In its desire to have a more fabulous (if possible) presence in all likely product segments, Xiaomi launched the Xiaomi Buds 3T Pro in Spain a few weeks ago. They are TWS headphones that, in a nutshell, are the most potent option from the Xiaomi catalog.
They promise high definition sound, spatial audio, noise cancellation of up to 40 dB, and increased autonomy. Reality? That there are promises kept and others that… not so much. This and much more is what we will see in this your analysis. Without further ado, let’s get on with it.
Now that we have seen them from the outside let’s see how the experience was. To do this, the first thing is to talk about compatibility: these headphones are compatible with iOS, Android, and any device with Bluetooth. They have multi-device support. They use Bluetooth 5.2 technology and have a good handful of interesting features that, unfortunately, are exclusive to Xiaomi devices. The truth is that these headphones have things that we do not understand.
On the one hand, it is striking that Xiaomi, which has such a large ecosystem of connected products, has not integrated these headphones into any of its apps. The headphones do not have a management app, so there is nothing to modify gestures, access an equalizer, etc. The only similar thing is if we have a Xiaomi 12 Pro, 12, 11T Pro, 11T, Mi 11, Mi Note 10, or Mi Note 10 Lite, a mini app integrated into the system that does allow you to switch between sound modes, check the battery and remap the gestures. Still, of course, it depends on whether we have one of these Xiaomi mobiles, which is not my case. Closing so many functions to such specific brand mobiles is not a good idea, nor does it offer a good experience.
The same applies to quick pairing, which is only available on the Xiaomi 12 Pro, 12, 11T Pro, 11T, Mi 11, Mi Note 10, and Mi Note 10 Lite. Spatial sound, surround sound, and head tracking is the same in the Xiaomi 12 Pro, 12, 11T Pro, and Mi 11. The LHDC 4.0 codec offers high-definition sound only in the Xiaomi 12 Pro and Xiaomi 12 (and on mobiles that support it, which are not many). In other words, either you have one of these Xiaomi headphones, or you won’t be able to make the most of the options that the headphones promise. Xiaomi Buds 3t Pro 3
And yes, Xiaomi has a significant presence in Spain, closing 2021 with a 29% market share, but some users have a Realme, a Samsung, an Apple device, an OPPO, etc. It’s okay to limit certain functions to specific models (as Samsung does, without going any further), but there is a line between that and not allowing any user to access the main strengths of these headphones. Let everyone draw their conclusions.
That said, and because I have used these headphones on my personal mobile, an iPhone 13, let’s talk about the experience.
Sound quality: as expected, for good
As far as sound quality is concerned, the Xiaomi Buds 3T Pro has satisfied us. On the one hand, these headphones are compatible with AAC, SBC, and, in some cases, LHDC 4.0 (Low Latency High-Definition Audio). This codec supports a bitrate of up to 900 kbps and 24 bits/96 kHz, but the problem is that this codec is compatible with a small handful of phones from OPPO, Huawei, Xiaomi, and Redmi. Not to mention that if you use Spotify, which broadcasts at a maximum of 320 kbps, we will not appreciate it too much.
In other words, although they are headphones prepared to play music in a definition higher than the average of headphones of this type, we will most likely not squeeze the LHDC 4.0 codec as it is compatible with a few devices. That, and that we will have to have access to music in said resolution, something offered by platforms such as Apple Music, Amazon Music HD, Tidal, Qobuz, and company.
Clarified this; how do you hear? Well, the truth is that quite well. The headphones are worth 169.99 euros and offer the performance you would expect. The highs and mids are balanced and smooth, and we have not noticed excessive saturation at high volumes (for the price range we are talking about, needless to say). On songs like ‘Monster (Under My Bed)’ by Kall Me Karizma, we can appreciate and enjoy Morgan Parriott’s sharp voice and guitars without any problem, just like the cymbals and guitar on ‘Mr. Brightside’ by The Killers. On songs like ‘Bloody Valentine, by Machine Gun Kelly, we can also perfectly place Colson Baker’s drums, guitar, and voice. This is an excellent mental exercise that we can do to check how the soundstage is.
If we liked the sound quality, with the noise cancellation, we were disappointed. Xiaomi ensures that its headphones are capable of canceling up to 40 dB and eliminating “background noise by 99%”. The reality is quite different. The noise cancellation is noticeable, but it cannot compete with other models such as the Galaxy Buds Pro, the Jabra Elite 85t, or the AirPods Pro, much less with the Sony WF-1000XM4.
Outdoors, the headphones can slightly cancel out background noise, but the sound of strong wind, beeps, and even the hubbub of a coffee shop will definitely cut through. Indoors, teleworking, for example, we can continue to hear the sound of the mechanical keyboard and the typical sound of the house, such as opening and closing a nearby door, an iron, or a dishwasher.