The world of premium wireless earbuds is dominated by Apple and Samsung but Xiaomi is not willing to back down and its latest weapon is the Buds 3T Pro. Xiaomi’s newest active noise-canceling earbuds are tasked with battling it out with the likes of the AirPods Pro and Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro and come as a direct successor to last year’s Xiaomi Flipbuds Pro.
You get premium features such as ANC, wireless charging, head tracking, multi-point pairing and a sleek matte design. How good are they and should you consider these as your next pair of earbuds?
Xiaomi Buds 3T Pro are an in-ear type of wireless earbuds but they have their own distinct look. The buds feature a predominantly matte finish which is nice to the touch and fends off fingerprints quite well. You also get glossy bits that span across the stems. The entirety of the case features the same matte finish which adds grip and is less prone to scratches.
Our review unit comes in the Carbon Black color which has a dark blue tint to it and shifts color. The buds sit upright in the case and Xiaomi made them especially light with each earbud weighing 4.9 grams while the case and buds come combine to 51 grams.
Buds 3T Pro’s lightweight profile and ergonomic build can be considered a key selling point as these are some of the most comfortable earbuds I’ve tested in recent memory. I managed to get through several hour-long listening sessions without feeling any strain on my ears whatsoever which is not the case with just about every other pair of earbuds I’ve tested.
Controlling the playback and ANC modes on the buds happens via the pressure-sensitive sensors located at the bottom of the stems. You have to squeeze the stems here instead of the single tap touch controls seen on other earbud models. I’m personally a fan of the latter type of controls but squeeze controls work just fine too. There’s no way to control playback volume though which is not ideal.
The case offers a premium build with a firm snap when closing the lid. The lid itself can support the entirety of the case when open which is a well-established mark of premium earbuds. The case dimensions are 65 x 48 x 24mm and it comfortably fits in most jeans’ small pockets. It brings a USB-C charging port and pairing button on the bottom and they also support wireless top-ups.
The whole package is IP55 dust and waterproof. You get three microphones on each bud with one reserved for voice pickup while the other two handle noise cancellation. The retail package includes spare ear-caps in small, medium and large sizes as well as a Type-C USB cable for charging.
Xiaomi’s Buds 3T Pro are positioned in the premium segment with their ANC claiming to block out up to 40dB of noise around you. In reality, the headphones manage to block out some lighter noises but it’s far from the level of the class-leading Sony WF-1000XM4 and Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro. Noise-canceling is mild to say the least and the presence of strong winds around you will quickly make the feature useless especially if you’re on a call. Toggling the Noise cancellation mode on results in an instantaneous “underwater” hissing effect which is usually seen on lower-end earphones.
The buds also support the LHDC 4.0 (Low Latency High-Definition Audio Codec) which can deliver a bitrate of up to 900 kbps as long as your phone also supports the codec that is. Connecting the Buds 3T Pro is a straightforward affair – you open up your device’s Bluetooth menu and search for the buds with the case lid open while holding their pairing button on for a few seconds.
Newer Xiaomi phones get the benefit of a built-in earbud app of sorts with controls for toggling between the transparency and noise cancellation modes as well as gesture control remapping and battery status indicators for the buds and their case. I’ve said this in the past and am saying it again – it’s about time Xiaomi brings a companion app for non-Xiaomi phones.
Buds 3T Pro come with Bluetooth 5.2 and Xiaomi claims their connection can hold up at up to 10-meter distances. They support the SBC and AAC codecs as well as multi-device connection with two Android, iOS or Windows devices simultaneously. This feature worked reasonably well when connected to a phone and laptop with audio switching between the two devices taking a few seconds to catch up.
Another standard feature supported on almost all recent earbuds is in-ear detection which pauses media as soon as you take the buds out of your ears and it works flawlessly here. Xiaomi is also boasting head tracking and spatial audio features though they only work on a select few recent Xiaomi phones and are more on the gimmicks than actual features.
Sound quality and fit
Buds 3T Pro come with 10mm dual-magnet dynamic drivers with sectional DLC coating. They sound good, covering a detailed sound spectrum without over-pronouncing one aspect in favor of another. Bass is present but not overpowering and vocals come in clear. There’s no distortion at higher volume ranges which is good since Buds 3T pro are not the loudest earphones around.
Competitors like Samsung’s Buds Pro get much louder at similar volume levels and I’ve also noticed more bass and better sound isolation from Samsung and Sony’s premium earbuds.
Xiaomi Buds 3T Pro come with a noticeably more balanced sound profile compared to the Redmi Buds 3 Pro and an older pair of Samsung Galaxy Buds+ I had laying around. Xiaomi still doesn’t offer any sound tweaking on its earphones even if they are paired with one of the brand’s smartphones.
Call quality is average and a clear step below other premium earbuds from Apple and Samsung. During calls, people on the other end reported clear reception of my voice though plenty of background hissing noise even while I was indoors in a relatively quiet environment.
Xiaomi claims 6-hours of battery from the Buds 3T Pro while the case extends that to 24-hours. In our testing we found these claims to be accurate with the Buds 3T Pro lasted for three weeks of moderate usage before needing a top-up.
A full charge takes 70 minutes and you also get wireless charging on any Qi charger or phone that supports reverse wireless top-ups.
Buds 3T Pro are good sounding pair of wireless earbuds offering a well-crafted build and arguably the most comfortable fit out of any in-ear buds I’ve tested. They don’t disappoint in terms of sound output with a balanced profile that doesn’t go heavy on the bass.
Apple and Samsung earphones are louder and offer objectively better sound output but the Buds 3T Pro feel better in my ears compared to the AirPods Pro or Galaxy Buds Pro, especially during longer listening sessions.
The ANC feature on the Buds 3T Pro works though the earphones fail to create a strong enough seal which compromises its potency. Battery life is decent and call quality is not a strong point but gets the job done.
If you use a Xiaomi phone then these earphones are the best option in terms of supported features and are a clear step up from past iterations in Xiaomi’s TWS lineup.