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OPPO Enco W51 review: ANC on a budget

On: October 17, 2020

The OPPO Enco W51 are OPPO’s latest sub-Rs 5,000 TWS earbuds, and succeed the Enco W31 launched back in March. While the Enco W31 and Enco W51 are similar on the design front, the latter comes with two features that are rare in this price bracket – Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and wireless charging.

Also read: OnePlus Buds review: a great buy for OnePlus users

I’ve been using the Enco W51 for the last few weeks, and have tried to answer as many questions I could think of in this Q&A style review.

Do the OPPO Enco W51 earbuds have a comfortable fit?

The Enco W51 feature an in-ear design, with the tips made of soft, pliable silicone. OPPO has provided three extra sets of tips inside the box to cater to different ear sizes, including extra small, small and large. The earbuds ship with the medium tips out of the box. I used them with the medium tips, and found them comfortable to wear for a couple of hours at a stretch. The earbuds are also very light, which is another plus for longer usage.

What do you think of the design and build quality?

The Enco W51 feature a stem-style design. The stems are flat are look different than every AirPods lookalike in the market. The case is square shaped and opens flat side up, which makes it impossible to flip open with one hand. That said, the case and the earbuds look very premium. The build quality of both doesn’t inspire confidence though, with the hinge on the case feeling particularly flimsy. You can get the case in white or black, although the latter has gold accents which might not be for everyone.

Are the Enco W51 waterproof?

The OPPO Enco W51 feature an IP54 rating, which means they are sweat-proof and can be used while exercising. However, these aren’t completely waterproof and you shouldn’t wear them while out in heavy rain. Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that the IP rating applies only to the buds and not the charging case.

What are the available touch controls?

By default, the Enco W51 offer three touch controls. Double tapping on the left earbud enables or disables active noise cancellation, while doing the same on the right earbud skips to the next track. Tapping three times on either earbud invokes Google Assistant. The tap controls can be customized, but this is restricted only to OPPO phones running ColorOS 7 or higher. This is frankly a disappointing omission, and also means that any future firmware updates won’t be available to non-OPPO phone users.

Do the Enco W51 earbuds support wear detection?

Yes, like most budget TWS earbuds, the Enco W51 feature an optical infrared sensor for wear detection. Removing one earbud from your ear automatically pauses the media, while re-inserting it resumes playback. This works across phones and laptops, and also extends to watching YouTube videos and even Netflix. If you do want to continue listening with just a single earbud, you can do so by manually tapping the play button on the media you’re watching/listening to.

What’s the sound quality like?

The Enco W51 feature tiny 7mm drivers, but they are still among the better sounding budget TWS earbuds. The sound is balanced, with a mellow signature for laid-back listening. The bass is a too subdued though, which doesn’t make these suitable for EDM or Bollywood music. I also noticed a bit of sibilance on some tracks, like Dave Matthews Band’s Samurai Cop (Oh Joy Begin), with the ‘sss’ sounds coming off as excessively harsh.

How’s the microphone and call quality?

The Enco W51 feature three microphones on each earbud and redesigned airducts for wind reduction. The call quality on the Enco W51 is actually the best I’ve found on a pair of sub-Rs 5,000 TWS earbuds. I had a few test calls with colleagues, and they were surprised I was using earbuds instead of my phone. There was no echo or distortion in voice calls, which is a definite plus. The buds have a Bluetooth range of 10 metres, which is standard.

How effective is the Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)?

The Active Noise Cancelling is the headlining feature of these earbuds, and OPPO says the Enco W51 offer up to 35db of noise reduction. To enable or disable ANC, you need to double tap the left earbud, where a female voice prompt notifies you of the status. It works pretty well to block out ambient noise, like the hum of an AC or whirr of a fan. It would also work well if you want to use the earbuds on a flight or in the metro.

However, if you’re in a noisy, crowded area you will hear sound filter through. While typing this review, I couldn’t hear the sound of the air conditioner, but I could hear the keys clacking on my keyboard, albeit in a muffled way. Either way, it’s a great feature to reduce disturbances around you and focus on work.

Do the OPPO Enco W51 support wireless charging?

Yes, The Enco W51 are OPPO’s first TWS buds to feature wireless charging. They support Qi wireless charging, so you can simply place them on any wireless charging mat. Of course, you’ll need to buy a wireless charger separately.

What’s the battery life like, and how long does it take to charge completely?

Each earbud of the Enco W51 packs a 25mAh battery, while the charging case houses a 480mAh unit. OPPO says the earbuds give you 3.5 hours of playback with ANC and 4 hours without, with the case taking it up to 20 hours or 24 hours, respectively. In my experience, I got about 3+ hours of usage on a single charge with ANC on, which is very average.

If not using a wireless charger, you can charge the case via the USB Type-C port, which takes around an hour and a half to juice up completely. OPPO says that charging the case wirelessly will take around 2.5 hours, but I didn’t get a chance to test this out.

Should you buy the OPPO Enco W51?

At Rs 4,999, the OPPO Enco W51 are a pair of feature-packed TWS buds. There are a few issues, like the flimsy case and lack of punchy bass, but apart from this, there’s not much to complain about given the asking price. The OnePlus Buds which are similarly priced don’t offer ANC or wireless charging, and while the battery life is better, the sound quality leaves a lot to be desired. In conclusion, if you’re looking for TWS buds with ANC on a budget, the OPPO Enco W51 are your best bet.

Pricebaba’s rating: 8 / 10

What works:

  • Effective ANC
  • Wireless charging
  • Excellent call quality
  • IP54 rating

What doesn’t:

  • Bass lacks punch
  • Flimsy case
  • Tap control customization restricted to OPPO phones
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Ketaki Bhojnagarwala

Ketaki has over 10 years experience writing on tech, having worked at the Hindu Business Line and 91mobiles earlier. When she's not editing copies or reviewing the latest gadgets, she spends her time binge-watching Netflix and reading fantasy fiction.