Listen up: Top 5 latest TWS for every budget

A new set for your ears

There are as many TWS in the market as there are stars in the sky but while the options may be limitless, your budget can only stretch as far as your monthly budget. So we’ve compiled a list of TWS for every budget. 

Be it a meal for two sorts of money or a luxury stay budget, there’s a TWS in the same price range that fits the bill and if you don’t find the usual suspects here, that’s because these TWS have launched in the last month. So strap in and plug those lugs…


1) Bowers & Wilkins PI7 (₹60,400)

If TWS isn’t your thing, the only brand that can swing you is Bowers & Wilkins. This Brit brand has catapulted many a casual listener into audiophile notoriety. The PI7 is the flagship TWS model in their collection and the price tag doesn’t shy away from proclaiming it either. So what do you get for your cash aplenty

The most unique feature of the PI7 is its wireless re-transmission feature that lets you plug in the case via the supplied USB-C to 3.5mm cable to any external source like in-flight entertainment systems or older laptops that may not have Bluetooth. It could be life-changing if you’re a frequent flyer and downloading content on your own device just isn’t your thing.

But it’s a Bowers & Wilkins after all, so shouldn’t sound be of paramount significance here? Yes, of course. Starting with the supremely comfortable fit in almost any lug hole, the twist-and-lock type earbuds provide a solid passive noise-cancellation seal as well.

Although the PI7 is a miniature representation of the brands’ prowess, it does have a 2-way driver system. Consisting of a 9.2mm dynamic driver for the lows and a balanced armature driver for the highs, the necessary HD codecs support the hardware via Bluetooth AptX Adaptive. This includes AptX HD, AptX Low Latency, AptX Classic and of course AAC for use with Apple i-devices.

The PI7 has an obvious bass boost to its tuning that emphasizes the low-end and can stress out the dynamic driver on Be Your Man by Cub Sport. Thankfully, the PI7 redeems itself when it comes to detail and resolution and it has plenty of both. In typical B&W fashion, the midrange is recessed just the right amount to control the forwardness of instruments or vocals and it’s the characteristic that makes it easy to listen to them for long durations. Low-level detail on acoustic music is superbly resolved and there’s a refinement to the sound that sets it apart from lesser competitors. If it’s engine drones you want to get rid of though, the competitors do a better job of active ANC and the price tag of the PI7 sets it in a different stratosphere.

Key specs ● 1 x 9.2mm dynamic driver, 1 Balanced Armature ● AptX Adaptive, AptX Classic, AptX Low Latency, AptX HD, SBC, AAC 

Stuff Says ★★★★✩

Premium fit and finish, refined midrange but pricey compared to the competition


2) Google Pixel Buds Pro (₹19,990)

The Google Pixel Buds Series-A were great but they lacked some features that stopped it from being a complete package. The Pixel Buds Pro here brings all the necessary features that were missing on the Series-A. You get wireless charging, fast charging, better sound quality and multipoint support. All of these things have been brought to the Pro model and it’s the most complete Google TWS to date. 

The Pro version of the Pixel Buds has a nice warm sound signature. It’s not too bassy but enough to feel the punch and rhythm in every Afrobeat song. Although that does make it sound a bit dark in the upper frequencies. The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 sound much more detailed when it comes to treble and highs. Matt Corby’s excellent vocals in Brother (Stripped Back Version) have good depth and the Buds Pro handle the midrange and soundstage particularly well. The opening Many Ways (feat. Wizkid) by BNXN fka Buju is the most fun listen on these buds. The soundstage is wider and the punchy bass makes for a fun listening experience.

Google has also nailed the voice quality for calls. The Pixel Buds Pro use bone conduction to analyze vibrations near your jaw area to pick out your voice and the beamforming mics accurately transmit your voice. Needless to say, it’s good for taking calls and jumping into meetings. 

These should pair nicely with a Google Pixel smartphone but strangely it wouldn’t give us proper controls for EQ and other Google AI settings on a Pixel 6a. On our Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4, it worked flawlessly with the Pixel Buds app. iOS devices don’t have the app for granular controls and firmware updates.

You can swipe on the buds to adjust the volume level and tap switch between ANC modes, summon Google AI and control your music. The ANC isn’t the best in the business but it’s good enough to shush some sounds. Google Assistant is always at your beck and call. And it works wonderfully. You can control the whole thing wirelessly. The bean-shaped buds fit snuggly inside your lugs. That may or may not be the most comfortable for some so try before you buy. Make sure you try out the snug fit before buying these.

Key specs ● 7hrs + 20hrs case ● Bluetooth 5.0  ● ANC ● IPX4 ● USB-C + Qi charging  ● 2x 6.2g, 62.4g case

Stuff Says ★★★★✩

For the ones who only live in Google’s world and want good sound


3) Oppo Enco X2 (₹10,999)

The Oppo Enco X was one of our favourite TWS from last year. Our snobby audiophile Deputy Editor uses them as his pocket-friendly daily driver which says a lot about the quality of the product but even if you’re not aware of the refined taste of this fine gentleman, we’re here to break down why the Oppo Enco X2 has a lot to live up to and it smashes our expectations. Especially when you consider the ₹10,999 price point. Which frankly feels like a steal for the audio quality and features that the Enco X2 packs.

Just a few seconds into Them Changes by Thundercat and the Oppo Enco X2 simply floor the Apple AirPods Pro when it comes to bass. It’s tight and punchy. The bassline with all its rhythmic changes sounds fuller and has more texture. It’s easy to notice how well the Enco X2 handle bass without sounding too heavy or congested like all of the other TWS at this price.

It’s also quite confident in the midrange as well. The engaging vocals in Take My Breath by The Weeknd are detailed with fantastic clarity and controlled treble. It never gets too fatiguing even when listening to the whole electric guitar section mid-way through the Up All Night song by The War on Drugs. The Dynaudio calibration is so good that you’re better off listening to the EQ set by the professionals from Dynaudio.

The passive seal from the silicone tips is great too. At times you won’t even need to use the ANC simply because these fit into most ear shapes and sizes perfectly. For times when you want to block out the wind noise and chatty folks around you, the Oppo Enco X2 is on par if not better than all of the best TWS in the market right now.

The HeyMelody app which lets you tweak all the functions of the Enco X2 is available on Android and iOS. So no matter which smartphone you’re rocking, the Oppo Enco X2 will run and have the same functions and features across all smartphone ecosystems. There’s also a touch-sensitive panel on the stalk (or stem) which faces the front when you wear the buds. Aside from regular touch controls, you also get swipe up and down controls to change the volume. The voice quality from the microphone is not the best when compared to Apple and Sony. The microphone quality will make your voice sound a bit distant and tinny.

Key specs ● 5hrs + 20hrs case (with ANC) ● Bluetooth 5.2 ● ANC ● IP54

Stuff Says ★★★★★

The best one on this list in terms of audio, features and price 


4) OnePlus Nord Buds CE (₹2,299)

With the Nord series, OnePlus tries to bring back the budget-friendly appeal of its former self. How much of that has been successful stands debatable but among the Nord lineup, there’s another pocket-friendly CE version of products. CE stands for Core Edition and that’s exactly why the asking price is as little as a meal for two. You won’t get any fancy ANC or transparency mode on these. And seeing how these are designed like the Gen 1 AirPods, we don’t expect any passive seal for your lugs either.

The best thing about not having silicone tips is that you’ll barely feel the congestion in your lugs from the buds. They sit with minimal effort and most of the time it’s effortlessly dangling in your ears. The drawback is that it may or may not drop from your ear during intense workouts or when you get tugged while taking public transport. Secondly, the lack of a passive seal on the buds can let in all the noises from the environment and thirdly, the bass might be a wee-bit weak.

That said, we absolutely love the option of having non-silicone tip-based TWS in this price segment. Quite a lot of our readers have been wanting the option of non-silicone tip TWS and the Nord Buds CE exactly fit the bill. It may not have deep and lush bass as the much more expensive Google Pixel Buds Pro but its got clean midrange with a bit of sharp and analytical delivery on the higher frequencies. Listening to music with above fifty per cent volume can be a bit fatiguing. Nasha (Equal Sessions) by Faridkit & Amar Jalal sounds a bit too sharp for our liking. You can pick up details from the instruments and the bass line in She’s a Lover by Red Hot Chili Peppers. The lower frequencies are not completely lost in the Let ‘Em Cry either. The bass is there but the higher frequencies often make the Nord Buds CE sound brighter. Although, judging from the price alone, these are not too bad. In fact, having music poured into our lugs without feeling the stuffiness of the silicone tips is refreshing. 

The mic quality is great. OnePlus says there’s AI noise cancellation on this to suppress the surrounding noise and to an extent, it works. It’s reliable at shushing clicks and claps and anything of that sort but it can’t suppress wind noise. It also works with iOS and Android devices through the HeyMelody app which gives you access to preset EQ controls and touch functions.

Key specs ● 4.5hrs + 20hrs case ● Bluetooth 5.2  ● ANC ● IPX4 ● USB-C  ● 2x 3.5g, 33g case

Stuff Says ★★★✩✩

Buds that sound a bit too sharp but can be overlooked for the price


5) Redmi Buds 3 Lite (₹1,999)

The Redmi Buds 3 Lite is the most affordable of the lot. For that price alone, the Redmi stand out in terms of sound quality and battery life. It’s a no-frills TWS and just works with any smartphone. It also doesn’t need an app or anything to keep the thing running. So folks who want EQ settings or want to readjust the touch commands might not be happy. Although for ₹2K, we rather keep all our gripes at bay. 

Unlike the Nord Buds CE, the Redmi Buds 3 Lite has some sort of passive seal due to the silicone ear tip. It also has a fin to lock the buds in place which may be the best thing about the Buds 3 Lite. The fit is better than most TWS because of the fin and if you’re willing to sweat it out in these, they will not fall off easily.

There’s a bit more detail and control on these than the Nord Buds CE. Although, these too have a slightly sharper high frequency for most songs and that, again, can be very fatiguing for long listening sessions. They’re not as bright as the Nord but do a good job of controlling different sounds. The itsy-bitsy bass on these might not floor you while listening to I Was Made for Lovin’ You by Kiss but you can enjoy the vocals properly. The bright sound quality means you’ll find a considerable amount of sibilance in the higher notes in She’s a Lover by Red Hot Chili Peppers. 

The touch quality is also adequate. We wish it had a tap to pause and play instead of tap and hold. You can’t adjust this because there’s no supported app. The mic quality is decent too. Redmi says they have noise reduction for enhancing your voice on a call but it picks up all the noise from around you. The mic also makes you sound a bit distant and boxy. It’s not a shabby purchase if you want super light TWS without shelling out a lot. The only way to pair these TWS with a smartphone is to remove them from the case and connect. Like most TWS these days, these come with fast charging and 10mins of charge can give 100mins of playback.

The fins are tiny so they don’t poke and prod in your ear either. It’ll sit snuggly in your lug but there’s no way to tell the battery life of the case while using the Redmi Buds 3 Lite. Get it only if you really don’t want to spend more.


Key specs ● 5hrs + 18hrs case ● Bluetooth 5.2  ● 35g case ● IP54 ● USB-C 

Stuff Says ★★★✩✩

Good fit for folks who exercise a lot, don’t expect great sound though