Back in the day, Oppo used to be a legend in the audio industry. They used to make high-fidelity DACs and Amps with excellent fine-tuned audio. Later, when they started to make smartphones, they stayed a little away from the audio segment. In recent times, there is a massive wave in audio products in India and all these major companies like JBL, Xiaomi, OnePlus, realme and boat are launching wireless earphones in the TWS and Neckband category.
So this made the company back into the audio segment, and Oppo released TWS earphones like Enco W11, Enco W31, Enco W51, flagship Enco X, and their Neckband type Enco M31. Since the day of launch, Oppo Enco M31 got excellent reviews from many tech media and reviewers. I have been using Enco M31 for the last month and have a spoiler alert! It is so damn good. It is the best wireless earphone I have ever used under 2,000 rupees.
When it comes to earphones, typically, the sound quality is proportional to its price. In the case of Oppo Enco M31, we get excellent sound quality despite a relatively low price. But to give that, they have to compromise on something else, right? In this review, I have gone through everything, including where it excels or struggles or which kind of consumers need to look for this earphone. So please stay with me for some minutes…
Design, Fit and Comfort
The Oppo Enco M31 is a well-designed, very lightweight, super comfortable earphone and It comes in two colors, black and green. I have the green one. The green has yellow accents on the control buttons, wire, and backside of the buds give it a more premium look, and I really liked the color combination. The earphone is wholly made out of plastic to make it super lightweight at just 22gram. Still, to give a more premium look, it has slight metallic accents on cylindrical units at the end of the wire and has a distinct metallic finish shine on the buds’ backside.
The neckband is highly flexible and makes it easy to carry in your jeans pocket without any carrying case. The buds fit snugly in our ears and provide an excellent seal. But if you have problems with fit, Oppo has provided two more pairs of tip sizes in the box. The buds do not protrude from the ears. So it is very comfortable to use in the bed and with helmets.
The cylindrical unit on the left has the volume rocker, a multi-function button and a USB Type-C port. The earphones come with an IPX5 rating, which makes them splash and dust resistant. I have been wearing this earphone during my workout for the last month, and it handles it well.
Oppo Enco M31 comes with both Button Controls and Magnetic Control. It has no physical ON/OFF switch. The earphone will power ON automatically when the earbuds are separated and power off when the earbuds are magnetically attached.
To pair to a device, we have to long-press the multi-function button for 3 seconds. Then the earphone will start pairing automatically. Also, the indicator light flashes green rapidly, and we will hear “Bluetooth Pairing” tones.
To activate the voice assistant press the multi-function button three times and double press the multi-function to switch between Balanced mode and Bass mode. You can answer the incoming call by single pressing the multi-function button and reject the call by double-pressing the multi-function button.
To control the music, single pressing the multi-function button will pause/play the music. Single pressing the volume up or down will adjust the volume, long-pressing volume up for the next track and long-pressing volume down for the previous track.
To turn off the earphone, attach the buds magnetically. To turn back ON, separate them and it will automatically connect to the most recently connected device.
Oppo Enco M31 supports multi-device switching, so when two devices are paired, press and hold the volume up and down button simultaneously for 3s to switch to the previously connected device. I am so enjoying this feature, and it helps me switch the earphone to my PC and smartphone instantly.
So I have no complaints in the control segment. But some tech YouTubers pointed out that they prefer the button on the wire part and not on the end of the neckband. But I prefer this implementation more.
The key selling point of Oppo Enco M31 is its exceptional sound quality for its asking price. It offers two types of sound signature, balanced mode and bass mode. The sound engineers at Oppo tuned the balanced mode incredibly well with tight beats, crisp vocals, clyster clear highs(treble) and excellent instrument separation. It may be the only wireless earphone that can give immense satisfaction to audiophiles under 3000 rupees. It is an excellent option for analytical listening too.
In the Bass Mode, you get excessive bass at the cost of overshadowed highs. But I would say it is still not overpowered like some boat earphones out there. I also felt we get some hollow/echo effect in the bass mode. In short, I don’t like the bass mode, maybe because I am totally into balanced sound signatures. According to fellow tech reviewers, the OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z Bass Edition will be a better pick for bass heads.
The Oppo Enco M31 comes with a 9.2mm dynamic driver with a frequency response of 20Hz to 40KHz. It is a Hi-Res wireless audio-certified earphone, and it supports the LDAC codec along with a typical SBC and AAC codec. For folks who don’t know what LDAC is, it is a proprietary audio coding technology developed by Sony, allowing high-resolution streaming audio over Bluetooth connections at up to 990 kbps at 32 bit/96 kHz.
I can notice the sound quality difference in AAC and LDAC, even in low-quality sources. The OPPO Enco M31 will automatically choose the LDAC codec over AAC or SBC in supported devices. The only drawback of LDAC is it has a severe impact on battery life. But I always opt for LDAC over low battery life because I think it is worth it. But you can always switch back to AAC or SBC in Bluetooth settings. I think Enco M31 is the only LDAC supported earphone in this price segment.
Battery life and charging
It is the one area where Oppo Enco M31 falls against its major competitors. It only provides nearly half of the OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z(also to Bullets Wireless Z Bass edition) battery life.
According to Oppo, Enco M31 will give up to 12 hours of music playback in AAC or SBC and up to 8 hours in LDAC. I have consistently got around 6-7 hours in LDAC and got around 11 hours in AAC (I have tested it in AAC for only a single charge cycle, I am obsessed with LDAC🙂). For my use cases, 6-7 hours is enough. But when compared to the competition, it lacks in that department. But I think it is enough to get you through a few days of music listening and video watching.
They take about an hour to get charged. But for quick backup, it supports fast charging, and with 10 minutes of charging, you get up to 3 hours of music playback in standard quality, Not bad at all.
Audio Latency in Gaming
I am not a serious gamer. I only play PES mobile, and its gameplay doesn’t have any effect on audio latency. But to test the audio latency, I played COD for some minutes, and I think you will notice some lag between images and voice while playing games. Also, note that it doesn’t offer any low latency mode with any smartphone. Compared to this OnePlus neckband earphone offers a low latency mode with OnePlus devices.
I didn’t face any issues with call quality, and the other party never complained about any difficulty in hearing my voice in my long-time use case. But when I asked about it, they said, they could feel that I am talking through a Bluetooth device, but the voice is very clear.
Oppo Enco M31’s connectivity is very solid, and I have a few drops in connection in the entire month of use. Enco M31 comes with Bluetooth 5.0 and offers a range of about 10 meters. It will stay connected as long as there aren’t too many walls coming in between yourself and the music source.
Also, I am not sure sticking the earbuds together to switch them off is the best method. if they come apart, you will find the sound on the last connected device(or phone speaker) disappearing as it gets transferred to the now active Enco M31. It happened a lot with my use, especially when it is placed in my jeans pocket. I think the good old-fashioned power button is the right way to go.
- Excellent sound quality
- Balanced Sound Signature
- Bass boost option
- Super Comfortable
- Lightweight and sleek design
- Dust and water resistance
- Incredibly well-priced
- Mediocre battery life
- Audio latency while gaming
- No carrying case
Oppo Enco M31 is the best sounding wireless earphone that I have ever heard, not just in the 2000 rupees price segment, but also among those that cost two to three times. It is an absolute steal for every penny, and I would say it is too underpriced. It might not have the OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z’s battery life, but it more than compensates with the quality of sound it delivers.
If I have to be more precise, if you are into the balanced sound signature, or an audiophile looking for a pair of wireless earphones on a tight budget and value sound quality above everything else, then the Oppo Enco M31 at Rs 1,999, is a stellar deal for you. It will be my No.1 recommendation for such consumers even if it is priced at Rs. 3,999.
If you are not sure about what kind of music you like, whether it is balanced or bass-heavy (basshead) sound signature. Still, my primary recommendation would be Enco M31 because it offers the freedom to switch between both the sound signatures in just a double press.
But if you are a basshead, you should not pick this and go for the OnePlus Bullets wireless Z Bass Edition, because it offers much better battery life and gives you more bass.
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