Review: Oppo's Enco X2 wireless earbuds improve on previous generation

Oppo's Enco X2 wireless earbuds
Could the company's great reputation for mobile phones apply to earbuds too? Photo credit: Newshub

Until a couple of years ago Oppo, the Chinese tech company, wasn't really on my radar. How things have changed.

In that time, not only has it delivered some of the best top-end smartphones on the market, it has also impressed with its Enco X headphones.

The company is taking its New Zealand customer base seriously too, with an extended warranty on their new Find X5 phone range just for Kiwis as well as local support staff to solve any issues you may have.

Oppo has just released their updated Enco X2 headphones in Aotearoa and have a challenge to find a spot in the crowded wireless earbuds market. Can they still impress?

I've been using the Enco X2 headphones for a couple of weeks now and here are my thoughts.

The good

The first thing I want to recognise is just how good the active noise cancelling is with the new X2s.

The review of the first generation earbuds by my colleague Daniel Rutledge revealed this as one of the few areas in which they didn't impress.

To my ears - and tested by using in the noisy air-conditioned atmosphere of the newsroom - these are as good as any other on the market I've worn, with a redesigned algorithm allowing cancellation of noise up to 45dB.

While the design may look slightly dated due to the long stems - which are there to allow a multitude of touch-control options - they are still ridiculously comfortable to wear, with different sized tips provided for a perfect fit.

That can be checked, by the way, using the HeyMelody app you definitely want to download. Without fail, I always needed to adjust my left earbud slightly to avoid unnecessary audio loss.

Oppo's Enco X2 wireless earbuds
Photo credit: Newshub

HeyMelody opens up other impressive features, like personalised noise cancelling based on your hearing and ear canal shape.

A quick test will scan your ears and ask you to respond to whether you can hear a variety of sounds at different frequencies and volumes. It then creates a profile which is then applied to what you listen to via the earbuds to ensure it sounds as good as it can be.

You may scoff, but I definitely noticed a difference when it was switched on.

Unsurprisingly, if you have an Oppo phone you unlock even more options with the earbuds, including taking photos with them, binaural recording and hi-resolution audio.

One of the other misses last time around was the inability to connect to multiple devices at the same time. This has again been solved.

Dual connection is available easily, allowing you to switch between two devices simply and quickly.

You can also share your settings, including your personalised Golden Hearing Test results, across mobile phone manufacturers if you sync with your Google account. I was able to do this easily between an Oppo Find X5 Pro and an Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max.

As to the sound itself, once I'd set everything up, I was very impressed. Thanks to my daughter's influence, I've just gotten into Harry Styles and enjoyed blasting the former One Direction star's Sign of the Times epic out loud as a change to my normal rock picks.

Oppo's Enco X2 wireless earbuds
Photo credit: Newshub

But I wasn't disappointed when I put that on either - the Foo Fighters and Pearl Jam were loud, clear and more than bassy enough for me. I loved being able to hear the drums clearly - as an aspiring drummer I air-drummed along to my heart's content, not caring who was watching.

Along with sounding good, there's also a decent amount of battery time - with Oppo suggesting you can get up to 9.5 hours without ANC and 5.5 hours with it. 

It's hard to test that out exactly, as my day involves putting them in and taking them out constantly, and back into their charging case which offers another 30-odd hours of non-ANC charge. 

I went for a massive walk, though, well over two and a half hours around Maungawhau, and had more than half of the battery life left on each earbud.

Unless you're an extreme athlete who doesn't have access to chargers every couple of days, it won't be an issue for you.

Throw in IP54 dust and waterproofing to allow you to use them in New Zealand's temperate climate without worrying about them malfunctioning and wireless charging and you really have an impressive feature set at an impressive $349.

Oh, and don't forget Dolby Atmos if you've got an Oppo phone.

Oppo's Enco X2 wireless earbuds
Photo credit: Newshub

The bad

It probably won't surprise you to learn there's not an awful lot wrong with the Enco X2 earbuds. The biggest issue for me was simply getting used to the on-bud controls.

Kudos to Oppo for making them so comprehensive and configurable, but it took me a fair amount of time to become comfortable with the squeezing and movement necessary.

Maybe I'm just a creature of bad habits, but I kept putting my fingers in the wrong place and ended up wondering what I was actually doing. It eventually came, but it unquestionably took longer than others I've tested.

A little surprising for me is the lack of user-defined EQ options. There are a number of presets that can be selected from, but I've always enjoyed the ability to finesse the sound to just how I like it.

Oppo's Enco X2 wireless earbuds
Photo credit: Newshub

Perhaps that's been somewhat mitigated by the personalised noise cancellation feature, but I would still have liked to have seen it available.

Part of that is because the default sound, while very good, wasn't quite right for my ears. The sound is louder than others and without adjustment, I felt there was a slight lack of depth and some lyrics could sound a little washed out.

After going through the appropriate setup in the HeyMelody software, this ceased to be an issue. If you're not one to play around with settings then bear it in mind.

The verdict

With high hopes often comes disappointment but Oppo has managed to buck that trend with a set of ANC earbuds that are a delight to wear and use.

If you're heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem then the similarly priced Apple AirPods Pro may well make more sense for you.

Similarly, if you absolutely demand only the very best then there are pricier options that will satisfy the audiophile in you, providing you have the cash.

Oppo's Enco X2 wireless earbuds
Photo credit: Newshub

But for around the $350 mark the Enco X2 earbuds simply don't disappoint, regardless of your favoured phone.

Not only are they more configurable than most other headphones, the personalised noise cancellation via the hearing test unquestionably elevated the quality of sound above others I've tried.

One of the perks of my job is being able to listen to music for long periods of time while testing new devices. I know there's nearly half a year to go, but it would surprise me if I heard much better in the rest of 2022.

Put them in, enjoy the silence the ANC offers and then crank up the music and retreat to your own world. I know that's what I'm doing as soon as I've finished writing this.

Newshub was supplied with a set of Oppo Enco X2 headphones for this review.