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Boat Airdopes 211: Truly wireless but not truly great

The world market for true wireless earphones has been growing at a staggering pace lately. Just in the first quarter of this year, it touched 17.5 million units according to the market research firm, Counterpoint. The US and Europe have been the areas of maximum growth but the market for this category has been increasing in India too. You can see how inexpensive earphones are being introduced into the market breaching the ₹2,000 mark. The Airdopes 211 from Boat, which has become quite well known in the country for its affordable audio, are for ₹2,499. These aren’t the company’s only true wireless earbuds however. We take a look at them as an example of a category of products that were so hard to find about a year ago and now are gradually replacing wired headphones for casual listeners.

The Airdopes 211 come in their submarine-shaped plastic case. This is in fact an all-plastic product of that glossy type that unfortunately ends up looking cheap no matter what. The earbuds themselves are plastic too, of course, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t comfortable to wear. They’re surprisingly so, even for a long time. They’re not fussy about how they fit as is the case with some clumpy wireless earbuds. With the extra tips provided, you should be able to find the right fit easily, getting the right seal to close off a bit of the outside noise and hear the music to its fullest.

If you do pick up these earphones or any of its close cousins, don’t throw away the manual. It’s there that you’ll find instructions on how to pair these. They could appear in your Bluetooth list as two separate devices, so you have to follow the instructions on the sequence to get them paired properly. This is a common pattern with very cheap earbuds and one that’s thoroughly dislikable. I also dislike controls being on the earbuds but that’s something that seems to be here to stay for a while so one will have to put up with that peculiar feeling of thumping something into one’s ear when tapping the on-bud controls.

Everything, however, would be quite forgivable if the sound quality was wonderful but unfortunately it isn’t. The music has a hollow sound, which falls well short of being full-bodied and wholesome sounding. The bass is not rounded off and doesn’t sound satisfying. The high frequency sounds are sharp but not in a nice clear way. Being a music lover, I wouldn’t opt for the sort of sound signature that comes on the Airdopes 211, but if one is not fussy and on a budget, they might be worth considering, or rather, they would be if there were no alternatives.

Price: ₹2,499

Pros: Light and comfortable, affordable, good fit possible

Cons: Cheap and plastic build, music quality is just acceptable

Source: The Hindu