In a world after a gruelling couple of years disrupted by the pandemic, truly wireless earphones have become a staple for music lovers, podcast enthusiasts, and call-centric professionals and students. However, finding a pair of quality wireless earphones on a budget, particularly within the ₹2,000 range, can be a harrowing task given the endless list of products available online.
The market is flooded with options, each promising superior sound quality, extended battery life, and seamless connectivity. But how many of these promises hold up? And more importantly, how do you navigate the sea of choices to find a pair that suits your needs without breaking the bank?
Well, the challenge lies in understanding that the budget segment of truly wireless earphones is a balancing act between cost and quality. Manufacturers often have to make compromises to keep prices low, which can affect the overall performance and longevity of the product. Therefore, it’s essential to manage expectations and understand that a budget pair of earphones may not deliver the same level of audio quality or feature set as the Airpods and Galaxy Buds of the world.
Managing Expectations: Features vs The Essentials
When shopping for wireless earphones in the ₹2,000 range, it’s crucial to keep your expectations realistic. High-end features such as active noise cancellation, high-resolution audio support, or premium build quality are often reserved for more expensive models. That’s not to say that budget earphones can’t offer a decent listening experience — far from it.
However, the focus in this price range is typically on delivering reliable basic functionality rather than luxury features.
The key to finding the right pair of earphones is to understand your use case. Are you looking for a pair to use during workouts? Then you might want to prioritise features like a secure fit and sweat resistance. Do you plan to use them primarily for listening to music or podcasts? In that case, the sound quality would be a significant factor.
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Or perhaps you need them for making and receiving calls, in which case quality microphones and stable connectivity would be essential. By identifying your needs, you can focus on the features that matter most to you and make a more informed decision.
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Best Truly Wireless Earphones Under ₹2,000
OnePlus Nord Buds CE
The OnePlus Nord Buds CE earphones have been praised for their excellent value, offering impressive audio quality and long battery life at a competitive price. They are OnePlus’ cheapest truly wireless earbuds yet, but they pack a powerful punch with a single 13.4mm dynamic driver and Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity.
The earbuds have an open-back design that lets you enjoy your music while keeping you aware of your surroundings, and they offer up to 4.5 hours of continuous playback, with an additional 20 hours provided by the charging case. They also feature AI noise cancellation for calls, OnePlus Fast Pair, and a Game mode for low-latency audio.
However, they are not without their drawbacks. Some users have found the case to be bulky and the earbuds to be slippery when sweating. The design is also quite generic, reminiscent of the Apple AirPods, which may not appeal to everyone.
Despite these minor issues, the OnePlus Nord Buds CE is a solid choice for those on a tight budget who still want a quality listening experience. They deliver clear audio, have a surprisingly heavy bass, and offer a decent battery life, making them a safe bet for budget-conscious consumers.
Realme Buds Q2s
The Realme Buds Q2s earphones are a compelling choice for those looking for budget-friendly, feature-packed earbuds. They come with 10mm dynamic bass drivers and support for Dolby Atmos which is a pretty unique addition here for the budget.
However, they struggle to distinguish between the highs and mids, which affects the instrument separation1. The earbuds also feature a dedicated Gaming Mode, which delivers a latency of 88ms for a lag-free gaming experience.
The Buds Q2s are praised for their value for money, effective noise cancellation, and ergonomic design. However, they fall short in terms of audio quality and battery life. The earbuds are designed to fit comfortably in the ear canals and come with silicone tips of different sizes.
The Realme Buds Q2s also come with a companion app, the Realme Link, which allows users to update the earbuds, customise controls, and choose between different sound profiles. Despite their shortcomings, the Buds Q2s are considered a strong product in the budget segment of the market.
Realme Buds Air 3 Neo
The Realme Buds Air 3 Neo earphones offer a great value proposition for the budget. They feature a stem design that blends smoothly into the rest of the mould, and the reflective finish adds a nice touch against the dull plastic of the back of the stems and driver casings. The earpieces weigh 4g each and have touch controls that can be customised using the Realme Link app.
The Buds Air 3 Neo brings Realme's most powerful noise cancellation yet, a slight redesign with shorter steams and wireless charging. They also offer a rich feature set for their asking price, including adjustable ANC, multi-point pairing, wireless charging, a low latency gaming mode and customisable sound profiles.
However, the Buds Air 3 Neo does have a bit of what many might call a “cheap plastic look”, and the duotone blue case looks and feels like it’s made from low-quality plastic. Despite this, the earbuds are comfortable to wear, and the battery life is solid, delivering up to 6.5 hours on a single charge.
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Dizo Buds Z Power
The Dizo Buds Z Power earphones have been lauded for their impressive performance at an affordable price point. The earbuds offer a balanced sound profile with a slight emphasis on the bass, making them suitable for a variety of music genres. They also feature a comfortable fit and a battery life of up to 5 hours on a single charge, which can be extended to 20 hours with the charging case.
Users on e-commerce sites also praise the Dizo Buds Z Power for their sound quality and battery life. The earbuds are equipped with 10mm dynamic drivers that deliver a clear and balanced sound.
They also come with a gaming mode that reduces latency, making them a good choice for gamers. However, users do point out that the touch controls can be a bit sensitive and may take some time to get used to.
Redmi Earbuds 3 Pro
The Redmi Earbuds 3 Pro checks most boxes on the essentials list. These earbuds provide a compact design and touch-sensitive controls. They can also maintain two simultaneous connections, a useful feature for quick device switching.
They ensure a comfortable fit and carry an IPX4 rating, offering protection against sweat and light rain showers. Despite featuring Qualcomm’s AptX audio codec, some users note that the sound quality might not satisfy everyone, particularly considering the superior hardware compared to peers on the list.
The earbuds’ unusual shape, designed to house the active noise cancellation feature, receives praise for its solid build quality, compact case, and compatibility with any Qi wireless charger at up to 5W speeds. Reports indicate that the ANC performs quite well, especially for earbuds in this price range.
OnePlus Nord Buds
The OnePlus Nord Buds are a solid choice for those seeking value and quality in their wireless earbuds. TechRadar commends the Nord Buds for their impressive audio quality and battery life, considering their affordable price point. Users appreciate the clear audio delivery and surprisingly heavy bass, as well as the battery life of up to 7 hours per charge.
Users also highlight the simplicity and ease of use of the Nord Buds, noting their comfortable fit and secure feel, even during activities like running. The earbuds also come with an IP55 rating, making them resistant to water and sweat.
However, some users point out that the user experience is heavily dependent on the phone’s software, and thus, they recommend the Nord Buds primarily to OnePlus phone users. Despite this, they praise the earbuds for their stylish design, comfort, and solid audio performance, thanks to the larger-than-average titanium drivers.
The reason why these earbuds drop out of our list of recommendations is the fact these retail for ₹2,499 online, making them a tad more expensive when on a tight budget. If you can spare your purse strings a bit more though, these definitely offer more than the other earbuds in our list.
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