What do you look for in a pair of headphones? If custom audiophile audio and strong noise cancellation aren’t a necessity, you can spend little on a pair of headphones that are small but packed with well thought out features: Oppo Enco Air3, that we tell you in this one review.
For a price of 69.99 euros on the Oppo Store, Oppo’s new earphones pack comfortable features into a lightweight package. But the “semi in-ear” design isn’t for everyone. We help you understand if the Oppo Enco Air3 are for you in this review.
Our Oppo Enco Air3 review
Also essential in the package, which includes only the earphones in their case and the manuals, the Oppo Enco Air3 arrive in two colors: the Misty Purple and Glaze White we tried. And that we quite liked it.
Simple but nice design
Oppo confirms the recipe that we had already seen in the first model and in the second, with a white look for the earphones and case, albeit with a transparent lid. But it seems to us that the company is more aware of its own style, with small changes – all hit the spot.
The transparent lid gets bigger, with a look even more “flat egg” that we do not mind. But above all, it becomes easier to take off the headphones from the case, as well as putting them back – especially thanks to the solid magnetic grip. Compared to other more expensive products, the case doesn’t have much character and reflects the reduced price of the headphones. But it has a USB-C input, is light (37.4 grams overall) and fits easily in your pocket – which is what counts.
The only concern is the duration of the lid, which we fear could suffer a lot of mistreatment. This is plastic that could crack if dropped. But with a little care, you shouldn’t have any problems.
The earphones themselves maintain the “AirPods-style” design, but compared to the past we see a more evident personality. The short stem is coated in a sheer layer, which is said to add a touch of style. Inside you will find the two magnetic pins and the writing R and L to distinguish the right and the left. The “head” of the headset is more classic, with speakers and microphones in black on the white body.
Is the semi in-ear design comfortable?
The earphones have well-defined lines, which they allow us to free ourselves more decisively than we thought in our ears. The semi in-ear design, therefore without the foam or silicone ear-tips to actually enter the auricle, is not for everyone. We prefer the stability of the “rubbers” and, at least at the beginning of the tests of this review, we have rearranged the Oppo Enco Air3 several times in the ear. But we soon got used to it – and we have to admit that they look good in the ears.
We do not recommend running or doing very ‘active’ sports with the Enco Air3, but the Oppo earphones remained in place during a walk in the mountains (the IP54 certification reassured us despite the effort made us sweat) and you can take them to the gym without problems.
Oppo Enco Air3 review: audio quality
Another factor why we prefer ‘classic’ in-ears is the sound quality. Being able to involve the whole auricle, without disturbances, usually allows to obtain better bass and more details. But the Enco Air3 surprised us positively with theirs 13.4mm titanium dynamic driver.
First, the sound remains constant and consistent even as you move, a problem that other similar earphones often have. And then we appreciated the precise sound reproduction. Kendrick Lamar’s album Damn makes all its bass feel, although they don’t quite wrap around the ear. And also songs with great variability like Jon Batiste’s jazz are well expressed. But when i contrasts get strongeras with Florence + The Machine’s powerful bass mixed with violins, the sound seems to flatten out a bit too much.
Audiophiles will have to spend more to have a neutral and complex track. But the Enco Air3s sound good, con precise though not powerful bass and well balanced tracks. The three modes of the app’s equalizer have little difference from each other, but all three are pleasant.
The reproduction of calls, podcasts and audiobooks is instead very good, allowing you to hear the sound details very well. On some more sophisticated productions (such as the Sandman audiobook), however, the sound flattens out a bit.
Finally, we point out that the Oppo Alive Audio functionality it allows unobtrusive spatial audio, which we didn’t mind using with the applications that support it (although at the moment there aren’t very many).
Excellent calls (and there is the Multi-device connection)
Another constant for the Enco Air models is call quality, and Oppo doesn’t disappoint this time either. Our interlocutors heard our voice very well, which they all described as “natural”, without any artifacts.
The excellent news, however, is the fact that the Enco Air support multi-device connection, not to be underestimated in this price range: few have it. You can then connect smartphones and computers to make video calls with excellent audio quality. It won’t replace dedicated microphones for streaming, but the quality is really good.
Simple and functional controls
On the back of the earphones you will find the touch controls area, invisible if you don’t notice, but which you can identify on the device by holding it against the light. What matters is that they are positioned where you expect to find them for muscle memory, in the upper part of the stem. And they work very well.
Some commands can only be unlocked via the app (one touch for Play / Pause, three for the voice assistant or for gaming mode). But right away you can use double-tap, on the right to go forward and on the left to go back. And then we really like the possibility of being able to customize them for each headset, differentiating the behavior between the ears.
Also, they are very constant. You can trust that they always work, although we did notice a slight lag in some cases (particularly on the triple-tap for the Assistant). We really liked them: much more expensive headsets have worse controls.
A functional app, but with few audio options
The application HeyMelody offers several features. You can adjust the controls to your liking, you can enable the multi-device connection, you can enable a discreet spatial audio. However, advanced audio options are missing: there are three preset EQ profiles, not very different from each other.
We recommend downloading the app to customize the controls and download updates (we’ve already received one while testing this review), but you can use Oppo Enco Air3 without it. Indeed the Bluetooth 5.3 e il Fast Pair (we tried them on Android, but there’s also iOS) make it easy to connect the headphones without additional software, if you don’t have customization needs.
Autonomy and recharge
The nominal autonomy of 6 hours of the earphones is very close to our tests: we used the headphones for a whole morning, even with calls between podcasts and listening to music, without problems. With the case on, you should get a total of 25 hours of total battery life.
In just over an hour the headphones go from 0 to 100%, while you need a pair to recharge the case. In general, we are well impressed with both the autonomy and the charging via USB-C (the wireless one is missing, however).
Oppo Enco Air3 review: is it worth it?
The lack of eartips and active noise cancellation (ANC) could be a problem for some users – we appreciate both. But we have to admit that for the rest the Oppo Enco Air3 have it all, for a third of the price of top earphones and tens of euros less than the mid-range.
Per 69.99 euros you will have earphones with simple and customizable controls, multi-device connection, good autonomy. And with good audio quality and ergonomics, if you appreciate the semi in-ear design. They are recommended, especially if you manage to take advantage of some production or bundle. Find more details here.