Wireless earbuds have come a long way, and they are the future. They are convenient, are getting better support from manufacturers in terms of quality, and hey, they make sure that you have fewer cables strewn around.
Locally, many phone makers have availed their pairs, including Samsung (Galaxy Buds+ that I own but failed to work after a few months, and the newly launched Galaxy Buds Live), Xiaomi and OPPO. The last two’s offerings have budget options, which is one of the ways the majority of locals can jump ship to a wireless audio streaming experience.
Following the demise of the Buds+ in my possession, I picked OPPO Enco W31 for a test drive from a friend. The W31s were released a couple of weeks ago for KES 8000, and have since dropped in price to around KES 5000 in many online shops.
Turns out pairing the W31s to any device that is not an OPPO is a challenge. I tried checking OPPO forums and it became more apparent that the issue is commonplace. In fact, I have seen a ton of people airing the issue on Kenya Twitter – and yes, I experienced the same thing until I got an explanation for an OPPO KE forum.
Now, here is one thing you should know: according to OPPO, pairing issues come up when your device is connected to a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi and using Bluetooth at the same time.
“Since Bluetooth and WLAN share the same antenna and work in the same 2.4GHz band when the amount of data transmitted by WLAN is large, Bluetooth will be interfered with and the connection will be unstable,” reads a statement from OPPO.
- If you are on W-Fi, turn it off temporarily to connect the W31s.
- Activate pairing mode: this you can do by opening the case of the wireless headphones and leaving the lid open while the buds are inside.
- At this stage, you will realize that your phone or computer is not seeing the headphones (that is after activating BT and performing a search).
- Now, all you have to do is reset Bluetooth pairing on the headsets. Close the lid, open it while the headsets are inside.
- Press the Function button on the case for a couple of seconds (more than 5) until the LED indicator blinks.
- The headphones are now available for pairing, and you will see them listed in available devices (OPPO Enco W31).
- If this fails, then you can factory reset the headphones: with the lid open, press and hold the Function button long enough until the LED flashes RED three times. After that, repeat steps 1 and 2.
This is what I did, and worked flawlessly.
I am still testing the headphones. They sound great, but battery life is not very good. Maybe I will share more thoughts about them in the future, and unfairly compare them against the Buds+ that have excellent battery life and additional features such as wireless charging.