With every set of new earbuds I review, I’m looking for something that moves the industry forward. As I’ve said (many times), the premium earbud market is flooded with devices, and these days it’s more competitive than ever.
The thing that’s going to set a pair of earbuds apart from the other best earbuds of 2022 is something new. What that is, I’m not sure, but more and more earbuds fall into the same category. They introduce minor improvements and enhancements over their predecessors but don’t do much to innovate or evolve the industry.
This is where Oppo’s Enco X2 earbuds sit. They’re better than their predecessors; they have everything you’d want in a premium set of earbuds – good ANC, a comfortable fit, personalisation features within the companion app and responsive touch controls – but, they don’t bring anything new to the table.
That’s not to say these are bad earbuds; they’re very good. One of their most attractive features is their design. They’re the same as the AirPods Pro, so Android and non-Apple users who like that style now have a premium option with that shape.
Slightly cheaper than the competition, at $350, Oppo’s Enco X2 are capable premium earbuds that won’t disappoint. Just don’t expect them to bring anything to the earbud market that you haven’t already seen in the last two years.
- Cheaper than competitors
- Well-balanced sound
- Comfortable AirPod-like design
- Bone conduction microphone technology
- Plastic build feels less premium
- EQ is lacklustre
The Enco X2’s cost $349. This is the same starting price as their predecessor, the Enco X, and is slightly cheaper than other premium earbuds.
As a comparison, the Bose QuietComfort Noise-Canceling Earbuds and Sony WF-1000XM4s cost $400, while the Apple AirPods Pro cost $450.
The Enco X2’s look practically identical to Apple’s AirPods. The white and black colour scheme, the in-ear design with the stem hanging below, and even the placement of the outer speakers are unashamedly Apple-like. Put the AirPods Pro next to the Enco X2s, and you’ll struggle to tell the difference. I don’t mind this. If you like the shape of the AirPods but are looking for an AirPods alternative, the Enco X2s are a great option and are $100 cheaper.
These are comfortable earbuds. I tested them on a long, ten-hour, international flight, and I had no issues with them. My ears didn’t get sore or uncomfortable when wearing the Enco X2s continuously for an extended period of time.
I could comfortably run on the treadmill with these earbuds, and I didn’t have a problem with them falling out. The rubber tip ensures a secure fit, minimising unwanted movement and maximising passive noise isolation. The box comes with three size tips, small, medium and large, and the HeyMelody app has an earbud fit test which helps when deciding what size to use.
At 4.7g each, the earbuds are light. This weight is because they’re made entirely of plastic. This makes them feel a little less premium than other earbuds, but I had no problems with their sturdiness.
The case is also entirely plastic. It’s a pebble-shaped case with a snappy lid that’s secure and strong. It’s small and easy to carry around, ideal for earbuds.
The Enco X2s have an IP54 resistance rating. This means they’re water, dust and sweat resistant. They’ll survive a drop in the sink and a sweaty workout.
The touch controls here are a little odd. Instead of being touch controls, they’re “squeeze” controls (like Apple’s AirPods Pro). To issue commands, you squeeze the stem. It took some getting used to, but I came to appreciate it over time. It allowed me to be more vigorous with the controls. The earbuds hardly ever interpreted the wrong command, and I didn’t have to be delicate with them.
All the touch controls you need are here. Squeeze once to pause/play tracks, twice to skip songs, three times for previous songs and touch and hold to turn ANC on and off. Also, a finger slide on the side of the stem will turn the volume up and down (a feature Apple’s AirPods Pro don’t offer). The only time I had problems with these controls was when the command required multiple squeezes. Going to the previous song posed a bit of an issue, but other than that, it worked well.
The Enco X2s generate a good, well-balanced sound. The earbuds boast a dual coaxial speaker system with 11mm dynamic drivers and 6mm planar diaphragm drivers. They combine to create a sound that’s capable and able to generate energetic bassy audio.
The bass here is a fast-attack bass, meaning it doesn’t drag out for long passages, it hits and then drops off. The bass doesn’t muddy the mix and is especially good for hip-hop, trap and RnB tracks. Longer sub-frequency notes don’t sound as clean, but for earbuds, this is to be expected.
The bass feels more substantial and the treble more dominant than their predecessors, the Enco X. That’s not to say they’re only worthwhile for bass-oriented music, though. Other genres like country, rock, soul and Motown were also well-balanced. Listening to songs like Loaded by Primal Scream, Ain’t too Proud to Beg by The Temptations and Wild and Free by Rednex all sounded clean. The earbuds provide a good amount of depth in which the instruments all sit nicely in the mix.
If you have an Android or iOS phone, you’ll need to download Oppo’s HeyMelody app to get the best out of the earbuds. Here you can EQ the audio, but I was disappointed with the options provided. I was only able to select from three preset options. And changing between them didn’t make much of a difference in the sound. I would’ve liked to have been able to customise it to my own personal taste like I can with so many other premium earbuds.
The active noise cancellation (ANC) here isn’t quite as good as the best in the business, but it does the job. The X2s were able to cancel out the drone of an aeroplane engine; however, they struggled with more extreme cases like my feet pounding on a treadmill during a run. They quietened the thudding of my feet, but they didn’t cancel it altogether. Other earbuds like Sony’s WF-1000XM4 were able to do that.
The Enco X2s are compatible with both Android and iOS. If you’re using an Oppo phone, you don’t need the companion app, HeyMelody; everything is controlled through the Bluetooth devices menu.
HeyMelody allows you to remap the squeeze controls, change the ANC intensity and EQ the audio. As mentioned above, I was disappointed in the EQ settings, but I did appreciate the dual-device connectivity option. It allowed me to connect the earbuds to two devices simultaneously. I connected my PC for music and videos while still being able to hear my phone ringing.
There are also personalisation options within the app. You can personalise the noise cancellation to suit your ear canal. This feature will scan your ear’s structure to offer better noise isolation. Golden Sound mode alters the way the sound is balanced based on your ear structure, and there’s also an earbud fit test to ensure you use the right tips.
The earbuds utilise Bluetooth 5.2. This allows for a 10m range, not considering obstructions like walls and stairs. It’s great. You can walk away from your phone and still listen to music or stay on a call without it disconnecting or stuttering.
The Enco X2s support LHDC, LDAC, AAC and SBC codecs. This is a good range if you want to listen to Hi-res audio with these earbuds, you can.
The microphone uses the same bone conduction technology we’ve seen with other headphones like the Jabra Elite 7 Pro, where the earbuds transmit your voice through vibrations in your jawbone. It minimises the effect of outside noise, and friends could hear me clearly when using these earbuds in windy conditions.
Each earbud houses a 57mAh battery. Oppo claims this allows for up to five hours (with ANC on) of use on a single charge. We found these claims to be valid. This is standard in the industry and matches the battery capacity of the Apple AirPods Pro and the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds, but it’s still a way off the 8-hour capacity of the Sony WF-1000XM4s. You can expect to get around 7 hours with ANC turned off.
Impressively the case holds up to five charges. We found it takes around one hour to fully charge the earbuds and just under 90 minutes to charge the case fully.
Oppo’s Enco X2 earbuds are good premium earbuds compatible with both Android and iOS. The ANC isn’t quite as good as the best in the business, but you’ll barely notice the difference unless comparing them directly.
Everything you need is here, customisable touch/squeeze controls, compatibility with various codecs, transparency mode and a capable five-hour battery life. They also deliver a clear, precise, well-balanced sound with improved bass capabilities. However, the lack of a comprehensive EQ is disappointing, and the plastic material feels a bit cheaper than others. Better earbuds, particularly the Sony WF-1000XM4s, have longer battery life and better ANC.
While the Enco X2s introduce welcome improvements over their predecessors and are capable premium earbuds, the main problem with them is they don’t innovate. It’s simply more of the same. In a market that Sony, Bose and Apple already dominate, they’re likely to get lost in the crowd.