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Xiaomi Air3 SE Review: Is it Best Under $20?

In this article, I will be reviewing a remarkably affordable pair of earbuds that really impressed me.

After testing them for a couple of weeks, I’m ready to share my experience, which, spoiler alert, has been overwhelmingly positive, especially considering their price.

So, let’s delve into the details of the Xiaomi Air3 SE.

Before diving into the review here are the quick specs of the Xiaomi Air3 SE:

Xiaomi Air3 SE Specifications
DesignGlossy plastic case,
flat and horizontal format,
similar to Redmi Buds 4 Lite
FitCompact and lightweight,
snug in-ear fit
Battery LifeUp to 6 hours on a single charge,
24 hours with the charging case
Charging PortUSB Type-C
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.3, SBC codec
MicrophoneClear voice capture,
suitable for calls,
good performance in noisy environments
Sound QualityDynamic drivers with DSP processor,
robust bass, clear mids and highs
Additional FeaturesBinaural technology for independent earbud use,
stable connection with minimal lag
PriceAround $20

Xiaomi Air3 SE: In-depth review

Design and Build Quality

The Xiaomi Air3 SE’s design strongly resembles the Redmi Buds 4 Lite, both in the case and the earbuds themselves.

Constructed with glossy plastic similar to Apple’s AirPods case, the Air3 SE adopts a more flat and horizontal format. Despite its susceptibility to scratches, the design is aesthetically pleasing.

Notable is the strong magnetic connection between the earbuds and the case, rivalling more expensive models.

The case features a Xiaomi logo on top, a small front LED indicating charge status, and a USB Type-C port at the back. However, these earbuds are only available in white.

Comfort and Fit

These earbuds are incredibly compact and lightweight, fitting snugly in the ear. Their design is quite similar to the AirPod 3 and Redmi Buds 4 Lite, ensuring a comfortable fit.

They don’t come with an automatic pause sensor, so playback control relies on tactile taps – a feature that lacks customization.

Battery Life

The Air3 SE’s battery life is commendable for its price range. Although Xiaomi doesn’t specify the milliampere-hour capacity, they promise about 6 hours of playtime on a single charge, and up to 24 hours with the charging case.

In my experience, these figures hold true. The earbuds and the case charge via a USB Type-C connection.


Equipped with Bluetooth 5.3, the Air3 SE supports only the SBC codec.

While this is a basic level of Bluetooth audio codec, it surprisingly doesn’t deteriorate the sound quality significantly.

However, they lack app connectivity, offering only basic playback control.

These earbuds also feature a binaural technology allowing for the independent use of each earbud.

The connection is stable, with no noticeable lags, making them suitable for gaming and video streaming.

Microphone Quality

The microphone quality is a strong point for the Air3 SE. It captures voice clearly, even in noisy environments, making them suitable for calls. The performance is impressive, considering the price point.

Sound Quality

The sound quality of the Air3 SE is remarkable for its price. While they lack active noise cancellation and have minimal ear isolation, they compensate with a comfortable fit.

The earbuds feature dynamic drivers of unspecified size, equipped with a DSP processor for enhanced bass and clearer mids and highs.

The sound experience is robust, with good clarity at medium volume levels. High frequencies are well-balanced, without being overbearing.


At around $20, the Xiaomi Air3 SE offers excellent value for money. They are comfortable and aesthetically pleasing, have good sound quality, and a decent battery life.

Although they lack advanced features like app connectivity and customizable touch controls, they are still a highly recommendable product in this price range.

Xiaomi Air3 SE: Pros and Cons


  1. Affordable Price: They offer great value for money, being budget-friendly.
  2. Good Battery Life: Up to 6 hours of playtime per charge, and 24 hours with the case.
  3. Comfortable Fit: Compact and lightweight, ensuring a snug and comfortable fit in the ears.
  4. Stable Connectivity: Equipped with Bluetooth 5.3 for reliable and stable connections.
  5. Decent Sound Quality: Offers clear mids and highs with robust bass performance.


  1. Basic Codec Support: Only supports the SBC codec, which is quite basic for audio transmission.
  2. Lack of App Connectivity: No companion app for customizing settings or updates.
  3. Minimal Design Options: Available only in white, limiting style choices.
  4. No Active Noise Cancellation: Lacks advanced features like active noise cancellation.
  5. Limited Touch Controls: The tactile controls are not customizable and offer only basic functions.

Final Thoughts

In summary, the Xiaomi Air3 SE stands out as a strong contender in the budget earbuds market.

Their performance in various aspects, from design to sound quality, makes them a worthwhile investment for those looking for quality earbuds without breaking the bank.

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