This phrase is not commonly used on my reviews, because cheap things are usually not that good, and good things are not exactly very cheap. But after testing the Redmi AirDots S, I have to say, this tiny piece of earbuds are cheap enough and good enough. If there is just one pair of earbuds that you need to get to start your true wireless experience, get the Redmi AirDots S. Thanks to Banggood Online Store for sending over the review unit. You can get it from this affiliate link.
Unboxing and Design
Check out this unboxing video of the Redmi AirDots S.
Pairing the earbuds are simple: they become discoverable once no devices are connected. Just turn on the Bluetooth on your device and search for AirDots S.
The Redmi AirDots S look exactly like the Redmi AirDots. Without the packaging, you will not be able to tell the difference.
Difference between the first-generation AirDots and the new AirDots S
- The old AirDots connects the earbuds based on master-slave mode, so latency is higher. The new AirDots S connects both earbuds at the same time to the device, which also enables the seamless switchover from dual to single, from left to right earbuds.
- The new AirDots S also introduces a new low latency game mode which will further improve gaming experience. This can be enabled by clicking the button 3 times.
Operation is by clicking either buttons, and the buttons are rather easy to click so there is minimal discomfort. It only supports play-pause (single tap) and activating voice assistant (double tap). You cannot change tracks or adjust volume.
The buds are angled slightly for ergonomics so you won’t mistakenly wear the wrong sides. Battery life is about 2 hours per charge, and the case can offer a total of 12 hours use. Not a lot by today’s standards, but considering the price and the case size, it might be sufficient for most of us urban travelers who don’t spend more than an hour on commute.
Being budget earbuds, the sound quality is good enough for normal listening enjoyment. It’s got the satisfying punchy low-bass (once you get a good seal) and powerful clear treble. Upper frequency can sound a little messy, while crashing cymbals might not be as articulated. Listening at loud volumes over long periods might be fatiguing, but this is what most consumers like as it gives an impression of very detailed sound.
Call quality lacks clarity. During the test, I find the sound muffled and not very articulated, but it’s hard to match standard headsets due to the way the earbuds are designed: the mics are just positioned too far from the mouth. The right earbud is the mic by default, and if you dock the earbud, it switches to the left earbud seamlessly without any audio breakage. When the right earbud is removed from the charging dock, the mic remains in the existing earbud and does not switchover.
The audio latency of the Redmi AirDots S is one of the shortest I have reviewed. Even when playing games, the latency is really low. To make it better, there is game mode which can be activated by triple-press the earbud button. To think that such a feat can be achieved by a cheap earbuds, it puts the other premium earbuds to shame.
Here are some quick comparisons with other earbuds with around the same price point:
Soundpeats TrueShift2 – the TrueShift2 treble is more tamed, refined, less thin, and more comfortable to listen to while delivering sufficient clarity. The AirDots S bass is slightly fuller.
Earfun Free – the bass is a little more certain and fills across a broader frequency. The AirDots S has much stronger treble delivery.
SOUL ST-XS2 – the low-bass is slightly less prominent on the ST-XS2 but more cohesive, while the treble clarity is more refined. The AirDots S is more sizzling though lacking discipline.
Creative Outlier Gold – the mid-treble (vocals) is more powerful on the Outlier, the upper-treble (percussions) is less sizzling, while the bass has a less prominent mix. On the AirDots S, you can feel the bass groove better.
At a price of below S$40 (S$15 cheaper when you use promo code BGRMS077), the sound quality of AirDots S is very listenable. You can’t go wrong with this, unless you prefer a more toned down treble. Even if you really dislike this, I’m sure you will find someone close to you that likes the sound. The simple design and compact case makes it an indispensable accessory to bring it with you.
This is the first time I am approached by Banggood to review products sold at their online platform. This collaboration will hopefully drive more traffic to their site, and as an affiliate member, I could earn commissions if readers click the link and make a successful purchase. So far, I do not participate regularly in affiliate programs because I do not promote products for the sake of commissions.
The Redmi AirDots S is currently selling on Banggood for USD 26.99 (use promo code BGRMS077 for USD 16.99), with USD1.99 shipping (free if you spend USD 29.99 and above). It also comes with a free colour case. Are there cheaper alternatives from other online stores? Yes. Are they safer than Banggood? I cannot say. But I received the items within 2 weeks, which is considered quite fast.