Selling right now on Amazon for £169, these are the OPPO Enco X True Wireless Noise Cancelling Earphones. Available in black or white, they have an “up to” 25 hour battery life and they’re IP54 dust and water resistant.
They’ve been created with a company called Dynaudio but one thing I will say before judging these headphones is – do the following two things before listening to anything.
1 – Download the “HeyMelody” app if you don’t have an OPPO phone. If you do have an OPPO phone, just head into the Bluetooth screen within the ColorOS.
2 – Ensure that, using the HeyMelody app (Android only by the way), you update the firmware on the headphones to the latest version.
I say this because initially I found the sound a little too tinny, especially at higher volume settings. After the update this was rectified. Another little tip I’d give (geddit? “Tip”?) is to ensure that you try the alternative ear tips that are in the box. You’ll have the “medium” ones as default, but you can switch to either small or large.
The HeyMelody app will also play some tones so that you can judge the fit. Also, it’s worth pointing out that you may want a different-sized tip in one ear to the other. Not everyone is the same. Also, try spinning the earbuds slightly in your ears – I got a totally different sound with the stem pointing down compared to the stem pointing forwards.
The app also lets you select between the earbud controls. As an example, you can double-tap the right bud to switch to the next track or double-tap the left bud to go to the previous track. It’ll also let you switch between the noise cancellation modes.
As a default, you’ll probably want the maximum noise cancellation, but you can select to press and hold to switch between it being off, allowing some external noise through (I’m not sure how this is different to it being off), a moderate noise cancellation or the full beans. The app will only let you switch between two of these, so be sure of which you’d like to flick between – then press and hold the stem of your earbud for a second to go between the two settings.
I gave this a try and found that the maximum noise cancellation setting also delivered the best bass response and audio quality. The “transparency” mode gace a very distant music experience but, if you’re cycling a bike or walking to work with traffic around you, this is probably what you need.
A rather cool feature of these headphones is that you can use the stem as a virtual volume control. Slide your finger up on either one and the volume will go up. Slide down on the stem of either headphone and the volume will go down. Nice that. You can also set the earbuds to respond to a triple-tap in order to fire up the Voice Assistant on your phone. It’s important to touch the stem of the earbuds, not the earbud itself, as I found myself doing initially.
Other options include playing, pausing, switching between devices and switching tracks. The app will also show you how much battery is left in the headphones and the portable case.
Pairing for the first time is easy enough – it’s just a matter of opening the case and it’ll search for devices. Grab your phone, find the “OPPO Enco X” and you’re paired up in no time. You can also hold the earphones next to your phone and, with NFC, it’ll start the pairing process. After that, the earphones will automatically reconnect to your phone when the case is opened up.
Additional devices can be paired up by opening the case (with the buds inside) and pressing the function button on the side for a couple of seconds until the LED up front turns white.
The LED on that case also lets you know the level of the on-board battery. With the earbuds in your ears, opening the case flashes the LED – green is full, yellow is medium charge and red means that you need to boost it. There’s a USB-C charging cable in the box – just plug one end into the charging case and the other into any USB outlet.
Either that or you can charge the case wirelessly using a Qi-certified charger like I’m doing here. It’ll keep you informed on progress with that LED light colour again…
The earbuds have a built-in microphone, so you can answer and make calls or talk to your favourite Voice Assistant.
As for battery times, each bud has a 44mAh battery and the case has a 535mAh battery. With the volume on 50% and with maximum noise cancellation you’ll get 4 hours on the buds and total of 20 hours with the charging case. If you turn off the noise cancellation then it’s around 5.5 hours on the buds and 25 hours total with the charging case.
The noise cancelling worked quite well although, as with many in-ear buds offering this, you can still hear some of the outside world. In order to totally fix that, you’re going to have to go with over-ear headphones, which will increase bulk somewhat. OPPO tell me that the Enco X earphones reduce noise by up to 35dB3 by using a dual-core chip and a dual-microphone design to keeping background noise from getting in the way of your experience. It did that largely yes, but I could still hear people talking to me.
As for the sound quality, my initial impressions surrounded the rather beautiful stereo effect from these. It’s like jumping right into the music – you’re surrounded and swimming in it. I’d definitely recommend these if you’re listening to high-quality streams or tunes from Spotify etc. The DBEE 3.0 Sound System, the coaxial dual-driver design and the work done by Dynaudio has clearly paid off. The sound quality is simply excellent. However, I will say that it’s almost too clear and, especially if you’re listening to some lower-quality radio or internet streams on your phone, you can hear the quality difference between those and the higher-quality streams I mentioned. The headphones don’t compensate for bad audio, and they’ll deliver what they get without compensating. It’s digitally precise audio.
I could mentioned some of the things we got on the specs sheets here. The fact that 30 different materials and 152 components were trialled, plus the 120 rounds of structural fine-tuning that was performed with Dynaudio. I could mention the magnetic balanced membrane driver for high frequency response or the triple-layer composite dynamic driver for mid and low frequencies. Perhaps even the many recalibrations that were tested before delivering the audio frequencies to the final product, but it’s perhaps easier just to tell you that the entire suite of sounds is delivered in a clear and balanced fashion.
Personally, I found that the sound and the noise cancelling worked far better at around 70% volume. Crank things up to full volume and it’ll physically hurt your ears – especially with the higher tones. This is excellently tuned sound.
Not only that, but the buds themselves are small, with short stems and a weight of only 4.8g. The silicone tips ensure a stabile and comfortable experience which means you can wear these for hours without a problem.
Overall, these have had a colossal amount of thought and work put into them. They’re designed well and have binaural low-Latency Bluetooth with great audiovisual synchronisation. This basically means that you get a reduced lag when watching video footage. The call performance is good too, and even in the wind when you’re walking down the road, the triple-microphone noise cancellation works a treat.
My only wish is that they were a little cheaper. Sure, these are premium headphones with a great sound, but there’s something inside of me that doesn’t like spending £169 for headphones. That said they are brilliant. Get them from Amazon for £169 as I type with free delivery. You can also get more information on these headphones from the OPPO website.