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Audio purists and buyers with very low budgets might prefer wired headphones and earphones, but the convenience of going wire-free is a big draw for a lot of people. While Bluetooth wasn’t great for audio transmission when it started out, it has since improved to the point that most people can’t really make out any difference in sound quality anymore, particularly in the sub-Rs. 5,000 space. That, and dropping prices, are the biggest reasons for the growing popularity of wireless headphones and earphones – the convenience of no wires is hard to argue against.

Wireless headphones are significantly more affordable than they once were, and it’s possible to buy a good pair for not a lot of money today. We’ve put together a list of the best wireless headphones in India within a reasonable budget of Rs. 5,000, which includes both in-ear and on-ear models. We’ve taken a look at our list and updated a few entries as of October 2020.

Why should you buy wireless headphones under Rs. 5,000?

Till a few years ago, a decent pair of wired headphones cost around Rs. 5,000, while wireless would cost a lot more. Today, you can get a good pair for much less, so you might be tempted to spend that extra money to do away with wires. In our opinion, Rs. 5,000 is a decent amount to spend on a good headset, and this can be considered an investment towards ensuring that you have good sound to go with your smartphone, with the convenience of not being physically tethered.

The benefits of wireless listening are immense. The foremost is the freedom from having a physical connection between your source device and headphones, which can come in handy when commuting, during workouts or jogging, or in any generally cluttered environment where wires get in the way. In all of these cases, the lack of wires keeps things safe, convenient, and easy.

The best wireless earphones under Rs. 5,000: Realme Buds Wireless Pro

Realme has taken a while to establish itself in the audio segment, but has finally made its mark with the Buds Wireless Pro. Priced at Rs. 3,999, this is an impressive pair of wireless earphones both on paper and in practice, thanks to good tuning, support for the LDAC Bluetooth codec, and active noise cancellation, which isn’t something we’ve typically expected to see on affordable earphones till now.

The earphones look and feel good, sound quality is very good, high-resolution audio does sound considerably better thanks to support for the LDAC Bluetooth codec, and active noise cancellation is functional and usable for the price. The wide soundstage and refined sound makes this among the best-sounding wireless earphones you can buy for the price.

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As would be expected, these aren’t a perfect pair of earphones, with a particularly strange issue – active noise cancellation affects the sound quality negatively, and this means that you’ll want to keep it switched off at times when you don’t particularly need it. The earpieces latch together magnetically, but this also controls the power; this implementation is prone to accidents, and the earphones often switch on unpredictably.

Perhaps the only reason not to buy the Realme Buds Wireless Pro is if you specifically want true wireless earphones at under Rs. 5,000. If you’re okay with the neckband-style fit, there’s very little to complain about here; this is the best pair of wireless earphones you can buy for the price.

 

The best wireless on-ear headphones under Rs. 5,000: Jays x-Five Wireless

Priced at under Rs. 4,000 in India, the Jays x-Five Wireless might not seem like much at first. There isn’t much to this pair of on-ear headphones, but it does get the basics right. We did have some issues with the design and build quality, but the excellent sound quality more than makes up for that. The sound is detailed, the sonic signature is balanced, and you get excellent value for money.

Another benefit of these headphones is decent battery life; the Jays x-Five Wireless ran for around 20 hours on a full charge for us. Although there’s support for just the SBC Bluetooth codec, the Jays x-Five Wireless compensates with good drivers and tuning, and this is our top pick among wireless on-ear headphones priced below Rs. 5,000.

 

The best true wireless earphones under Rs. 5,000: Oppo Enco W51

Good active noise cancellation at under Rs. 5,000 is a relatively rare concept, but recent launches have shown that it’s not as uncommon as it once was. The Oppo Enco W51 is a good example of this, with decent noise cancellation, wireless charging, and detailed and energetic sound, all for Rs. 4,999. This makes this the best value-for-money true wireless headset we’ve used in a while.

Average battery life and unreliable controls on the headset do hold the Oppo Enco W51 back a bit, and there are definitely better sounding options for less than Rs. 5,000, such as the JVC HA-A10T. However, the Oppo is an all-rounder like no other, offering features and an overall experience that is hard to match at the price.

 

oppo enco w51 review in case 2

Also consider: OnePlus Buds Z

While the Oppo Enco W51 is an excellent headset for Rs. 5,000, there is another option worth considering if you have a lower budget. At Rs. 2,999, the OnePlus Buds Z is quite easily the best pair of true wireless earphones you can buy for the price, with a proper in-ear fit with decent passive noise isolation, and impressive sound. USB Type-C fast charging and support for the AAC Bluetooth codec top things off to make this an excellent value proposition.

As with other headsets from the brand, the Buds Z needs to be used with a OnePlus smartphone to unlock its entire feature set, particularly its support for Dolby Atmos and the ability to tweak some settings and controls directly through the Bluetooth settings menu. Even if you don’t have a OnePlus smartphone, there’s still plenty on offer here, making this our top pick at under Rs. 3,000.

 

How we picked these headphones

Our selections in this guide are based on our reviews and experiences with products, and we’ve picked options that we’ve used or reviewed extensively. We’ve selected both in-ear and on-ear options, and while it might be possible to find wireless over-ear headphones at this price, we don’t think any of them are good enough to make the cut.

Most wireless headphones, including our recommendations above, are equipped with microphones and on-board controls for hands-free use with a smartphone. This is a basic requirement, and we recommend that whatever you pick, it does have these features. Furthermore, since the quality of wireless headphones depends as much on the DAC and electronics as on the drivers and tuning, it’s important that you buy a product from a good brand that knows what it’s doing.

xiaomi true wireless earphones 2 review earphones

Other headphones under Rs. 5,000 you could consider

HiFuture TidyBuds Pro: Among all of the budget true wireless headsets we’ve reviewed, the HiFuture TidyBuds Pro is unique for one big reason – class-leading battery life. We estimate over 80 hours of battery life per charge cycle on these Rs. 4,499 earphones, and you can also use the charging case as a power bank. Sound quality and design isn’t very good on these earphones, though.

Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones: At Rs. 1,599, the Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones is a simple but effective pair of wireless earphones that offers tremendous bang for your buck. The lack of water resistance might be an issue for some, though.

OnePlus Buds: The first true wireless earphones from this brand, the OnePlus Buds offer decent sound and feature fast charging. However, you’ll need a OnePlus smartphone to get the most out of this Rs. 4,990 pair of true wireless earphones (at least till the app is released).

JBL Endurance Jump: With an IPX7 water and dust resistance rating, the JBL Endurance Jump is one of the most rugged and fitness-friendly wireless headsets available under Rs. 5,000. It’s priced at Rs. 4,199, making it a good option for anyone looking for budget earphones to use while working out.

Sony WI-C400: At Rs. 3,299, the WI-C400 promises Sony’s reliable tuning, up to 20 hours of battery life, and more. It’s a pretty safe pick, as they come.

Xiaomi Mi True Wireless Earphones 2: The Xiaomi Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 is a true all-rounder at Rs. 4,499, combining the benefits of true wireless connectivity with good sound quality and performance on voice calls. It also has some premium features, including USB Type-C charging and environmental noise cancellation.

JVC HA-A10T: Our previous top pick among true wireless earphones under Rs. 5,000, the JVC HA-A10T feels a bit dated and low on features as compared to the Oppo Enco W51. However, it’s still among the best sounding true wireless headsets you can buy for the price.


Which are the best budget Bluetooth earphones and headphones in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

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Diamonds may help measuring thermal conductivity in living cells

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Scientists have very precise instruments, but measuring properties of tiny little cells is still very difficult. Now researchers at the University of Queensland have developed a new tool to measure heat transfer inside living cells. It includes actual diamonds and it can work as both a heater and a thermometre. Someday it can improve cancer diagnosis.

Diamonds may help measuring thermal conductivity in living cells

Diamonds are essentially very hard pieces of carbon, which makes them great for some scientific applications. Image credit: En-cas-de-soleil via (Wikimedia(CC BY-SA 4.0)

Cancer cells are different – they behave differently and exhibit different properties. Scientists have long speculated that in some cases precisely targeted thermal therapies could be very effective against cancer. However, in order for this to become reality scientists needed to know thermal conductivity of living cells. With current technology it is literally impossible to measure thermal conductivity – the rate that heat can flow through an object if one side is hot and another is cold – inside of such tiny living things as cells.

Scientists from Australia, Japan and Singapore now employed nanodiamonds (just tiny little diamonds) to act as minute sensors in a new system. Diamonds are great, because they are very hard and because they are just a different form of carbon, which is very well-known to us. Scientists coated their nanodiamonds with a special heat-releasing polymer. This resulted in a sensor, which can act as a heater or a thermometre, depending on what kind of laser light is applied. This sensor allows measuring thermal conductivity in living cells with a resolution of 200 nanometres.

Associate Professor Taras Plakhotnik, lead author of the study, said that this new method already revealed some new interesting information about cells. He said: “We found that the rate of heat diffusion in cells, as measured in our experiments, was several times slower than in pure water, for example.”

If cancer cells and healthy cells exhibit different thermal conductivity, this kind of measurement could become a very precise diagnostic technique. Also, because these particles are not toxic and can be used in living cells, scientists think they could open the door for  improving heat-based treatments for cancer. Measuring head conductivity could help monitor biochemical reactions in real time in the cell. But that’s not all. Scientists think that this method could lead to a better understanding of metabolic disorders, such as obesity.

Diamonds are commonly used in science and industry. People oftentimes see them as something from the jewelry world, but they are much more common elsewhere. And they are not even that expensive. Hopefully, this study will result in a new method to research living cells and maybe some novel therapies as well.

 

Source: University of Queensland




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Redmi Note 10 Launch Teased Officially After Rumours Tipping February Debut in India

Redmi Note 10 launch has been officially teased on Weibo. The new development comes just weeks after the rumour mill suggested the existence of the Redmi Note 10 series that could include the Redmi Note 10, the Redmi Note 10 Pro, and the Redmi Note 10 Pro 5G. The new series is expected to succeed the Redmi Note 9 family that debuted with the launch of the Redmi Note 9 Pro and the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max in India in March last year.

Redmi General Manager Lu Weibing has teased the launch of the Redmi Note 10 on Weibo. Instead of giving away details of the phone directly, Weibing has posted an image of the Redmi Note 9 4G asking users about their expectations with the Redmi Note 10.

The Redmi Note 10 is speculated to launch in India alongside the Redmi Note 10 Pro in February. Both phones will be priced aggressively, according to tipster Ishan Agarwal. The Redmi Note 10 in the series is tipped to come in Gray, Green, and White colour options.

Although Xiaomi hasn’t provided any specifics about the phone yet, the Redmi Note 10 Pro 5G purportedly received a certification from the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) earlier this month. The phone is also said to have surfaced on the US

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) website with the model number M2101K6G. It has also reportedly appeared on the websites of other regulatory bodies including the European Economic Commission (EEC), Singapore’s IMDA, and Malaysia’s MCMC.

Redmi Note 10 series specifications (expected)

The Redmi Note 10 Pro is rumoured to come with a 120Hz display and include the Qualcomm Snapdragon 732G SoC. However, the 5G variant of the Redmi Note 10 Pro is said to come with the Snapdragon 750G SoC. It is speculated to have 6GB and 8GB RAM options as well as 64GB and 128GB storage versions. The Redmi Note 10 Pro models will come with a 64-megapixel primary camera sensor and include a 5,050mAh battery, according to a recent report.

Similar to the Redmi Note 10 Pro models, the Redmi Note 10 is also rumoured to have both 4G and 5G versions. The smartphone is tipped to have a 48-megapixel primary camera sensor and include a 6,000mAh battery.

The Redmi Note 10 Pro and the Redmi Note 10 are both expected to run on Android 11 with MIUI 12 out-of-the-box.


What will be the most exciting tech launch of 2021? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

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Cybersecurity: Blaming users is not the answer

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A punitive approach toward employees reporting data breaches intensifies problems.

Image: iStock/iBrave

Experts are warning, when it comes to cybersecurity, blaming users is a terrible idea. Doing so likely results in creating an even worse situation. Many organizations have defaulted to a blame culture when it comes to data security,” comments Tony Pepper, CEO of Egress Software Technologies, in an email exchange. “They believe actions have consequences and someone has to be responsible.”

“In cases where employees report incidents of data loss they accidentally caused, it’s quite common for them to face serious negative consequences,” continues Pepper. “This, obviously, creates a culture of fear, leading to a lack of self-reporting, which in turn, exacerbates the problem. Many organizations are therefore unaware of the scale of their security issues.”

Pepper’s comments are based on findings gleaned by the independent market research firm Arlington Research. Analysts interviewed more than 500 upper-level managers from organizations within the financial services, healthcare, banking, and legal sectors.

What the analysts found was published in the paper, Outbound Email Security Report. Regarding employees responsible for a loss of data, 45% of those surveyed would reprimand the employee(s), 25% would likely fire the employee(s).

SEE: Identity theft protection policy (TechRepublic Premium)

Pepper suggests while organizations may believe this decreases the chance of the offense reoccurring, it can have a different and more damaging effect. There’s a chance employees may not report security incidents, to avoid repercussions from company management. 

“Especially in these uncertain times, employees are going to be even less willing to self-report, or report others, if they believe they might lose their jobs as the result,” adds Pepper. 

It gets worse 

According to survey findings, a high percentage of organizations rely on their employees to be the primary data breach detection mechanism–particularly when it comes to email. “Our research found that 62% of organizations rely on people-based reporting to alert management about data breaches,” mentions Pepper. “By reprimanding employees who were only trying to do their job, organizations are undermining the reporting mechanism and ensuring incidents will go unreported.”

The lack of truly understanding why data is escaping the digital confines of an organization makes it hugely difficult for those in charge of cybersecurity to develop a defensive strategy that will effectively protect an organization’s data.

Overcome the blame game

Once it is understood that reprimanding employees is ineffective, organizations should look to create a more positive security culture. One immediate benefit is the increased visibility of heretofore unknown security risks.  

Another benefit is the ability to show regulatory bodies the organization has taken all reasonable steps to protect sensitive data. Pepper adds, “If you don’t know where your risks are, it’s hard to put reasonable measures in place. Regulators could surmise that during a data breach investigation and levy higher fines and penalties.” 

Technology has a role

Once the blame game is curtailed, it’s time to get technology involved. “The first step is to get reporting right, using technology, not people, which will remove the pressure of self-reporting from employees and place the responsibility firmly in the hands of those in charge of cybersecurity,” suggests Pepper. “Advances in contextual machine learning mean it’s possible for security tools to understand users and learn from their actions, so they can detect and mitigate abnormal behavior–for example, adding an incorrect recipient to an email.”

This is where technology makes all the difference. It prevents accidental data loss before it can happen. It empowers employees to be part of the solution, and technology gives the security team unbiased visibility of risks and emerging threats. 

What cybersecurity teams need to understand

Education about potential consequences is vital. Anyone working with the organization’s digital assets needs to understand the possible outcomes from a data breach–for example, regulatory fines or damage to the organization’s reputation. 

It’s a safe bet when users understand the consequences of emailing client data to the wrong recipient or responding to a phishing email, they’ll be much more likely to report the incident if and when it occurs. Remember: If an incident isn’t reported, there’s no way to remediate it or prevent it from happening again.

Pepper, in conclusion, offers advice to those managing cybersecurity. “The best way to engage employees with security, and ensure they understand its importance, is to create a ‘security-positive’ company culture,” explains Pepper. “Security teams need to reassure the wider organization that, while data breaches are to be taken seriously, employees who report accidental incidents will receive appropriate support from the business and not face severe repercussions.”

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