Redmi SonicBass wireless headphones review
Xiaomi’s strategy means that the company now has two key brands under its main banner, Mi and Redmi, with all of its products classified into either family. The Redmi brand is positioned as the more reasonably priced of the two, while the Mi-brand products are a bit more premium. In fact, the company’s most affordable smartphones and audio products carry the Redmi badge. This includes a recently released audio product, the Redmi SonicBass wireless headphones, priced at Rs. 1,299.
After the launch of Redmi S Headphones and other products at competitive prices, Redmi SonicBass wireless headphones They promise a more traditional style of headphones at a popular price point, along with the bass-focused sonic signature that many buyers seem to prefer. What do these affordable wireless headphones sound like? Find out in our review.
Simple and functional design in the Redmi SonicBass wireless headphones
There really isn’t much in the Redmi SonicBass wireless headphones when it comes to design and style; This is as simple and basic as it sounds. The neckband is flexible in the back, with larger solid ends that hold the Bluetooth hardware, battery, and audio circuitry. The far left is etched with a barely noticeable Redmi logo, while the right has the power and volume buttons, the Micro-USB port for charging, and the indicator light.
You can buy the Redmi SonicBass headphones in one of two colors, black or blue-black. While the black was a bit more muted and understated, the two-tone blue-black option might appeal to buyers looking for something colorful. Although the headphones are comfortable to wear, the cables running between them and the neckband tend to get in the way and rub against my face, generating a fair amount of cable noise.
The main button plays and pauses music, or answers and ends calls with a single press. You can invoke the default voice assistant on your smartphone with a double tap. A long press turns the headphones on or off, and holding it down for a few more seconds when the Redmi SonicBass is turned on puts it into pairing mode. The headphones stick together magnetically, but this does not control power as in other headphones; It is just to prevent the cables from tangling when not in use.
The sales package includes a total of three pairs of silicone ear cushions (the medium ones are pre-installed in the headphones), but there is no Micro-USB cable for charging. Even at this price, skipping a charging cable is unfortunate; not everyone necessarily has one at home, especially those who buy affordable entry-level products.
The Redmi SonicBass wireless headphones use Bluetooth 5, with support only for the Bluetooth SBC codec. AAC support would have been nice here, but I won’t go so far as to say it’s a shortcoming, given the price. Interestingly, there is multipoint connectivity, allowing you to pair the Redmi SonicBass headphones with two source devices simultaneously. This worked well and I was able to quickly switch between my smartphone and my laptop while wearing the headphones.
Battery life is decent enough for the price, with the Redmi SonicBass wireless earbuds running for about 10 hours per charge, and taking around two hours to fully charge with a wall adapter. The headset is IPX4 rated for water resistance and should be able to withstand sweat and light splashes of water.
Powerful bass in Redmi SonicBass wireless headphones
The product name itself is a great gift in terms of what to expect when it comes to sound, and indeed, there are no surprises here. The sonic signature is tuned to hit the low frequencies, and I was able to pick up on this bass bias with almost everything I heard using the Redmi SonicBass headphones. However, it’s worth noting that there’s not much else to the sound other than this bass punch; otherwise this is a completely normal sounding pair of headphones.
However, that’s not a bad thing, as Redmi SonicBass has all the basics in place. You get a comfortable sound that is not tiring or strange in any way. This makes for a suitable listening experience that aligns very well with the price and functionality of the headphones.
The Redmi SonicBass is an inexpensive wireless headset and only supports the SBC Bluetooth codec, so the quality of the source audio had very little impact on the listening experience. Whether you listen to high-resolution Tidal Masters streams or the occasional low-bitrate tracks from YouTube Music, there wasn’t much of a difference in how the headphones sounded.
Listening to The Stranglers’ beautiful Golden Brown via streaming services confirmed this, but it didn’t really detract from the sound quality too much given the price of the Redmi SonicBass headphones. The lows were expected to be more pronounced, with the drums on the track reverberating remarkably loud. The mid and high ranges sounded a bit dull compared to the lows, but they weren’t unreasonably dominated; the headphones produced a secure sound signature that was never offensive or cloudy.
Barry White’s Never Never Gonna Give You Up sounded equally interesting, with hints of directionality throughout. Some of the softer elements on the track felt spacious, but the bass bias tended to restrict the soundstage. There wasn’t much in the way of good visuals or detail, with the Redmi SonicBass earbuds’ fit focused on keeping things clean and comfortable, rather than trying too hard to deliver more and fall short.
Although not exceptional for voice calls, the Redmi SonicBass wireless headphones are suitable for this purpose. Ambient noise cancellation is present and permanently active during calls, but it didn’t seem to make a big difference in improving voice quality for people on the other end of the call, while they sounded a bit loud and low to me. The headphones were good enough for occasional calls and could be used reasonably well up to 12 feet from the source device.
Often times the biggest mistake manufacturers of affordable audio products make is trying to offer too much and getting the basics wrong in the process. Xiaomi has not done that with Redmi SonicBass; This is a fully functional pair of wireless headphones that gets the basics right. The fit and design are doable, the powerful bass will appeal to many listeners, and the multi-point connectivity makes the headphones much more useful. Overall, there are only a couple of minor drawbacks.
Although it is priced at Rs. Officially 1,299, Redmi SonicBass wireless headphones are available for Rs. 999 at the time of writing this review, easily making it the best pair of wireless headphones you can buy for less than Rs. 1,000, and it’s still a good deal even for Rs. 300 more.
Price: Rs. 1,299
- Magnetic headphone attachment
- IPX4 water resistance
- Multipoint connectivity
- Strong bass, comfortable sonic signature
- Annoying cables, a lot of cable noise
- No charging cable in the box
Ratings (out of 5)
- Design / comfort: 3.5
- Audio quality: 3
- Battery life: 3.5
- Value for money: 4.5
- Overall: 3.5