Redmi Buds 3 Review – Cheap Apple Airpod Alternatives

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Redmi Buds 3 Review

Summary

If you like the Airpod open-fit design and want something cheap, then these are a decent option.

Overall
70%
70%
  • Overall - 70%
    70%

Pros

  • Good price/performance if you like open fit earbuds

Cons

  • No UK retailers

I recently reviewed the Redmi Smart Band Pro, which was a good but perhaps unremarkable fitness band that is very similar to the Xiaomi Mi Band 6.

I was also sent the Redmi Buds 3, a pair of affordable true wireless earbuds with an Airpodesque design. Priced at under £40 these are well into the budget range and could be a good option for anyone not wanting to fork out for the premium Apple prices.

Specification

  • Open fit design
  • 12mm dynamic driver
  • Qualcomm QCC3040
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • Dual microphone
  • Qualcomm cVc Echo Cancelling and Noise Suppression Technology
  • 5 hours battery per charge and 20 hours including the case.
  • MIUI Pop-up for Quick Pairing
  • IP54 dust and water-resistant
  • Earbud dimensions 40.7 x 16.9 x 18.7mm
  • Single earbud net weight4.5 g

Design and Fit

The only way to summarise these is that they are Apple Airpod clones.

The open fit design, which lacks the silicon tips, is not my prefered style of earbud. I have quite large ears, and I guess this applies also applies to the entrance of the ear canal where the earbud fits. Therefore, I find it quite difficult to get a good fit with this style. Conversely, my partner won't use anything other than this design.

Due to my fit issues, I wasn't able to use these for things like running, but my partner did try them for a short gym session and found the fit was OK for her without them dropping out.

Sound Quality

Sound quality is reasonably good. The open fit nature provides a different sound profile from the passive seal headphones I prefer. You lose a bit of bass, but gain that sensation of airiness with improved soundstage and also improved environmental awareness.  

Some may find the reduced bass a bonus. Most cheap earbuds heavily emphasise the bass, quite often sacrificing the other frequencies. These offer a better balance than many other cheap sealed earbuds and have pleasant mids with some bright but not harsh highs.

Battery & Other Features

These have a rating of 5 hours from the earbuds and 20 hours in total with the case. It is a bit on the low end for my liking, but most earbuds at this price have similar battery life.

I typically only use earbuds for extended periods of time for fitness, which can be several hours. In this case, I didn't experience any issues with them dying on me, as I didn't use them for any endurance related activities.

If you have a Xiaomi or Redmi phone running MIUI, then you should be able to use things like pop up and pair. I had to do things the old fashioned way, but there were no issues with pairing or connectivity in general.

Price and Alternative Options

The Redmi Buds 3 have limited availability in the UK but appear to be priced between £30 and £40

This puts them on the lower end of the spectrum and if you like the Apple style open-fit design, they could be a good buy.

The best alternative I can find is the SoundPEATS TrueAir2 which are currently £37 on Amazon but with 20% off. They have the same style of design, same Qualcomm chipset, battery life and microphone, but they have a larger 14.2mm bio-compound diaphragm driver. SoundPEATS are normally a safe bet, and the main advantage here is that you can buy them via Amazon Prime rather than mess around with grey import sites.

There is also the JBL Tune 225, which are currently £40 with a claimed 60% off.

Overall

I always find it a little difficult to summerise cheap earbuds. In recent years, most of these cheap earbuds are surprisingly good, much better than the tinny sounds of yesteryear. So when you are paying under £40 it is hard to criticise them too much.

This applies here. If you like the Airpod open-fit design and want something cheap, then these are a decent option.

Sound quality is reasonably good as far as open fit goes. The performance will vary between people because of this fit. Battery life is adequate. The IP rating is always nice to have and they worked without issues during my testing.

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