One can buy some excellent true wireless (TWS) earphones for under Rs 5,000 in India these days. The pace of evolution of this category has been nothing short of extraordinary. We don’t even have to go too far back to gauge the progress. Just over a year ago, if you had a budget of Rs 5,000, I cannot think of a single TWS product that was worth recommending then. And now, you have some stellar earbuds that sell for as low as Rs 2,999. So, let’s look at the top 5 TWS earbuds (in no particular order) that you can buy for under Rs 5,000 this month.
Best TWS Earphones under Rs 5,000 in India
Like its more premium cousin, the Lypertek Levi strives to deliver a close to neutral sound signature in this budget, with no particular frequency band getting a boost. The mids are handled wonderfully well, with great detail in sound. The vocals are as good as we have heard in this price segment. The instrument separation is also quite impressive. The highs can be slightly overbearing at times but are generally fine. The bass is tight but not boosted, and those looking for bass-heavy earphones may find it inadequate. But then, Lypertek earphones are not for bass heads.
These TWS earbuds are well-built, with IPX5-rated splash resistance. Though battery life isn’t in the same league as the Tevi, it is quite impressive. The company claims a figure of eight hours of playtime for the buds on a full charge and four more recharges using the case, thus taking total battery backup to 40 hours. The figures are bang on, and we managed to get pretty much that out of them when listening at 60 percent loudness. The Lypertek Levi also supports wireless Qi charging. Codec support is limited to SBC and AAC over Bluetooth 5.0.
Oppo Enco W51
The Oppo Enco W51 offers an impressive feature set consisting of functional, active noise cancellation (ANC), touch controls, wear detection, and wireless charging. The IP54-rated buds look good and are quite comfortable to wear. The 7 mm drivers deliver a balanced output. Lows haven’t been boosted, but the bass is sufficiently punchy and tight in most cases. Mids are quite strong here, with sharp vocals and rather a good instrument separation. The highs have ample sparkle but can sound a bit too bright at times in tracks low on bass. That said, the detail in audio is excellent, with a more-than-decent soundstage.
Call quality is among the best in this budget, with both parties clearly audible to each other even outdoors. Battery backup is not a strong point of these buds, especially with ANC on. The buds last just a shade over three hours with ANC enabled and about four hours with ANC off at 70 percent loudness. That’s on the lower side for today’s standards. The case manages to charge them four times over, taking overall battery backup in the 15 to 18 hours range with intermittent use of ANC, which is decent. These Bluetooth 5.0 buds support SBC and AAC codecs.
Soundcore Liberty 2
The Soundcore Liberty 2 by Anker is currently selling for Rs 4,999 on Flipkart, making it an excellent deal for those looking for the right mix of sound quality, battery life, and features under Rs 5,000. These buds were good enough to feature in our list of best TWS under Rs 10,000 last month when they have priced Rs 2,000 higher to put things into perspective. At their current price, they can be considered a steal. These IPX5-rated sweat- and water-resistant buds are the only ones on this list to support Qualcomm’s aptX codecs.
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 feel slightly subdued in bass-heavy tracks. The highs are nicely tempered yet retain ample sparkle. All three frequency ranges coexist reasonably well, with a nice, warm undertone. There is good detail in sound, with a broad soundstage.
The accompanying Soundcore app gives you more control over the product. In addition to configuring the tasks the multifunction button can perform, it also lets you alter the sound profile, courtesy of an equalizer and loads of pre-sets. You also get something named HearID that maps your personal hearing sensitivity at multiple frequencies to create a personalized equalizer for you. The Soundcore Liberty 2’s 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.
Realme Buds Air 2
Realme has a winner on its hands with the Buds Air 2, which packs features and performance way beyond what one would expect at its selling price. Features such as ANC, Transparency Mode, Google fast pair support, programmable touch controls, wear detection, and more are available here. Unlike some of the earlier Realme TWS buds, the Buds Air 2 are extremely comfortable to wear, fit snugly in the ear, and stay put during jogs and workouts. The IPX5 splash resistance makes them a good fitness companion. The Realme Link app lets you assign various tasks to different touch gestures and access three sound profiles.
The buds are Bluetooth 5.2-compliant and support AAC and SBC codecs. The sound quality of the Realme Buds Air 2 is enjoyable and quite impressive for the segment. Though the lows are boosted a bit, there is a good balance between the three major frequency ranges. The bass produced by the 10 mm drivers is punchy and tight. Interestingly, the mids don’t get impacted much, except in certain bass-heavy tracks. There is good clarity in the vocals, and instrument separation is more than decent. The highs seem a tad mellow if you listen at low to mid-volume, but once you take the loudness beyond 60 percent, they regain their sparkle, and the sound output feels a lot more balanced. The soundstage is surprisingly broad, too.
Battery backup is quite good, with the buds clocking approximately four hours with ANC on and about 4.5 hours with ANC off at 60 percent loudness. The cobble-shaped charging case can charge it four more times, taking the overall battery backup to upwards of 20 hours with ANC switched on half the time, and you can add a couple more hours to that if you use the earphones without ANC.
OnePlus Buds Z
The OnePlus Buds Z are arguably the best-sounding TWS earbuds under Rs 3,000 in India currently and do punch above their price class. Just like the Realme Buds Air 2, Buds Z’s sound output is quite enjoyable and bound to appeal to a broad audience looking for a good pair of TWS buds on a modest budget. The sound signature is warm, with low-end frequencies getting a boost. However, the bass is tight and provides the right amount of warmth to the sound. The mids do get masked occasionally, but the vocals are mostly crisp, most instruments are clearly heard, and there is ample detail in sound. The highs have just the right amount of sparkle to lend a nice balance to the overall sound output.
Among other features, you get wear detection and touch controls, but they are not as programmable as Buds Air 2. The OnePlus Buds Z are IP55-rated dust- and splash-resistant and offer SBC and AAC codecs support over Bluetooth 5.0. The buds’ battery life is close to 4.5 hours and about 18 hours with the charging case. But they support fast charging, and putting the buds back in the case for 10 minutes gives you close to 90 minutes of playtime. And if you charge the case simultaneously using a fast charger, the buds can go on for close to 3 hours on a 10-minute charge, which is quite impressive.