Realme’s new budget Buds Q are realcheap

The new wireless earbuds cost $79 and sport a 20-hour battery life and IPX4 water resistance.

Brodie Fogg
Editorial Lead
Read More
Published on August 28, 2020
2 min read

The latest budget smartphone darling in Australia, realme, has quickly made a name for itself by providing top-quality alternatives to an increasingly premium mobile market. Equally notable is its push into affordable wireless earbuds, and its latest release is easily its most interesting yet. Announced today, the realme Buds Q are true wireless earbuds that boast 20-hour battery life, large 10mm “Dynamic Bass Boost” drivers (with a polymer composite diaphragm), and a new processing chip that claims to reduce latency (which is one issue we found with realme’s Buds Air). The Buds Q are available now for $79 at realme's online store.

Like its fallen budget brethren Huawei, realme has a track record of *ahem* paying tribute to Apple’s iconic designs (most notable in its last-gen “Buds Air”) but with the Buds Q, realme seems to be carving out its own look. It’s not an entirely unique design, slightly reminiscent of Samsung’s Galaxy Buds, but it’s a step in the right direction.

The fresh design comes courtesy of art director José Levy but despite the facelift, the most attractive feature of the Buds Q remains its $79 price tag. Even its AirPod-clone, the Buds Air, still cost around $130 on realme’s online store.

What don't you get at that price?

Wireless earbuds are typically a much pricier investment if you’re looking for a well-known brand. Sony’s award-winning WF-1000XM3 earbuds still cost around $268, and Samsung’s recent Galaxy Buds Live can cost upwards of $317. However, there are a few reasons you pay that premium, most notably for Active Noise Cancellation. Active Noise Cancellation, or ANC, drowns out external sounds like traffic, office chatter, and the like.

The Buds Q don’t advertise any kind of noise-cancelling, so that’s one obvious concession you’ll make if you decide to opt for realme’s budget buds.

It does, however, boast an IPX4 water-resistance rating. The means it can take a splash of water from any direction, and is more resilient than some premium models (for example, the Galaxy Buds Live's IPX2 rating).

Where can I buy realme Buds Q?

We’re looking forward to putting the Buds Q through their paces and seeing if that sub-$80 price tag comes with any significant compromises, but if you’re on the hunt for a cheap replacement, the Buds Q are on sale now through realme’s official website. Realme says the Buds Q will also be available via eBay, Amazon, Catch and more, but none of the retailers listed have stock at the time of writing.

Brodie Fogg
Written by
Brodie Fogg
Brodie Fogg is the Australian editorial lead at Reviews.org. He has covered consumer tech, telecommunications, video games, streaming and entertainment for over five years at websites like WhistleOut and Finder and can be found sharing streaming recommendations at 7NEWS every month.

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