Realme, which itself started out as a brand under the backing of the much larger and more established Oppo, has come a long way in India since its launch in 2018. After launching its popular range of reasonably priced but feature-filled audio products including the recently announced Buds Q2 Neo, Realme has now backed a new brand called Dizo to compete in the same segment. Dizo recently announced its first affordable audio products, including the GoPods D, which I'm reviewing here.
Priced at Rs. 1,399, the Dizo GoPods D have a lot in common with the Realme Buds Q2 Neo in terms of both looks and specifications, but are priced just a hint more affordably. The new earphones will also go up against competition from brands such as Redmi and Noise. Is this now the best pair of true wireless earphones under Rs. 1,500 in India? Find out in this review.
The Dizo GoPods D have 10mm dynamic drivers, and are IPX4 rated for water resistance
App support and low-latency gaming mode on the Dizo GoPods D
Let's just get this out of the way early on; the Dizo GoPods D look a lot like the Realme Buds Q2 Neo and Buds Q2. That said, I do like how the earphones look and feel. Each earpiece has a patterned outer surface that doubles up as a touch control panel. The earpieces don't weigh much at all. They have a proper in-canal fit and are comfortable to wear over long periods of time.
The Dizo GoPods D is available in two colours - black and white. The touch panels let you control playback, trigger a voice assistant, and activate the low-latency game mode. These controls worked well for me, mainly because of the large flat area of each touch-sensitive zone. You can't control volume from the earpieces, and will need to do that using your source device.
The charging case, although simple, is well designed and small enough to slip into your pocket as needed. There is just a single discreet Dizo logo on the lid, and there's a Micro-USB port for charging at the back. Even at this price point, Micro-USB charging on the Dizo GoPods D is disappointing. There is no pairing button – the earphones default to pairing mode when they aren't connected to any device. There's a small indicator light at the front, which shows the charge status of the case.
In terms of specifications, the GoPods D are nearly identical to the Buds Q2 Neo, with 10mm dynamic drivers, a frequency response range of 20-20,000Hz, Micro-USB charging, and IPX4 water resistance. For connectivity, the earphones use Bluetooth 5, with support for just the SBC Bluetooth codec, which is the only major difference between the GoPods D and the Buds Q2 Neo – the latter also supports the AAC codec.
The sales package includes a charging cable and a total of three pairs of silicone ear tips. There's no active noise cancellation, but there is environmental noise cancellation to enhance the quality of audio picked up by the microphone on calls.
App support for budget true wireless earphones is still quite uncommon, so the Dizo GoPods D headset does stand out in this regard. Dizo's association with Realme is put to good use here, with the earphones working with the excellent Realme Link app. For now, this only works on the Android app, with the iOS app not yet updated to support the Dizo GoPods D at the time of this review.
The Dizo GoPods D work with the Realme Link app, which can be used to customise the controls, choose an equaliser preset, and more
There are just a handful of things you can do using the app, including seeing the battery levels for the earpieces (but not the case), selecting one of three equaliser presets, controlling the low-latency game mode, and customising the touch controls. This isn't quite as extensive as you can get with high-end and feature-filled headphones, but far more than I'd typically expect from true wireless earphones at this price.
The Dizo GoPods D has decent battery life for the price and feature set, with the earpieces running for around four hours per charge. The charging case added three full additional charges for the earpieces, for a total battery life of 16 hours per charge cycle. There is also fast charging, with a 10-minute charge offering a claimed two hours of listening on the earpieces.
Sound quality on the Dizo GoPods D is decent for the price
While the mid-range and high-end true wireless earphones segments see big changes every few months, the budget segment has largely remained consistent in terms of design, features, and audio quality. There are several options priced around or below Rs. 1,500, but the Dizo GoPods D will go up against the Redmi 2C true wireless earphones, in particular.
There aren't too many fancy features on the Dizo GoPods D, and the focus is firmly on design and the listening experience. Indeed, sound quality is entirely satisfactory and enjoyable at this budget point. The sound is, for the most part, clean and free of any significant shortcomings in the frequency range coverage and sonic signature. The sound will suit most popular genres, with reasonable bumps in the lows and highs.
Listening to Fire by Ferry Corsten, the Dizo GoPods D were loud, aggressive, and forceful (in a good way). Although the bass in this track's fast, attacking electronic beats did tend to overpower the rest of the frequency range at high volumes, most buyers at this budget level will likely enjoy this. The loudness combined with the noise isolating fit will help overcome most noisy outdoor environments.
The sonic signature of the Dizo GoPods D is a bit bass-heavy, but many buyers in this price segment will likely enjoy this
Despite the potentially overbearing bass, the sound never felt too muddy or unpleasant, and there were hints of detail to be heard every now and then. With If I Were A Folkstar by The Avalanches, the GoPods D were able to capture some of the detail and definition that make this beautiful sample-based track so enjoyable, but the soundstage felt a bit narrow and limited.
At very high volume levels, the sound did feel a bit rough, but setting the volume to around 50 percent made for a reasonably engaging and clean listening experience. Perhaps support for higher-quality codecs might have made a difference here, allowing a bit more data to be used by the earphones, but the sound is comfortable and entirely acceptable nonetheless, as long as you can handle a bit of extra bass.
There are a couple of useful additional features on the Dizo GoPods D: ENC for voice calls and a low-latency mode for gaming. Like on the Realme Buds Q2, the low-latency mode did improve response time ever so slightly, but not significantly enough to really make a difference in lag-sensitive multiplayer games. Audio quality on calls was acceptable in indoor and somewhat quiet outdoor environments, with the ENC reducing some environmental factors such as wind.
Most affordable true wireless products focus simply on the form factor rather than features, so the Dizo GoPods D stands out for a couple of key reasons, namely app support, and fast charging. When it comes to the basics, the GoPods D is competent and offers a decent overall experience for the price. You get a comfortable fit, good battery life, and acceptable sound quality. At Rs. 1,399, there's enough in this pair of earphones to make it worth considering.
Although there are some drawbacks – Micro-USB charging, only SBC codec support, and a slightly overbearing bass attack – it might be worth overlooking these just because of the price, and the fact that you're getting a product backed by Realme. Options from brands such as Noise and Redmi might be worth considering as well, but the Dizo GoPods D offer a good overall experience for Rs. 1,399.
Can Nothing Ear 1 — the first product from OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei's new outfit — be an AirPods killer? We discussed this and more on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.