Redmi Earphones Review: Hi-Res Audio On A Budget

But is it worth it?

Redmi Earphones Review

Xiaomi Nepal launched the Redmi Earphones in Nepal as a part of the “Celebrate Dahsain with Mi” campaign for the upcoming festive season. The main selling point of the earphones is that it brings Hi-Res audio support on a budget under Rs. 1,000. Let’s check out how the Redmi Earphones performs in real-life in our detailed review.

Redmi Earphones Specifications:

  • Design: Aluminum main body, anti-earwax earplugs
  • Weight: 13 grams
  • Drivers: 10mm Dynamic driver; 32 Ohm; Hi-Res Audio certified
  • Connectivity: Wired (3.5mm headphone jack)
  • Wire: 1.2m Y-shaped wire
  • Control: Single Multi-function Button
  • Water resistance: No
  • Microphone: Yes, built-in
  • Color options: Black, Blue, Red
  • Price in Nepal: Rs. 749
  • Buy Here

Redmi Earphones Review

Design

There is nothing exciting about the design of the Redmi Earphones. The earpiece is made up of Aluminum with a shiny finish to it. Other than that the whole earphone looks ordinary. Redmi has included a 1.25m Y-shaped cable. It would have been better if the company had opted for braided cable instead. Also, a strap to adjust the length would have been appreciated.

The point where the wire enters the earpiece is actually reinforced to avoid easy wear-and-tear. While it does add to the durability, it is not as rigid as the one on the Redmi SonicBass Wireless Earphones. But again, the latter is more at double the price of the Redmi Earphones so we can’t really argue here. Also, adding to the durability is the 90-degree headphone jack.

Control

The one thing where Redmi could have improved is the controls. With the Redmi earphones, you get only one of them. The button itself feels cheap. Depending upon how you press it, the button feels different. The upper part of the button has greater space to travel and it’s not hard to notice it when you press the button from there. The bottom part of the button feels rather jammed and pressing the button from there feels quite uncomfortable.

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One button to get everything done

The single press of the function button will play/pause the current track while a double press will skip to the next track. A triple press will go back to the previous track. Similarly, calls are received and rejected via a single press and a long press, respectively. When in a call, you can use the function button to mute the call. Redmi Earphones Earpiece

Compatibility Issue

Though the function button seems like it can get everything done by itself, it is useless if you are using it on a Windows machine. While I have not tested it on an iOS device, Redmi says that it is compatible with iOS too, although the functionality is rather limited. Similarly, even though the controls functioned like how it should with the YouTube Music (successor to Google Play Music), the triple tap did not work with Spotify.

Audio Performance

Hi-Res Audio

The main selling point of the earphone is the High-Resolution Audio. High-Resolution (or simply, Hi-Res) audio technology was first introduced to improve the quality of digital sound that performed poorly compared to music from CD back then. The idea was to make digital sound perform better than its CD counterpart by using a higher sampling rate.

In simple words, Hi-Res audio retains better details than ordinary music. But to enjoy it, you need to have a compatible audio accessory, which in this case is the Redmi Earphones, and Hi-Res audio files to listen to. The latter is harder to find than most people think. YouTube Music maxes out at 256kbps. And even the highly acclaimed streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music’s offering are far from the lossless audio that the Hi-Res audio promises to deliver.

The actual test

For this review, I tested the Redmi earphones using Spotify with the streaming quality set to Very High (~320kbps). To avoid any further compression of music, I turned the normalization off. Redmi Earphones Fit

The sound quality was actually good considering the below Rs. 1000 price tag. The vocal sound smooth and well-separated from all the instruments going on behind. It even makes sure the background vocals are heard. Songs like the “Hymn for the Weekend” is a delight to hear. It even does justice to Chester’s verses on “She Couldn’t”, which gets overshadowed by instruments on other earphones / TWS that I have used. Similarly, I had the best experience listening to “all the kids are depressed” by Jeremy Jucker. The pre-chorus hits different with this earphone on. All in all, I had a good time going through my playlist.

Verdict

The launch of Redmi Earphones comes as a surprise in a time where smartphone brands are more focused on conquering the budget TWS market segment. Priced well at Rs. 749, the Redmi Earphones doesn’t have the flashy design and color that you would expect on accessories these days. But still, at that price, I would have appreciated a braided cable. Similarly, the controls are not that great – considering multi-device support. However, it offers Hi-Res audio support which is something unheard of in this price tag. The sound quality is quite good too, even better than some other higher priced TWS.

Songs referenced in the Redmi Earphones review:

Redmi Earphones Review: Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Hi-Res audio on a budget
  • Right-angled connector
  • 1.25m wire is long enough
  • Six months warranty

Cons: 

  • No braided wire
  • Control needs to be improved
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Design
Controls
Audio
Value for Money