Update: The Truly Wireless Earbud market has expanded at a tremendous rate in India with options at a cheaper price, as well as at a premium. The initial days weren’t as fruitful, but lately, we have been seeing manufacturers come up with earbuds that not only look good but sound amazing as well. Companies such as Nothing brought in a breath of fresh air in terms of design as well as performance, while veterans Sennheiser, Sony, Apple and even Realme remained consistent with subtle yet impactful upgrades to their lineups. So, these are the nominees and winners for the Best Truly Wireless Earbuds of 2022 — in both, mainstream and premium segments.
Winner – Best Mainstream Truly Wireless Earbud of 2022: OPPO Enco Buds 2
The Enco Buds 2 is a very fashionable pair of TWS, especially in the black colour variant. The earbuds provide loud and punchy audio, which most people prefer. It also has a great battery backup — this makes the Enco Buds 2 a great package at a budget and hence, it grabs the award for the Best Mainstream Truly Wireless Earbud of 2022.
Original story follows…
The Truly Wireless Earbud market has expanded at a tremendous rate in India with options at a cheaper price, as well as at a premium. The initial days weren’t as fruitful, but lately, we have been seeing manufacturers come up with earbuds that not only look good but sound amazing as well. TWS has helped people cut the cord and go completely wireless while also not breaking the bank. This year we have seen a bunch of interesting launches in this market, in multiple different segments. Companies such as Nothing brought in a breath of fresh air in terms of design, as well as performance, while veterans Sennheiser, Sony, Apple and even Realme remained consistent with subtle yet impactful upgrades to their lineups. So, these are the nominees for the Best Truly Wireless Earbuds of 2022 — in both, mainstream and premium segments.
Best Mainstream TWS of 2022 – Indian Gadget Awards Nominees
- Realme Buds Air 3
- OPPO Enco Buds2
- Vivo TWS 2e
- OnePlus Nord Buds
- Redmi Buds 3 Lite
- Boat Airdopes 601 ANC
Realme Buds Air 3
The Realme Buds Air 3 builds upon its predecessor with a refined design structure, while also improving the feature set. It comes in a Starry Blue colour which looks quite dashing along with a compact case. The Buds Air 3 comes in an in-ear style that stays fit and helps with noise isolation. Speaking of noise, the Buds Air 3 also comes with active noise cancellation (ANC) with a claim of noise reduction of up to 42dB. These are IPX5 rated for water resistance and weigh 4.2 grams each. For sound output, it uses 10mm dynamic bass boost drivers and has support for Bluetooth 5.2. The earbuds have a game mode for low latency and also supports multi-connectivity. The Buds Air 3 promises 30 hours of total playback — which also happens to be Realme’s longest claim.
OPPO Enco Buds2
Oppo has been approaching the TWS market with a single mindset — value-for-money products. The Enco Buds2 is the successor to the previously launched Enco Buds, and it comes with a design overhaul, as well as a feature revamp. The stem-styled matte-finished earbuds have a proper in-ear canal fit which helps with passive noise isolation. Each earbud weighs 4 grams, making it quite lightweight. The 10mm Titanised drivers inside help with stronger bass, while the Enco Live Stereo Sound effect lets you play with customised sound effects for all styles of music. The Enco Buds2 promises an hour of playback with 10 minutes of charge while the overall playback claim is for 28 hours. It supports Bluetooth 5.2 for connectivity and also has a game mode with ultra-low latency.
Vivo TWS 2e
The Vivo TWS 2e comes with a short stem design and a charging case with a glossy finish that makes the Starry Blue variant look like a gem. The in-ear canal fit will ensure a proper fit for longer hours, while also cancelling outside noise as much as possible. The earbuds weigh 4.7 grams each, and it supports Bluetooth 5.2 for stable connectivity. It also has a game mode with low latency and multi-point connectivity support. TWS 2e uses 12.2mm dynamic drivers for a stronger emphasis on bass, and two beamforming microphones with mic noise-cancellation for clear and crisp phone calls. The earbuds promise an overall playback of 30 hours with the charging case and up to 7.6 hours of playback on a single charge.
OnePlus Nord Buds
The OnePlus Nord Buds goes for a rather unorthodox design when compared to its competitors. The suitcase-like charging case has sharp edges, and a flat top and bottom — easy to keep on a desk, but tough in the pockets. The Nord Buds go with a wider stem and a mirror dollop on the top which can be used for touch gestures. The earphones have a canal fit for a more comfortable experience. The Nord Buds have 12.4mm Titanium dynamic drivers and support Dolby Atmos sound on a number of OnePlus devices. The earbuds are IP55 rated for dust and water resistance, and promise a total of 30 hours of playback including the case. The earbuds can play music for up to five hours with a 10-minute charge. These weigh 4.82 grams each and run on Bluetooth 5.2 for connectivity with support for SBC and AAC codecs.
Redmi Buds 3 Lite
The Redmi Buds 3 Lite sways away from the norm and goes for a stemless design with an in-ear canal fit. The all-black plastic affair looks quite subtle, with each earbud weighing 4.2 grams. It uses Bluetooth 5.2 for connectivity and inherits anti-interference capabilities for more stable connections during calls. The Redmi Buds 3 Lite is powered by a 6mm dynamic driver that promises rich sound, while the earbuds get an IP54 rating for dust and water resistance. The earbuds also support low-latency mode for your gaming needs and up to 18 hours of battery life.
Boat Airdopes 601 ANC
The Airdopes 601 ANC is an affordable option for those looking for active noise-cancelling earbuds on a budget. The earbuds come with a matte finish and full stem design, with an in-ear canal fit. These use 10mm dynamic drivers with Boat signature sound. The charging case has Insta Wake N’Pair support which lets you connect to the device as soon as you open up the lid. It supports Bluetooth 5.0 and has a gaming mode for low latency. A total of six microphones help in reducing outside noise while on calls. It promises an overall playback of 28 hours, and a 5-minute charge can give you an hour’s playback. The Airdopes 601 ANC is IPX4 rated for water and sweat protection.
Indian Gadget Awards: Sony WF-1000XM4 Is Best Truly Wireless Earbud (Premium) of 2022
The Sony WF-1000XM4 stands tall in a very competent list, thanks to its amazing active noise cancellation capabilities. This, paired with Sony’s signature sound and good battery life, makes it a must-have pair of TWS.
Best Premium TWS of 2022 – Indian Gadget Awards Nominees
- Sony WF-1000XM4
- Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 Earbuds
- OPPO Enco X2
- Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro
- Apple AirPods Pro
- Sony LinkBuds
- LG Tone Free FP9
- Nothing Ear (stick)
- Vivo TWS Neo
Sony’s ‘WF’ series of earbuds have proven to be the pinnacle of audio products. The WF-1000XM4 just builds on the legacy it has created with an impressive set of features along with crisp and clear sound quality. The customised 6mm drivers produce dynamic sound despite their small size, and it also supports High-Resolution Wireless Audio. It also uses an integrated V1 processor for improved sound quality and, well, noise cancellation. The stemless design provides an ergonomic fit, while also looking dapper in classic gold and black accents. The earbuds are IPX4 rated for water and dust resistance. The WF-1000XM4 can last you 24 hours with the case, while a quick five-minute charge can give you an hour’s playback.
Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 Earbuds
The Momentum TWS 3 screams premium right when you get your hands on its case. The fabric-covered charging case looks and feels like a portable sofa with a single logo on the top. The stemless design comes with a comfortable canal fit, but with a slightly heavier base, weighing 5.8 grams. The earbuds are IPX4 rated for water resistance, and each earpiece has three microphones for calls and ANC. The Momentum True Wireless 3 is powered by 7mm dynamic drivers and uses Bluetooth 5.2 for connectivity. It supports SBC, AAC, and aptX Adaptive Bluetooth codecs. The earbuds are IPX4 rated for dust and water resistance. These promise a total of 28 hours of playback, with a 10-minute juice-up providing an hour’s playback.
OPPO Enco X2
The Oppo Enco X2s derive much of their design cues from the original Oppo Enco X, with a few changes here and there. The earbuds come with an in-ear canal fit for passive noise isolation and a comfortable fit. The stem design has some touch-sensitive areas with a good amount of gestures for media playback. The second generation coaxial dual-driver system has been made in collaboration with DynAudio — with an 11mm dynamic driver and 6mm planar diaphragm driver. It uses Bluetooth 5.2 for connectivity with support for LHDC 4.0. The Enco X2 buds provide 40-hour music playback, with five minutes of juice up enabling two hours of audio playback.
Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro
Samsung’s Galaxy Buds range of truly wireless earphones is aimed at building an ecosystem, and the Galaxy Buds2 Pro adds to that with promising improvements in the ANC area. It also hopes for a massive bump in sound quality, thanks to Samsung’s in-house 24-bit Seamless Codec. As usual, the colour choices from Samsung are a bit otherworldly, with the purple finish looking more like candy, instead of an earbud. The earbuds weigh 5.3 grams each, while the charging case does not go through much of a change, and is still pocketable. The 24-bit codec provides crisp and clear audio, while the ANC also performs quite well. The earpieces are IPX7 rated for water resistance, and using them under heavy showers is not an issue. The Buds2 Pro promises 18 hours of playback with the case and five hours of playback using the buds.
Apple AirPods Pro
Apple Airpods Pro has set a different standard in the TWS market. The second-gen Airpods Pro uses an H2 chip which improves its audio performance to provide crisp, clear high notes with a wide soundstage. It also focuses on better and smarter noise cancellation performance when compared to its predecessors. While it does not sway away from its design language from the past year, it looks quite classy in typical Apple style. The Airpods Pro uses IPX4 for water resistance. Each earbud weighs 5.3 grams, while the charging case tips the scales at 50.8 grams. It promises up to six hours of listening time with a single charge and a total of 30 hours with the case. Five minutes in the case provides around an hour of playback.
The Sony LinkBuds do not look like your average TWS pair, instead, it does not look like an earbud at all — but a mini version of a doughnut. Sony’s angle with the LinkBuds is to make you aware of your surroundings. This provides a comfortable fit with its polo-like bud that does not use any kind of silicone ear tip. Each earbud weighs 4.1 grams with recycled automobile parts used to build the earphones. LinkBuds, much like the WF-1000XM4 comes with an integrated V1 processor that provides well-balanced, sound with clear and crisp vocals. The LinkBuds need not be touched for gesture control, a simple swipe or tap in front of them does the deed, this is crazy. The earbuds are IPX4 rated for water resistance. It can give you a total of 17.5 hours of playback with the case.
LG Tone Free FP9
The LG Tone Free FP9 keeps in mind the ongoing outbreak of viruses, and lits up the insides of the cases with UV Nano LED lights, making it look like something out of Cyberpunk. LG says it kills 99.9% of bacteria present on the surface of the ear tips within 10 minutes. The charging case is designed like a tiny hockey puck and comes in a charcoal black colour. The 8mm drivers provide balanced and neutral sound with good instrument separation. The Tone Free FP9 is IPX4 rated for splash resistance, and also comes with a whispering mode for more private calls. It has a three-mic array engineered to reduce ambient noise. It promises an overall playback of 24 hours with the case, while five minutes of a quick charge will let you listen to music for an hour.
Nothing Ear (stick)
The Nothing Ear (stick) sways away from its usual design approach, but not so much. Instead of a boxy charging case, it comes with a rather unorthodox — but innovative lipstick-like case that reveals the earphones in an interesting manner. The ergonomically shaped earbuds still follow the transparent look and sit comfortably, while weighing 4.6 grams. The 12.6mm dynamic drivers provide crisp and detailed sound and are IP54 rated for dust and water resistance. It also uses three microphones for better voice calls in windy and crowded environments. The earbuds can provide up to 7 hours of listening time, with nearly 2 hours of playback with just 10 minutes of charge.
Vivo TWS Neo
The Vivo TWS Neo might look a bit similar in terms of its outer design, but that does not take away anything from what it has to offer. The large 14.2mm drivers provide a good overall listening experience with clear, detailed and crisp mids and highs. It also offers DeepX stereo sound effects which let you tune the music as per your preference. The earbuds use Bluetooth 5.2 for connectivity and also come with an 88ms low latency mode. The stem incorporates all the gesture control, with a lightweight design. Vivo TWS Neo promises up to 22.5 hours of playback with the case and 4.5 hours of maximum playback with the earbuds on the AAC codec. The earbuds are IP54 rated for water and dust resistance.