The pandemic-led lockdowns have resulted in the increased consumption of TWS earbuds across the country. The wireless headphones and earbuds have been extensively used by people working remotely and children for e-learning.
Last year, the momentum continued and even grew during the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. The TWS segment also received several new offerings as smartphone brands hastily launched these devices with a view to capturing a chunk of the market. Today, we can get our hands on quality wireless earbuds for as low as Rs.5,000.
Interestingly, these tiny devices are now capable of connecting to multiple devices simultaneously - which has increased their ability multi-folds.
1. JBL Tune 130 NC
2 . Realme Buds Air 2
3. Oppo Enco W51
4. OnePlus Buds Z2
5. Soundcore Liberty 2
6. Redmi Earbuds 3 Pro
7. Jabra Elite 65t
This means that the same pair of earbuds can be connected to your laptop while at the work to attend calls and to your phone when you're on the go and want to listen to music or watch movies.
Of course, today the cheapest TWS earbuds cost less than half of the amount, though one does end up compromising on some must-have features to stay within budget. Features like noise cancellation, water resistance, sound balance etc were synonymous with premium earbuds are available on affordable earbuds too
Apart from the known pioneers of the audio industry, smartphone manufacturers like Realme, Oppo, and OnePlus have also entered the fray to cash in on the robust growth of this segment. We now have many options that offer a comfortable fit, noise cancellation, gesture controls, voice assistance, long battery life, and more. They tackle multiple use cases ranging from Zoom meetings to weekend movie binges, listening to a podcast, or just chatting with a friend.
Best wireless earbuds in India for below Rs 5,000
The JBL Tune 130 NC offers unmatched audio experience for its price range. The JBL Tune 130NC comes with features like ANC, Smart Ambient with Ambient Aware and Talk Through modes that allows users to communicate without removing the buds.
The buds also support voice assistants like Alexa and Google Voice Assistant. They come with a dual connect feature that allows them to connect with two devices at a time.
The bundled application offers a whole lot of tweaks and customisations that helps n improving the listening experience. In terms of battery, they offer up to 40 hours of battery backup. With ANC activated, the earbuds can go on for 32 hours. They also have an IPX4 certification for sweat and water resistance.
Check out the JBL Tune 130 NC review
The Realme Buds Air 2 is a budget TWS with a lot of features packed into a tiny package. It brings ANC, Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity, app support, and more for Rs 3,299. The star of the show here is the active noise cancellation, which is fairly good for the price.
The fit is extremely comfortable and easy to use for an extended period. The audio quality is surprisingly better than the Realme Buds Air Pro and the bass is also punchier and thumping. It supports the AAC and SBC codec.
The battery life is also pretty solid with 5 hours of playtime without ANC and about 4 hours and 15 minutes with the ANC turned on. A full charge will take about an hour to charge from 0 to 100. A quick 10 minutes offers 90 minutes of playback. It misses out on the wireless charging feature which was present on the Realme Buds Air.
The Oppo Enco W51 brings all the good stuff from Oppo Enco W31 and adds active noise cancellation to align with a slightly better sound signature. There is a 7mm dynamic driver onboard with Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity and a range of about 10 meters.
Each earbud is packed with a 25mAh battery and the case is having a 480mAh battery. On a single, the Oppo Enco W51 can last up to 3.5 hours and with the included case, you get up to 20 hours of playback. However, the battery is pretty average here. A quick 15-minute charge keeps the earphones running for up to 3 hours. You can change this by plugging a Type-C charger or charging it wirelessly as it comes with Qi wireless charging support.
The OnePlus Buds Z2 is a good pair of truly wireless earphones for those who are on a tight budget. They offer decent sound, good battery life, and a comfortable fit. However, the limitation of the touch control and not-so-punchy bass may let you down.
Also, these earbuds sound better than the higher-priced original OnePlus Buds. It comes with Bluetooth 5.2 and has 11mm, dynamic drivers, bass boost, dynamic stereo powered by Dolby Atmos, and panoramic sound support.
The battery life on the Buds Z2 is also on par with others in the segment. You get about 4 hours of playback and there is also support for a quick charge. As for the functionality, the OnePlus Buds Z2 offers very limited options - double tap and long press. It also brings in-ear detection and IP55 rating onboard which are rare in the segment.
The Soundcore Liberty 2 is a unique style of truly wireless earbuds that come in an in-ear style fit along with fins to get a strong fit. The TWS sports Bluetooth 5.0 paired with a 10mm diamond-inspired drive. These buds also support AAC, SBC, and aptX codec. In terms of sound signature, you get clean vocals and punchy bass.
In the battery department, these buds are rated to last up to 8 hours and up to 32 hours with the included case - one of the best in the segment. A quick 10-minute charge offers up to 2 hours of playback time. Other features include complete touch controls including play/pause, skip track, and voice assistant.
The Redmi Earbuds 3 Pro is one of the few earbuds in the segment to come with a dual-driver setup, Qualcomm chipset (QCC3040), aptX, and Bluetooth 5.2 combination.
You get a dynamic driver and a balanced driver which is said to bring in deep bass and high treble. While the sound quality is not as good as the Realme Buds Air 2, these can be a good alternative for those who are under a tight budget.
In terms of battery life, the Redmi Earbuds 3 Pro is rated to last up to 7 hours on a single charge and up to 30 hours with the included case. Other features include up to 86ms low-latency mode, in-ear detection, touch controls for music playback, calls, and access voice assistant, and lastly, they are also IPX4 rated.
Initially launched for Rs 12,999, the Jabra Elite 65t is now available for under Rs. 5000. It brings a perfect balance of usability, features, and sound quality. It offers a reliable connection and is a pleasure to use day-to-day. Also, you get good battery life with up to five hours on a single charge and the case is good for an additional 10 hours(2 cycles).
Further, they offer good noise isolation and you can also adjust ambient noise when you want it. The earbuds automatically turn on when removed from the case and turn themselves off when placed back in the charging case. You can use one earbud at a time, though the right earbud acts as the master. The overall sound quality is excellent - it's balanced. It also comes with app support.