True wireless earphones are a hot new category, with several phone and accessory brands launching devices in this segment. It therefore came as no surprise when Xiaomi launched the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2, its debut TWS earphones in India. The earphones feature an AirPods-esque design, and come with a bunch of neat features under the hood. Most importantly – and in true Xiaomi style – they’re priced affordably.
I received the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 a couple of week ago, and have been using them extensively since then with several devices. If you’ve been looking to pick up a pair of affordable TWS earphones, read on.
As I mentioned earlier, the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 feature an AirPods-inspired design, but unlike the Realme Buds Air, Xiaomi has added a few differentiating design features. The case for one is more rectangular, albeit with rounded edges. The earbuds too feature a thicker, flatter stem, which can look pretty conspicuous, with the earbuds angled to the left and right. I wish Xiaomi had opted for thinner stems, but apart from this I have no qualms with the design.
The case features a Type-C port for charging, a button on the side to enable pairing, and an LED indicator in the front. It can easily be flipped open with one hand, which is a bonus. Unlike the Realme Buds Air, the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 come only in a white colour. The finish is matte, so smudges aren’t visible, but I did manage to get a few scratches on it.
Each earbud features two mics, one on top of the stem and one at the bottom for dual-mic environmental noise cancellation. The mic at the top picks up ambient noise, while the one at the bottom works alongside to cancel any disturbances. As per Xiaomi, the earphones can suppress up to 90 percent of environmental noise, but I’ll come to how that works later.
Each earpiece also features a black dot, which is an optical infrared sensor. This lets the earbuds detect when they’ve been removed from the ear, and allows them to automatically pause music playback. This feature is also available on the AirPods, but it works only on iOS. Xiaomi has made the functionality available on Android, iOS, Mac, Windows and even Ubuntu, which is impressive. I’ve tested this feature multiple times, and it works flawlessly. On my MacBook Air, the in-ear detection worked when I was playing music on the Spotify web app and YouTube.
The earbuds feature touch sensitive controls, which also work across devices and platforms. Double tapping the right earbud lets you play/pause music, while double tapping the left summons your phone’s voice assistant (this works for Google Assistant, Siri on iOS and even Amazon Alexa on compatible devices like the Redmi Note 8 Pro). To answer a call, you can double tap either earbud. Unfortunately, the ability to skip tracks isn’t available on the earphones.
The Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 feature Bluetooth 5.0, but they can only connect to one device at a time. Setting up the earphones is easy, you just need to long-press the button on the case until the LED indicator starts flashing white. This will make the earphones discoverable, and you can select them from your device’s Bluetooth settings to pair with a tap.
Pairing with a Xiaomi phone is even more simple. Just flip open the case, and you’ll see a prompt on your phone asking if you want to pair the earphones. You’ll then need to press and hold the button, after which they are paired. Using the earphones with a Xiaomi device has another advantage – when you flip open the case (after it’s paired), you’ll see the remaining battery levels in each earbud and the case. This is a feature the AirPods offer on iOS, and it’s very useful. When connected to a non-Xiaomi Android device, you can swipe down on the quick settings menu to see the remaining battery levels on the earphones (but not the case) under the Bluetooth icon.
As someone who loathes in-ear style earbuds (they give me a headache), I was quite pleased that Xiaomi went with a semi in-ear style. Of course, this means you don’t get interchangeable tips for a better fit, but in my usage, I found the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 sat securely inside my ears. I wore them for a couple of my yoga classes on Zoom, and didn’t have to worry about them falling out. They’re comfortable for long hours of usage, and there were times I didn’t even notice I had them on.
The only disadvantage of this design is that you can’t lie down on your side when using these earphones, since they dig into your ear. One thing to note is that since these earphones feature an open ear design, there’s a bit of sound leakage, especially if you’re listening to music on higher volumes.
Coming to the audio quality, the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 feature 14.2mm large drivers, which Xiaomi says are the largest in the TWS earphones segment. The company also claims these have been tuned for Indian audiences, which presumably includes Bollywood music. In my usage however, I found the sound to be well-balanced across other genres as well. In tracks like Steely Dan’s Do it again and Dave Brubeck’s Take 5, I was able to distinguish the different musical instruments clearly, with mids and lows sounding crisp. If you’re a bass head or primarily listen to EDM, you might be disappointed by the lack of thump. In a track like Kendrick Lamar’s Humble for example, the bass is noticeably flat.
Call quality on the earphones isn’t the best, despite them having environmental noise cancellation (ENC). Callers on the other end frequently reported an echo, although I didn’t have any trouble on my side.
In terms of battery life, Xiaomi estimates that the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 offer about 4 hours of usage on a single charge. In my experience, they lasted about 3.5 hours. The charging case can completely charge the earbuds three times, which is pretty good, and in-line with Xiaomi’s claim of 14 hours of usage. For reference, the case features a 250mAh battery, while each earbud features a 30mAh battery. The case takes about an hour to charge completely. There’s no wireless charging, unlike the Realme Buds Air, but this shouldn’t bother most users.
At Rs 4,499 [Update: they now cost Rs 3,999 after a price cut] the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 are a bargain buy. They offer a comfortable fit, well balanced audio and good battery life. The ability to automatically pause music playback across platforms is an added bonus. The main issue I’ve noticed with these earphones is the call quality, so if you make a lot of calls while wearing your earphones, you might want to look at other options.
If you own a Xiaomi phone, I would recommend picking up the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 simply because of how easy it is to pair them and check battery life. And even if you don’t, I still think they’re a great option in the affordable TWS earphones category.
Pricebaba’s rating: 8 / 10
- Balanced sound
- Good battery life
- Comfortable for long usage
- In-ear detection works across platforms
- Call quality could be better
- Connects to only one device at a time
- Thick earpiece stems looks conspicuous