Xiaomi announced the Redmi Buds 3 and Buds 3 Pro and launched it officially in Malaysia alongside the Xiaomi Mi 11T Pro. These TWS earbuds are two very different products, made for pretty different target audiences, but essentially music lovers.
Redmi Buds 3 vs. Buds 3 Pro – Specifications
What’s In The Box?
- Redmi Buds 3 / 3 Pro
- Charging Case
- USB-C Cable
- Spare Eartips (Different Sizes)
- User Manual
The Redmi Buds 3 Pro feature a pill shaped charging case, and the in-ear earbuds themselves feature a stem-less design with an ultra reflective touch panel. It’s actually really nice, and the colours within almost look like the aurora borealis. The entire earbud has a nice, smooth touch to it thanks to the matte finish.
On the other hand, the Redmi Buds 3 has a more rectangular shaped charging case. Nothing that stands out too much, as the semi in-ear earbuds also have a glossy white finish and a stemmed design. Because it has a glossy finish, it’s quite slippery to hold and extract from the charging case.
For the charging cases, apart from the different shapes, most of them share the same layout. They’re both top lid designs, with the pairing/connectivity buttons on the front, and the USB Type-C port for charging placed on the bottom. The Redmi Buds 3 case has a slippery, glossy finish, while the Buds 3 Pro has a smoother, matte finish.
User Experience + Comfort
In the department of comfort, the Redmi Buds 3 Pro are excellent both in and out of the ears. It’s easy to retrieve from the charging case because of the matte surface and how the earbuds are angled upwards. Putting them into my ears, they fit nicely even with the default size eartips. No matter the activity I’m doing, they stay in place and never budge one bit. They also look good on me, if I do say so myself. Definitely a pair of earbuds for music that can be worn all day without issues.
The Buds 3 Pro also support dual system connectivity, so I have it connected to my Windows laptop and my Android smartphone at the same time, and it can switch automatically depending on where the source of media is from. You’ll also be happy to know that it supports wear detection, so music will pause when you take them out of your ears, and automatically resume when you put them back on.
As for the Redmi Buds 3, it’s a bit hard for me to take out of the charging case due to the slippery glossy finish. It’s a semi in-ear design and has wear detection too. Once worn, the internals feel fine but does hurt a little after wearing them for long hours. The stem also does stick to the sides of my face from time to time, which makes it a bit annoying. Not recommended for all-day wearing, but great for quick calls or conferences.
Both pairs of TWS earbuds feature touch controls on the side, and they both work responsively, no complaints here. Everything else is there like double click, triple click, and long press gestures. These commands can be used to play/pause, prev/next, and also switch between transparency mode (Redmi Buds 3 Pro only).
Both earbuds do not have access to app control, so they work right out of the box, and connects with almost any device that has a Bluetooth connection. That also means you’re stuck with the preset audio profile and settings made by Xiaomi, and have no customization options.
In terms of audio quality, the Redmi Buds 3 Pro perform much better in comparison to the Buds 3 (obviously). The Buds 3 Pro features ANC and depends on the feedback and feed-forward microphones for improved adaptive noise cancellation, while the Buds 3 relies on sheer audio volume to cut out environmental noise. You can easily switch between ANC and transparency mode via the side touch panel.
The ANC on the Buds 3 Pro is good, but isn’t the best. With ANC on and music at 60% volume, I could still hear people laughing, children screaming, albeit at a muted level. When the volume is raised to 80%, that is when everything from the outside truly gets muted. It has good, bright highs, decent mids, and impressive lows for bass with depth.
For the Buds 3, they come out pale in comparison with the Redmi Buds 3 Pro. But reviewing them subjectively, they get the job done. The audio performance is acceptable for the price it is offered, despite it not having ANC (that would’ve been a steal). It has very bright highs, so there’s a lot of sharpness with mild distortions at loud volume. Mids are decent so vocal performance is good, and lows are decent too so you still get that mild kick from EDM tunes.
Latency wise, both earbuds don’t suffer from any audio lag and can playback media just fine, so no complaints here.
Call quality wise, both the Redmi Buds 3 and 3 Pro does well. However, I did feel like the Buds 3 performed a little better than the Pro variant. Using the Redmi Buds 3 Pro on Google Meet and conference calls on Discord, most of the time my voice gets cut off even with Discord’s Noise Suppression feature turned off. Also, my voice on the 3 Pro was described as far and muffled.
On the other hand, the Redmi Buds 3 did a better job as my voice was clearer and closer to the microphone, thanks to the longer stem I guess. I’ve had no connectivity or audio latency issues with the Buds 3 too. All in all, I think the Buds 3 are better suited for online conference calls.
With ANC off, I was able to get almost 6 hours of music playback on one single charge on the Buds 3 Pro. With ANC on, it could only go for about almost 5 hours. That’s also because I usually listen to music at a higher volume. If you listen to music at softer volume, your mileage could be lengthened. Using it with the charging case, I could get about a total of 28 hours of music playback, which is quite close to Xiaomi’s claim on its website.
The Redmi Buds 3 Pro supports wireless Qi charging, and a 10 minute wireless charge could provide 3 hours of music listening, which is pretty good, as long as you have the charging case lined up properly with the wireless charger.
The Redmi Buds 3 gave me about 20 hours of total usage, along with the charging case. On a single charge, I could squeeze about 4 hours and 40 minutes of music listening. On a casual daily use, one full charge with the casing, it could last me for about three days before needing a full recharge. The earbud only supports wired charging, which is a given for the price it’s being offered for.
The Redmi Buds 3 and Buds 3 Pro are both great TWS earbuds in their own right. The Buds 3 Pro of course offers improved audio and better set of modern features at a slightly higher price. But, that’s still more competitive when compared to the other offerings in the market. It’s great for music and games, but not so much for calls and online conferences.
As for the Redmi Buds 3, these are what I would consider entry level earbuds, but with several midrange features baked right in. The price is more wallet friendly, and has just the right amount of features to make it a great everyday carry TWS earbuds for general use.