November 18, 2022

Best Earphones, Headphones for Every Budget: Should You Go for Budget Options or Save for Better Ones?

Earphones and headphones market in India is currently inundated with a plethora of options across all price ranges from brands like Oppo, Nothing, Apple, Sennheiser, and Sony. Even the budget options these days are packed with features like ANC and gaming mode. Notably, the audio market has also shifted towards wireless earphones and headphones in recent times. However, there are still several great wired offerings currently available in the Indian market. Whatever is your preference, you can find a product to suit your needs.

On this week’s episode of Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast, host Pranav Hegde discusses some of the best earphones and headphones available in India with Senior Reviewer Ali Pardiwala and the Executive Producer of Trakin Tech, Ershad Kaleebullah.


Wireless earphones have become a top pick among Indian consumers, with true wireless stereo (TWS) earphones being the most popular choice, says Pranav. He wonders what parameters consumers should consider before judging a wireless earphone. Ali explains that due to the vast number of options across various price points, it gets tricky to pick out the best one.

Pranav then asks whether the ANC and gaming features are effective in wireless earphones at budget or mid-range prices. Ershad explains that obviously, it won’t be as good at lower prices and consumers should be looking at spending around Rs. 15,000 to get the best ANC experience. Ali warns that consumers should be aware of budget offerings that market a plethora of features, as they might be doing a half-hearted job on the said features. To this point, Pranav replies that the Realme Buds Air 3 were packed with features, sounded remarkably awful.

The neckband category is dead in India, points out Ershad, and Ali agrees that there haven’t been any good neckbands that launched recently. The trio settled on the Oppo Enco M32 neckband as probably being the best offering.

Pranav then enquires about the best budget wireless earphone available up to the Rs. 2,500 mark. Ali says that the Oppo Enco Buds 2 are a decent entry-level offering that comes without ANC. Consumers should not meddle with these entry-level products and go for the Oppo Enco Air 2 Pro, which cost around Rs. 3,500, according to Ershad.

Brands like Nothing, OnePlus, and Oppo dominate the under Rs. 10,000 segment in India, says Pranav. Ershad picks out the Oppo Enco X2 that are fantastically tuned in his opinion. On the other hand, Ali suggests the Nothing Ear 1 is also a great option at this price point. The Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 20,000 range, consists of widely popular options like the Apple AirPods 3rd generation and Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, mentions Pranav. Ali recommends the Sony WF-1000XM4 TWS earphones at this price.

Pranav next asks for recommendations in the premium segment. Ershad suggests that users should move to headphones in this range, with AirPods Max wireless headphones being one of the best sounding products from Apple. The Sony WH-1000XM5 wireless headphones are the top pick for Ali in the premium segment. Ershad suggests that wired earphones/ headphones are coming back in his opinion. If the sound is the priority, users should get a pair of in-ear monitor (IEM) headphones. In Ali’s opinion, the Rs. 1,700 Moondrop Chu IEMs are better sounding than most Bluetooth earphones.

You can listen to all of that in detail and more in our episode by hitting the play button on the Spotify player embedded above. Don’t forget to check our guide on the best ANC headphones and earphones in India, which you can find linked below.

Best Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) Headphones and Earphones in India

You can also find the Gadgets 360 podcast Orbital on your favourite platform — Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Gaana, JioSaavn, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

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