Oppo Enco Free review

Worth swiping right!

Oppo Enco Free
(Image: © Future)

TechRadar Verdict

The Oppo Enco Free is an interesting pair of true wireless stereo earbuds, which nails the basics in terms of sound quality, design and battery life. If your priority is only brilliant output, there are more affordable options available, but few will offer an experience as enjoyable as the Enco Free.


  • +

    Intuitive gesture control

  • +

    Sound quality

  • +

    Battery life


  • -

    Questionable design choices

  • -

    Not comfortable for everyone

  • -

    Noise isolation

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Update (May 22): We have now increased the Oppo Enco Free's review rating by a bit after having used other TWS in India, as it reminded how habit-changing and intuitive Oppo's UX was.

When Apple unveiled the AirPods , it created an unexplored segment of “true wireless earbuds”, but also brought a design that many fellow tech brands aspired to achieve. Accusations aside, it is considered to be one of the most practical ways to design a pair of earphones that feel familiar but without the hassles of cables.

Now, Oppo has joined the bandwagon with its new Enco Free wireless earbuds, with the same admired design language and adding its own flair to it via extremely intuitive touch controls. It's also aiming to grab a piece of the sub Rs 10,000 segment, which has begun to get crowded with multiple great offerings that specialize in their respective aspects. 

Simply put, the Oppo Enco Free isn’t the most affordable pair for what it offers solely in terms of audio output. But the entire listening experience is leaps ahead of most other TWS buds, while continuing to look pretty and petite. They don’t jut out of the  ears like the Samsung Galaxy Buds, aren't flimsy as the Realme Buds Air did and isn’t nearly as expensive as Apple’s.

Price and availability in India

(Image credit: Future)

The Oppo Enco Free was announced alongside the Oppo Reno 3 Pro in India in March. It is priced at Rs 7,990 and comes in white, black and pink. Flipkart is the online sale partner.

Certain high-end Oppo phones include the Enco Free as a part of a bundle deal at a discounted rate. 


(Image credit: Future)

Designs on most products, including earphones, is a pretty subjective aspect. Some people have a preference for wannabe AirPods while some prefer to have a more uninspired approach. Here’s everything you need to know about the Enco Free.

You get a tiny squircle case with a nice matte finish on the outside. It’s nowhere as minimal as the AirPods, with a huge Oppo branding on a metal strip on the front, a status LED and a chrome button on the side to toggle pairing status. The USB Type-C port is on the bottom. 

The lid is easy to open and has the amount of balance and ease. However, getting the buds out is a lot more difficult. They are held in place with magnets rather tightly, and there’s no crevice to stick your finger under them to pull them out. We usually had to pinch the head of the bud with our nails to yank them out. Not user friendly at all, and we’re worried that our nails will eventually dig into the silicon of the tips, thus damaging them.

(Image credit: Future)

Coming to the buds, they sport a familiar design, with the head opting for a semi-in-ear fit and a long stem underneath. The outer part of the stem has a long vertical stripe which is actually a touch-sensitive surface (more on that later). Unlike most earbuds of this kind, the Oppo Enco Free has actual replaceable tips, which can be chosen based on the sort of a fit the user prefers.  

For instance, the standard small-sized silicon buds fit well on my ears, but aren’t very comfortable. It seems as if the innermost part is digging into my ear pinna, and occasionally begins to hurt. Of course, all ears are different, and your mileage may vary. If you liked the fit of the Apple AirPods, you’ll love these.

The design inherently brings poor noise isolation too. Even at the highest volume levels, we were able to hear activities around us. This becomes even more evident when using the Enco Free outdoors or during a commute. It’s nowhere as bad as the Realme Buds Air, but far from the best. If your primary use is going to happen indoors, then it shouldn’t be an issue. 

Overall, Oppo seems to have done a good job with the design, making them surprisingly comfortable when put on correctly, without being too heavy. The ability to customize the fit is a big advantage.


(Image credit: Future)

Like many high-end earphones, even the Oppo Enco Free sports binaural simultaneous transmission over Bluetooth. In simpler words. It harnesses Bluetooth 5.0 technology to connect to both the buds at the same time. Conventionally, the source would connect to one of the buds, and then a relay would be made between the two buds. This can cause output imbalance or even add latency. Thankfully, these issues were nowhere to be seen (or heard).

The initial connection process isn’t as straightforward as some of its competitors, given that you need to hold down the tiny connection key to enter pairing mode. It wouldn't really be an issue if you plan on using them with just one phone. 

There is no dedicated app to mend the sound quality or tune the equalizer, so the sound you get out of the box is the one you’ll be stuck with (unless your source music player supports one). We checked this with the latest Oppo phones as well, but there wasn’t really any extra option to be seen.

(Image credit: Future)

While software side features are slim, hardware features are filled to the brim. The Oppo Enco Free implements Goodix’s Capacitive Touch Control chip to make the outer surface act as a navigation pad for all music controls. The stems can not only be tapped, but also swiped to interact with media.

I believe that this is a superior way of interacting with your buds as taps on TWS buds usually shove them deeper into the ears making things uncomfortable. A swipe instead just glides across the surface. It is also more responsive and granular. Moreover, since a swipe is a two-dimensional movement (as opposed to the one-dimensional tap), it can also be used for a lot more scenarios which are more apt for content consumption.

The usual tap to play/pause tracks and accept/reject calls is here, but a swipe on the left bud can toggle the volume with precision, something which most other buds this size do not offer. Similarly, a swipe on the right stem goes to the next or previous track. This barely has a learning curve and quickly becomes second nature. Intuitiveness is also heightened as the basic controls are easier to trigger, with the complex ones demanding a little more. 

It is possible the only pair of TWS available in India to offer so many controls in a non-convoluted way. It really made it difficult for me to go to other buds after this, as they could only offer play/pause or skip track functionality. Not needing to pull out the phone to control the volume is a big part of an untethered experience - as true wireless earbuds should be.

The Oppo Enco Free also pauses whatever content is being played when one of the buds is holstered. This works perfectly, but resuming the media has a slight amount of delay which can be annoying. 

Summing things up, the Enco Free is a few steps ahead of the competition in this aspect, and we are positive more brands will try to take a page from Oppo’s book.

Sound quality

(Image credit: Future)

There were no surprises with the audio quality. Right off the bat, they are tuned in a way to make music pop with slightly raised bass and overall balanced output. This surprisingly remains the case even at higher volumes, exhibiting no signs of distortion. Most average users should like the sound profile, but audiophiles will be left wanting for more.

It’s also important to test how well a pair of buds perform for non-music content. The Oppo Enco Free aces vocal output for content that is more speech-oriented. TV shows, movies and videos all benefit from this tuning. We were also delighted by the call quality on these. Parties on both ends had no complaints with the voice quality. There was some level of noise cancellation and vocal boosting going on, which made voices sound much clearer. It can get a little flat at the higher output levels, but that is a reasonable trade-off for better calls.

We wouldn’t recommend these for gaming, as there was discernible output lag, which can be pretty expensive in certain games. For instances where the sound delay doesn’t make much of a difference, the no-cable nature is highly appreciated — Having no cables coming out of the phones and affecting the grip.  

Other notable characteristics include a flat V-shaped sound signature that covers the entire range of elements. No clipping was apparent at higher volumes, which is a common complaint with affordable earbuds. The 13.4mm dynamic drivers do a great job at covering all bases.

Battery life

(Image credit: Future)

Oppo’s claim of 5 + 20 hours of battery backup (buds and case combined) held true for the most part. In our usage, the Enco Free would last an entire week without needing a top-up. On an average, we could touch a good 18-20 hours of total usage including calls, music and video streaming. 


(Image credit: Future)

There isn’t much to complain about with the Oppo Enco Free wireless earbuds. It has got amicable sound quality, great call quality, pretty reliable battery life and light-weight construction that is more comfortable than what the design may suggest. Add the slew of touch controls which are exponentially smarter than what other buds and sports headsets offer, and it is a pretty well-rounded deal. If music quality and customization is not your top priority, and the entire experience is what you’re looking for, this is the way to go.

Having said that, there are definitely more affordable options available if your priorities are slightly different. The Realme Buds Air is a decent alternative at half the price. The Samsung Galaxy Buds too bring great sound quality in a compact and comfortable form factor with amazing sound isolation. Noise also has a few great offerings in this segment.

Aakash Jhaveri

Aakash is the engine that keeps TechRadar India running, using his experience and ideas to help consumers get to the right products via reviews, buying guides and explainers. Apart from phones, computers and cameras, he is obsessed with electric vehicles.