Chinese smartphone maker Oppo unsurprisingly offers its own versions of wireless headphones. Four models are listed on the brand’s website and we are testing the Enco W51 today. The proposal is interesting since at less than 100 dollars, these in-ear headphones have a total of four microphones dedicated to active noise reduction. While the rest of the features seem very classic with an AirPods-like design and “exceptional sound quality”, these headphones offer IP54 resistance and are compatible with wireless charging.
In short, on paper, the Oppo Enco W51 offers all the characteristics of high-end true wireless, but at a lower price. We have been using these headphones for over a month, and here is our full review.
Oppo Enco W51 Data Sheet :
|Model||Oppo Enco W51|
|Active noise reduction||Yes|
|Autonomy announced||24 hours|
|Voice Assistant||Google Assistant|
A Doubly Inspired, But Successful Design :
Apple AirPods have undoubtedly influenced and still do influence the design of true wireless headphones from many manufacturers. With its Enco W51, Oppo has even managed to combine the famous rod of classic AirPods and the tips of AirPods Pro. The presence of these tips certainly places the Enco W51 in the category of in-ear, but these headphones do not come completely screwed into the ears. Understand that they do not completely block the ear canal. In terms of the sensation provided, they are located between so-called open-fit headphones and in-ear headphones: we do not feel the need to insert them stupidly into the ears, and if the tips are housed at the beginning of the auditory canal, the body of the headphones (between the stem and the tip) remains placed in the shell of the ear. This is a good compromise, and the earpiece stem makes them easy to place.
The design of the headphones is subjectively successful and does not give that impression of a pale Chinese copy. The Enco W51 are even quite upscale, with a nice shiny white plastic coating. Each earpiece has a total of three microphones, two of which are dedicated to active noise reduction. The third is used for calls and is logically placed closest to the mouth, that is, under the rod. The latter is also flat and has two connection pins necessary for storing the headphones in the case. The body of the Enco W51, in addition to having a shape very similar to that of the AirPods Pro, has the other two microphones on board as well as a presence sensor, which is used for the automatic pause of the music when removing the headphones.
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Part of the outer surface is covered with a silver coating. There is no physical button on the headphones, but it is still possible to trigger certain actions by tapping on the external surface: a double press on the left activates the noise reduction, a double press on the right goes to the next music and a triple press (left or right) triggers Google Assistant. Once inserted, this is what the Enco W51s look like in the ears – unsurprisingly they sound like regular AirPods.
In-ear headphones require, you must make sure you have tested the various tips provided to enjoy the best possible support. Four pairs of eartips (different sizes) come in the headphone box. Note in passing the experience offered by Oppo when unboxing. The box is neat and the positioning of the various elements is very well thought out: the pocket which contains the information notices is stamped with a silver “Oppo”, the included charging cable is white like the headphones (which is quite rare to be emphasized) and the various tips are nicely presented. In short, at less than 100 euros, the attention to detail shown by Oppo is very appreciable.
The headphone case is square shaped with rounded edges and opens like a box. The headphones are therefore inserted flat, with the two connection pins that we mentioned above. There is a diode inside the case and one on the back next to the USB-C port. The case is also compatible with wireless charging. Here again, we can only appreciate this option on a product less than 100 dollars. We think especially of the many high-end headphones that do not offer this functionality.
The exterior of the case is stamped with “Oppo” again with a silver effect. Closed, the case gives an impression of solidity, but there is still a slight play in the hinge, which should not be manhandled in the open position. Finally, snags from the “clack” produced by closing the headphone cases will not be seduced by that of the Oppo Enco W51 – it is very discreet.
Comfortable Earphones And Pleasant Active Noise Reduction :
Even if you have to go through the classic Bluetooth menu, pairing the headphones is quick and easy. Note that a quick pairing mode is available with Oppo phones. After this first connection, the headphones automatically find the phone as soon as the case is opened. We did not notice, after a month of testing, any connection problem – there were almost no blackouts. There are no issues with latency and range either.
Pausing music automatically when removing a headset works well, but presence sensors are all too easily fooled by our fingers and often restart music when the headphones are not in use.
Also, we are not won over by the system of controls to activate noise reduction or to change music. Double pressing on the outer surface of the headphones is taken into account 3 times out of 4, which is not enough to provide a good experience. The Enco W51s are sometimes more responsive when you tap on the bottom of the shaft, but it is too unpleasant: this manipulation requires good aim and tends to gradually drop the headphones from the ears. In short, we advise you to tap on the body of the headphones, even if it means having to repeat it once or twice to initiate the desired action. Also, the simple fact of wanting to put the headphones back in our ears was too often misinterpreted and suddenly ended the current call.
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It is also not possible to change the actions triggered and you will then have to use your phone to manage the volume or to return to the previous music. It’s a shame, especially when you know that the Enco W51s are compatible with the HeyMelody application, which allows you to update the headphones, display their battery level and that of the case. That’s all this app has to offer – don’t look for an equalizer or other more advanced features. In addition to the Enco W51, note that this application allows you to manage the Oppo Enco X headphones, but also the OnePlus Buds and OnePlus Z. This is not surprising, since the two brands share certain resources and technologies for their products.
The case is very pleasant to use on a daily basis, since its shape and thickness make it very easily transportable in a jeans pocket. The earphones store flat, making it easier to maintain the area of the housing in contact with the ear tips. The connection pin system works perfectly: it is not necessary to check if the headphones are correctly placed before closing the case. It will still take a hand to quickly remove them from their location – the technique is to slide them by pushing the rod aside.
The Enco W51 are comfortable and don’t look like a plug in your ears, but they will need to be removed a few moments after one to two hours of listening to dispel the usual slight discomfort. The support is excellent for daily use, even for sporting use from time to time – on our side they stayed in place during Freeletics sessions. However, we recommend other models if you are looking for headphones dedicated to purely sports use. We’re thinking here of the Jaybid Vista or Beats Powerbeats Pro, but don’t hesitate to consult our dedicated guide for more references.
Nothing serious, but we’ve noticed that the Enco W51 tend to slip out of place when the jaw is strained a lot. It’s a funny remark, but understand that you shouldn’t hesitate to replace the Enco W51 after having laughed at a good joke, for example.
The passive isolation offered by the Enco W51 is not as important as that of the “real” in-ear headphones which are screwed into the ear canal, and therefore allows you to remain a minimum alert vis-a-vis your environment. – in the street or near the road for example. To go further and try to titillate high-end true wireless, Oppo offers active noise reduction on its Enco W51. Over a year ago when we tested the Xiaomi Mi True Wireless, we wrote that such a feature on headphones under 100 euros was “not famous”, if not completely anecdotal. It has to be said that things have changed since then, since the active noise reduction offered by the Enco W51 was effective enough during our test that we decided to leave it activated.
The Enco W51 are surprisingly good at reducing monotonous noises, such as the motor of a car driving down the street or vacuuming a house. Active noise reduction is also manifested in another everyday situation of traveling by public transport: the background noise caused by the train or the metro is significantly reduced, and even if it is far from being completely eliminated. , it is set back enough to allow you to enjoy your music a little more.
The 35 dB reduction announced by the brand is clearly not achieved, however. In a crowded bus, the noise reduction of the Enco W51 will not do miracles, but will still remain a minimum useful. This feature is also much less effective with higher frequencies. We are thinking here of human voices, on which we all the same feel the work done by the microphones and the algorithms: a few meters from a person, the activation of the ANC mode is felt, but the conversation can still be followed without difficulty. Do not rely on the active noise reduction of the Enco W51 for use in an open plan area.
Remember to deactivate this option when you are in quiet places, unless you want to enjoy the breath caused by the treatment applied to the imperceptible surrounding noise. Finally, sudden noises such as honking and human screaming are unsurprisingly too hard for the headphones to handle. Finally, note the absence of transparent mode.
In short, the active noise reduction offered by the Enco W51 does not immerse us “in a musical bubble” and even less redefines our listening experience, but it must be granted one thing: it is more than satisfactory for the price at which headphones are offered. Those primarily looking for headphones with excellent noise reduction will need to be prepared to revise their budget upwards and will find themselves redirected to AirPods Pro, Bose QC Earbuds or Jabra Elite 85T to name a few. For others, the Enco W51 represents a nice entry at a reasonable price into the world of active noise reduction.
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Good Sound Quality, Very Good Call Quality :
The sound performance offered by the Enco W51 is better than imagined considering the asking price. The brand does not take any risk with regard to the sound performance and offers an overall balanced rendering. For comparison, the Oppo Enco W51 sound very slightly warmer than the OnePlus Buds. The Oppo headphones unsurprisingly benefit only from the AAC and SBC codecs.
Like its competitors on the same tariff line (around 100 dollars), the Enco W51 will be sufficient for daily listening. We regret all the same their shyness on the bass: the electro songs or those which present drops then sound too hollow. Nothing special to report for the rest of the frequencies. The voices are well transcribed, as long as the song is not shared with several instruments: complex music is indeed much less pleasant to listen to. Note also the presence, on some songs, of a slight whistling effect on the “S” and “Sh”.
While the audio performance of the Enco W51 is neither bad nor particularly brilliant, the call quality offered is a little more surprising. It’s simple, during my month of testing, the “raaah what these headphones I can’t hear yet” from my interlocutors were much rarer, if not almost absent. In quiet places, the call quality is similar to that of a traditional phone call. Outside, the quality remains surprisingly very good: the speaker benefits from a nice reduction in ambient noise, and the presence of wind does not stifle our voice. The latter even remains quite audible when running for a few meters. Note that it is possible to activate and deactivate active noise reduction during calls.
Yellow Card On Autonomy :
The range offered by the Enco W51 is in the low average range of true wireless headphones sold on the market. The low promises of the brand (3 hours 30 minutes with noise reduction activated and 4 hours without) at least have the merit of being honest, since our tests point to 3 hours 50 minutes of autonomy without noise reduction and at a volume by 50%. An hour and a half of calling dropped the headphones fully charged to 40%, and by comparison, the Apple AirPods (second generation) went from 100% to 55% under the same conditions.
The charging box still offers between 4 to 5 additional recharges: it went from 100% to 60% battery after two full recharges of the headphones. According to our tests, a 5 minute stay in the case allows the headphones to reach 20% battery and then offer 39 minutes of listening – again without noise reduction and at 50% volume.
When fully discharged, the earbuds and case take just an hour to refuel – wireless charging will obviously take a lot longer. Also note that the headphones need less than an hour to fully charge in the case. To conclude, the autonomy of the Enco W51 is fairly fair and if frequent passages in the housing are necessary, they will be fast. This will suffice for daily use.
A Light Price And A Single Color :