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Oppo Enco X review: True wireless earbuds with a sprinkling of Dynaudio magic

Andy White
24 Jun 2021
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
170
inc VAT

Oppo’s partnership with Dynaudio has paid off – the Oppo Enco X deliver impressive ANC and enjoyable audio at a reasonable price

Pros 
Compact and comfortable
Effective ANC
IP54 certification
Cons 
Limited iOS functionality
Mediocre battery life
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The Oppo Enco X are designed to complement Oppo's range of smartphones and are its most advanced and expensive true wireless earbuds to date. The Chinese manufacturer has typically targeted the low-to-mid-range section of the market but has enlisted the audio expertise of Dynaudio in a bid to compete with the industry's big players.

Danish loudspeaker manufacturer Dynaudio has over 40 years of audio experience and a highly impressive résumé. It’s the official supplier of in-car audio to Volkswagen and its Hi-Fi speakers are widely used in recording studios across the globe.

Oppo’s decision to collaborate with Dynaudio on the Oppo Enco X proves a prudent one, with the latter’s pedigree evident in both the design and audio quality of the earbuds. With effective active noise cancellation also on board, the Oppo Enco X are a very capable alternative to earbuds from Sony, Apple et al.

Oppo Enco X review: What do you get for the money?

The Oppo Enco X are available in two colours - glossy black and pearlescent white - and have a list price of £169 but were available for just £136 on Amazon at the time of writing this review. At full price, they face stiff competition from the exceptional Sony WF-1000XM3, Huawei’s FreeBuds Pro and Jabra’s Elite Active 75t, though the latter cost more if you want a wireless charging case.

For the money, you’ll be getting one of the first pairs of wireless earbuds to utilise the latest Bluetooth version, 5.2. The connection proved rock-solid on all of the devices I tested the Enco X with and I didn’t experience any latency between audio and video.

In terms of codecs, the Oppo Enco X support both SBC and AAC in addition to the niche LHDC (Low latency High Definition Codec). Oppo phones, including the Find X2 and Find X2 Pro, support LHDC, as do some Xiaomi and Huawei handsets but it isn’t something you’re going to be able to make use of as an owner of an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy device.

Those with phones running ColorOS will get the best experience with the Oppo Enco X, with fast pairing as soon as you pop open the charging case and the ability to customise the buds’ touch controls via the Bluetooth device menu. Android users can access most of the same customisation options via the Hey Melody app but there’s currently no iOS version, so these buds don’t lend themselves well to use with iPhones.

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In terms of core features, the Enco X offer two levels of active noise cancellation, a transparency mode, auto-pause functionality when the buds are removed from your ears and an IP54 rating that certifies them protected from dust and splashing water. Accessories-wise, you get a USB-C charging cable in the box, along with three sets of different-sized eartips. Should you require assistance working out which pair to use, there’s an earbud fit test within the Hey Melody app.

Oppo Enco X review: What do they do well?

The Enco X aren’t innovative from an aesthetic standpoint but are lightweight, discreet and very comfortable to wear. Their slender stems slant forwards slightly when the buds are in your ears and there’s little, if any, protrusion outwards. I wore the Enco X for hours on end without being overly aware of their presence and I was even able to drop off to sleep while wearing them in bed thanks to their ultra-compact form factor.

They also perform admirably when it comes to their sonic capabilities. The buds use a coaxial driver setup consisting of 6mm magnetic balanced membrane drivers working in tandem with 11mm dynamic drivers. The results are impressive, with plenty of detail in the presentation of mids and treble and surprisingly beefy bass reproduction.

The soundstage isn’t nearly as wide as the Grado GT220, nor do the Enco X pick up smaller details quite as well but the weight with which low-end frequencies hit home makes them more appealing to those that primarily listen to bass-heavy genres. The bass frequencies don’t dominate to the point where I wanted to dial them back, however. The Enco X retain a nice balance across the frequency spectrum and deliver a gratifying listen across a broad range of genres.

Completing a hat-trick of commendable traits is the Enco X’s active noise-cancellation. There are two levels to choose from, the stronger of which is as effective as in any earbuds I’ve tested, bar the industry-leading and significantly more expensive Bose QuietComfort Earbuds. When out and about, “max noise cancellation” did a great job at blocking external sound, while the base setting lends itself nicely to environments where just dampening the noise around you is preferable. There’s also a “Transparency” mode for when you want to actively allow ambient noise in. It works effectively and the constant fuzzy sound it produces is only noticeable when you’ve not got audio playing.

Oppo Enco X review: What could be improved?

Although the Oppo Enco X’s touch controls are perfectly responsive, customising them is a little restrictive. Each action has a limited selection of commands attached to it so there’s no way to create an all-encompassing setup.

Take track skipping, for example. If you want to be able to skip forward and back, you can assign these commands to double taps on the left and right buds. But if you do that, you have no way to play or pause your audio, the command for which is also tied to a double-tap.

You could assign track skipping to vertical swipes along the buds’ stems, but by doing so you’ll miss out on using that command for volume controls. I settled on a setup that omitted skipping back a track and was ultimately happy enough with the options at my fingertips, including the particularly welcome ability to switch swiftly between connected devices by pressing and holding for three seconds.

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Battery life is an area where there’s definitely room for improvement. With ANC on you’ll get a mere four hours from the buds at 50% volume, with the case adding a further 16 hours of use. Turning the ANC off improves those figures to 5hrs 30mins and 20 hours respectively but given how effective the ANC is you’re likely to want it active most of the time.

Finally, although I understand that the Enco X were designed with ColorOS and Android OS compatibility in mind, an iOS app certainly wouldn’t go amiss. As it stands, iPhone users can’t access the Hey Melody app and have no way to customise touch controls. We may see the app make its way to the Apple App Store at some stage but, for the time being at least, iPhone owners will want to give the Enco X a miss.

Oppo Enco X review: Should you buy them?

Assuming you’re not an iPhone owner, the Oppo Enco X are well worth considering if you’re in the market for effective noise cancelling earbuds costing less than the premium offerings from Apple, Samsung and Bose.

I’d still take the Huawei FreeBuds Pro over them due to the Dynamic mode that adjusts ANC automatically but the Enco X are a match for their Chinese rivals in most of the other key areas. They sound good, are exceedingly comfortable and have superior resistance against water and dust. If you can pick them up at a discounted price – and there’s a good chance you’ll be able to – you’ll be netting yourself some of the best value-for-money ANC earbuds around.

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