It seemed surprising that Xiaomi had yet to launch competitors for AirPods Pro in France. It is now done. As if its year 2021 was not already busy enough, the Chinese giant is therefore launching the Redmi Buds 3 Pro, in-ear headphones with active noise reduction.
As often with the manufacturer, the difference is in the price. The Redmi Buds 3 Pro are available for 70 euros. Like Huawei, Google or even OPPO, Xiaomi therefore wishes to democratize headphones with ANC. This first foray is it successful. Answer in our test.
Xiaomi does its intraspection
Like all wireless headphones on the market, the Redmi Buds 3 Pro are housed in a case. If Xiaomi has turned away from Apple’s AirPods to design its headphones, it seems to have
pump took a few inspirations from Google to imagine its case. So much so that without the mention “Redmi”, we could confuse the latter with that of the Pixel Buds. We won’t complain since the case of Google’s headphones is undoubtedly one of the most pleasant to handle with that of AirPods.
Xiaomi has therefore completely redesigned its headphones. More rod format like the AirPods Pro but a more minimalist design. The Redmi Buds 3 Pro are very small and extremely light. We could even let them escape if they did not benefit from such a good hold (thank you for the in-ear format).
Thanks to their small rubber tips, Xiaomi headphones will accompany athletes during their exercises. IPX4 certified, they are resistant to perspiration and rain. You can therefore prepare for your marathons in peace.
The shiny surfaces of the headphones are tactile and provide partial control of the music. A double press allows you to pause (and restart), a triple press allows you to go to the next title, a long press activates transparent mode. And that’s all. No assistant activation, no rollback and (especially) no key customization as the Redmi Buds 3 Pro does not come with any companion application.
In addition to these few faults, Xiaomi’s intra headphones are very comfortable on a daily basis. Their lightness allows them to be worn for several hours continuously without ever feeling discomfort. For this price, it’s already not so bad.
Do, Redmi, Fa, Sol, La, Si
Affordable price requires, Xiaomi is satisfied with the minimum union in terms of audio equipment. Both headphones have 9mm transducers and only support the standard AAC and SBC codecs. Can we blame the Chinese manufacturer when the AirPods 3, adored by many and sold three times more expensive, do not do better?
Anyway, the general public does not really need more, most of the music listening going through streaming services whose audio quality is limited to 320 kbps (for the most part). To get as close as possible to the experience of an average user, we therefore opted for our usual protocol, i.e. listening on a smartphone (Pixel 6 Pro) with a streaming service (Spotify Premium) in quality. high (320 kbps).
Under these conditions, we can not really say that the Redmi Buds 3 Pro are wrath of war. If the highs are rather controlled, we deplore a real lack of warmth and roundness in the mids. Listening to podcasts or audiobooks is therefore not the most enjoyable. In music, this lack of dynamics is also felt at the level of the voices.
We could forgive this slight weakness if the bass rendering was correct. It is not so. Xiaomi fails to master these low frequencies, also the whole is too messy for a musical listening worthy of the name. The most music lovers will qualify these Redmi Buds 3 Pro headphones too “bassy”, which means that the bass is there, but poorly defined. To put it simply, audio is not the primary quality of the Redmi Buds 3 Pro. A bit of a shame for headphones.
Just a little silence
Headphones with active noise reduction below the 100 euros mark are not legion. The manufacturers who tried the experiment did not really succeed in convincing, for obvious reasons of cost. For the same reasons, the Redmi Buds 3 Pro don’t fare any better. In some ways, they do even worse.
If the active noise reduction turns out to be quite good in certain noisy environments (more precisely transport), it is capricious, or even never activates wisely. The experience is so hit and miss that we would have preferred Xiaomi not to go to so much trouble. Passive isolation (plugging effect of the intra headphones) would have been more than sufficient.
This disappointment can be explained by just one point: Xiaomi has opted for automatic active noise cancellation. Thus, the headphones are supposed to automatically detect the surrounding hubbub and isolate us from it. The recipe is the same as with the competitors: the microphones detect the external sound frequencies, the message is analyzed by the chip, the algorithms cancel these frequencies.
Everything would have been perfect if the formula worked. This is absolutely not the case since the Redmi Buds 3 Pro are unable to identify surrounding noises. Thus, we have never been able to benefit from insulation worthy of the name in cafes, in the street or in the office. Headphones have only been shown to be effective in transport. And even…
If we blame Xiaomi so much, it’s because the manufacturer only offers this automatic ANC. Please understand that it is impossible to manually choose whether or not to activate the ANC. Transparent mode, which is also automatically adjusted on two levels (transparent or voice amplification), saves furniture. Efficient, it is triggered manually with a long press on the headphones. Honor is safe.
Correct autonomy, nothing more
The Redmi Buds 3 Pro each have a 35 mAh battery promising 6 hours of continuous listening (according to Xiaomi). The case contains a 470 mAh battery. It can charge the headphones almost four times for a total of 28 hours of listening.
According to our tests (on Spotify Premium with an average volume at 75% and active noise reduction) we were able to hold about 6:30 a.m. before the headphones go out on a stretcher. By listening to our music in a fairly classic way (transport, walking, in bed with an audio book) we were able to easily last a week before recharging the box, the latter ensuring the charge of the headphones throughout the week.
Do you prefer precise numbers? The Redmi Buds 3 Pro do well 28 hours of listening time with case charge cycles. These performances are therefore very good but are not among the best. Huawei’s Freebuds 4i remain the benchmark in this price segment.
On the recharging side, the Redmi Buds 3 Pro do not have to be ashamed of their performance, on the contrary. In the housing, they need less 45 minutes to regain all their energy. This box can also be recharged by USB-C or by induction since it is compatible with the Qi standard. An excellent point in this price range.
Xiaomi Redmi Buds 3 Pro at the best price
Base price: 69 €
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Our opinion on the Xiaomi Redmi Buds 3 Pro
Yet excellent when it comes to developing smartphones at the right techno-price ratio, Xiaomi is having its feet in the carpet with the Redmi Buds 3 Pro. Despite being very affordable, Xiaomi’s in-ear headphones suffer from far too many flaws to be recommended, even in this price segment.
The audio quality is too average, the conversations catastrophic and the ergonomics just passable. Above all, we would have done well without this active noise reduction which spoils the experience more than anything else. We will console ourselves with a perfectly adequate autonomy and a very comfortable ear. But that’s too little to hope to forget the competitors, including Huawei’s Freebuds 4i or Google’s excellent Pixel Buds-A.
Xiaomi Redmi Buds 3 Pro
Design and ergonomics
Autonomy and recharging
- Comfortable to the ear
- Housing design
- Good autonomy
- Fast recharge
- Little price
We like less
- Poor audio quality
- Failed noise reduction
- Poor quality conversations
- No customization of touch keys
- Competition does better!