It would be fairly obvious to state that the more money you're willing to pay, the better the headphones or earphones you can buy. Not everyone has the budget for expensive audio products, but fortunately, a budget of Rs. 500 is no longer too little to buy a decent pair of earphones, as we recently saw with the Realme Buds.
There isn't much to the Ant Audio Wave 702 beyond its core functionality; the earphones feature an in-canal fit, and there's a single-button inline remote with a microphone. The end of the cable has a standard 3.5mm plug to connect to a wide variety of smartphones, computers, and audio players. The cable is 1.2m long and is flat, which offers some resistance to tangling. However, we experienced a fair amount of cable noise during our review of the Ant Audio Wave 702.
A single-press on the inline remote's solitary button answers calls and plays or pauses music playback. You can also skip to the previous or next track and trigger either Siri or Google Assistant with multiple presses of the button.
The earphones have a base colour of black, but you can buy them with one of four different-coloured accents — yellow, blue, red, or black. The ear casings are metal, and the dual-colour design looks interesting and gives a splash of colour to the earphones.
We also quite liked the Ant Audio logo on the backs of the casings, and we think it's is among the better designed brand logos in this segment. The earphones are built well and look good; we were quite impressed with the aesthetics, particularly given the price.
The earphones come in an interesting tin box, which can be used to store them when not in use. Also included are three pairs of silicone ear tips. The earphones have a frequency response range of 20-20,000Hz, impedance of 16Ohms, and sensitivity rating of 90dB.
The sales package of the Ant Audio Wave 702 has ‘extra bass' printed rather conspicuously on the front, and we were expecting this to be the defining quality of its sound signature. However, we were pleasantly surprised to find that the bass wasn't quite as aggressive as we were expecting.
Instead, we found the sound to be as refined as we could hope to expect from a pair of budget earphones. The Ant Audio Wave 702 is tuned to adhere to the classic V-shaped sonic signature that a large number of users want. The bass is gentle yet calculated, and not lacking in excitement.
Listening to Corrosive by Croatia Squad, we enjoyed the strong low-end without feeling any of the fatigue that is typical with bass-focused earphones or headphones. The mid-range and high-end sounded similarly inoffensive, and the overall sonic signature will suit most popular genres.
The Ant Audio Wave 702 isn't among the loudest pairs of earphones we've heard, even at the highest volumes that our source devices can deliver. At reasonable volumes, this pair of earphones is loud enough for casual listening, and the noise isolation is good enough to ensure a clean sound.
We also liked the openness and depth to the sound; they weren't much when compared to more expensive earphones, but were decent for the price.
We were able to sense both of these elements when listening to exciting tracks such as The Music by Marcus Marr and Angels Deserve To Die by Jalebee Cartel, which sounded considerably better on the Ant Audio Wave 702 than on any other budget earphones we've used before. While the bass and highs are pronounced, vocals did manage to push through and sound good.
The earphones also feature a microphone and can be used as a wired headset for voice calls. We didn't have any trouble with calls in our office environment, but outdoors, people on the other end of the call complained that there was too much background noise.
The Ant Audio Wave 702 is a surprisingly good pair of earphones. Apart from some cable noise and a very basic microphone that can't isolate the wearer's voice well, there isn't much to complain about. This is one of the best pairs of earphones you can buy today for Rs. 499, and is completely worth its price.
The earphones are built well, and sound good. They do what they're meant to do — give you acceptable entry-level sound that goes beyond the earphones you might have gotten in the box with your phone, or the unbranded pair you might have bought from a street vendor. You could also consider buying the Realme Buds which are also built well, but the sound quality you'd get with the Ant Audio Wave 702 is definitely better.
Price: Rs. 499
Ratings (out of 5)
Realme Buds, Mi Earphones, or others: Which are the best headphones under Rs. 1,000 in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.