What are the best true wireless (TWS) earphones you can buy in India right now? The options vary depending on your budget, and we’ve picked out the best TWS earphones under Rs. 15,000, Rs. 10,000, and also the best budget earbuds and big battery earbuds.
The past few months have seen some interesting trends in the true wireless earphones space, particularly with active noise cancellation and its availability on more affordable headsets. New launches from Realme have shaken up the affordable space, while some popular premium products have also seen price cuts that have made them impressive options to consider from a value perspective. With this update, we see the addition of new true wireless earphones from Realme and Sony in our list of top picks.
Although there are some changes, most of our picks remain the same, and we’ve also noted reductions in prices for some of our choices. This includes the Samsung Galaxy Buds+, which is now on sale for well below its original launch price, making it incredible value for money. Read on to find out our recommended picks in the TWS space in India right now.
How do true wireless earphones work?
Up until the advent of true wireless technology, wireless headphones and earphones have had some kind of connector between the left and right channels, be it a wire or a headband. With true wireless earphones, even this short cable is gone, and each earbud features its own battery, DAC, amplifier and Bluetooth chip. The earbuds individually connect to the source device, or a dominant earbud that is connected to the source then also connects with the second earbud to provide the digital signal.
This way, each earphone is able to work independently, yet the two function together to ensure that the listener gets stereo sound output from the source device. The obvious advantage of this arrangement is the convenience of a completely wire-free listening experience, which improves comfort and ease of use. This is a boon in many usage scenarios, including while working out, in crowded places, on your commute, or when you want to use your earphones while lying down.
True wireless earphones often also include built-in microphones, which makes it possible to use them as hands-free devices with your smartphone. Provided the microphones are good enough to pick up sound over a slightly longer distance, this makes true wireless earphones the most discreet and effective way to have call conversations on the move. And while the additional components may make the earbuds a bit heavier than typical earphones, many new options have compact, light-weight designs that are comfortable and don’t rely on winged tips or ear hooks to stay in place in your ears.
Best true wireless earphones: Apple AirPods Pro
Our favourite true wireless headset you can buy today is the Apple AirPods Pro. Yes, it’s expensive at ₹ 24,900. However, for that price, you get features and sound quality that, in our opinion, are unmatched in the segment. The AirPods Pro is a big improvement over previous AirPods and competing headsets, thanks to one big feature – active noise cancellation. This makes the headset a lot more useful than most other true wireless options, and improves your ability to hear the sound even in the noisiest of environments. There’s also Transparency mode, which lets in outside and ambient sound in the most natural sounding way we’ve heard on any earphones to date. We found the sound to be engaging, immersive, and clean.
Much of the improvements in these earphones can be credited to the in-ear fit, which makes for better noise isolation and a more immersive listening experience. The AirPods Pro is also incredibly flexible, and is able to adjust to different tracks on the fly for a comfortable, yet entertaining sound. As expected, the AirPods are meant to be used with Apple devices and work best if you have an iPhone or iPad. That isn’t to say they won’t work on Android smartphones or computers, but certain features will only work with an Apple iOS device. But regardless of what device you use it with, the AirPods Pro is an easy and engaging pair of true wireless earphones.
Buy: AirPods Pro
Best under Rs. 15,000: Sony WF-1000XM3
Although priced at Rs. 20,000 at launch, the Sony WF-1000XM3 is now available for Rs. 14,990, making it our top pick at under Rs. 15,000. For the price, you get excellent app support, flagship-level active noise cancellation, and very good sound quality. Although there is no support for advanced Bluetooth codecs, the quality of the tuning makes this among the best-sounding pairs of true wireless earphones you can buy right now.
The bass is calculated, soundstage is spacious, and battery life is also decent given the size and form factor of the earphones. Although the large size of the earpieces made them feel unwieldy and precariously balanced in your ear at times, the quality of the active noise cancellation more than made up for the shortcomings.
Best under Rs. 10,000: Oppo Enco X
Oppo is better known for its smartphones, but recent months have seen it quietly grow into a capable maker of audio products as well. Among the company’s recent launches is the Oppo Enco X, its most premium true wireless headset available in India which is priced at Rs. 9,990. For that price, Oppo is offering quite an impressive product, with a dual-driver setup developed in collaboration with Dynaudio, active noise cancellation, and a wireless charging case.
Although there is support for the LHDC advanced Bluetooth codec, most users will have to stick to the SBC and AAC Bluetooth codecs when using the Oppo Enco X. However, this doesn’t hold the earphones back too much; this is an enjoyable true wireless headset to listen to with detailed and immersive sound. Good active noise cancellation tops things off, and the overall experience is excellent for Rs. 10,000.
Although average battery life does hold the Oppo Enco X back a bit, and the on-device controls are basic, the value for money proposition of this headset helps it truly stand out. For the price, you’re getting what competing brands such as Jabra and Sony charge a lot more for, which makes the Oppo Enco X our top pick under Rs. 10,000.
Buy: Oppo Enco X
Best true wireless earphones for battery life: Samsung Galaxy Buds+
While true wireless earphones are extremely convenient, battery life is still a bit of a pain point; the small size of the earphones makes it hard to put large enough batteries into them. However, Samsung appears to have made some progress on this front with the Galaxy Buds+.
The successor to last year’s Galaxy Buds, these earphones also happen to be a very good option to buy if you own a recent Samsung smartphone, thanks to support for the Scalable Bluetooth codec. Improvements in the drivers make this an excellent sounding headset, and all of this is made much better by the fact that you can buy these earphones for around Rs. 6,000 right now, making this an excellent value-for-money option.
With the earbuds offering an impressive 11 hours of use per charge in our testing, the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ is the only headset in our list capable of true all-day, uninterrupted listening. The charging case offers just one additional top-up to the earphones, but this is entirely acceptable given the long run the earphones themselves are capable of.
Buy: Samsung Galaxy Buds+
Best affordable true wireless earphones: Realme Buds Q2
Among the most affordable true wireless earphones with active noise cancellation, the Rs. 2,499 Realme Buds Q2 is among the best value-for-money options you can buy right now. While the ANC performance is basic, it’s functional and does make a reasonable difference that helps make listening a bit easier in all kinds of environments. There’s also app support through the Realme Link app, making this a feature-filled pair of earphones for the price.
Sound quality and battery life, while not exceptional, are decent enough, and the earphones look good thanks to the reflective touch sensitive area on the outer sides of the earpieces. While we found the low-latency mode a bit underwhelming and the soundstage a bit closed, this is still easily the best pair of true wireless earphones you can buy at under Rs. 3,000 when it comes to features and capabilities.
How we picked the best true wireless earphones
We’ve reviewed or used a wide range of true wireless headphones, including popular options from major electronics manufacturers, as well as options from traditional audio brands that have been in the business of making headphones and earphones for many years. We also took into account specifications, codec support and price to come up with our top recommendations.
True wireless earphones form a relatively new product segment, and we’ve had a chance to test most of the new options. Apart from the earphones themselves, we’ve also paid attention to the charging cases that come with these options. The cases usually offer additional battery backup, and also make for a convenient and safe way to carry your earphones when not in use. With all of these points in mind, we’ve selected our list of top recommendations, as well as other options to look out for as listed below.
Also consider these true wireless earphones
OnePlus Buds Z: Priced at Rs. 2,999 gets almost everything right, making this the most impressive pair of true wireless earphones you can buy on a budget. USB Type-C fast charging is a particularly impressive feature for less than Rs. 3,000.
Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro: Although not quite as good as the Oppo Enco X, the Rs. 9,999 Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro has the same feature set, and decent performance with powerful bass and lots of additional ear tips in the box.
LG Tone Free HBS-FN7: While we wouldn’t count it among the best-sounding options for the price, the Rs. 17,999 TWS from LG offers a unique feature —UVnano self-cleaning technology — which claims to sterilise against 99.9 percent of the bacteria typically found on the speaker meshes of the earpieces.
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2: If you have an Android smartphone to take advantage of the aptX Bluetooth codec, this is the absolute best-sounding pair of true wireless earphones that you can buy right now. It’s expensive, though, at ₹ 24,990.
Jabra Elite 85t: Jabra’s latest true wireless headset is priced at Rs. 17,999, and is its most advanced one yet with great sound, good ANC, and all-round performance. It’s just a bit expensive, compared to the excellent Oppo Enco X.
Nokia Power Earbuds Lite: Not too fancy, but not too shabby either, the Nokia Power Earbuds Lite offers consistently good sound, decent battery life, and good touch controls for Rs. 3,599. There’s also IPX7 water resistance, which is quite useful to have.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: If you use a Samsung smartphone, there’s no better true wireless headset than the Rs. 15,990 Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro right now. It’s pretty good even if you have any other smartphone, but it performs best if you are in the Samsung ecosystem.