How did earbuds transform audio experience in 2023?

2023 witnessed the arrival of Sony’s WF-1000XM5 earbuds and Jabra’s Elite 10 to India along with additions from Nothing and OnePlus

Updated - December 16, 2023 10:26 am IST

Published - December 15, 2023 03:55 pm IST

How did earbuds transform audio experience in 2023?

How did earbuds transform audio experience in 2023? | Photo Credit: Haider Ali Khan

While active noise cancellation (ANC) became more mainstream, spatial audio has started to move in among true wireless (TWS) headsets in 2023. The year witnessed the arrival of Sony’s WF-1000XM5 earbuds and Jabra’s Elite 10 to India along with additions from Nothing and OnePlus.

Let’s rewind and look at some of the top launches in a jiffy:

Sony expressed an urge to compete in budget segment of TWS with the launch of sub-10k earbud: WF-C700N. The earbud had Sony’s legacy of providing good sound quality, noise cancellation, fast charging and long-lasting battery, the arrival of its premium buds WF-1000XM5 consolidated brands strong positioning in the Indian TWS market. Features like Sony’s 360 Reality Audio, Speak-to-Chat, and DSEE Extreme made WF-1000XM5 one of the top picks in the premium category.

Jabra, the Danish audio major, launched a mixed portfolio in 2023 that spreads from sub-10k to above 20k range. With earbuds like Elite 4 and Elite 5, Jabra fulfilled the appetite of casual music lovers and sports enthusiasts alike. In the later part of 2023, Jabra introduced Elite 10 with features like IP57 dust and water resistance and Dolby’s Spatial Sound with head tracking, taking its performance and prospects of TWS industry to next level.

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Nothing came with Ear 2 this year that maintained the same design elements of its predecessor. The transparent earbuds from the London-based tech startup had IP54 rating, updated diaphragm with graphene and polyurethane and support of LHDC 5.0, SBC and AAC codecs. With ANC and sub-10k price, Ear 2 had a fair share in TWS segment in 2023.

OnePlus brought in spatial audio with head tracking in Buds Pro 2 in 2023. The earbuds delivered TUV Rheinland-certified adaptive noise cancellation, transparency mode and active noise cancellation. The sub-10k earbuds nowadays offered a stem-like design and IP55 certification for dust and water. OnePlus also extended its Nord hearable range with Nord Buds 2 that offered comparative features at an affordable price.

Oppo launched Enco Air3 Pro with bamboo-fiber diaphragms for the drivers and support for advanced Bluetooth codecs. Priced sub-5k, the Air3 Pro offered IP55 rating for protection against dust and water, Google Fast Pair support, and app-based features such as Oppo Alive Audio for spatial surround sound and Golden Sound for personalised frequency.

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