Best Bluetooth In-ear headphones (2021 Edition)

Airpods are good but there are better alternatives.
(Updated on September 12, 2021)

Quick Comparison

Device

Rating

Pros

Cons

View

realme Buds Wireless Pro

realme Buds Wireless Pro ANC Green 1

8.2

  • Most value for money

  • Decent active noise cancellation

  • Good sound quality

  • 13-17 hrs battery

  • Transparency mode

  • Quick charge

  • Mic quality is OK

  • Control buttons are too close together

OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z

OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z in ears black 1

7.9

  • Sturdy build

  • IP55 sweat and dust resistant

  • Supports Warp charging

  • Great battery life

  • Stable connection

  • Sound quality is average

  • Shaky buttons

JLAB Jbuds Band

JLAB Jbuds Band Neckband angled 1

8.1

  • Vibration alerts

  • Great sound

  • Strong build

  • 3 EQ modes

  • Magnetic earbuds

  • Price

Plantronics BackBeat Go 410

Plantronics BackBeat GO 410

7.5

  • Dual-mode ANC

  • Magnetic sensors save battery life when locked

  • Wired listening option

  • Bluetooth 5.0

  • BackBeat app

  • Clothes brush against the microphone

  • Decent noise isolation

Jaybird Tarah Pro

Jaybird Tarah Pro 1

8.7

  • IPX7 certified

  • Comfortable fit

  • Extremely minimal but stylish design

  • 14+ hrs of battery life

  • Expensive

For many listeners, a neckband-style of in-ear headphone is a suitable wireless or Bluetooth option. Unlike true wireless earbuds, the thought of losing a single earbud is taken away, which is quite relieving.

There are several options in the Indian market but we’ve gone through a whole lot of them and mentioned the ones that we think are the best. So you can focus on enjoying your music by choosing one of these pairs that meet your needs.


Realme Buds Wireless Pro – 8.2

Are the active noise cancelling claims of the realme buds wireless pro up to the mark? or do they fall behind?

The Realme Buds Wireless Pro showcase a similar design to its predecessor i.e. the realme Buds wireless, with a smooth and stylish looking neckband form factor. The left side of the neckband end houses the control buttons. Whereas, the right side has the realme logo imprinted. It uses black and yellow colour accents.

While the neckband itself is black, the cable connecting the earpieces to the neckband is yellow, this makes a striking impression. The cable is also tangle-free and is coated with rubber. They also offer a green colour variant. The construction of the device is strong, durable and portable so you could throw them in your pockets without having to worry about potential damage.

The play/pause and volume control buttons are attached to a single piece with separation between them which result in pressing the wrong button. Next to it is the button to switch between the provided active noise-cancelling, transparency mode, low-latency gaming mode, etc. There is also an LED indicator present. The in-ear fit of these headphones is good given that you find the right eartips for your size.

The earphones automatically turn themselves on/off depending on whether the magnetic earpieces are attached to each other or not. Basic sound quality is good, the various modes of the in-ears do impact the sound and add a different colouration to it. It supports LDAC, SBS and AAC codecs. Now the battery life is amazing, 22 hours of playtime with the ANC turned off and roughly 16 hours with ANC turned on.


OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z – 7.9

The OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z are portable, have a great battery life, solid connectivity and deliver decent sound output. One of very few in-ear headphones that offer quick charging.

Like all the others on this list, the OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z are neckband style headphones as well. The design is similar to the OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 with few changes. They come in several colourways that you can choose from. The styling and build construction of these headphones are minimal and durable respectively.

The left-side cable of the neckband houses the music controls. The buttons used are a bit flimsy. The in-ear fit of the earpieces is great with and their build quality as well. The included eartips are soft to the touch and feel of high quality.

At half the price you could get one of these.

The cable is rubber-coated. They do have an IP55 certification, so you can jog and workout with them, they can handle sweat and dirt. Unfortunately, they don’t provide a carrying case. Coming to the sound signature, it produces a warm sound output. The overall sound quality is good with decent low-end. This type of sound signature impacts high-end frequencies, making them less influential.

Vocals are crisp and clear, though the mids are recessed. The lows also could use a little more “oomph”. The microphone/call quality is average and can be used. They support quick charge and have a battery life of roughly 20 hours. And fully charge in about an hour.


JLAB Jbuds Band – 8.1

If you need an on-the-go headphone then the Jlab Jbuds Band is the device for you. With great mic quality to attend calls, 8+ hours of battery life and 3 EQ modes to choose from.

The Jlab Jbuds neckband comes in a classic black-out colour. It looks striking, minimal, and stylish. The neckband itself is rubber-coated, is flexible enough to withstand a decent amount of stress. The controls, which include the volume up and down keys and the play/pause key are located on the right end of the neckband. This is also where the LED indicator is placed.

The buttons are easy to reach and have enough separation, the feedback when clicked is laid-back but distinct. You are provided with extra eartips so make sure to try them and find one that fits you right as it impacts the sound. The earpieces and the overall construction of these neckband headphones are sturdy and durable. They feel solid and come with IP66 certification.

The battery life is limited to a little over 8 hours. This could be an issue for some people like commuters. Coming to the sound quality, the normal mode is bassy enough but if it isn’t for you then you have an option of switching to Bass Boost mode. You also get to experience a balanced sound signature with these pairs.


Plantronics BackBeat Go 410 – 7.5

With the BackBeat Go 410 neckband earbuds, you get great noise cancelling at a pretty affordable price.

Plantronics BackBeat GO 410

A noise-cancelling neckband earbud from Plantronics, BackBeat Go 410s are a great budget option. A comfortable, water-resistant build with satisfactory noise cancellation is offered for around ₹8,000. The earbuds are capable of automatically switching between Low Noise Mode and High Noise Mode based on environmental noise.

You might think it is a gimmick at first, but it performs surprisingly well. Whenever you exercise outside or go for a walk on a busy street, it’s best not to activate your noise cancellation system. When the battery has run out of juice, you can switch to wired listening on the BackBeat Go 410. This is thanks to the dual-use micro USB cables that also allow quick charging.

These earbuds provide a constant playback time of 7+ hours. The cable has a 3.5mm jack that connects to your phone’s headphone jack port or, if you need to, to a dongle.

A wireless range of up to 30 meters is accessible via Bluetooth 5.0. The SBC codec is the only one these earbuds support, but connectivity is stable. If you’re streaming video, you may experience audio-visual lag. For those who do not want to compromise much, this is a fantastic buy.


Jaybird Tarah Pro – 8.7

The Jaybird Tarah Pro is the successor of the Jaybird Tarah. It offers a few distinct features like an IPX7 rating and a few more, at a high price.

The Jaybird Tarah Pro are the enhanced version of the first Jaybird Tarah. It has all of the features that the previous version had and more. Battery life on the Pro version is roughly 15 hours which is over 10 hours of what the plain version offers. It also offers a better, more versatile and stable fit. The earbuds can be rotated over the earlobe to achieve a more sporty fit.

Nevertheless, they’re similar to the plain version the exceptions being the larger control module and higher price. The sound quality can be customized with the Jaybird App’s in-built custom EQ. It also lets you save individual settings to the earphones. An IPX7 rating meaning that it can withstand a lot of water stress.

The extra eartips are silicone ear gels to give you the most comfortable fit. A quick charging feature that delivers 2 hrs worth of playtime with a 5 min charge. If you have the money to burn then these will make a great companion for your workouts.


Noteworthy Mentions

AUKEY EP-B60S – The Aukey EP-B60S are one of the few neckband headphones that offer USB-C type charging. Packed with neat features they make a great pair of sports in-ears.

BOOMAUDIO Boom Duos – The BoomAudio Boom Duos offers dual drivers with improves the sound and deliver a battery life of about 10 hrs. Which is sufficient for most people and are priced economically.

Creative Outlier ONE Wireless – The Creative Outlier ONE are a wonderful value for money pair of neckband-style headphones. If you like the Creative sound signature then you should give these a try.

LG Tone Style HBS-SL6S – The LG Tone Style HBS-SL6S are a sleek and stylish pair of headphones. Unfortunately, the performance doesn’t justify the price that it’s selling at.

Jabra Evolve 65e Link 370 – The mic quality of the Jabra Evolve 65e is amazing. As for the sound quality, it falls short, the upper-midrange and highs lack clarity and crispness. The construction is sturdy, the battery is limited to about 8 hrs.

Jaybird X4 – The Jaybird X4 are slightly better in terms of performance compared to Tarah and are also priced higher but are well worth it.

Jaybird Tarah – The Jaybird Tarah has a lot of what the X4 and Pro models offer while also being available at a much more affordable price.

Noise Tune Charge – The Noise Tune Charge is another pair of neckband in-ear headphones with a great price-to-performance ratio. Great sound, a large battery and a dedicated bass boost button are the highlights of this device.

OPPO ENCO M31 – The build of the Oppo Enco M31 is similar to that of Oneplus devices and are priced similarly too. As for the sound quality, it fares a tad bit better than the Oneplus earphones.

Realme Buds Wireless – The Realme buds wireless are a better choice compared to the Oppo Enco M31 and the Oneplus wireless earphones. They also offer ANC models.

SoundPEATS Q30 Plus – The sound quality of the SoundPEATS Q30 Plus is decent enough. The battery life is on the lower side as well, 8 hours. For the price, they aren’t worth your money.

Sennheiser CX 120BT – If you don’t mind the battery of 6 hrs. then you could use the advantage of having aptX support. But there are better alternatives, so skip this as well.

Sony WI-XB400 – The sound output of Sony is one that a lot of people enjoy. You can experience the same her and for 15 hours straight. They deliver quick charge functionality and weigh a little over 21 grams.

TREBLAB XR800 – Just starting to show their age but still manage to stay relevant. The Treblab XR800 is another device that has the IPX7 certification ideal for people that work near a body of water. But the price is what makes you turn away.

V-MODA BassFit (VLCT-BLACK) – The V-Moda Bassfit has a distinct and striking look that will make you look twice. While 11 hrs of battery life, aptX support are great there isn’t an official IP rating.

Next – Best Over-Ear headphones in India


FAQ

The answer to that question entirely depends on what your needs are. If you are looking for convenience of use then you can choose a wireless pair of headphones. But if you are looking for professional use like music production, etc. then a wired pair would be favourable. That being said, you can find a great pair of headphones (Wired or Wireless) for almost any activity.

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