We have the Redmi Buds 3 Lite with us today, otherwise known in some markets as the Redmi Buds 3 Youth Edition, and they’re a super affordable pair of earbuds that have pretty decent sound and specs on paper.
So let’s talk design first. These come in two colours, white and black, and I have the white version today. The case definitely takes some inspiration from the AirPods Pro case, and it’s even roughly the same size. You get a USB-C port on the bottom, but no wireless charging here, although there’s no way I’d expect that from a pair of $20 earbuds anyway.
The earbuds themselves are round and quite compact, sitting snugly in my ear. There’s also a stabilising fin that’s not uncomfortable at all and does provide a bit more grip. In the box, you get spare ear tips and fins, but there’s no charging cable. Personally, it’s not a problem for me since I don’t think many people really need spare cables anymore. A lot of devices are using USB-C nowadays, and everybody most likely already has at least one USB-C cable at home. The omission of the cable probably also helps to drive the cost down, so plus points all around for me.
The earbuds are comfortable, and while I can’t sleep with them in, since they do still protrude from my ears a bit, there’s no problem wearing these for long periods of time. Thanks to the snugness, these are a great option for exercise as well since they’re pretty lightweight at 4.2 grams each.
These don’t actually have an app, at least, none that I can find, so I’m going to go out on a limb and say no control customisation, no real features to speak of either. And as for touch controls, well, that’s one pain point for me.
So here’s how it goes. There are no single taps, which is good, to prevent accidental inputs. A double-tap on either side either skips tracks forwards or picks up incoming calls. A tap and hold on either the left or right is for play/pause and you tap and hold both sides to activate the earbuds’ low latency mode. Did you notice something wrong? Yeah, there’s no touch control for skipping tracks backwards. It’s pretty annoying and I can’t even customise it.
Anyway, these are running on Bluetooth 5.2, which is very nice, for a pair of budget earbuds, although they only have SBC support, which means you can’t even get AAC on these. There’s the low latency mode though, which does help a bit in games, and I didn’t notice any big sync or lag problems when watching videos.
Xiaomi claims five hours in the earbuds and a total of 18 hours with the case. It’s decent, but definitely nothing too impressive.
There is, however, IP54 dust and water resistance, which means no need to worry about bringing these out for exercise and such.
The microphone quality is just about average. There’s noise reduction for calls, and it’s pretty passable, so yeah. I’d be fine using these for casual calls.
As for sound quality, it’s really good for something that costs $20. You get a hefty amount of bass, although it can get a bit boomy at higher volumes. There’s also a bit of an elevated treble here, which is nice since it introduces a bit of energy, but that does mean the midrange is slightly recessed, which I noticed with slightly less forward vocals. You also lose a bit of clarity in the mids, which is a bit of a shame. But all in all, it’s a warm sounding pair of earbuds that’s very serviceable for most people at this price.
As for the soundstage, well, it’s slightly too cramped for my liking. That being said, I did manage to pick up some subtle details, although the imaging wasn’t great. You’ll definitely not be getting these earbuds for superb accuracy or detail, that’s for sure.
But come on, you can get these at US$20 or even slightly less at AliExpress. Here in Singapore, they’re retailing at S$29.99. It’s really hard to fault these for what they are, a pair of cheap earbuds that work. If you’re on a budget, these are great. They’re true wireless earbuds that don’t sound terrible, they have Bluetooth 5.2 so connectivity is pretty good, and they’re affordable. If those are your main criteria, then this will probably tick all your boxes.