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Xiaomi Buds 3T Pro Review: TWS Wireless Headphones With ANC

PROSCONS
Nice design & good wearing comfortNot the loudest earphones around
Good controls & proximity sensorLimited software support
Detailed and balanced soundFussy Transparency mode
6 hour battery life, 24 hours with case
Strong ANC
IP55 certificate

Xiaomi Buds 3T Pro are top-tier TWS headphones designed to compete with the Galaxy Buds Pro and AirPods Pro. Buds 3T Pro can be considered a continuation of last year’s Flipbuds Pro, while they are cheaper than competitors.

The Xiaomi Buds 3T Pro comes with a new design and packaging but is still inspired by headphones with an apple logo. But Xiaomi wouldn’t be Xiaomi if you didn’t also adopt some features. The latest headphones offer spatial audio output and rely on LHDC 4.0

There are several important features here, such as active noise cancellation, wireless charging, head tracking, and multiple connectivity. As often with Xiaomi TWS headphones, some functions are available only to owners of the company’s smartphone.

Xiaomi Buds 3T Pro has a new design, including the packaging. Instead of the slim blue box with embossed waves, the headphones are now presented more like a drop of water, leading to embossing on the packaging and even an interesting stencil on the inside. And while the features aren’t phenomenal, there is a quality upgrade in the earplugs and how they are stored.

  • Charging station (480 mAh)
  • 4 pairs of attachments (S, M, L, XL)
  • Multilingual operating instructions (including German, English, Spanish, and French)
  • USB Type-C to USB-A cable (30 cm)

Design

The Xiaomi Buds 3T Pro earbuds are an in-ear TWS model with an attractive design.

The case has a matte finish that is pleasant to the hands and protects it from smudges or fingerprints. The charging case does not slip in the hands, and it also does not leave scratches.

There are two colors to choose from: black and white, the first one looks especially stylish. The earphones are light: each weighs 4.9 grams, and the case with the earphones weighs 51 grams. Due to its lightweight, Buds 3T Pro is one of the most comfortable TWS headphones in its category. You can listen to music in them for hours, and your ears will not get tired.

The Buds 3T Pro charging case is made in the form of a capsule with a top-opening lid.

The dimensions of the case are 65×48×24 mm, so it fits easily into the pocket of any jeans. There is a USB-C charging connector and a pairing key with an audio source on the bottom side. The build quality of the case is excellent; it even has IP55 water and dust resistance.

Each earpiece has three microphones: one for calls and two for noise reduction. The Buds 3T Pro comes with three earbuds in different sizes and a USB-C cable for charging.

Xiaomi says goodbye to the pure white image and goes gloomy. Well, at least in one of the two selectable color variants. Of course, white remains an option.

Nevertheless, the path no longer only leads in the direction of Apple design but is aimed at its interpretation. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t continue to learn a few tricks. Take touch controls, for example. Instead of relying on simple touch commands, force touch is used again by gently squeezing a raised point on the stick.

A reflective plastic element now runs on the outside, which also houses the secondary microphone. The charging contacts at the end of the handle are now silver, and the primary microphone hole is slightly larger. However, this time there is no large grid element on the outside, as with Apple AirPods Pro.

The proximity sensor is not visible from the outside, but is located below an aluminum element on the inside of the buds. The loudspeaker output is also unusual. Instead of being round or oval, it is vaguely reminiscent of a square tablet. It is also very large at 6 x 7 mm, which may lead to problems with third-party plugs. Although the output is protected by an aluminum grille that seems solid, there is another coarser grille. It is in the attached attachments and consists of a thin layer of rubber with a few holes.

The charging station is a little less spectacular, but there is still something to see. First off, the station is now wider, 64mmIt is 49 mm high and 23 mm thick. Of course, there is a button at the station again. But Xiaomi has finally learned. The button on the bottom right next to the aluminum reinforced USB Type-C port is only necessary for resetting. When opening, the earbuds are found without further action.

The material is also a bit higher quality than the old buds. At least the black version looks good with its matte, slightly roughened surface. The single status LED on the front has also remained. However, it is no longer under the plastic and can also be seen in the deactivated state.

On the other hand, the Xiaomi Buds 3T Pro does without an aluminum hinge. However, this does not detract from the mechanism. The magnets keep the lid closed with a lot of resistance; the opening movement is quite gentle before the lid snaps into place again magnetically at the maximum opening angle.

Xiaomi leaves enough space to insert and remove the earbuds conveniently. But even if the fingers have a lot of space to act and grip, there is little room for additional plugs made of molded foam. One problem is that the included earplugs are rather flat, but the molded foam earplugs are quite high. The only thing that helps here is trying, but most of them don’t fit into the station while plugging them into the earbuds.

As usual with Xiaomi, the station’s processing and the earbuds are flawless. There are no gaps, and the material transitions are cleanly manufactured. In addition, the slightly roughened plastic of the Xiaomi Buds 3T Pro feels great in hand.

Comfort

We now know the chopstick design and the associated advantages of wearing comfort. In the case of the Buds 3T Pro, not many changes. They are easy to wear and stay in the ear with the right plugs. Although they are certainly not for small ears, the size is quite manageable.

As far as the plugs are concerned, you should pay special attention to making sure they fit. The pre-assembled ones weren’t the right choice for me. Or you can use molded foam plugs, but these usually do not fit into the charging box.

The Xiaomi Buds 3T Pro are felt to be among the heavier representatives of their guild and still only weigh 5 grams. The station is also in the normal weight range with a solid 40 grams. The earbuds look good in your pocket thanks to their shape and size, and aren’t particularly noticeable there.

Xiaomi has also thought about water protection and even goes one step further. Therefore, the Buds 3T Pro not only supports IPX5 but even IP55. In addition to water, the earbuds are also dustproof.

Connectivity

There are Force Sensor Area panels on the underside of each “leg” of the Xiaomi Buds 3T Pro.

TWS headphones are controlled through touch panels. They need to be compressed, like on AirPods Pro, which is not very convenient. The headphones will move in the ears with each action, so this method takes some getting used to. Like on Redmi Pro 3 Buds, regular touchpads are more convenient for me.

The Buds 3T Pro also has proximity sensors – as soon as you remove the headphones from your ears, playback will stop. To continue, put the headphones back in.

The headset supports the LHDC 4.0 codec, providing bit rates of 900 kbps. There are also SBC and AAC, with simultaneous connections to two devices.

The connection is simple – you need to open the case, hold down the pairing button for a few seconds and select Buds 3T Pro in the Bluetooth menu of your smartphone. Bluetooth 5.2 is used for communication; the operating range is 10 meters.

In addition, Xiaomi has added some advanced technologies such as head tracking and spatial audio. However, they only work on the company’s new smartphones, and there is little real benefit from the functions.

In the old versions of Xiaomi headphones, the button on the station was still essential to be able to pair the earbuds. With the Xiaomi Buds 3T Pro, you finally say goodbye to the procedure. There is still a button, but it is only required for resetting or forced pairing.

Pairing: Apart from that, the host device automatically finds the earbuds when you open them. With devices from Xiaomi, they even report directly via a pop-up. It is controlled by force touch. There is a pressure surface on the earbuds handle that is not a button but reacts to pressure. Short signals confirm the entries, and there is no voice output.

  • Press L/R once: Pause/Play
  • Press L/R twice: next track
  • Press L/R three times: previous track
  • Hold L/R for two seconds: ANC On/Off/Transparency
  • Press L/R once when calling: Answer/Hang-up
  • Press L/R twice when calling: Reject

Unfortunately, the default configuration is not complete. Although the settings can be changed in the app, you don’t have complete freedom. However, it is possible to add a volume control as well. However, you can only lower the volume on the right and increase the volume on the left. Switching through the ANC modes cannot be reassigned but can be replaced by the voice assistant.

The distribution is not quite optimal, but at least everything is covered with the app, and you can adjust the settings.

Mi Buds M8 App

There is an app, quite regular in the Google Play Store that leaves nothing desired. It is called Mi Buds M8 and can now handle many Xiaomi Earbuds. This is also the case with the Global version of the Xiaomi Buds 3T Pro.

The app offers the usual overview of the battery status and allows you to switch through the ANC modes, change the touch assignment, control the proximity sensor, a pop-up control, and much more. Depending on the earbud, other functions are, of course, available.

However, the big features of the Buds 3T Pro can only be called up with Xiaomi smartphones, and even then, you need the new generation consisting of the Xiaomi 12 and 12 Pro. The activation of the spatial sound is then added to the settings and the option of activating LHDC in the Bluetooth menu.

Sound

Regardless of the codec, Xiaomi advertises a calibration at the studio level. And then we meet an old friend again. Luca Bignardi, yes, exactly the guy who also puts his hand on the buds at 1More. He’s probably not responsible for the voting, but he thinks the voting is great – wow.

The tuning should aim for clear highs and moderate bass. A somewhat unusual approach, but let’s take a closer look.

Spatial Sound Detection: This either doesn’t work properly, or at least not always. When it works, the volume shifts from one ear to the other when you turn your head.

But can one speak of correct room recognition here? It seems like one side gets quieter and the other louder. In addition, a “reverberation” is placed over the sound, which makes everything appear a bit more spatial but also less clear. Here time shows whether there are errors or whether the technology can no longer do it.

3 microphones per side ensure good sound recordings and ensure that the ANC works properly. The Buds 3T Pro is great for making calls. Thanks to the comfortable seat also for longer periods. Because the noise cancellation works well, it doesn’t pick up a lot of noise.

Your voice is normalized a bit, which makes it seem more monotonous, but that’s no comparison to some of the failures we already had in the test. A phone call can be quite pleasant, and it’s not torture for the person you’re talking to either. The Xiaomi Buds 3T Pro is therefore also suitable for talkative people.

You have to accept slight compromises in terms of range. 15 meters is usually not a problem, but there can occasionally be a brief, slight hissing if there are obstacles in between. But you are on the safe side up to 10 meters.

ANC

ANC works great on the Buds 3T Pro. The sound around you is significantly softened on all levels, with slight weaknesses in the highs. Luckily the mix isn’t altered; you just reduce the outside noise. ANC is available on various levels, including Adaptive. I’ve noticed some fluctuations here. ANC then intervened in leaps and bounds. Updates could also help here, but the basic version works perfectly. Adaptive is not necessary.

Battery

He who searches will find. In the lid of the charging station, printed as small as possible, you can read that the station houses a 480 mAh battery, while the earbuds can each use 38 mAh. A decent size for the charging case but a little below average for the earbuds.

But we have Bluetooth version 5.2 LE, i.e., low energy. Of course, the technology affects the life of the battery. Xiaomi states a confident 6 hours. Up to 24 hours if you include the capacity of the charging station.

For a very long time, we can once again claim that the manufacturer does not exaggerate. At 50% volume and AAC, the Buds 3T Pro runs for almost 6 hours. This is good.

Of course, all features will be deactivated. So no ANC and no tracking of head movement. Nevertheless, you still get 5.5 hours even at 80% volume. Good. If you switch on ANC and the other features, you have to be satisfied with about 30-45 minutes less, so at 80%, you end up with about 4.7-5 hours.

If LHDC is added, one hour can be subtracted from the initial value. You can reach here in about 4.5 hours. That’s still pretty darn strong compared to the competition. Many others do not even reach the values ​​without ANC.

The loading times are also good. Both are within the normal range, with 45-50 minutes for the earbuds and almost 70 minutes for the charging station. Of course, the earbuds have a quick charge function and can be used for 2 hours at 50% volume after 10 minutes. If you want, you can also charge the charging station inductively. But then you have to reckon with twice the charging time.

Conclusion!

Xiaomi was again able to impress us with its earbuds. Of course, many price ranges have been covered in the past, and not all checkboxes can always be fulfilled, but with the Buds 3T Pro, you can’t complain.

They are stuffed with hardware and software features, some of which we are testing for the first time, and they also sound excellent. The bass could be a bit more present, but overall the tuning is top notch and is also advertised in this way.

It is a pity that the features mentioned are mostly only available with Xiaomi 12 and 12 Pro smartphones. Of course, the list of compatible devices will continue to expand in the future, but for the time being, only a few customers will be able to enjoy the full range of functions.

This is also the biggest problem with the earbuds. They’re good, they sound fantastic, even under AAC, but you’re paying for features that many users don’t get to use. And Xiaomi would like 180 USD from you on the manufacturer side. 

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