Xiaomi Air 2 TWS headphones with support for Bluetooth 5.0, the LDHC codec and improved autonomy were presented. The progress compared to the first generation is significant.
It is unclear why the name system of the line was changed – the first model was called AirDots Pro, considered simply Air 2. I assume that this happened as a result of some legal conflicts over the name coincidence with Apple’s AirPods Pro.
Interestingly, the two companies are moving in different directions – if Apple AirPods are in-ear, then AirPods Pro is in-ear channel headphones. The first model, the Xiaomi model, was opposite the channel model, and the second one, which we are considering, was the inserts.
Contents of delivery
The packaging is inexpensive, from thick cardboard, crumpled along the way. Inside, on a cardboard backing, both headphones and a charging case are fixed with tape, there is also a Type-C charging cable, the instruction.
Appearance and features
The case for storing / carrying and charging the headphones is made of matte white plastic, measures 25 x 49 x 49 mm (60 cm³) and is 20% larger than the Apple AirPods case (50 cm³).
On the bottom there is a Type C connector, on the right side – the pairing button, on the front – a multi-function indicator.
The lid is confidently held by a magnet, the earphone itself in its sockets is also attracted to the charging connectors by magnets. The shape of the headphones is very similar to Apple’s. The geometry of the “insert” part is almost completely copied. Changed the location and shape of the speaker grids and infrared sensor. The “leg” of each earphone has an oval shape in the cut, which differs from the apple version.
On top of each leg there is a microphone hole, which is responsible for noise reduction during a conversation. Below – a conversational microphone and charging contacts.
The designations L and R are weakly distinguishable, but this is not critical, because inserting the left earphone into the right ear (and vice versa) will not work.
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Speaker: 14.2 mm, dynamic composite diaphragm and dynamic driver
Profiles: HFP, A2DP, HSP, AVRCP
Frequency range: 20-20 000 Hz
Codecs: SBC, AAC, LDHC
Use as a headset: yes
Listening time: up to 4 hours
Impedance: 32 Ohm
Noise reduction: ENC, only during a conversation
Battery life in the case: up to 14 hours
Charging connector: Type-C
Degree of protection against moisture: IPX4
Charging case: plastic
Weight: 4,5 g (one earphone), 52 g (earphones with a case)
Connect to sound sources
The connection is elementary – you need to hold down the button on the case for a few seconds – and the indicator on the case will flash, indicating that the headphones are ready for pairing. It remains to find and select the name of the headphones in the list of Bluetooth devices on the sound source, and then finally confirm the pairing by pressing the button on the case. After pairing, the headphones are automatically connected after opening the lid and removing it from the case. Pairing verified on Xiaomi Mi9, Android TV box and PC.
By default, the smartphone is connected using the AAC codec, you can manually switch to the SBC codec. The high-quality LHDC codec (900 kbps) is currently available only on Huawei smartphones and on some older Xiaomi models. With the advent of new firmware, you can expect the appearance of the LHDC codec in other Xiaomi models.
Management and firmware
Headphones are controlled using double tapes on the left or right headphones. By default, a voice assistant is set on the left earphone, and pause / play on the right earphone. A QR code is printed on the packaging box, with which you can install the Mi Ai program on your smartphone, which allows you to reassign the tap functions. The choice is small, there are two more functions available – “next track” and “previous track”. The program is entirely in Chinese, but no one has canceled the trial and error method.
If an obsolete firmware is installed on the headphones, the same program will itself offer to update. I don’t provide detailed instructions; those who wish will find them on the entire well-known forum in a profile topic.
If you remove at least one earphone from your ear, playback pauses and continues when the earphone returns to its place. Infrared sensors are responsible for this.
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It should be noted right away that the headphones came to me with the old firmware. The sound was quite quiet, and the low frequencies “wheezed”. A firmware update was made, and these shortcomings were eliminated. A miracle did not happen, the maximum volume rose by 20-30 percent, but the bass ceased to upset.
Very briefly and subjectively about the reproduction of musical compositions.
The sound of Xiaomi Air 2 was evaluated both separately and in comparison with the TWS-earphones QCY T5 Pro, Bluedio Hi and wired (Type-C) Xiaomi ANC. I used the familiar test selection of tracks: Monument – Röyksopp Cloudspotting – Orsen Tout est bleu – Jean Michel Jarre Speed King – Deep Purple Jazz Music (De Capo Edit) – De-Phazz & STÜBAphilharmonie
Xiaomi Air 2 TWS Headphones is definitely not for club music – the low frequencies are predictably cut, so the “pumping” rhythm looks very pale. Here, the channel “plugs” QCY and Bluedio definitely win, the sound of the Air 2 is similar to Xiaomi’s wired channel. This does not mean that there are no low frequencies at all, they just sound polite and non-defiant.
In all other genres, Air 2 has a clear advantage: The faithful and non-irritating transmission of medium frequencies and voice in Zharr’s electronics, the distinctiveness of background sounds. The richness of vocals and the brightness of guitars and keyboards in Deep Purple. Distinguishability of all instruments in De-Phazz. And finally – the depth, volume, detail of the Second Concert of Rachmaninov, “to shiver.”
Once again – this is a subjective opinion, but please do not pay attention to the colorful phrases.
As a result, the sound of the headphones was extremely pleasant. Of course, they won’t work for lovers of “swinging basses,” because With the equalizer, you can raise the lower frequencies by just a few decibels without the appearance of annoying artifacts.
In other music genres, the sound is extremely decent.
The nuances of using
The duration of a single charge is about 4 hours when listening at 75-80% of maximum volume. The charging case allows you to charge the headphones 2.5 more times, so even in the farthest flight you will not be left without music. Although, I think, the hum of engines will be strongly mixed in the airplane, and channel headphones or over-ear are preferable there. About the disconnection and stuttering. Here Bluetooth 5.0 makes itself felt – compared to the QCY T5 Pro, these troubles are much less. On a walk alley with mercury-mounted lamps installed, where QCY stuttered several times per minute, Air 2 never lost touch. It was a little harder near the tram line while passing the tram, but even here Air 2 only interrupted for a split second, and QCY just went crazy.
Regarding the reliability of placement in the ears. I can’t say that the headphones tightly and confidently “sit” in my ears. With sharp turns and tilts of the head have to be corrected. Frustrated by this circumstance, I asked home and some employees to test the fit of the headphones. It turned out that only me had the problem – everyone who took part in the impromptu study had headphones tightly and reliably.
Voice communication. Everything is fine here, ENC noise reduction during a conversation on the street really works, the audibility of both the interlocutor and the interlocutor is excellent.