Digit Zero1 Awards 2021: Best Mid-Range Truly Wireless Earphone

Dhriti Datta | Published 17 Dec 2021
Digit Zero1 Awards 2021: Best Mid-Range Truly Wireless Earphone
  • The Digit Zero1 Awards recognises and awards the best performing products of the year

  • Products are evaluated on basis of objective and scientific test processes

  • These are the winners for the Best Mid-Range Truly Wireless Earphones for 2021

The mid-range truly wireless earphone category nestles comfortably between the budget and premium TWS categories with numerous compelling options to choose from. This year, the mid-range truly wireless earphone category truly gave the premium category a run for their money by offering a gamut of features as well as excellent performance at a much lower price point. From multi-driver setups to excellent noise-cancelling abilities, truly wireless earphones between Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 are fast becoming the go-to category for users who value performance without breaking the bank. A good mid-range truly wireless earphone in 2021 comes with a robust driver(s) setup that produces balanced sound, most come with effective Active Noise Cancellation, a good microphone system, and dependable battery life.  The Digit Zero1 Award is given to the product that excels in performance, and performance alone. So, we went ahead and put all the contenders through their paces to see which one would come out the victor. We tested several parameters with our IEM testing equipment and have crowned one particular earphone the Best Performing Mid-Range Truly Wireless Earphone in 2021. Read on to find out. 

Winner: Oppo Enco X (Buy here)

Digit Zero1 Awards 2021 Best Mid-Range Truly Wireless Earphone Winner Oppo Enco X

The winner of the mid-range true wireless earphone segment, the Oppo Enco X, is truly a deserving one. The Oppo Enco X earbuds are undoubtedly flagship killers in the TWS segment, bringing premium features and sound to the sub-10K price range. These earphones have been created in collaboration with Dynaudio, a Danish company with an imposing reputation in the Hi-Fi circles. The earbuds also use the new DBEE 3.0 Acoustic System which helps improve audio across frequencies. It comes with a coaxial dual-driver design which comprises one 6mm balanced membrane driver that handles all the high frequencies, and one 11mm triple-layer dynamic driver which takes care of the rest of the frequency range. This is extremely unusual at this price point and is a solution that is usually prevalent in high-end Hi-Fi audio devices.

The result? The Oppo Enco X is one of the best-sounding pairs of truly wireless earphones we’ve tested under 10K. The earbuds deliver excellent sound quality with textured and well-defined bass response, detailed midrange, articulate vocals and sparkly highs. The soundstage was surprisingly wide too when listening to high-quality music, however, it did become slightly more restrictive when we switched over to YouTube Music or Spotify. The ANC performance is pretty decent for the price and the microphone is excellent to use indoors and decent outdoors. The one area the Enco X loses out to its competitors is battery life. In our tests, the Oppo Enco X earbuds lasted about 3.5 hours on a single charge with Max Noise Cancellation turned on and the volume set at around 70 per cent. Nevertheless, as a package, the Oppo Enco X gives premium TWS earphones a serious run for their money and deserves this award.

Runner Up: Google Pixel Buds A-Series (Buy here)

Digit Zero1 Awards 2021 Best Mid-Range Truly Wireless Earphone Runner Up Google Pixel Buds A-Series

The Google Pixel Buds A-Series feature custom-designed 12mm dynamic drivers and support the SBC and AAC audio codecs. The buds deliver a fairly balanced, close to neutral sound which really impressed us, but the bass response is a bit muted compared to the ideal at the default EQ setting. The Bass Boost EQ setting sounds a bit more dynamic and energetic than the normal EQ setting, but the low bass response is slightly above ideal. As for the mids and the highs, in both EQ settings, they sound detailed and close to neutral. Vocals especially sound great, with excellent clarity and presence.

The soundstage of these earbuds is pretty decent, possibly due to the spatial vents provided that open up the stage more and help avoid the plugged-ear feeling. However, these spatial vents do negatively impact passive isolation. If you're in a fairly loud environment such as an office or commute, you will be able to hear your surroundings pretty easily. Moving on the microphone performance, the Google Pixel Buds A series comes with dual beamforming mics on each earbud that picks voices up well. The voice sounds more or less natural with little distortion. The buds also do a decent job blocking out external sounds. Overall, the Google Pixel Buds A-Series delivers solid performance when it comes to sound and microphone quality, however, it does lose out to the superior sound quality produced by the Oppo Enco X’s coaxial dual drivers. 

Best Buy: Nothing Ear (1) (Buy here)

Digit Zero1 Awards 2021 Best Mid-Range Truly Wireless Earphone Best Buy Nothing Ear 1

The Nothing Ear (1) is not only an excellent earphone to consider due it comes to its unique transparent design, but it also provides compelling sound quality, ANC performance, and good battery life. The Nothing Ear (1) sports an 11.6mm dynamic driver and is tuned with the help of Teenage Engineering. The earphones come with a V-shaped sound signature with slightly boosted bass and highs and close to neutral mids. The sound signature works well with genres such as pop, rap, EDM, hip hop, Bollywood, and even rock, to some extent. Priced at Rs 6,999, the Nothing Ear (1) offers a lot to like at a significantly lower price than our winner and runner up and therefore wins the Best Buy recommendation in this category.

About the Digit Zero 1 Awards

With a legacy of 20 years, the Digit Zero 1 Awards is recognized as the Industry’s only performance-based awards. Digit rewards brands for putting in years of research in developing and introducing performance-driven products for their audience. All products are made to pass through a rigorous and scientific test process and compete with competitor brands in the same category. The Winner in each category is announced on the basis of their total score, post complete performance analysis done across an average of 56 tests, conducted for every category, across key performance parameters. The test process for the Zero1 Awards does not consider scores for features, price or design. The aim is to identify the very best products that money can buy, celebrate the innovations that push the industry forward, and reward the products that dare to disrupt the market.

Dhriti Datta
Dhriti Datta

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About Me: Perpetually sporting a death stare, this one can be seen tinkering around with her smartphone which she holds more dear than life itself and stuffing her face with copious amounts of bacon. Read More

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