Yesterday, Xiaomi unveiled its latest pair of budget TWS earbuds, Redmi Buds 3 Lite, in Nepal. The new earbuds boast promising specs and features, all while retailing for under Rs. 3,500. But is it any good? Let me share my real-life experience with the Redmi Buds 3 Lite in this review.
Before we begin this review, let’s take a quick look at the official specs sheet of the Redmi Buds 3 Lite.
Redmi Buds 3 Lite Specifications:
- Earbud: 24.5 x 16.7 x 24.6 mm, 4.2 gram each
- Charging Case: 60 x 46 x 23.7mm, 36 grams (with earbuds)
- Color Options: Black
- Sound Driver: 6mm dynamic driver
- Noise Cancellation: Environment Noise Cancellation (for calls) only
- Microphone: Yes,
- Connectivity: Bluetooth v5.2 (10m wireless range)
- IP Rating: Yes, IP54 (earbuds only)
- Earbuds: 36mAh
- Case: 315mAh
- Playback Time:
- Earbuds: 5 hours
- With case: 18 hours
- Control: Touch-based control (Double Tap, Triple Tap, Long Press)
- Charging: 5V wired charging
- Companion App: No
- Price in Nepal: Rs. 3,399 (Buy Here)
Redmi Buds 3 Lite Review:
The Redmi Buds 3 Lite made its initial debut in October of last year as the Buds 3 “Youth Edition”. It then made its way to the Indian market before launching in Nepal.
In India, it’s priced at INR 1,999. However, if you can get it for just Rs 1,499 for the first two days of the sale starting July 31. It is a couple of hundred cheaper than the latest Realme Buds Air 3 Neo, making it the cheapest TWS earbuds from a major smartphone in the brand.
Even in the Nepali market, it is among the cheapest TWS earbuds one can get.
What’s in the box
As you can see, the Indian/Nepali retail unit of the Redmi Buds 3 Lite is compact and red for the most part. However, Xiaomi even ships it in an all-black box depending upon the region.
Inside the box, we get the charging case with earbuds inside, two pairs of ear tips, and an additional pair of ear hooks.
Interestingly, Xiaomi doesn’t ship any type of charging cable inside the box. It might be a problem if you don’t have extra Type-C cable lying around.
Design and Comfort:
- Ear hook design
- IP54 rating (earbuds only)
Light, Portable Charging Case
The elliptical shape of the charging case looks quite familiar. It is an all-plastic build which makes it prone to scratches. Fortunately, they are quite visible because of the matte black finish on top. The overall build quality is good for the price. In addition, the case is light and portable as well.
Ear Hook Design
Coming to the actual earbuds, the design itself is a step away from anything I have seen from Redmi so far, especially with the ear hooks on board.
I am quite fond of the Redmi Buds 3 Lite’s fit. The earbuds are snugly and offer a decent level of passive noise cancellation.
Still, the best part of these earbuds, for me, is their lightweight design. You can really feel them on your ear, which is a good thing since you can wear them for prolonged music sessions.
- Touch control
- Double/triple tap, long presses
The outer surfaces of the earbuds are touch-sensitive and they respond to taps and long presses. You can play or pause the earbuds by pressing and holding on to either of the earbuds.
And as you might have guessed it doesn’t feel that intuitive. It would have been a lot better had the earbuds recognized a simple tap instead.
Furthermore, a double tap skips to the next track while a triple tack can summon your phone’s voice assistant.
And one more thing — since the touch-sensitive surface is quite limited, it will take some time to get used to it.
- Bluetooth 5.2 support
- No companion app
As for connectivity, you get the latest Bluetooth 5.2 with support for fast (automatic pair). Throughout this review period not once did I experience any connection drop or any other connectivity issues on my Redmi Buds 3 Lite.
Sadly, there is no companion app to alter the earbud’s settings. But the exclusion of app support is understandable given the budget nature of the earbuds.
- 6mm dynamic drivers
As far as the music quality goes, I will have to say I’m quite impressed. Redmi Earbuds 3 Lite is adequately loud and the overall sound quality is surprisingly balanced, almost.
It doesn’t over-emphasize bass, which is what most companies do with budget earbuds. While the Redmi Buds 3 Lite is thumpy enough, there’s no low bass to enjoy. Mids sound a little suppressed too. However, it is good enough for poppy and trendy tunes.
vs. Jabra Elite 3
To show you how it fares against some more expensive earbuds I tested it against Jabra Elite 3, which is our current pick for the best budget TWS earbuds.
As for pricing, it costs around INR 3,699, double the Redmi Buds 3 Lite’s introductory price. For that, the Jabra Elite 3 does have a more balanced sound profile. The mids are more prominent here and the sound stage is wider.
But this doesn’t make the Redmi Buds 3 Lite any less exciting. For what it’s worth, Redmi Buds 3 Lite is still an exceptional performer.
Game Mode, Call Quality & More
It is not that bad for phone calls either. The voice does sound a little muffled when attending calls but it’s not too bad.
Redmi Buds 3 Lite even has a dedicated gaming mode, which you can activate by holding the controls of both left and right earbuds.
To be honest, this feature is more gimmicky than practical. My suggestion — is don’t pick the Redmi Buds 3 Lite for gaming. Instead, go for something with aptX or other low latency codecs.
And you also don’t get features like ANC like on more expensive earbuds.
- 36mAh (earbuds) / 315mAh (charging case)
- 5 hours battery life (earbuds) / 18 hours (with case)
Now, let’s talk about battery life. Redmi promises up to 5 hours of battery life on a single charge with the 36mAh battery of the earbuds.
However, my pair of Redmi Earbuds 3 Lite, averaged 4 hours of endurance during my review period. But this was with the volumes set at high. I believe you can get closer to the claimed battery life by listening at lower volumes.
On top of that, the case provides two more charge cycles. So battery endurance is not something you need to be concerned about if you are looking to buy Redmi Buds 3 Lite.
Redmi Buds 3 Lite Overview: Conclusion
All in all, Redmi Buds 3 Lite might just be the budget earbuds that you are looking for. It’s light and comfortable and even comes with ear-hooks for fitness enthusiasts.
The audio quality is exceptionally well considering this is among the cheapest earbuds out there. Battery life is also solid on this one. All this is hard for any other earbuds to match in the budget segment.
- Watch our video review of the Redmi Buds 3 Lite
Redmi Buds 3 Lite Review: Pros and Cons
- Lightweight design with ear hooks
- Comfortable fit
- Balanced sound
- Good battery life
- Restricted sound stage
- Gimmicky Game mode
- Non-intuitive control
- No charging cable in the box