Ameya DalviFeb 23, 2021 10:48:02 IST
True wireless earphones – or TWS buds, as they are commonly known – have come a long way in the past 12 to 14 months. Not only is their sound quality at par with their neckband counterparts, but the battery backup and feature set, too, have improved with every passing month. Having tested a variety of TWS buds over the past couple of years, we present to you the best of the current lot that sells for under Rs 10,000 in India.
Best TWS Earphones under Rs 10,000 in India
Oppo Enco X
Oppo Enco X (Review) is arguably the best earphone release of 2021 so far. It is one of the rare TWS earphones in this budget (and the only one in this list) that employs a dual driver setup. The buds are fitted with two drivers each – at the front is a 6 mm balanced membrane driver to handle the highs, and at the back, on a parallel axis, a 11 mm triple-layer composite dynamic driver that takes care of the mids and lows. You also get three microphones each – a feedback mic, a feedforward mic for active noise cancellation (ANC) and a regular one for making calls. The charging case has a USB-C port and supports wireless charging, too.
The Oppo Enco X is IP54-rated dust and water resistant. It supports the latest Bluetooth 5.2 standard but support for popular codecs is limited to SBC and AAC, along with the newer LHDC audio codec, which is not that common yet. You also get ANC here that works well. The sound signature is pleasantly warm, with tight and punchy bass that doesn’t overshadow the mids; you get clear vocals, good detail and ample instrument separation. The highs are tempered to perfection without losing out on the sparkle. The audio output is enjoyable across various genres of music, and this is one of the finest TWS earphones in this segment.
Oppo Enco X price in India: Rs 9,990
These Sony buds were probably the first to trigger the TWS renaissance in the sub-10K segment at the start of 2020 by addressing the sound quality and battery backup issues. As the name suggests, the Sony WF-XB700 (Review) are meant for those who like some extra bass in their audio. The earbuds are fitted with a large 12 mm dynamic driver each to produce the signature bass that the Sony XB series is known for. They are IPX4-rated sweat resistant and fit snugly in your ear even during jogs and workouts. These earbuds are Bluetooth 5.0-compliant and codec support is limited to SBC and AAC. There is no ANC, but passive noise isolation is solid once you wear them correctly.
The Sony WF-XB700 aren’t high on features but focus on two key things that matter most – sound quality and battery life. The output is quite loud and as expected, there is ample bass with a lot of thump. The extra bass does come at the cost of certain midrange frequencies, and as a result, the lower mids sound a bit suppressed at times in bass-heavy tracks. The highs are sharp without being sibilant and lend a nice balance to the overall output. The battery backup of the buds is excellent, with up to 10 hours of playback on a full charge. The charging case adds another 10 hours to the equation. These earbuds launched at a shade under Rs 10,000 but now sell for a couple of thousands lower, making the deal sweeter still.
Sony WF-XB700 price in India: Rs 7,990
Lypertek Tevi (Review) is the only pair of TWS earbuds in this list that manages to produce close to neutral sound signature in this budget. The mids and highs are handled wonderfully well by their 6 mm drivers with great detail in sound, and the lows aren’t boosted like in the case of most earphones. The soundstage is quite good, too, and so is the instrument separation. These earphones are not meant for users who like thumping bass, but better suited to those looking for sound clarity and finer detail in audio.
These TWS earbuds are well-built and IPX7-rated water resistant. Call quality is good, too. Their next best feature is the battery life. On a full charge, they go on for a shade over 8 hours at 70-75 percent volume with Qualcomm’s aptX codec enabled. What is even better is that the accompanying case can charge them 6 times over, taking overall battery backup to in excess of 55 hours, which is outstanding. With such a solid combination of sound quality, battery backup and ruggedness, it wasn’t hard to pick the Lypertek Tevi in our list of the best TWS earphones under Rs 10,000.
Lypertek Tevi price in India: Rs 6,999
Soundcore Liberty 2/ Soundcore Liberty Air 2
Soundcore Liberty 2 by Anker (Review) is another excellent option for those looking for a great mix of sound quality, battery life and features. They are IPX5-rated sweat/water resistant and you get support for Qualcomm’s aptX codecs as well. The accompanying Soundcore app adds a bunch of extra features and gives you more control over these buds. In addition to configuring tasks the multifunction button can perform, it also lets you alter the sound profile, courtesy of an equaliser and loads of presets. You also get something named HearID that maps your personal hearing sensitivity at multiple frequencies to create a personalised equaliser for you.
The sound signature, though completely different from that of the Tevi, is quite enjoyable and will appeal to a broader audience. The sound output is sufficiently loud at 60-70 percent volume, and pleasantly warm with a good amount of bass that’s tight. The vocals are clear, and most instruments can be distinctly heard, but the lower mids do feel slightly subdued in bass-heavy tracks. The highs are perfectly tempered yet retain ample sparkle. All three frequency ranges coexist reasonably well here with a nice, warm undertone. There is good detail in sound with a broad soundstage. Battery life is impressive as well, with the buds clocking close to 7.5 hours on a full charge and about 30 hours with the case.
Another option from the same company is the Soundcore Liberty Air 2, which looks strikingly different from the Liberty 2 and offers a handful more modern features such as wireless charging, touch controls and wear detection. Rest of the things – like support for aptX codecs, IPX5 water resistance, USB Type-C charging port, customisable controls and sound profiles through the app – are common to both. They use smaller 6 mm drivers as compared to 10 mm on the Liberty 2, and the default sound signature of the Liberty Air 2 is noticeably brighter. If you like your sound a little on the bright side instead of warm, the Soundcore Liberty Air 2 would be a better option. Call quality is quite sharp on both products.
Soundcore Liberty 2 price in India: Rs 6,999
Soundcore Liberty Air 2 price in India: Rs 7,999
Amazfit PowerBuds (Review) are the most unique and innovative TWS earbuds of 2020. These IP55-rated dust- and water-resistant earbuds come with fitness tracking features, thanks to a built-in PPG heart rate sensor for monitoring your heart rate during workouts. The information is relayed to the app, which then calculates the intensity of the workout and calories burned. Music and fitness activities often go hand-in-hand, and it was a great idea to combine the two in one tiny package. Battery life is impressive as well, with the buds clocking over 8 hours despite the fitness tracking, while the case can charge them twice more, taking the total battery backup close to 25 hours.
The Amazfit PowerBuds give equal importance to sound quality, which is quite lively, and though not perfectly neutral, it is quite enjoyable across a wide variety of music genres. All three frequency ranges are reproduced well, with no particular range given undue boost. The bass is punchy, there’s good clarity in vocals with decent instrument separation, and the highs have sufficient sparkle without sounding sibilant. There is ample detail and good balance in the overall sound output. The Zepp app provides a 10-band equaliser to finetune the sound further. The buds are comfortable to wear and have touch controls that can be configured from the app.
Amazfit PowerBuds price in India: Rs 6,999