Everything portable is the technological trend and Truly Wireless Earbud market is leveraging this sentiment. It’s reported to be a USD 4.1 billion market with about 33 Million Units sold in Q3 2019. The TWS market share has grown 22% QoQ. Further experts forecast a shipment of 1.2 billion units in 2024 compared to 170 million in 2019. That’s a lot of numbers, I know. But, you get my point, right?
And no need for introduction, we all know the poster child of the earbuds space – Apple Airpods. The Cupertino-based giant blazed a trail by unveiling its TWS buds back in December of 2016. And as they say, the early bird catches the worm, Apple Airpod has had the biggest share of the booming TWS market. It’s the leading vendor with a whopping 43% of the market share, whilst the competition laggards behind. For reference, Xiaomi and Samsung come at the 2nd and 3rd spots with a mere 7% and 6% market share respectively.
However, that hasn’t stopped the competition from picking up steam. Apple’s share is said to have fallen to 45% in Q3 from 53% in the previous quarter, due to vying tier-two players. Although it’s true that you get what you pay for. But, just like there are several pricier alternatives to Airpod, which are head and shoulders above Apple’s offering, there are good-sounding specimens in the lower price brackets too.
So, here we have hand-picked the industrially acclaimed TWS earbuds which we believe would come as crazy bargains to you.
But, before we get on with it, let’s have a glance at the benefits of TWS and a few “Things to know before you buy a truly wireless hearable. Here have a look –
Benefits of TWS earbuds
Now, these aren’t one fits all rationale to justify a TWS buy. However, these can very well be the reasons why one would pick a TWS against the wired brethren.
Let’s be serious, the prominent benefit is that the TWS earbuds are – Convenient and Chic
Cut the cord! They spare you the long tangly wires. This facilitates free movement and use-cases such as workouts, crowded commute, trekking, etc.
TWS is not just convenient to ears, but to bear and wear. They are easy to carry around in their tiny cases which in most cases come pre-bundled. They look funkier and blends with your dress.
Things to note –
- Look out for the return policy. Cuz, needless to say, the sound is very personal and in case you don’t like the audio characteristics of the one you bought, you might want to change it.
- Know whether the one you have your eyes on comes with a micro-USB or USB-C port. The choice depends on the kind of socket your phone has.
- Important parameters are battery life, sound staging, ergonomic (buds and the case), MFB, and microphone quality.
- Then there are bells and whistles such as AI assistants, in-built equalizers, active noise cancellation, ambiance mode, gaming mode, ingress protection, codec, personalized controls, EQ, etc. And as the tech matures, we shall get more features.
- As for support, more often than not, the buds from every brand works universally with every smartphone out there. Some even support PS4 and Bluetooth-enabled TVs. But, then there is Airpod whose Play&Pause as well as Siri activation is reserved for iPhones.
With that, let’s get down to the Affordable Airpod Alternatives in India.
Best TWS Earbuds in India
1. Realme Buds Air
In one glance, you might confuse this one with the Airpod in dint of the design resemblance. But, if that look is inline with your taste, then there’s more to it that might excite you. The Realme Buds Air (review) is powered by super latency R1 Chip. It can auto-connect with the phone using Google Fast Pair. Similarly, it features auto play and pause which is neat. It also comes with the dual-channel transmission, multi-functioning buttons (MFB), gaming mode, solo-bud usage, environment noise cancellation during calls, etc.
The bundled charging case is compact and sports charging LED indicators as well as a USB-C port. They tout an overall 17-hour battery mileage while the buds themselves push 3 hours of juice. We won’t get much deeper into their endurance and aural experience here as you may find the same and more in our detailed review.
2. JBL C100TWS
It also checks the basic features such as Bluetooth 5.0, auto-sync as soon as you take it out of the box, MFB, etc. It offers the signature JBL “pure bass” output. That said, it also vaunts good stereo calling and overall clear sound quality. In dint of the Auto Sync feature, you just need to pair the right earbud and the left one will pair automatically.
Inside, there is a 5.8mm driver and a battery capable of churning 5hrs of music playback. The case adds 12 hours of usability. It charges in two hours tops and there is quick charging support.
Before jumping to the next option, here is a worthy mention that’s from the house of JBL: Tune 120TWS which comes at Rs. 6,499.
3. Wings Touch
Wings Touch, true to its title, offers touch controls. The Wings suggest up to 6 hours of battery life between charges. Speaking of which, the charging case can refill it 5 times. The expected list of features such as voice assistant trigger, easy auto-pairing, stereo-calling from both earpods thanks to the in-built mic.
It packs a 7mm micro Neodymium driver that claims to push heavy bass. The highs are apparently missing the party whilst vocals get the due emphasis. Amongst other things, you also get IPX7 protection and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity that ranges up to 10m.
4. Lenovo HT10
This Lenovo pair gets a slot in our list thanks to its 8-hour life on a single charge backed by 2-hr quick charge. You get IPX5 dust/water resistance, Bluetooth 5.0, APT-X HD codec, magnetic charging case, Auto-pairing / Auto-connect / Master-Slave Switching, and the usual features. It runs on a Qualcomm qcc3020 chipset.
The sound is well-rounded with the mids falling short. Like most other earbuds, the standard range is said to be 10m. However, it brags to scale up to 20m even in the absence of any hindrances.
5. Blaupunkt BTW01
Blaupunkt German veteran has launched its BTW01 TWS model in the country. It measures 5.5 grams and is rated for sweat, water, and dust. It vaunts to offer decent fidelity and coverage across a wide profile with a good amount of separation. It stays flushed inside ears without coming in your way.
In terms of battery life, the mentioned playback time is 6 hours. It is equipped with Bluetooth 5.0. While taking calls, you can use the left pod as it is the master. As for the call quality, it’s said to be crisp, although traffic, commotion, and windy surroundings can be a problem. Again, much like the other contenders, this one also does a fair job in the sound department with a slight preference to boxy bass.
6. Noise X5
Noise X5 has roped in good reviews. It is a Bluetooth 5-based truly wireless earphone that works up to a 10m radius. It asserts 6 hours of juice on a single charge and 36 hours in-total with the charging case. They’ll be back full in around 3 hours. The case claims to top the pods for about 10 times.
The brand underlines a balanced profile. However, as you’d expect the bass gets prominence. Amongst other things, you also get IPX5 water resistance and Ok Google/Hey Siri voice command support.
This one looks outstanding thanks to its tan color with a dash of copper on the button. The case shares the same olive green hue. It weighs around just 4.8g. It is lite to carry around and the IPX6 water resistance means you can wear it whilst on workouts. Beats skew towards booming bass due to the underlying graphene drivers. While it touches highs, the mids are reserved.
The pebble also brings stereo and mono modes. There is an MFB button with voice-command triggers. When it comes to battery life, Crossbeats boasts up to 5 hours of music playback outta the buds and a 20-hour total runtime.
This is Skullcandy so it goes without saying that it inclines towards lower frequency. In my review, I had mentioned how the highs felt little muddled whilst the vocals imaging was fine. Bluetooth 5.0 and the given latency was nothing to complain about either.
Sesh is IP55 certified for sweat and dust resistance. They are fairly easy to pair and connect. There is an LED indicator that tells you when it’s pairing, connected or loss of charge.
The disappointing aspect of Sesh is its battery life. The buds carry 3 hours of battery life in one charge, while the juice within the charging case maxes to a total of 10 hours.
9. 1MORE Stylish
This one supports aptX Bluetooth codec which will enhance the audio output from the aptX compatible phones. Speaking of Bluetooth, you get version 5.0. It bears a 7mm dynamic driver, which churns out a respectable balanced sound.
It claims 6.5 hours (50% Volume) of continuous play/talk time between charges and tops a whole day worth juice with the case. Do note that it has a micro-USB port which might disappoint some.
10. Shanling MTW100
There is a high chance that Shanling would be a new name to you. The Chinese brand has garnered good rave from the industry. Shanling MTW100 comes in two variants -Dynamic and Balanced Armature. The latter is the one to go for in light of a huge 7 hours of earbud endurance coupled with an additional 24 hours of juice inside the case. You can snuggle them both or go Mono.
The Balanced Armature is actually the inherent driver’s name which is made by Knowles. Sound-wise, It has been given props for its fair and flat signature. If you are a bass-head, you may pick the dynamic model but you would have to live with shorter mileage and sound characteristics.
Although you get Bluetooth 5.0, you have to live with just AAC and SBC codec. Sorry no, aptX here. A nice addition is Surrounding Awareness mode, which lets you hear the ambiance. Oh, yeah there is IPX7 water resistance too in the mix.
Best Truly Wireless Earphones To Buy in India
In this list, we have restricted ourselves from including names like Apple’s AirPods Pro, Amazon Echo Buds, Galaxy Buds+, Microsoft Surface Earbuds, and Jabra Elite 75t, Master and Dynamic MW07, JLab Epic Air Sport, Sennheiser’s Momentum True, Klipsch T5, Cambridge Audio Melomania 1, Amoi, Beats Powerbeats Pro and RHA TrueConnect amongst others. The names mentioned hereabove are undoubtedly impressive. However, due to their lofty price tags, we feel they deserve a different list altogether.
Then there are a few like Earfun, Sesh, Edifier TWS1, Tagg Liberty-X, Mpow T6, Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2, etc which also deserve a shoutout. Then there is the Redmi Airdots, which didn’t make it to the list cause of unavailability. Xiaomi rose to second spot in the global TWS market share thanks to the Airdots. Even its successor, the Airdots Pro 2 is yet to make its way to India.
Anyhow, we will keep our ears open for droves of earphones that’ll hit the Truly Wireless Space. Finally, let us know the favorite(s) of your discerning ears down in the comments.
|Realme Buds Air||Rs. 3999|
|JBL C100TWS||Rs. 3999|
|Wings Touch||Rs. 3299|
|Lenovo HT10||Rs. 3998|
|Blaupunkt BTW01||Rs. 4499|
|Noise X5||Rs. 4490|
|Crossbeats Pebble||Rs. 4999|
|Skullcandy Sesh||Rs. 4370|
|1more Stylish||Rs. 6999|
|Shanling MTW100||Rs. 6999|