I’ll be honest, I never imagined truly wireless earphones being as convenient as they are. However, I have been using a wide variety of truly wireless earphones over the last 18 months. I have used the Galaxy Buds and Galaxy Buds+, the AirPods and AirPods Pro, Redmi Buds, Noise Shots XO, and more. So when Xiaomi sent over the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 (Rs. 4,499) to me, it was something that really excited me.
Look, being stuck at home is no fun, but one of the things that I have started doing a lot lately to pass time, is watching TV shows and movies, listening to podcasts, and just in general video calling my friends. All of these things are enjoyed better with earphones, and truly wireless ones make the experience even better. So yeah, I pulled the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 out of the box almost immediately after they arrived at my house. Since then, I have been using these almost exclusively with my laptop and I thought why not share my thoughts with you guys. So here is my review of the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2.
What’s in the Box
Even though I barely glanced at the box contents when I opened these up, that’s really not something I usually do. So here’s what’s inside the box with these earphones:
- Mi True Wireless Earphones 2
- USB-C cable
- User manual
Design and Build
For most truly wireless earbuds, I have begun to almost expect an AirPods-like design. Not because I especially love what the AirPods look like, but brands have focused on that design far too often. These Mi True Wireless earphones try to be slightly different from the AirPods; but only ever so slightly.
At first glance, they do remind me of the AirPods. They have a similar shape to the earpiece, and the stem is just as long, except it’s thicker which is worse. The only good thing that I can see here is that the stem has a matte finish which I like. Other than that, there’s nothing remarkable about this design.
It’s sturdy though, so you probably don’t need to worry about breaking them if you drop them someday. Surprisingly, the build here feels really good for the price tag, and it’s definitely more confidence-inspiring than the Realme Buds Air.
The case is bulky. There’s no getting around that. And unlike the AirPods case, this doesn’t fit inside that tiny pocket on my jeans. That’s not a deal-breaker for me by any means, but it’s something I noticed anyhow. It’s considerably wider, thicker, and taller than the AirPods’ case, but not so much that it’s not easy to carry around.
There’s an LED light upfront, which is used for everything from battery indication, to status indication. On the bottom is the USB-C port for charging — I am so happy about this. I hate having micro-USB ports on devices. I also really hate the stupid Lightning port on the AirPods by the way, but that’s a rant for another day.
Overall, I’m fairly happy with the design, so I have no real complaints there.
Comfort and Fit
There are a lot of things these earphones get right, or close to it anyway, and comfort and fit are definitely one of those things. The Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 are really comfortable to wear, which is not something I expected just looking at them. I mean, they look fairly bulky, but they are very lightweight. That means I found myself wearing these for hours without any sign of fatigue at all and that’s awesome.
Unlike earphones with silicon earbuds, these have a plastic tip design that you’d also find in the Realme Buds Air and the AirPods. In my experience, that means these earphones will fit some people really well, and others, not at all. Fortunately, they fit my ears really comfortably, but that’s not something you can just take on face value. Some people may trouble wearing earphones like these for long durations because they don’t fit very well. I would recommend you go into a store, check out the AirPods, see if they fit. If they do, the Mi earphones will as well.
I have had the pleasure of playing around with a lot of truly wireless earphones, and most of the affordable ones have only passable audio quality. The Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 however, are markedly better than most in this aspect.
The earphones use 14.2mm drivers, which is a fairly large size for truly wireless earphones, and the sound quality here is on-par with the AirPods for the most part. That’s pretty incredible because the AirPods are over twice the price of these earphones. However, there are some caveats. The Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 has a deeper, more thumping bass when compared to something like the AirPods. However, they seem to mute the highs a bit, especially when the volume is increased. Still, the sound here is pretty damn good, and I don’t really have much to complain about.
I shouldn’t be comparing these with AirPods anyway, but thanks to their design, that’s the comparison that comes to mind first. However, at their Rs. 4,499 price tag, these are actually competing against the likes of the Realme Buds Air, and the Blaupunkt BTW-01. The good thing is that the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 sound better that either of the other two competitors.
The Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 get loud enough as well. They are not as loud as some other earphones out there, but at their highest volume, they are respectably loud and manage to keep the sound from distorting or hurting your ears. Both of those things are nice, especially when you’re blasting music straight into your ear canal.
Music Control and Interactions
The Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 come with tap controls instead of touch controls. That means it automatically reduces the kinds of interactions you can have. There’s no long-touches here, but you can use different taps for different interactions. Here’s what you can do, and how:
- Answer/end calls: double-tap on either earphone
- Play/pause music: double-tap right earphone
- Voice assistant: double-tap left earphone
There’s a very silly issue here by the way. Xiaomi says you can use these earphones one at a time as well. To do this, you can take out one earphone — that pauses the music automatically. Then, you can double tap on the other earphone to resume playback allowing you to listen with just one earphone.
The problem is that the left earphone only launches the assistant by double tapping. So if you want to listen to music with just the left earphone, you can’t just remove the right earphone and then double tap on the left earphone. You will have to take your phone out, and resume playback there. That’s slightly annoying, and it also feels half-baked to be honest.
In terms of connectivity, all is golden here. The earphones come with Bluetooth 5.0, which is great. You can use them individually if you want, and pairing them is incredibly fast and easy. For non-Xiaomi phones, you just have to long-press the button on the side of the case for a few seconds to put it into pairing mode. Then you can just pair with the earphones using your phone’s Bluetooth menu.
For Xiaomi users, the process is even easier. Just open the lid near your Xiaomi phone and you’ll get a pop-up to connect them to your phone. This is quite literally inspired from how the AirPods pair with iPhones. Even the animation is very similar. Not that I’m complaining. AirPods are impressively easy to connect with iOS devices, and it’s nice that Xiaomi is giving that option to people using its smartphones.
The earphones support SBC, AAC, and LHDC codecs. However there’s no support for aptX here which is a bummer.
One place where the Mi True Wireless Earphones are lagging behind the competition is the battery life. Not by a lot, but they do fall behind when compared to options like the Realme Buds Air, or the many options from Noise. The earphones have a 30mAh battery, while the charging case packs in a 250mAh battery.
Xiaomi claims that the earphones will last up to 4 hours on a charge, and upto 14 hours with the case. That claim is fairly accurate. In my usage, which is mostly around 60-70% volume, the earphones do last around 3.5 hours. However, 14 hours is not really as good as the Realme Buds Air that offer 17 hours of listening with the case.
If you compare this to the recently launched Noise Shots X5 Pro, those earphones last up to 8 hours on a charge, and the case can charge them 18 more times!
Still, I’ve never been a fan of Noise’s design or comfort, and if you’re like me, the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 or the Realme Buds Air will likely be your considerations as well. Personally, I don’t think 14 hours is too little, at least for normal usage. On something like a flight, I doubt you’ll be using earphones without noise cancelation anyway. Moreover, Xiaomi’s offering uses USB-C to charge, and charges in around an hour, which means as long as you plug them in for a little while every now and then, they’ll basically never run out of juice on you.
Pros and Cons
I say this in almost every review I write: every thing has its pros and cons. The Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 are no different. Here’s what’s good and bad about them.
- Sound quality is pretty great
- Comfortable for long hours of use
- Design could have been better
- Battery life not at par with competition
Mi True Wireless Earphones 2: They Don’t Disappoint
At the end of the day, if I had purchased the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2, I wouldn’t be disappointed with what these are. Xiaomi has managed to more or less do everything well here. The earphones look slightly thick, but they are comfortable. They get loud and the sound quality is great for the price; plus they pair really easily. For Rs. 4,499 these earphones are a no brainer.
That said, if you want something that comes with wireless charging, check out the Realme Buds Air (Rs. 3,999), and if you want battery life so good you’ll probably forget charging them when you should have, check out the Noise Shots X5 Pro (Rs. 4,999).