The OPPO Enco W51 true wireless earbuds is announced together with the OPPO Reno4 Pro and the OPPO Watch but it will only be available for purchase in Singapore from early Sep. The retail price is S$179 and it supports active noise cancelling and wireless charging, two premium features sought after by consumers, even though I still find direct wire charging more reliable and faster. The earbuds last up to 4 hours per charge, and with the case, delivers 20 hours with ANC.
The design is a blend of earbuds with a stem, and while it does not look as sleek and elegant, does the job. The stem extension offers good wear balance and better reach for the mic to pick up the voice better. The case top opens up to 90-degrees, and once open, the earbuds will connect to the smartphone even before you pick the earbuds up from the charging dock. To re-pair to another device, press and hold the button below the battery indicator.
Once paired with a compatible OPPO smartphone, you can customise the functions from the Bluetooth device page, as well as updating firmware. Other Android smartphones would not have this capability.
The earbuds have limited controls because there are essentially only three controls to customise. The double-tap control supports either noise cancellation, play-pause, previous, or next track. The triple-tap control only support voice assistant. Since I need the noise cancellation option, that means I can only set one of the playback functions on the earbuds.
Other than this inconvenience, the OPPO Enco W51 seems like a capable earbuds. The audio quality is tuned to be easily likable by casual listeners with its perky mid-bass presentation, recessed clean mids, and sparkling upper frequency that brings great clarity with compact bass impact to the ears. The stereo imaging allows comfortable listening of music as the sound stage is positioned forward and sideways. The treble doesn’t sound as refined as more expensive headphones, but I kind of enjoy the raw power while finding the sibilance slightly more bearable than the Huawei Freebuds 3i. That’s because the percussions remain balanced without too prominent, while the sizzling primary voices take prominence yet deliver instrumental clarity.
The active noise-cancelling is equally impressive, killing most of the frequencies until the highs, which becomes apparently clear due to the ANC effectiveness. Entering a bustling hawker centre, I can hear high pitched haggles and frying wok sounds clanging for my attention, while voices turn into indiscernible murmurs. Unlike Huawei Freebuds 3i, there is no ambient sound mode on the Enco W51. When you remove the earbuds, the ANC will automatically be turned off, and the music pauses.
Call quality is surprisingly good. With the in-ear detection, the mic switches to whichever earbuds you are wearing. Voice quality is clear, not muffled, and best of all, the mics can cut-off wind noise and pick up my voice. During calls, I can switch on and off ANC.
Rated IP54 water rating, the Enco W51 also wears comfortably during runs. The eartips rest comfortably near the mouth of the ear canal without feeling pressure against the wall, and the earbuds don’t seem to budge, as somehow the stem is applying a counter-weight to keep the earbuds literally hooked in my ears. There is also minimal thumping sound from my footsteps.
The OPPO Enco W51 is comfortable to wear and durable for all occasions. The ANC works effectively to reduce urban ambient noise. The tuning is towards bright sounding so if you are into clarity and details, they will be gratifying, with teasing compact bass. I prefer this sound to Huawei Freebuds 3i, but the latter is a more feature-rich and intelligent earbuds. They will be available from early September at S$179. Highly recommended if you own an OPPO smartphone running on ColorOS 7.0 and above, takes public transport, and loves clear musicality.