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Redmi Buds 4 Pro review: High-resolution audio for under £100

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £85
inc VAT

The Redmi Buds 4 Pro offer ANC, high-resolution audio support and customisable control options for very reasonable money


  • Impressive high-resolution audio
  • Adaptive noise cancellation
  • Effective, customisable touch controls


  • No graphic equaliser
  • Android-only companion app
  • Ineffective “Immersive sound” feature

The Redmi Buds 4 Pro are the latest true wireless earbuds from Redmi and follow in the footsteps of countless headphones from the Chinese manufacturer’s parent company, Xiaomi.

Offering high-resolution audio and decent customisability at an affordable price, the Buds 4 Pro are an appealing pair of budget earbuds. However, there is a major obstacle to their success: they lack an iOS companion app. This isn’t particularly surprising given Redmi phones run an operating system based on Android, but it does limit their appeal significantly.

If you own an Android device, the Redmi Buds 4 Pro are an impressive, cost-effective in-ear solution, but for everyone else, the inability to access control customisation and other useful features render them a damp squib.

Redmi Buds 4 Pro review: What do you get for the money?

Available in black or white, the Redmi Buds 4 Pro have a list price of £85 and can be picked up from Amazon or Xiaomi. They operate over Bluetooth 5.3 with support for the SBC and AAC codecs in addition to LDAC, which enables high-resolution streaming. That high-res capability positions the Buds 4 Pro ahead of many budget competitors, including the 1More Aero and JBL Live Pro 2.

Their sonic credentials are further strengthened by the use of a dual dynamic driver arrangement that comprises a 10mm aluminium alloy driver for mid-range and low frequencies and a 6mm titanium driver for handling treble. They also offer adaptive noise cancellation – somewhat of a rarity at this price – which Redmi says reduces external noise by up to 43dB.

In terms of design, the IP54-rated Buds 4 Pro move away from the curvaceous shape of their predecessors, the Redmi Buds 3 Pro, in favour of an Apple AirPods-style stem. Three pairs of silicone eartips are included in the box to help you achieve a secure in-ear fit, and there’s also an Ear Fit Tip Test in the accompanying Xiaomi Earbuds app should you need it.

The 49.5g charging case also gets a revamp, and now offers an extra 120mAh of battery capacity despite being more compact. You can charge it via USB-C or a wireless Qi charging pad, and total battery life is stated at up to 36 hours if you’re listening at 50% volume, using the AAC codec and have ANC turned off. Handily, the case has fast charging capabilities, meaning just five minutes of juice will net you two hours of listening.

Touch controls are located on the earbud stems and cover the usual range of gesture functions for audio playback and volume control, hailing a voice assistant and cycling through noise-cancellation modes. These gestures can be reassigned via the Xiaomi Earbuds app, where you’ll find further noise cancellation options, audio effect presets and a range of additional settings. There’s also a toggle for “Immersive sound”, which Xiaomi says enhances ambience when watching films and other video content.

Redmi Buds 4 Pro review: What did we like about them?

First things first, the Redmi Buds 4 Pro are very comfortable to wear. After switching to the largest eartips, they were sufficiently secure and offered a more confident fit than the regular Buds 4, staying put even during more intense workouts.

Touch controls were similarly reliable. By default, the left and right earbuds have the same controls assigned to them, so you’ll want to open up the Xiaomi Earbuds app to unpair them from this symmetry. I opted for voice assistant activation with one bud’s hold gesture and the other for noise cancelling modes, triple taps to adjust volume, and double taps to move to the next or previous track. I didn’t mind omitting play/pause controls as wear detection works well and this setup covered all the touch control bases I desired.

The app also lets you select one of four noise cancellation modes: Light, Balanced, Deep and Adaptive. The first three all offered marginal but discernible differences in ANC performance, while the last switches modes based on the noise-cancelling requirements of your surroundings. Generally speaking, the buds attenuated sound pretty well and switched between the modes appropriately when Adaptive ANC was engaged.

Short bursts of noise, such as the screeches of a train or loud passers-by, still made their way to my ears – particularly in places that were otherwise quiet. However, for the money, the Redmi Buds 4 Pro’s ANC works well enough to allow you to enjoy podcasts and sparser musical genres during a busy commute.

There are also toggles for in-ear detection, dual Bluetooth connections and smartphone notifications in the app, with the latter allowing you to easily check battery levels. While I’m not inundated with calls, the “take calls automatically” feature is a novel one that’s handy for those that do. The “Find My Earbuds” alarm is also useful, eliciting a beep from each bud when pinged through the app.

The most impressive aspect of the Redmi Buds 4 Pro, however, is how good they sound given the cost of entry. They really benefit from the inclusion of LDAC support and I thoroughly enjoyed their sonic delivery while streaming higher-resolution content via Tidal and Apple Music.

Their sound signature is relatively neutral, with a slight emphasis on mid-range frequencies that benefits vocal clarity. High notes can be a tad airy at times but bass is natural and cleanly delivered. Beyoncé’s vocals shone brilliantly on “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child, but there was still ample room in the Buds 4 Pro’s soundstage to accommodate sparkly hi-hats and impactful kick drums. This engaging performance carried through to other genres, too, with the distinction between piano, guitar and vocals on indie folk song “After All” by Alex G reflecting the buds’ effective instrument separation.

In the Xiaomi Earbuds app, you can find three audio effects to alter the near-neutral sound – “Enhance treble”, “Enhance bass” and “Enhance voice” – with all providing subtle but noticeable changes in output. I found Enhance voice the most useful of the trio, drawing out and highlighting vocal performances cleverly.

Redmi Buds 4 Pro review: What could be improved?

While their neutrality is to be applauded, the Redmi Buds 4 Pro’s bass frequencies do feel a little underwhelming compared to similarly priced rivals such as the EarFun Air Pro 3 or Creative Outlier Pro.

I found listening to songs with warbling low frequencies more satisfying on those buds than the Buds 4 Pro, even if that additional bass came at the cost of some clarity. Using the Enhance bass preset in the accompanying Xiaomi Earbuds app added a stronger punch to the thumping two-step rhythms of “Raver” by UK dubstep artist Burial, but it still felt comparatively lightweight. This may be an issue of taste, but I’d definitely have liked to have seen the presets have a greater impact.

Even those who generally prefer a neutral sound profile may find the inclusion of just three in-app presets – rather than a banded graphic equaliser – too restrictive, irrespective of performance. Highly customisable competitors such as the Anker Soundcore Life P3 offer 20 default presets and an eight-band graphic equaliser to create bespoke presets, dwarfing what’s on offer here.

My other issue with the audio issue relates to the “Immersive sound” feature, which had no perceivable effect on my video or film-watching experience. Switching it on and off didn’t make any difference to scenes from Dunkirk (2017) or any other videos I watched across a range of sources, despite claims it would “increase ambience”. Xiaomi says this feature only works with specific “music and videos in apps that support this function” but sadly doesn’t make clear which, and I certainly wasn’t able to find any. The feature can’t be used in conjunction with the LDAC codec either, further limiting its usefulness.

But the Redmi Buds 4 Pro’s biggest weakness is their system-specific companion app. The Xiaomi Earbuds app is only available via the Google Play Store, meaning iPhone users are unable to access audio presets or any of the other app-based features. This may change in the future, but for the time being, iPhone users will want to give the Buds 4 Pro a hard pass.

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Redmi Buds 4 Pro review: Should you buy them?

The Redmi Buds 4 Pro are an attractive choice for Android users looking for high-resolution audio on a budget. Their neutral sound signature delivers audio with excellent clarity, noise cancellation is effective enough for most situations, and few earbuds can match their highly customisable touch controls.

But iPhone users beware: these are not the earbuds you’re looking for. The absence of an iOS Xiaomi Earbuds app significantly reduces the Buds 4 Pro’s stock by preventing access to an array of features, audio presets and potentially crucial firmware support going forward.

The app isn’t all sunshine and rainbows either, since the audio presets found within it aren’t overly impactful and there’s no graphic equaliser to create your own EQs. Still, for budget earbuds that support LDAC, there are few better options – just make sure you have an Android phone.

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