Pros: technically advanced
Cons: not configurable on iPhones
Technically, Oppo’s new flagship Enco X in-ear buds are about the best you can get for the money. They have noise cancellation (as limited as that is on ear buds), super fast Bluetooth 5.2, three microphones, wireless charging, configurable touch controls, a form of spatial audio and around 25 hours of playback on a single charge. The actual sound quality is fairly advanced, too, partially thanks to a design collaboration with the hip Danish speaker company Dynaudio.
They’re nice and light, too, with little chance of them falling out of your ears due to their own weight.
In other words, the Enco X buds are pretty high-end.
That said, I did find one or two drawbacks for some potential customers.
The biggest one is for iPhone users. While the sound quality and physical attributes remain good, there’s little to no configurability for the controls. In practice that means that you have to go with the default controls assigned to the touch sensitive outer casing of the buds. I found that this meant they kept unhelpfully toggling between listening modes when I would take them out of my ears or adjust them. (For all their technological impressiveness, touch sensitive controls on buds can be a pest.)
This isn’t a problem if you’re using an Oppo smartphone such as its Find X3 Pro (which is very decent, see our previous review on Independent.ie). There, you can go right into settings and tweak what the buds do if you hold or swipe on them.
In fact, the Enco X buds’ performance with an Oppo phone are almost exactly the same as AirPods with an iPhone: simple, immediate and effective. It’s clear that Oppo has an ecosystem play in mind, here.
The only other drawback will be for those who struggle with the rubber tip form factor. This can be hit and miss for quite a few people. The most common problem is using the wrong-sized tip (the Enco X comes with three sizes) which can result in a disappointingly tinny sound. This generally isn’t as much of a problem with older-fashioned hard earbuds that don’t rely on a rubber tip.
But other things to like about the Enco X buds include them being dust-proof and somewhat water-resistant.
And wireless charging is a real boon. If you do own a flagship Android phone, you can give the buds a quick power boost with a few minutes on the back of the handset.
Overall, these are worthy buds for the money.