- The Redmi Buds 4 Active stick to Xiaomi’s core principle of delivering a very good performance at a surprisingly affordable price.
- They might look plain in appearance, but the Redmi Buds 4 Active come packed with a number of features, including clear sound and surprisingly good call handling.
- At Rs 1,399, the Redmi Buds 4 Active are among the most affordable TWS from a major brand in the Indian market.
Affordability has been one of the biggest virtues associated with Xiaomi ever since the brand came to India, and even though the brand has been venturing into premium pricing waters, it is not forgetting where its roots lie. This comes forth in its newest audio launch as well. The brand has yet again launched a product that comes with impressive features and performance, and yet again with a very affordable price tag.
We are talking of the Redmi Buds 4 Active, which the brand recently launched at a price of Rs. 1,399, and which is sometimes available at even lower prices. This makes the Buds 4 Active one of the most affordable pairs of TWS to come from a leading brand. They come with a fair number of features and functions, which seem too good for the price, but that is quite true to the brand’s nature. But do the Redmi Buds 4 Active deliver? Let us find out.
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Redmi Buds 4 Active Looks and Design: The ‘less is more’ path
With the design of the Buds 4 Active, Xiaomi has followed a “less is more” path. The Buds 4 Active come in a pebble-shaped case and are available in two colors– beige and black. Both options will blend into your tech life seamlessly. We received the beige color variant.
We assumed the matte texture would make the case age well, but we would suggest going with the black color option between the two because this one picked up smudges and scratches quite easily. The evidently plastic case has a coarse texture all over except for a glossy strip that runs through the circumference of the case. A Redmi logo is engraved on the back, while a Type C port sits on the base, along with a concealed LED light. Apart from these elements, there is not much to the design of the case itself.
Flip the case open, and you get the affordable TWS feeling creep in through the hinges. The very plastic buds do not make any effort to look or feel premium, but they do not mirror the quality their price generally would mean either. We like the light gray contrast added to the bed of the buds inside, while the buds are also the same color as the case, even the tips.
The design of the buds is pretty typical as well. The bulbous head with a small step topped with an ear tip, with prominent stems below, is what you get with the Buds 4 Active. No nonsense.
Both buds and the case are quite light. The buds weigh only around 3.6 grams each, while the case is just 34.7 grams, making them quite a light pair that can easily slip into even the stingiest of pockets. Wearing them for long hours does not feel like a task. The buds also have an IPX4 rating, making them sweat-resistant and perfect workout buddies. The design of the Buds 4 Active is not going to wow you or make heads turn, but it is tried and tested, which is more than good enough at this price point. The buds fit well, and you have ear tip options in the package as well.
Redmi Buds 4 Active pairing and commands: A simple yet complicated zone
The process of pairing the buds is a fairly simple one but only for the first time. The buds come with Google’s Fast Pairing feature, which means they show up on your Android-based smartphone as soon as you flip the lid open. Pairing them with an iPhone seems pretty hassle-free as well. You can do so by simply looking for the buds in your Bluetooth list when the case is open.
Pairing them with another device is, however, a bit of a headache. Once paired with a device, you can only pair the buds with another by putting the buds back in pairing mode. This can be a tedious task as you have to tap on the buds five times simultaneously to put them back in pairing mode. These being a budget offering, multi-point connectivity is not present here, so be ready to be patient if you are going to use these with different devices.
You can play/ pause audio by tapping twice. You will need to tap thrice to skip a song. You can also take a call by tapping twice and end it by tapping thrice. Much like most TWS with tap-sensitive commands, the tapping experience is a hit-and-miss initially, but once you get used to them, the controls actually work okay-ishly. The app for the Redmi Buds 4 Active is of very little use as it only shows battery levels in real-time and helps in updating firmware. There is no other control or settings that one can tweak with the app.
Redmi Buds 4 Active Performance: In a word, Impressive!
The Redmi Buds 4 Active come with 12mm dynamic drivers and 5.3 Bluetooth connectivity with a connectivity range of 10 meters. The case comes with a 440 mAh battery, while each bud has a 34 mAh battery within and comes with support for fast charging. The buds also feature ENC for relatively less noisy calls.
When it comes to performance, the Redmi Buds 4 Active are surprisingly good. At this price point, one tends to expect below-average sound, but the Buds 4 Active impressed us with their clear audio output. Xiaomi is advertising them to be bass heavy, but we did not find them to be overly bass-y. Those looking for really heavy bass might be disappointed, but those who value clean, balanced sound would definitely like the sound signature. The buds will not be able to pick up nuanced sound, and you will not get layered treble or the finer details of the audio, but if it is a good basic audio experience that you are looking for, the Buds 4 Active does a good job. Credit it to their great fit, but the buds actually managed to keep a lot of noise out of our audio experience. They obviously cannot be compared to top buds that have ANC, but they did quite decently for buds with no ANC.
In a pleasant surprise, these buds work best when it comes to calling – the ENC actually works. The audio was consistently clear, and those we spoke to told us they could hear us very clearly as well. and that is the feedback we received from the other end as well. A little latency does creep in while gaming, but that is to be expected at this price.
The battery life of the Redmi Buds 4 Active is very good too. Redmi claims the buds can live for up to 5 hours on a single charge, and the case can give you 28 hours of battery which we found more or less to be true. The fast charging feature is particularly useful as the buds can give you about an hour and a half worth of battery life with just ten minutes of charging.
Redmi Buds 4 Active Review Verdict: Great buds on a budget
For their price tag of Rs. 1,399, the Redmi Buds 4 Active deliver a very good performance. The buds have a clean design, are lightweight, fit well, and have a good battery life. More importantly, they sound clear and do not get swept away into waves of bass, as so many of their competitors do. A huge surprise is their performance in the calling department, where most budget TWS tend to stumble badly. We would have preferred some equalizer settings and customization on the app, but other than that, the Redmi Buds 4 Active are a very good option for anyone looking for a pair of TWS on an entry-level budget.
- Lightweight and good fit
- Clear audio
- Good battery life
- Very good call quality
- Latency while playing games
- App is limited
- Pairing with multiple devices is a pain
At Rs 1,399, the Redmi Buds 4 Active are among the most affordable TWS from a major brand in the Indian market.