Apple’s long-awaited AirPods refresh finally happened this year. It’s been five years since the first-generation AirPods sparked a wave of memes but eventually became ubiquitous, triggering a wave of TWS Bluetooth earbuds. What started as a must-have accessory during subway commutes and morning runs also became an integral element in our WFH kit. We’ve rounded up some of the best premium Bluetooth earbuds that handle calls effortlessly and will please audiophiles, all under Rs 20,000.

 

Apple AirPods

Apple Airpods

 

The third-gen AirPods get a new design—lightweight and contoured, sitting at just the right angle for comfort and to direct audio into the ear. The stem is shorter and features the same intuitive force sensor as AirPods Pro for media control. They’re also geared to brave a run through a drizzle; they are resistant to both sweat and water, with an IPX4 rating for both the earbuds and the charging case. Battery life is better too with 30 hours of total listening time (with the case). What we are most excited about is the computational audio that brings breakthrough experiences, like Adaptive EQ and spatial audio with dynamic head tracking that were previously reserved for the AirPods Pro and Max. (Rs 18,500)

Bose Sport

BOSE SPORT BUDS

If you’ve experienced more than the occasional earbud drop at the gym, these buds from Bose might be the fix you need. They offer three sizes of Bose’s proprietary StayHear Max tips, so you can find the fit that works best for you. The unique umbrella-shaped tip and extended flexible wing keep these buds securely in place even through the most vigorous workouts. Every surface that touches your ear is made from soft silicone (and not plastic); there’s less pressure on sensitive parts of your ear. Our favourite feature is ‘Spotify Tap’; a quick double-tap on the left bud takes you straight back to your last listening session. (Rs 17,990)

Jabra Elite 85T

jabra elite

Jabra scanned 62,000 ears and ran the results through an advanced algorithmic simulator before arriving at the design for the 85T. These true wireless Bluetooth earbuds feature a semi-open design with pressure relief vents, preventing pressure build-up inside the ear. Three sizes of smooth, silicone oval EarGels create a secure, noise-cancelling seal that boosts sound quality and makes them comfortable for a whole day of WFH meetings. We also dig the HearThrough option (on the companion app) that allows you to tweak the level of external sounds when you use the Active Noise cancellation (ANC) mode. (Rs 17,999)

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

Samsung Pro

Our favourite Samsung earbuds have seen a price drop after the debut of the all-new Samsung Galaxy Buds 2. We are fans of the clever ‘Voice Detect’— these buds instantly switch from ANC to Ambient sound mode when it hears your voice. Like, when you’re on a flight and need to speak with the flight attendant. The music volume automatically drops and focuses the mics on the person speaking to you. The acoustics get a serious boost thanks to custom-built 2-way speakers with sound by AKG. And then there’s 360 Audio with Dolby Head Tracking technology that puts you into the centre of your favourite video or movie. (Rs 10,990)

Sennheiser CX400BT

Sennheiser CX400BT

Sennheiser’s Momentum True Wireless 2 are still among our favourite earbuds in the sound quality department. The CX400BT delivers the same stellar audio quality thanks to Sennheiser’s 7mm drivers with deep bass, natural mids and very detailed treble. You can tweak the equaliser settings with the companion App to suit your personal preferences. This model does miss out on a couple of features like ANC but delivers an audio experience that most audiophiles will approve of, especially since it carries a price tag that’s lower than its more formidable sibling. (Rs 13,990)