Updated: Aug 21, 2021
The Oppo Enco X are a pair of really, quite surprising, earbuds. I didn’t expect them to perform as well as they did. This is a collaboration between Oppo and Dynaudio, a Danish company that specialises in speakers. Oppo has released some earbuds before, but I think the Enco X is probably the best one yet, and that’s in no small part, I believe, because of Dynaudio’s involvement.
Let’s talk about design. Now, I typically don’t talk about the packaging of products, but the unboxing experience I had for these earbuds was actually really nice. It felt pretty high-end, honestly, and the black box inside looks even better than the white outer box. Inside, it’s also all good news; everything feels nice and solid, overall, it’s just really impressive packaging from Oppo. Two thumbs up.
The earbuds come in two colours, white and black. Personally, I usually prefer black, but the white option for these are really nice. There’s this matte metallic-looking stripe around it, but it’s plastic. I’m not complaining though, it serves as a nice contrast to the glossy white, and it doesn’t really feel or look cheap. The glossy white plastic does collect fingerprints, but it’s nothing a quick wipe won’t take care of. Unfortunately, it does seem the case is quite prone to getting scuffed up. Our review unit came out of the box with a lot of micro-scratches, for some reason. You get the Oppo wording on this stripe and there’s the “co-created with Dynaudio” at the back. There’s a LED indicator at the front that shows charging status, battery status, and also flashes white when the earbuds are in pairing mode.
Button on the side to put the earbuds in said pairing mode, and a USB-C charging port on the bottom. Open the case up, you get the earbuds sitting inside. They’re pretty standard white earbuds, nothing much to talk about… Except! There’s this pearlescent strip along the stems of the earbuds. It reminded me a bit of the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ that I reviewed previously, but it feels much more refined.
Okay, enough about the design. Let’s move on. These are coaxial dual driver earbuds, with an 11mm dynamic driver and a 6mm balanced membrane driver. And they sound great.
Dynaudio has really pulled their weight here. Overall it’s a pretty warm and balanced sound. You get pretty impactful bass, while never getting to the point of becoming overwhelming. There’s a tinge of warmth in the midrange, which is really nice. At the higher frequencies though, it feels almost as if the treble was pulled back a little, to prevent sibilance and fatigue, which is fine for most I think. I do prefer a brighter, more energetic sound, but hey, audio is subjective. There aren’t any issues with the tuning I think, and most people who get this should love it.
There’s a three mic array on the earbuds, which are also used for noise cancelling. Before we get into that though, a quick note on call quality; these do work pretty well for calls. My voice comes across really clearly and overall, it’s perfectly fine if you wanna use these for conference calls and the likes.
Noise-cancelling though, wow. I did not expect them to work as well as they do. They might not be as good as some other earbuds I’ve tried, but the price difference is also over S$100. For just S$259, these sound really good, and the ANC is really effective.
Battery life is pretty decent, I got around 4 and a half hours on the strongest noise-cancelling setting, which is actually better than what Oppo reports. It’s most likely because I could listen to my music at a lower volume thanks to the effective ANC though. There are an additional four charges or so in the case, and Oppo states you should get around 20 hours on the strongest ANC setting or a total of 25 hours with ANC off. Something nice that Oppo has thrown in is wireless charging, so you could set this case down on a Qi-charging pad and just let it work its magic.
There are SBC and AAC codecs here, and if you’re an Oppo phone user, there’s LHDC. The Enco X also has Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity, which meant that the earbuds stayed connected to my phone in every situation and I never experienced dropouts. Bluetooth 5.2 also means music fidelity is better, so even if you don’t have an Oppo phone or LHDC, regular SBC or AAC still sounds pretty good.
With IP54 water resistance, it’s okay for wearing out and about in hot summers or a light drizzle, but you’d probably want to avoid getting caught in a downpour while using these.
There are touch controls on these, and while the volume control is quite convenient, Oppo has made some questionable choices here I think. Firstly, there’s no option for a single tap, which is a good thing in my opinion since it prevents false touches. But that results in only double and triple tap options. These can be customised in the HeyMelody app if you’re using an Android phone. But… customisation is limited to only play/pause or track control for double taps, and triple taps can only be used to pull up the voice assistant, or just… turned off completely.
The slide up and down on the stems can be used for volume control or track skipping, which gives you a bit more control, but it just feels incredibly limiting. Why can’t I use triple taps for track skipping and leave double taps for play/pause?
You can touch and hold the stem for one second to switch between ANC modes, and touching and holding the stem for 3 seconds can be used to switch between two connected devices. I typically just left the 3-second long tap off since I was only using it with one device. Overall, touch controls are okay, but not the best in my opinion.
The app is also pretty simple, you get firmware updates, touch control customisation, charge left in the earbuds and case and that’s it. Not too bad in my opinion, it looks nice, but perhaps an EQ option would be good too. A big issue here is that I can’t recommend these for iPhone users. The HeyMelody app isn’t available on iOS, so if you’re an iPhone user, you’ll be missing out on the app, which is a pretty big issue, especially since you need it to update the earbuds’ firmware.
All in all, for its price point, I’d say this is a great buy. I don’t know if it’s available in the States yet, but based on pricing in other countries, I’d say it might cost around US$160, which is relatively affordable compared to other true wireless earbuds. If you’re using an Android phone, you should definitely take a look at this.