Audio purists and buyers with very low budgets might prefer wired headphones and earphones, but the convenience of going wire-free is a big draw for a lot of people. While Bluetooth wasn't great for audio transmission when it started out, it has since improved to the point that most people can't really make out any difference in sound quality anymore, particularly in the sub-Rs. 5,000 space. That, and dropping prices, are the biggest reasons for the growing popularity of wireless headphones and earphones – the convenience of no wires is hard to argue against.
Wireless headphones are significantly more affordable than they once were, and it's possible to buy a good pair for not a lot of money today. We've put together a list of the best wireless headphones in India within a reasonable budget of Rs. 5,000, which includes both in-ear and on-ear models. We've taken a look at our list and updated a few entries as of October 2020.
Till a few years ago, a decent pair of wired headphones cost around Rs. 5,000, while wireless would cost a lot more. Today, you can get a good pair for much less, so you might be tempted to spend that extra money to do away with wires. In our opinion, Rs. 5,000 is a decent amount to spend on a good headset, and this can be considered an investment towards ensuring that you have good sound to go with your smartphone, with the convenience of not being physically tethered.
The benefits of wireless listening are immense. The foremost is the freedom from having a physical connection between your source device and headphones, which can come in handy when commuting, during workouts or jogging, or in any generally cluttered environment where wires get in the way. In all of these cases, the lack of wires keeps things safe, convenient, and easy.
1More has built itself a reputation for manufacturing quality affordable audio gear, and a good example of that is the 1More Stylish Dual Dynamic Driver BT. Officially priced above Rs. 5,000, these wireless earphones are often available for less online. With a great combination of design, comfort, and performance, the 1More Stylish Dual Dynamic Driver BT is our favourite pair of affordable wireless earphones right now.
There's nothing particularly fancy here; this is a regular pair of neckband-style wireless earphones. Unlike others in the category, the controls and microphone aren't on the earphone cable and can all be found on the right side of the neckband. It's light, looks good, and is usable for hours at a stretch without causing much listener fatigue.
Although charged using a Micro-USB port, the 1More Stylish Dual Dynamic Driver BT does support fast charging, offering three hours of use after a 10-minute charge. The overall battery life of six hours, and only basic Bluetooth codec support are its weak points, but the 1More headset more than makes up for this when it comes to performance.
The earphones use an interesting dual dynamic driver combination, with a graphene and titanium driver in each ear casing. The sound is refreshingly clean as a result, with tight, calculated bass, and distinctly clear mids and highs. The clean, open and revealing nature of the sound is among the best that you can get in this budget, making the 1More Stylish Dual Dynamic Driver BT earphones our top pick among affordable wireless earphones that you can buy right now.
Priced at under Rs. 4,000 in India, the Jays x-Five Wireless might not seem like much at first. There isn't much to this pair of on-ear headphones, but it does get the basics right. We did have some issues with the design and build quality, but the excellent sound quality more than makes up for that. The sound is detailed, the sonic signature is balanced, and you get excellent value for money.
Another benefit of these headphones is decent battery life; the Jays x-Five Wireless ran for around 20 hours on a full charge for us. Although there's support for just the SBC Bluetooth codec, the Jays x-Five Wireless compensates with good drivers and tuning, and this is our top pick among wireless on-ear headphones priced below Rs. 5,000.
More traditional designs might deliver better value for money when it comes to budget earphones, but we've been seeing some impressive true wireless options in this price segment too. Our top pick among affordable true wireless earphones is the JVC HA-A10T. Priced at Rs. 3,999, this is unequivocally the best-sounding true wireless headset you can buy right now.
Interestingly, you also get foam ear tips in the box with this one, and the earphones are light enough for comfortable all-day wearing. Although performance on voice calls isn't very good and SBC codec support means that the earphones can't quite keep pace with the busiest of tracks, these are small complaints on a headset that sounds better than many options that are twice as expensive.
Active noise cancellation is a premium feature that you'd ordinarily expect to see on more expensive headphones. However, the JVC HA-FX65BN offers active noise cancellation and wireless connectivity for less than Rs. 5,000. While ANC on these earphones isn't quite as good as what high-end options deliver, you do get basic noise reduction, as well as the typical benefits of a wireless neckband-style headset.
Sound quality is nowhere as good as what you'd get from our top pick, the 1More Dual-Dynamic Driver BT. Weak passive isolation also tends to take away from the benefits of active noise cancellation. However, the headlining feature alone makes this a good affordable pair of wireless earphones to own if you often find yourself in noisy environments.
Our selections in this guide are based on our reviews and experiences with products, and we've picked options that we've used or reviewed extensively. We've selected both in-ear and on-ear options, and while it might be possible to find wireless over-ear headphones at this price, we don't think any of them are good enough to make the cut.
Most wireless headphones, including our recommendations above, are equipped with microphones and on-board controls for hands-free use with a smartphone. This is a basic requirement, and we recommend that whatever you pick, it does have these features. Furthermore, since the quality of wireless headphones depends as much on the DAC and electronics as on the drivers and tuning, it's important that you buy a product from a good brand that knows what it's doing.
HiFuture TidyBuds Pro: Among all of the budget true wireless headsets we've reviewed, the HiFuture TidyBuds Pro is unique for one big reason - class-leading battery life. We estimate over 80 hours of battery life per charge cycle on these Rs. 4,499 earphones, and you can also use the charging case as a power bank. Sound quality and design isn't very good on these earphones, though.
Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones: At Rs. 1,599, the Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones is a simple but effective pair of wireless earphones that offers tremendous bang for your buck. The lack of water resistance might be an issue for some, though.
OnePlus Buds: The first true wireless earphones from this brand, the OnePlus Buds offer decent sound and feature fast charging. However, you'll need a OnePlus smartphone to get the most out of this Rs. 4,990 pair of true wireless earphones (at least till the app is released).
JBL Endurance Jump: With an IPX7 water and dust resistance rating, the JBL Endurance Jump is one of the most rugged and fitness-friendly wireless headsets available under Rs. 5,000. It's priced at Rs. 4,199, making it a good option for anyone looking for budget earphones to use while working out.
Sony WI-C400: At Rs. 3,299, the WI-C400 promises Sony's reliable tuning, up to 20 hours of battery life, and more. It's a pretty safe pick, as they come.
Xiaomi Mi True Wireless Earphones 2: The Xiaomi Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 is a true all-rounder at Rs. 4,499, combining the benefits of true wireless connectivity with good sound quality and performance on voice calls. It also has some premium features, including USB Type-C charging and environmental noise cancellation.
Which are the best budget Bluetooth earphones and headphones in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.