles background noise and keeps you isolated with your audio.
Turn it up to the high mode, though, and you’ll notice it can smooth out even some more impactful short sounds, like honking horns or hammers banging – not to the point where you don’t notice them, but still more than before. It’s impressive and works algorithmically, but can also noticeably distort your music a bit in its efforts to drown out noises, so this setting isn’t one for a quieter listening session.
- 5.5 hour battery life, 20 more hours with case
- Quick pairing with Android
- No iOS integration
Where things get a little less impressive, though, is on the connectivity front. If you’re an iPhone user these probably aren’t the best choice for you because you’ll get no control at all over how the earbuds work.
On Android things are much rosier, though, with quick-pairing and Oppo’s HeyMelody app letting you customise what gestures do what on the earbuds, plus offering the earbud fit test to help you make sure they’re seated right.
If you’re using one of Oppo’s own phones, this is even further enhanced with quicker detection and pairing, so it’s a bit of a tiered experience. That’s even echoed down to the level of audio codecs – the Enco X can work with LHDC (Low Latency High-Definition audio codec) for better-sounding music, but only on Oppo’s devices. It’s a choice that feels a little outlandish – but then again, compared to how tightly AirPods work with an iPhone, it’s not so odd.
With Bluetooth 5.2 on board the earbuds are capable of playing back high-resolution audio if you’re on a streaming service or membership that can oblige.
Battery life isn’t particularly leading, though, at 5.5 hours on a single charge – less than we tend to expect – although the further 20 hours from the case is a more solid bar to clear.
y, and in line with so many other wireless earbuds, we come to call quality – which is right down the middle of the road. You won’t sound great on the other end of the line, but you’ll still be entirely understandable.
They might not excel in every regard, or earn a universal recommendation, but the core fact remains that under most circumstances the Oppo Enco X true wireless earbuds sound pretty great. We don’t think they make a huge amount of sense for an iPhone user when it comes to quality of life, but on Android they’re an easier sell.
You get reliably impressive audio and active noise-cancelling (ANC) that steps up to the plate surprisingly well. We’d like to see a bit more refinement down the line, but these ‘buds are well worth considering if you already own or are thinking of investing in an Oppo phone.
We’ve made it clear that iOS users should look elsewhere, and where better than Apple’s ‘buds? These are more expensive than the Oppo by a margin, but they’re popular for a reason, and sound simply fantastic.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro
For those who are on Android but fancy a little more widespread compatibility, Samsung’s own earbuds are also a great shout and are closer in price to the Oppo. Their noise cancelling isn’t quite as impressive, but they do well overall nonetheless.
Writing by Max Freeman-Mills. Editing by Mike Lowe. Originally published on .