Apple and Samsung dominate the world of premium wireless earbuds, but Xiaomi isn’t willing to hold back and its latest weapon is the Buds 3T Pro. Xiaomi’s latest active noise-canceling earbuds are tasked with fighting it off with the likes of AirPods Pro and Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro and come as a direct successor to last year’s Xiaomi Flipbuds Pro.
You get premium features like ANC, wireless charging, head tracking, multi-point pairing, and a sleek, matte design. How good are these headphones and should you consider them your next pair of earbuds?
Xiaomi Buds 3T Pro is an in-ear type of wireless earbuds but it has its own distinct look. The buds have a mostly matte finish that is pleasant to the touch and resists fingerprints well. You also get shiny parts that run across the stems. The entire body features the same matte finish that adds grip and is less prone to scratches.
Our review unit comes in carbon black which has a darker blue tint and changes color. The buds sit upright in the case and Xiaomi has made them particularly light with each earbud weighing 4.9g while the case and buds come together at 51g.
The Buds 3T Pro’s lightweight profile and ergonomic build can be considered a major selling point because these are some of the most comfortable earbuds I’ve tested in recent memory. I was able to get through several hour-long listening sessions without feeling any pressure on my ears at all, which doesn’t happen with every other pair of earbuds I’ve tested.
Control of operating modes and ANC on the shoots occurs via pressure-sensitive sensors located at the bottom of the stems. You have to tap the stems here instead of the one-click touch controls that appear on other earbud models. Personally, I like the latter type of controls but the compression controls work well too. There is no way to control the playback volume although it is not perfect.
The case offers an excellent design with a firm seal when the lid is closed. The cover itself can support the entire case when opened which is a firm sign of premium earbuds. The case dimensions are 65 x 48 x 24mm and it fits comfortably in most small pockets of jeans. It brings a USB-C charging port and a pairing button on the bottom and they also support wireless charging.
The whole package is IP55 dustproof and waterproof. You get three microphones on each headset with one dedicated to picking up sound while the other two deal with noise cancellation. The retail package includes spare ear cups in small, medium and large sizes as well as a USB Type-C cable for charging.
Xiaomi’s Buds 3T Pro headphones are positioned in the premium segment with ANC claiming to block out up to 40dB of noise around you. In fact, the headphones manage to block out some of the lighter noise but it’s a far cry from the class-leading Sony WF-1000XM4 and Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro. The noise cancellation is moderate to say the least, and having strong winds around you will quickly render the feature useless especially if you’re on a call. Toggling the noise canceling mode results in an instant “underwater” hissing effect that’s usually seen on lower-end earbuds.
The speakers also support LHDC 4.0 (Low Latency High Definition Audio Codec) which can deliver bit rate up to 900kbps as long as your phone also supports the codec. Connecting the Buds 3T Pro is straightforward – you can open your device’s Bluetooth menu and search for the buds with the case cover open while holding the pairing button for a few seconds.
Newer Xiaomi phones make use of a built-in earbud app of sorts with controls to switch between transparency and noise-cancelling modes as well as reset gesture control, and battery status indicators for the buds and their status. I’ve said this in the past and I’ll say it again – it’s time for Xiaomi to bring a companion app for non-Xiaomi phones.
Buds 3T Pro come with Bluetooth 5.2 and Xiaomi claims that its connection can withstand up to 10 metres. It supports SBC and AAC codecs as well as multi-device connectivity to two Android, iOS or Windows devices simultaneously. This feature worked reasonably well when connected to a phone and a laptop with the volume switching between the two devices taking a few seconds to catch up.
Another standard feature supported on almost all modern earbuds is in-ear detection which pauses the media once you take the buds out of your ears and it works flawlessly here. Xiaomi also boasts of head tracking and spatial audio features although it only works on a few recent Xiaomi phones and it does more tricks than the actual features.
Sound quality and compatibility
Buds 3T Pro headphones come with 10mm dynamic dual-magnet drivers with DLC sectional coating. They sound good, and cover a detailed vocal range without overpronouncing one aspect in favor of another. The bass is present but it is not overpowering and the vocals are clearly visible. There is no distortion in the higher volume ranges which is a good thing because the Buds 3T pro are not the loudest earphones out there.
Competitors like Samsung’s Buds Pro get much louder sound at similar volume levels, and I also noticed more bass and better sound isolation than the premium earbuds from Samsung and Sony.
The Xiaomi Buds 3T Pro comes with a noticeably more balanced audio profile compared to the Redmi Buds 3 Pro and an old pair of Samsung Galaxy Buds+ I was laying around. Xiaomi still does not offer any volume mods on its headphones even if they are paired with one of the brand’s smartphones.
Call quality is average and a clear stride lower than other premium earbuds from Apple and Samsung. During calls, people on the other end reported clear audio reception although there was plenty of hissing noise in the background even when I was indoors in a relatively quiet environment.
Xiaomi claims a 6-hour battery life from the Buds 3T Pro while the case extends to 24 hours. In our testing, we found these claims to be accurate with the Buds 3T Pro lasting three weeks of moderate use before a top-up is needed.
A full charge takes 70 minutes and you can also get wireless charging on any Qi charger or phone that supports reverse wireless charging.
The Buds 3T Pro are a good pair of wireless earbuds that offer a good design and are arguably the most comfortable of any in-ear headphones I’ve tested. It doesn’t disappoint in terms of audio output with a balanced profile that doesn’t weigh down the bass.
The Apple and Samsung earbuds are louder and provide objectively better audio output, but the Buds 3T Pro headphones feel better in my ears than the AirPods Pro or Galaxy Buds Pro, especially during long listening sessions.
The Buds 3T Pro’s ANC feature works even though the earbuds fail to create a strong enough seal which compromises their efficacy. The battery life is decent and the connection quality is not a strong point but it gets the job done.
If you’re on a Xiaomi phone, these headphones are the top choice in terms of supported features and are a clear step up from previous iterations of the Xiaomi TWS lineup.