Over the last few years, we have seen an explosion in wired and wireless headphones and earbuds. Over the last 16 months, the number of available options has grown seemingly exponentially. The pandemic has caused more and more people to work and exercise from home and has increased the need for more audio and microphone solutions. When OPPO announced the Enco X, it was billed as a competitor for Apple’s AirPods Pro as OPPO partnered with Dynaudio to provide a much richer audio experience.
What’s in the box and the design
The Enco X is all black. The case, which houses the internal battery storage, has a USB-C port on the bottom, a pairing button on the right and a single LED light right under the flip cover at the front which provides notifications for low battery and charging timeframes.
The box also includes a 10cm USB Cord which I found to be a little too short to be really practical, at least 30 cm is needed to be useful for more than your earbuds charging needs. There are also the usual instructional booklets as well as two other sizes of rubber tips to help you find the right fit for the earbuds.
What’s it good at?
The Enco X has wireless charging, meaning that if I had forgotten my USB charging cable and battery in the case was flat, I would have the ability to power share and charge through my Galaxy Note 10+.
The Enco X comes with about 4-5 hours of battery life depending on which setting you use. Eg. If you use max noise cancellation you will get around 3-4 hours of playtime, with normal noise cancellation you can get up to 5-6 hours. In terms of charge, you need to allow a full 60 mins charge time in order to get the earbuds to full charge and another 45 mins to fully charge the case.
The Enco X does come with an IP56 rating, which you would expect any high-end earbuds or headphones to come with. This means you get some measure of water and dust resistance but I would advocate against trying to plunge the earbuds into water or wearing them in a pool.
The low latency Bluetooth 5.2 ensured a strong connection was maintained between my Galaxy Note 10+ and the earbuds which meant there were no dropouts, giving me a smooth continuous connection that enhanced my user experience. The additional mode of ‘Max Noise Cancellation’ I found to work exceptionally well at blocking out background noise, removing about 99% of the noise I had going in the background.
What’s it not good at?
Volume control can be a little fiddly, swiping up and down didn’t reliably produce a change in volume. When it did work, I found that there seemed to be a slight delay in responding to my touch. The other controls include the volume, skip to the next track or go back, activate voice assistant, turn on or off the ANC features and more.
The feature I found difficult to use, was the touch controls, particularly the call functions. As someone who has big fingers, I struggled to effectively use the touch controls and anyone who has limited mobility or arthritis may find the same.
As we know, the major selling point for these earbuds is the Dynaudio features. Within the app, you can choose between ‘Normal’, ‘Dynaudio Simple and Clear’ or ‘Dynaudio Warm and Soft’ and this feature is a bit hit and miss in my opinion. Normal mode has more bass, but the other Dynaudio features make it more like between spatial and 360 concert hall sound. The ‘Dynaudio Simple and Clear’ sounds ok from a spatial 360 sounds but the Warm and Soft is more like being at a concert hall with perfect acoustics.
There’s an app for that
Setting up and customising the Enco X earbuds can be done via the HeyMelody app, which is available to download from the Google Play Store only. The app helps you set up and pair the buds to your smartphone, and also provides firmware updates to the Enco X earbuds when they become available. You can also conduct an ‘Earbud fit test’ which will direct you to the right tips for the earbuds.
Yes, you can use the smart assistant of your choice. The control to trigger this is to triple tap with the buds being compatible with Assistant, Alexa or Bixby if you’re yet to delve into the smart assistants that are actually smart. Slide and tap enable you to either choose whether the volume should go up or down or if you want to select the next track. The touch and hold options allow you to choose between the four ANC features and allows you to toggle them on or off. The final option for remapping includes the ability to switch between your devices.
Should you consider buying one?
In all honesty, while there are several positives, the negatives I experienced as part of the review process, in addition to the price tag, has made me wonder a little whether these earbuds are truly worth the expense.
It will come down to what you want from ANC wireless earbuds and your expectations of them. If you want wireless charging, comfortable and stylish earbuds then the Enco X is worth considering, if however you’re after earbuds that have easy to use touch controls along with a larger battery capacity and usage time then these may not be the buds for you.
The OPPO Enco X wireless ANC earbuds can be purchased directly from the OPPO website for $349.