Dizo, the first brand under the Realme techlife ecosystem, is still in its infancy stages. The company launched two affordable audio products this year to boot and have now come out with two more products in the audio category – the Dizo GoPods Neo and the Dizo GoPods. In this article, we will be reviewing the latter, an Active Noise Cancelling earphone in the sub 3K price bracket. The earphones upon first look are undeniably similar to another product we’ve reviewed in the past – the Realme Buds Air 2. Upon further investigation, it is clear that the Dizo GoPods is, in fact, a rebranded Realme Buds Air 2. The earbuds are feature-rich and look great on paper, at least, but do we need a rebranded Buds Air 2 on the market? Let’s find out.
Dizo GoPods: Build and comfort
The Dizo GoPods look almost identical to the Realme Buds Air 2 barring for the colour. The GoPods are available in two colour variants – Smoky Grey and Creme White. We got the latter for review and were pretty pleased with the aesthetics. The charging case has a cobble-shaped design that is flat enough to easily slip into pockets without bulging too much. The case is glossy so it can attract fingerprints, but they are not quite as prominent on the White case.
On the front, you have the Dizo branding and an LED battery indicator. The bottom houses the USB-C charging port and the right side has a pairing button. The case can be flicked open one-handed with ease. However, the hinge is not reinforced by metal, which is slightly worrisome for long term usage.
The buds sport a dual-tone finish – glossy white stems and matte black buds. Overall, the design language is pretty aesthetically pleasing. The back of the stems has touch-sensitive surfaces to control both music playback and calls. The touch controls are reasonably responsive and worked well 90 per cent of the time, with some misreadings happening occasionally.
As for comfort and fit, Dizo provides a total of three pairs of silicone ear tips for users to choose from (S, M and L). The earbuds have an assuring, snug fit and are secure even during physical activities such as walking, jogging, and others. They are pretty comfortable, but if you wear them for a few hours on the stretch you could feel slight discomfort over time. Overall, these buds look stylish, have a snug and comfortable fit and are suitable to be worn even when exercising.
Dizo GoPods: Features
Since the Dizo GoPods are rebranded Realme Buds Air 2s, they have the exact same features as them, which automatically makes it an attractive, value for money offering. You get premium features such as Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency Mode on these earbuds that are priced very competitively. ANC has been democratised by brands such as Realme, Oppo, and a few others, and Dizo is doing the same by offering it up at an affordable price point for the masses.
Now, let’s delve into some other features. You can connect the Dizo GoPods to a pretty decent accompanying app called Realme Link. The app’s UI is clean, easy to use, and has a fair number of customisation options. You can toggle between noise cancellation modes, activate features such as game mode, in-ear detection, and volume enhancer, and you can even customise controls. In-ear detection works well on the buds. During our testing, the feature worked about 80 per cent of the time.
As for the touch controls, you can tweak the controls within the app. You can customise the double-tap, triple tap and touch and hold actions on both ears. There’s no way to add volume controls though, which is very disappointing. Users can also use the app to choose between three EQ presets, check battery levels, and update the firmware of the buds.
Other features of the Dizo GoPods including IPX5 water resistance, USB Type-C charging, and mono earbud use where you can use either bud independently of each other. Overall, the Dizo GoPods are extremely feature-rich for the price.
Dizo GoPods: Performance
Uncompensated frequency response graphs of Dizo GoPods (Light Blue) vs Realme Buds Air 2 (Purple). They’re nearly identical.
The Dizo GoPods sport the exact 10mm driver with DLC coating as found on the Realme Buds Air 2. They even come equipped with the R2 chip and Bluetooth 5.2 as found on the Buds Air 2. No surprises there. So, you get identical performance on the Dizo GoPods as the Realme Buds Air 2. The earbuds have a consumer-friendly V-shaped sound signature with a slightly boosted bass response and boosted highs in the 2kHz-3kHz range of the frequency graph. In this graph, you can see that the Realme Buds Air 2 and the Dizo GoPods have produced a nearly identical frequency response graph. We use a measurement mic from iSEMcon paired with an adapter from SLS audio made to test IEMs. For our audio interface device, we use the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. All of this is hooked up to a PC running the SMAART-Di v2 software that generates frequency graphs for headphones.
Uncompensated frequency response graph of Dizo GoPods (Light Blue) vs Flat response (Light Purple)
Objective testing using our equipment as well as real-world testing showed that the Dizo GoPods have a punchy and lively bass response that many will enjoy, although the bass does lack some detail and finesse. The slightly overexaggerated low-bass response occasionally bleeds into the mids. For example, in Billie Eilish’s bad guy, the bass beats sound boomy and hamper the clarity of the vocals. On its own, the mid-range is well-produced though with instruments and vocals in this range sounding pretty clear, for the most part. The highs are decent as well, although the drop off from 4kHz to 8kHz robs some details in cymbals and hi-hats in rock music, making tracks sound dull at times. The soundstage is decent, however, imaging could be slightly better. But for the price, the Dizo GoPods come with an enjoyable and lively sound signature. They sound especially good with genres such as EDM, rap, hip-hop, pop and Bollywood. The buds also get incredibly loud even without Volume Enhancer, and we used them at about 50-60 per cent volume at all times.
As for the Active Noise Cancellation performance, the buds provide an impressive experience for this price range. The ANC performance on these buds obviously won’t rival premium TWS earbuds, however, it does pretty well in some scenarios. Constant, low-frequency sounds such as an AC’s drone, airplane’s rumble, and similar sounds are cancelled very well. If you spend 5K, the Oppo Enco W51 offer slightly better ANC performance, but at this price point, the earphones perform as expected, or even slightly better. Transparency Mode is also available and it performs sufficiently well.
Now, moving on to the microphone on the Dizo GoPods, the performance is mediocre, at best. The voice relayed on calls via the in-built microphone sounds slightly garbled and there’s some echo too. As for wireless connectivity, the earphones come with Bluetooth v5.2 and we faced no issues with connection whatsoever. There were no drops or lags in the audio and the wireless range is pretty good as well. There is slight latency when watching videos or playing games, but you can turn on Game Mode to make that significantly better via the Realme Link app. The company claims latency as low as 88ms when this mode is active.
Dizo GoPods: Battery Life
The Dizo GoPods’ battery life is rated at 25 hours with both buds and charging case with ANC turned off. The earbuds themselves have a battery life of 5 hours with ANC off on a single charge, as per the company. In our tests, the buds lasted about 3.5 hours with ANC turned on and at around 60 per cent volume. Your mileage will vary depending on if you keep ANC on and the volume levels. The charging case provided the buds with 4-5 additional charges, which is pretty decent for the price.
The buds also support Fast Charging where just 10 minutes of charging will provide users about 2 hours of playtime with ANC off. The battery life is pretty good overall and it beats out the OnePlus Buds Z and the Oppo Enco W51 in terms of total playback time.
Dizo GoPods: Verdict
The Dizo GoPods is a solid, value for money TWS under 5K. It not only provides Active Noise Cancellation on a budget, but also great app support, decent battery life, and a large feature set. However, it is essentially a rebranded Realme Buds Air 2 with every specification being identical to the tee. The Realme Buds Air 2 were launched at Rs 3,299 but can now be purchased at Rs 2,999. The Dizo GoPods are priced at Rs 3,299, the same price as the Realme Buds Air 2 when they were launched. We’re not fans of rebranded products because we see no sense in confusing the consumer by providing 2 exact same offerings with different names or price points. Additionally, the Realme Buds Air 2 sell for Rs 2,999 on the Realme website now, so just grab them instead of the Dizo GoPods, since they are the same product. We really hope we get to see some originality from Dizo in the future, even if they are under Realme’s techlife ecosystem.