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Redmi Buds 4 Active vs Redmi Buds Essential: Key Differences Explained!

In this article, we’re delving into a comparative analysis of the new Redmi Buds 4 Active vs Redmi Buds Essential. These are two highly affordable earbuds in Redmi’s lineup.

I’ll put them side by side to help you decide which one is the more recommendable choice today. So, get comfortable, and let’s dive into this comprehensive comparison.

Redmi Buds 4 Active vs Redmi Buds Essential: Specs Comparison

FeatureRedmi Buds 4 ActiveRedmi Buds Essential
Construction MaterialMatte PlasticMatte Plastic
Case SizeBulkierCompact
Battery IndicatorLED for battery and pairing statusLED lights up during charging
Charging PortUSB Type-CMicro USB
Battery Capacity (Earbuds)34mAh43mAh
Battery Capacity (Case)440mAh300mAh
Playback TimeUp to 5 hoursUp to 5.5 hours
Bluetooth Version5.35.2
Audio CodecSBCSBC
App CompatibilityCompatible with Xiaomi and AirBuds appNot Compatible
Microphone QualitySuperiorAverage
Driver Size12mm7.2mm
Price (Approx.)€19.99€20 – €25

Redmi Buds 4 Active vs Redmi Buds Essential: In-depth review

Design and Build Quality

Both the Redmi Buds 4 Active and the Redmi Buds Essential are budget-friendly earbuds constructed from matte plastic, reflecting their economical price point.

You’ll notice significant differences in the size of their cases, with the Buds 4 Active’s case being bulkier and less comfortable.

Each features a small LED for battery and pairing status, with the Essential’s LED lighting up only during charging.

Redmi Buds 4 Active vs Redmi Buds Essential

A notable difference is the charging ports – the Essential sports a micro USB, while the Buds 4 Active benefits from a USB Type-C.

Physical Appearance and Customization

In terms of physical design, the Buds 4 Active are noticeably larger. Despite their size difference, both models share similar features like an external touch zone on the Buds 4 and a push button on the Essential.

Both models come with different sized silicone tips and a microphone on the bottom for calls.

Unfortunately, neither model allows customization of touch controls, nor do they feature automatic pause and play sensors – a common feature in more expensive earbuds.

Both models boast IPX4 water resistance. From personal experience, I’ve had no issues with either model during workouts, even in the rain.

When it comes to customization, the Buds 4 Active is available only in black, while the Buds Essential offers a bit more variety with blue and classic black options.

Battery Performance

The Buds 4 Active houses a 34mAh battery per earbud and a 440mAh charging case, theoretically offering about 5 hours of playback and up to 28 hours with the case.

The Buds Essential, on the other hand, comes with 43mAh per earbud and a 300mAh charging case, promising around 5.5 hours per earbud and a total of 18 hours with the case.

The Essential provided me with about 4 hours and 45 minutes of continuous medium volume playback, while the Buds 4 Active lasted around four hours – a small but noticeable difference.

Connectivity and Sound Quality

The Buds 4 Active supports Bluetooth 5.3 but is limited to the SBC codec, while the Essential supports Bluetooth 5.2 and also uses the SBC codec.

One advantage of the Buds 4 Active is its compatibility with Google Fast Pair for Android devices, offering quick and easy connection, a feature the Essential lacks.

Redmi Buds 4 Active vs Redmi Buds Essential

Additionally, the Buds 4 Active can connect to the Xiaomi and AirBuds app for battery status updates and low latency mode activation, though this is a minor benefit as the app doesn’t offer more substantial features.

Both models support independent earbud use, allowing either earbud to be used on its own. My experience with connectivity has generally been stable for both models, although I’ve experienced occasional interruptions during calls.

Microphone Quality

The microphone quality is where the Buds 4 Active clearly outshines the Essential.

The Essential’s microphone tends to produce a tinny sound, making it less ideal for voice calls. The Buds 4 Active, however, offers surprisingly good microphone quality for its price range.

Sound Quality Comparison

Both models have a similar design that provides good passive noise cancellation, but neither has active noise cancellation.

In terms of comfort, the Buds 4 Active has a better fit and is more suitable for high-intensity workouts compared to the Essential.

Regarding sound drivers, the Essential features a 7.2mm dynamic driver, and the Buds 4 Active comes with a larger 12mm driver. Unfortunately, both models deliver just average sound quality.

The Essential has slightly better clarity across various frequencies, but the Buds 4 Active offers more powerful bass due to its larger driver.


The Buds 4 Active is priced at €19.99 in Europe, and the Buds Essential can be found for around €20 to €25, depending on the offer.

Redmi Buds 4 Active vs Redmi Buds Essential: Final Thoughts

Considering their price and offerings, both models provide decent value for money.

However, if I had to choose, I’d lean towards the Buds 4 Active for their comfort and superior microphone quality.

Neither model is exceptional, but they’re reasonable choices for those on a tight budget.

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