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OPPO Enco Free Review - Solid TWS Companion

OPPO
Mobile phone brands entering in the audio arena is nothing new. From Samsung to Apple, global brand leaders are continuously pushing the envelope of TWS devices by focusing on comfort, battery efficiency, connection latency solutions, solid audio quality.
The OPPO Enco Free
The OPPO Enco Free

OPPO joined in the competition with the Enco Free TWS headphones that look easy on the eyes while having a very decent audio capability. It offers innovative features such as the earbuds replacements for fit/comfort and stable/fast pairing.

Just a quick recap about its build and let’s address the elephant in the room. Yes, the Enco Free is reminiscent of Apple Airpods from the buds to the charging case. This sleek style has been the benchmark across TWS devices across the globe. Nonetheless, the whole set looks and feels amazing. Its matte finish looks great too and having other color variants allows it to have its own identity.

The charging case is of a polycarbonate body with metallic accents. Its box type ensemble makes it seem bigger than it is, but this charging case can easily be palmed or pocketed without it being a nuisance. The case also has an LED light for battery/charging notifications in the front and a USB-C port at the bottom. A slender pairing button can be found on the right side.

The earpieces are made of the same polycarbonate build. I like how solid they feel. The slightly matte finish really gives it that premium look. Touch controls are on the back. The replaceable earbuds feature is very interesting. The headphones provide a fit that is in between the node and bud types.

The earpieces also have an IPX4 water resistance rating. This means that it can survive from the usual sweat and splashes.

The OPPO Enco Free comes in White, Black, and Pink variations.

For our review part 1: OPPO Enco Free Unboxing and First Impressions

Comfort/Isolation

It comes with removable tips!
It comes with removable tips!

With the open bud share of the Enco Free, it would seem to follow the one-size-fits-all notion. With the interchangeable tips, this device provides better fit, comfort, and slightly better noise isolation.

The interchangeable tips provide a more secure and comfortable fit.

The buds are light enough on the ears that you can truly enjoy wearing it throughout the day.

However, given the matte finish and that the Enco Free is still essentially an open-type earphone and even with the proper tips, the earphones may still fall out while doing high-intensity activities.

It can accompany you in your routine jogging or spinning class, but I wouldn't recommend using it while doing parkour.

Since it has an open design with no ANC (active noise cancelation) feature, don't expect it to block outside noise too well.

External sounds may be distracting during calls or listening to music.9

Battery

The charging case
The charging case

The earphones ran for approximately 4 hours before the need to charge them. Topping up the battery around 4 times gives you around 22 hours of coverage. This lifespan is more than enough to sustain your daily audio necessities.

Battery life is above par, but a wireless charging functionality would have been nice

Charging the earbuds with the case takes around an hour from 0 to 100 percent capacity. 

The charging case, on the other hand, takes around 2 hours for full battery life via the type C charger.

A wireless charging feature isn't available but hopefully, it would be part succeeding iterations for OPPO.

Features

Good and stable connectivity
Good and stable connectivity

The OPPO Enco Free uses 13.4mm dynamic drivers with Bluetooth 5.0. The connectivity is stable for a few meters but, as expected, latency issues may be experienced the farther the devices are. In an open environment, I didn't notice any hang-ups or disconnections even with my phone is on my pocket or table.

Pairing is fast and reliable. By just opening the charging case, the buds are instantly paired to your phone.

OPPO’s binaural simultaneous Bluetooth transmission improves the sync up between the 2 nodes, an amazing feature. This also enables the audio to stop/play music playback when either the left or right earpiece is removed from your ear. This is good functionality to have since you don’t have to do a separate step to pause or stop your music when you need to listen to surroundings. Putting the earpiece back would resume the track again.

The Enco Free offers small features that are actually pretty useful!

Each earbud showcases different functionalities, so be careful not to lose either of them. You can tap either left or right earpiece to stop/play music or answer/end calls. Swiping up and down the neck of the left earpiece controls the volume.

Swiping the right side would give you controls to jump to the previous or next track. Though the swiping functionality is kind of cool, it is susceptible and thus prone to accidental movements.

Now, this is not saying that you can't use a single earpiece to listen to music. You can essentially use only one if you prefer to leave the other in the case.

Just take note of the limitations of the control you have.

Each earpiece has 2 microphones. One on top and the other at the bottom of the neck. Given that, the mic is a bit sensitive to outside noise. Based on recording experiments, my voice sounds clear and crisp, but the environmental noise can also be taken in.

Audio

Decent sound quality
Decent sound quality

Now for the main aspect. The OPPO Enco Free offers a sound that has enough clarity and amazing mids.

Bass levels are noticeable and could be appreciated depending on the tracks used. It might just be a bit underwhelming for those who prefer bass dominant headphones. Sub-bass tones are there but it cannot be compared to higher-end earbuds.

The bass is there but not enough that it would satisfy picky listeners completely. The highs and mids are more prominent. 

Vocal tracks crisp and vibrant. It provides a warm cadence and makes up for what the device lacks in the bass.

Nonetheless, it is above par and bordering on the amazing.

Full volume is not necessary. Using only around 70 percent lets the device shine. Going higher than that exposes some slight distortions making the quality less deserving of appreciation.

The soundstage is wide and immersive. The sounds are nicely layered and encapsulated. Ambient cues could possibly improve but with most tracks, this device does a great job.

Pros - Splash resistance, premium quality build for both charging case and earpiece, consistent connectivity, above par audio quality, clear mic quality
Cons - Gesture controls are too sensitive, no active noise cancelation, wireless charging would have been nice

OPPO Enco Free Specs

Driver: 13.4mm dynamic driver
Frequency response: 16Hz - 20KHz
Sensitivity: 120dB @ 1kHz @ 1mW
Microphone: Dual microphone w/ AI uplink noise cancellation
Battery: 31mAh per earpiece, 410mAh case
Sensors: IR sensor
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 w/ OPPO Binaural Simultaneous Bluetooth Transmission
Others: IPX4 water splash resistance, Double-tap control, sliding volume control, pop-up and pair, USB-C, LED notifications, Colors: black, white, pink
Weight: 48.2 g
Price: Php 5,499

Verdict

The OPPO Enco Free is a thing to be reckoned with in the mid-range TWS market.

It features an engaging sound and good comfort. Whatever it lacks to extras (like gaming modes, active noise canceling, etc.) it makes up with good foundations. It is a good TWS audio companion. Nothing more, nothing less.

It is a capable device that offers good sound quality, premium, and durable build. It may not be the most exceptional device out there, but you do get what you pay for.

If you are looking for a functional, sturdy, with good audio to boot then you can’t go wrong the Enco Free. 

Build/Design - 4.5
Comfort/Isolation - 4.25
Battery Life - 4.25
Features - 4
Sound - 4
Average - 4.2/5
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