Each industry has a company that can be labeled as a disruptor. In India, Xiaomi is disrupted in the smartphone space. In the audio space, that crown has to go to Boat. These disorders typically have limited risk in the beginning and then grow into something larger.
This is true for boAt and its audio products. Over the years, boAt products have become commonplace. If Xiaomi entered Indian homes with Redmi, boAt with RockAz became common in Indian ears.
I was shocked to see a lot of RockRays on the Mumbai local train last year. This year, I know that this brand has become a protector. One of the reasons behind BoAt’s success is its price, and the fact that smartphone makers no longer bundle headphones in the box.
If you have bought a new smartphone then there is a reasonable chance that it does not have headphones. There is also a possibility that you went ahead and bought a boAt headphone. In fact, the brand calls those people, boAtheads’, and it is now trying to transition to a true wireless listening experience.
The brand’s newest product is boAt Airdopes 201. Is this the best true wireless earbud in the budget? Check out our review of boAt Airdopes 201.
Design and battery life
The first thing you notice with Boat AirDoops 201 is the sleekest look. While the Shore Shots X-Buds and Fingers Audio Pods have a stem design, the Boat AirDoops 201 are all about their earbuds. These earbuds themselves have a clean look that rests comfortably in your ears.
It comes in only one color, which is a mixture of black and brown. The boAt also includes additional ear tips and fins to safely hold the buds in your ears. With these you will be able to get a comfortable fit without any issues.
When placed next to other budget True Wireless earbuds, the BoAt Airdopes 201 is simple and straightforward. On the exterior, it has a button that acts as a control to play music or pause, or to accept phone calls after the Boet logo.
On the inside, there is an indicator for charging left or right earbuds and two magnetic pins. Of the budget wireless earbuds we have tested in the last few weeks, these are the lowest in terms of overall footprint. This minimalist design also extends to the case.
The case is not the same as Noise or Apple, but rather has a rounded circular lid at the top. There is a boAt branding at the top, and the case opens with no issues.
When the earbuds are charging, there is an orange LED on the earbuds. When you remove them from the case, there is a white LED to indicate that it is ready to pair. At the front, there are four LED lights to reflect the charging capability held in the case.
At the back, the case has a microUSB port for charging, while the bottom houses the regulatory details. The case is black in color and shows that there is not much need to make a minimal and cheap true wireless earbuds right now. The company is known for designing minimal and inexpensive audio devices.
BoAt Airdopes 201 is based on that fundamental ideology of minimal experience that does not compromise the user experience. The company has also included a USB Type-A to MicroUSB cable to charge the case. Compared to Fingers Audio Pods and Noise Shots X-Buds, the Boat Airdops 201 is finding a middle ground with respect to design and overall usability with the device.
Sound quality, battery life and connectivity
As seen in my review of Fingers Audio Pods or Noise Shots X-Buds, the sound quality takes a back seat with true wireless earbuds. While boAt is the same with Airdopes 201, it provides an ideal balance between convenience and audio experience.
These earbuds, which pack 10mm dynamic drivers, are great for listening to Indian music. Every time I played the character of AR Rahman, Shankar Mahadevan or Arijit Singh, the voice was natural. The bass with these small earbuds is not punchy, but still has a subtle element to it. When you listen to music suited to these form factors, they come into their own.
When you listen to pop or rock, the genre survives without much effort. Whether you are listening to Carly Ra Jepsen, Lizzo, Ham, you follow the beat of the music. When you play John Mayer, Don Henley or the good old Beatles, there is a dynamic range that turns out really well.
Earbuds struggled the most when I played music with a lot of percussion. Some devices made me look fat. However, in the case of some ensemble, the vocal section stood out from the rest. It certainly sounds like boAt decided to find a middle ground regarding sound quality. After using them, I’m sure they have easily found that middle ground.