Are The Xiaomi Redmi AirDots Still Worth Buying In 2020?

These cheap earbuds are very good for the price, but will that hold up in the new year?

Numerous budget wireless earbuds existed before Xiaomi released the Xiaomi Redmi AirDots back in early 2019, and indeed many more have been outed since then, but not many of those caused as much of a stir as the AirDots did when launched. This is due in no small part to Xiaomi’s established reputation as the producer of budget tech gadgets with superb quality, comparable to similar products from more established brands with high price tags.

Tech advances rapidly, and successors to today’s trending tech gadgets are released in no time. Hence, a question that must have been bugging the minds of its users and enthusiasts is, are the Redmi AirDots still worth buying in 2020? In this article, I’ll highlight some reasons why you should go ahead and get one if you don’t have it already. Stay with me!

Reminder – the Redmi AirDots is a Budget Device.

The Redmi AirDots are still budget earbuds

It’s easy to forget this detail when making comparisons, hence the need to reiterate this fact before proceeding. The Redmi AirDots are one of the cheapest true wireless earbuds you can find on the market. Sure, they give you value for money (not many budget earbuds at its price do this), but that also means trade-offs have been made in certain sections of the product.

So, despite those trade-offs, are the AirDots still good enough to be bought and used in 2020, when we expect the true wireless audio tech to get better and more affordable?

To answer this question correctly, I will be discussing the features that are most important to look out for when shopping for true wireless Bluetooth earbuds in general; how these are expected to improve in 2020, especially in the budget end of the market, and whether it makes sense to wait for these feature improvements in new budget earbuds that will be released this year. I’ll also discuss some entirely new features that will be coming to earbuds generally in 2020, and the significance of these to the AirDots’ relevance in the budget market.

Bluetooth Connectivity

This is one of the most important things to look out for in true wireless earbuds, as a poor Bluetooth connectivity will render otherwise great earbuds useless. Even premium earbuds have been known to have connectivity issues, but the AirDots are completely fine in this regard. The tech is supposed to improve to afford consumers stronger and more reliable connectivity in 2020, but considering that the Redmi AirDots already has this under its belt, you have no need to worry about buying the device this year on this count.

Battery Life

The battery life is on par with other premium earbuds of 2019

The Xiaomi Redmi AirDots have a verified battery life of four hours, with the charging case adding another additional three full charge cycles, bringing the total up to about 15 hours of audio playback. This is on par with many premium earbuds released in 2019, and I don’t expect the battery life to improve drastically in budget earbuds in 2020.

Waterproof Rating

The AirDots have no waterproof rating, which is a bummer considering that earbuds with slightly higher price tags come with IP ratings between IPX4 and IPX6. True wireless earbuds are increasingly being used for sporting activities, and more and more budget earbuds are expected to get at least IPX4 ratings in 2020. Hence, if this feature is of utmost importance to you, you might want to wait for the successor to the Xiaomi AirDots or grab one of the existing, more expensive earbuds in the market.

Gesture Controls & Artificial Intelligence

Gesture controls & AI won't make their way into budget earbuds in a long time

There has been some talk (from the CES event) about gesture controls and artificial intelligence being integrated into new earbuds that will be released in 2020, but it all sounds gimmicky at this point, and even if it turns out to be useful, you would only be able to find it in the top tier of the market this year. Hence if you’re in the market for budget earbuds, as you must be if you’re reading this article, this isn’t something you should expect in budget earbuds for a long time, and the AirDots will serve you just fine with its clicky button controls.

Noise Cancellation

While noise cancellation has made its way into the budget echelon of the wireless headphones market, it’s still a long way off from making its debut in budget true wireless earbuds. This is because the tech is not very easy to implement even on full over-ear headphones, and the cost of shrinking the components needed to make noise cancellation happen in the small form factor of earbuds would only drive their price higher.

Hence, don’t expect budget earbuds to start featuring ANC in 2020. If your focus is the budget category, the Redmi AirDots’ passive noise isolation is good enough to work with this year.

Other features expected to make debuts in the true wireless earbuds section in 2020 are Qualcomm’s True Wireless Stereo Plus, which affords more stable connectivity by connecting the source device simultaneously to the right and left earbuds, and Bluetooth LE Audio, which aims to improve connection quality and speed at reduced battery consumptions. However, these are still expected in the distant future, and will surely not make their way into the budget section of the market for months, even years after they are first seen.

Therefore, the question of whether the Redmi AirDots are still worth buying in 2020, which translates to “Will I get better true wireless Bluetooth earbuds under $25 in 2020?”, has only one answer; yes it’s likely that more earbuds under $25 will be released in 2020, but the chances of them being as good and reliable as the Redmi AirDots are very slim. There you have it.

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