Do you remember the time when unboxing a phone was an experience? The hefty box was filled to the brim with accessories: a charger, a data-cable, earphones, and an unreal amount of literature.
Thanks to the brilliant innovations in the modern-day smartphone market, that box is getting smaller and smaller every year. But if Apple has taught us anything, it’s that every time the box shrinks, a new product category booms. While the latest iPhone from the tech giant is sure to bump up the sales of wireless chargers, today we talk about a product line that has already secured its place: Truly Wireless Earbuds.
Believe it or not, the first truly wireless earbuds beat Apple’s Airpods to the market by almost two whole years. But in classic Apple fashion, it was the Airpods that cemented the product category. In the four years since, there have been countless products that tried to seal their spot as the Android equivalent “Airpods.”
So, if you are in the market for some “Truly Wireless Earbuds,” here are some choices that you should definitely consider.
Redmi Earbuds S
Price: Rs. 3,199
Released in China (and Daraz) as the Airdots S, the Redmi Earbuds S is arguably the cheapest product in the category that offers a decent stereo performance.
Don’t get me wrong, the 7.2 mm driver is nothing to write home about, but I was honestly taken aback by the sound it delivered. I couldn’t have expected it to deliver what it did at that price-point.
The manufacturer’s official word claims 12 hours of playback with the case and four hours in a single go. Well, never did I run out of battery in a full day of normal usage, but I diligently plugged it in every night.
These tiny earphones do come with an IPX4 rating, so they should handle your gym and light rainfall just fine. Just be mindful not to take it to the shower.
All in all, a killer value for the price!
Price: Rs. 8,990
Not to point fingers, but it is evident that Oppo designs are heavily “inspired” by a certain California-based tech company, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. Especially when we get to see products like the OppoEnco W52.
The W52s feature a 7mm driver and is the first product in this list to feature active noise cancellation. Either of the earbuds have three microphones paired with Oppo’s proprietary deep noise reduction algorithm, and a silicone seal to ensure that your audio experience does not suffer. Oppo delivers on that promise, more or less.
In my testing, the earbuds last for around two to three hours in one go with the ANC turned on. Nevertheless, with the case, you don’t have to worry about it dying on you during the day. The charging case has a Type-C port, but it also supports wireless charging. The earphones also have an IP54 rating against dust and splash damage.
Anker Soundcore Spirit X2
Price: Rs. 10,699
Unlike the last two contenders on this list, the Anker Soundcore Spirit X2 is not for everyone. Engineered for the fitness enthusiasts, the Spirit X2 features somewhat of a bulky earpiece with an equally beefy case to store them in. For those of you wondering, no, this is not a pocketable set of earbuds. I mean, you can fit these in your cargo pants pocket, but it’s best that you throw this into your backpack. Oh! and no ANC here!
That’s about all the complaints I had with the Spirit X2. The audio experience is decisively better than the first two contenders in this list, but the absence of ANC is a drawback. Where these monster-sized earbuds excel is the battery department. I simply couldn’t kill the earpieces in my time with these beasts, let alone the case. The company claims a whopping nine hours of playback at 50% volume with an additional 27 hours in the case. And I wouldn’t be surprised if they lived up to those numbers.
The presence of Bluetooth 5.0 ensures that you have a stable connection and the IP68 dust and water resistance means you can take it to the shower, if that’s your jam.
But like I said, this device is not for everyone. Although the earloops make for a very sturdy fit for your intense workout sessions, wearing it for anything more than a couple of hours is a pain. And if you also have a pair of glasses on you, it’s best that you pick something else from this list.
Galaxy Buds Pro
Price: Rs. 25,300
With the Galaxy Buds Pro we are officially entering the premium segment of this list, and for good reason! Samsung hasn’t really had the best track record with wireless earphones but the Buds Pro were a pleasant surprise.
Wrapped in a relatively small case, these little beans are quite the package. The sound is nowhere near the industry leading Airpods Pro and the likes but unless you are an audiophile, these drivers are more than enough for daily use. Personally, I am a fan of the ambient sound mode. There were times when I appreciated the ANC on the Buds Pro, but I am one of those people who like to listen to music while commuting on my bike. So, being able to hear the traffic and my tunes at the same time was quite literally a lifesaver.
Depending on your use case, namely ANC on/off, these sleek looking buds will give you five to eight hours of playback, with an extra thirteen to twenty-three hours in the case.
Although the Buds Pro work with any phone, they work just a bit better with phones from Samsung. Nevertheless, you can still make use of the Galaxy Wearable app and Galaxy Buds Plugin from the Play Store to utilise the entire feature set.
Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Earbuds
Living up to Sony’s audio legacy, the Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Earbuds is the gold standard of TWS earbuds. The mammoth of a case holds two large earpieces that are fully equipped to blow your mind with music. The nugget sized earbuds feature a new Tri-hold structure for better fit, an elegant touch panel with gesture controls, and a dedicated noise-canceling QN1e processor. In short, the WF-1000XM3 is a beast. The drivers deliver excellent and loud audio with nice-punchy bass, clear vocals, depth of field effect, and an industry-leading noise-canceling (even better than the Airpods Pro).
While the Sony TWS earbuds are exceptional at their primary function, they have a few drawbacks on the side. For instance, there is no IP rating on the device and more importantly these things are HUGE!
The earbuds have a stand-alone playback time of six to eight hours depending on the noise cancelling settings, with up to 24 hours of playback with the case.