Buds 3T Pro true wireless earphones test: a pleasant surprise from Xiaomi

user experience

As the AirPods With the iPhone, the Buds 3T Pro reserve many of their functions for Xiaomi terminals. Therefore, the user experience is highly dependent on the operating system of the smartphone connected to these headphones.

The Buds 3T Pro do not switch to mono when used individually. Therefore, there is a loss of half the stereo signal in this configuration.

For non-Xiaomi terminals, the experience is incomplete, but decent. Communication is of course via Bluetooth (SBC, AAC codecs) and the Buds 3T Pro have a multipoint feature that allows the earbuds to connect to two devices simultaneously. In addition, the Buds 3T Pro are controlled by a pressure sensor located on its stem, easily recognizable by touch and that allows you to execute various commands (identical in each earphone) such as navigating between tracks, pausing, resuming playback or changing one. listening mode to another. Each action on these sensors is accompanied by a (too) slight “beep” that gives the impression of clicking a button. Unfortunately, this closes the panel of features available for non-Xiaomi handsets.

Capturing settings on a Xiaomi 12 Pro. Settings are saved to the headset, allowing you to take advantage of certain options on non-Xiaomi smartphones by going upstream through a Xiaomi phone.  Practice.

Capturing settings on a Xiaomi 12 Pro. Settings are saved to the headset, allowing you to take advantage of certain options on non-Xiaomi smartphones by going upstream through a Xiaomi phone. Practice.

Happy Xiaomi smartphone owners benefit from many more settings and customization options. These are built right into the Bluetooth panel of the phone’s Settings app. Thus, it is possible to juggle between the different active noise reduction modes, update the headphones, activate the tracking of head movements, activate the proximity sensor or modify the pressure sensor controls, among others. There is also various information such as the remaining battery level or the Bluetooth codec used (SBC, AAC or LHDC in this case). Recent Xiaomi phones show a connection window when you open the Buds 3T Pro case to facilitate the pairing procedure.

For now, Xiaomi has accustomed us to headphone models true wireless Barely passable in terms of audio quality. With these Buds 3T Pro, the Chinese brand has taken a real step forward, since although we are still a step behind the best, it surprises with its precision and good sense in its sound reproduction.

Frequency response measurement (normalized to 94 dB SPL at 1 kHz).  With active noise reduction (purple), without active noise reduction (black).

Frequency response measurement (normalized to 94 dB SPL at 1 kHz). With active noise reduction (purple), without active noise reduction (black).

One of the main strengths of these headphones is, in fact, the faithful reproduction of timbres. The membranes are incredibly responsive for midrange reproduction and feel completely comfortable in bass-heavy mixes, so it’s easy to pick out each instrument very well, with each frequency band falling into place. The Buds 3T Pro are, however, rather shy when it comes to bass reproduction, which has the particular effect of giving them a very “dry” sound, with a certain lack of depth and foundation, clearly audible on kick drums or bass drums. . for example.

Membrane reactivity measurement: square waves at 50 Hz.

Membrane reactivity measurement: square waves at 50 Hz.

Measurement of membrane reactivity: square waves at 500 Hz.

Measurement of membrane reactivity: square waves at 500 Hz.

This removal of the bass also causes a certain imbalance in the sound signature in favor of the mid-highs. The presence zone (around 4 kHz) is a little too prominent, which has the effect of reinforcing the bright, lively aspect of the sound reproduction, and directly affects certain instruments such as cymbals, brass, or some overdriven guitars. This being the most sensitive area for the human ear, such behavior can be quite taxing at a comfortable listening volume.

Like the bass, the treble is also not very demonstrative and would have deserved a more generous extension this time so that we can fully capture certain fine details and room effects. In addition, we experienced some rather strange crosstalk issues: certain elements, normally located on the far left of the stereo field (and reproduced almost exclusively by the left earphone), were found to be much more audible on the right channel than they shouldn’t be. .

Harmonic distortion measurement (normalized to 94 dB SPL at 1 kHz).  With active noise reduction (purple), without active noise reduction (red).  The Buds 3T Pro exhibit extraordinarily low harmonic distortion.

Harmonic distortion measurement (normalized to 94 dB SPL at 1 kHz). With active noise reduction (purple), without active noise reduction (red). The Buds 3T Pro exhibit extraordinarily low harmonic distortion.

The great novelty of these Buds 3T Pro is compatibility with 3D audio formats such as Dolby Atmos and 360 Reality Audio. Xiaomi’s headphones would work quite well thanks in particular to the beautiful width and depth of the soundstage they offer. Unfortunately, the automatic tracking of head movements is completely unusable, both because it causes a deterioration in the quality of the sound signal and because the detection suffers from a very important delay of about 1 s.

active noise reduction

Xiaomi terminal owners are once again privileged here. Chinese brand phone users have access to four active noise reduction modes: Low, Balanced and Deep modes level attenuation power, while Adaptive mode automatically switches between the other three modes depending on the power of noises. surrounding. Hearing surrounding sounds also benefits from two modes: a classic Transparent mode and one called Enhance Voice Performance, which highlights the mids to take them off as best as possible. Non-Xiaomi smartphones have out-of-the-box access to a single active noise reduction mode (Deep) and a single mode for listening to surrounding sounds (Clear). However, it is possible to modify the accessible modes on non-Xiaomi smartphones by going up through… a Xiaomi phone! Indeed, we remind you that the Buds 3T Pro keep your settings in memory.

Due to its presence detector, we were unable to perform our usual insulation measurements with our dummy. However, this does not prevent us from giving you our analysis. In terms of pure performance, the attenuation of the lower frequencies is very correct, although it does not reach the performance of the best students in this area (Sony WF-1000XM4, Devialet Gemini…). The roar of a train or automobile engine is adequately reduced, as are ventilation noises. Headphones, however, have a much harder time reducing mids and highs. You won’t miss any conversation around you. Non-static noises, such as tapping on a keyboard or screeching rails, are also very slightly attenuated.

The performance of the surround sound listening modes is correct, but nothing more.

The performance of the surround sound listening modes is correct, but nothing more.

The activation of active noise reduction also causes a kind of sound pressure that can be annoying for people sensitive to this type of sensation. Also note that the Buds 3T Pro incorporate a wind noise attenuation system that is automatically activated, but cannot be deactivated. Although it only activates in the presence of wind and admirably mitigates its consequences, this system has the secondary effect of reducing the effectiveness of active noise reduction. The fact that it is quite sensitive is also a problem, especially when you are on the move, because in this case the behavior of the noise reduction algorithm changes quite frequently, which can quickly become annoying. We would have liked to have the ability to disable it to our liking.

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