You can find it daunting to buy best headphones in India for many reasons. First, it is a sophisticated piece of accessory that has a lot of engineering and science to it. There is an infinite number of methods by which the sound of a headphone can be tuned. The audio experience is much more dependent on matching the headphones to music which you are used to listening. It is never about picking the headphone by looks or brands, but there is more to them than what is visible to you. The sound being right in the headphone is the most important thing, it makes the music either melodious or pain to ear.
Factors To Look For When Buying Best Headphones In India
Few factors will help you in making an informed decision when you are shopping for headphone.
1. Headphone type
There are three types of headphone.
A) Over-ears type: Since their ear-cups completely wrap around the ears of its user; these are also known as the around-ear headphones. This kind of headphone is the largest and also counted among the comfortable type of headphones in the market. The headband and driver casings of this headphone type is large. Indeed, because of its size and weight, it is usually not portable or less portable and mostly used at office or home. However, since the drivers are nearly 45 mm larger or above, the sound signature is more loud and detailed. There is also passive sound-isolation in this type of headphone since it envelops the ears completely.
B) On-ears type: This type of headphone sits on the ears of the user. They are also recognised as the supra-aural kind of headphones which have bigger driver casings. The headband is big as we do not want the ear-cups to move from its place. On-ears headphones make use of 30 to 40 mm drivers. These are not much portable either, while the ear-cups settle on the ears; they cannot be considered comfortable for long-hour usage.
C) In-ears type: Mostly they are called the In-Ear Monitors or IEM. They are small as well as extremely portable. The earbud fits easily in the ear canal, while it is powered by 8 mm to 10 mm drivers. These are convenient to wrap and store, which is best for people who are always on the move, or travel some distance to their work; from home and want to listen to something. However, some do not like something that is invasive. But other than that, there is no such issue with this type of headphone.
Some headphones serve a specific purpose and prove excellent if procured for their respective usage.
A) Noise Cancellation: Such headphones are meant to drown certain sounds to offer quiet to the user, with a technology that is called active noise cancellation. These headphones have a small microphone which absorbs the outside noise and returns an opposite frequency noise which cancels the noise outside. However, this technology doesn’t work on varying sounds. For instance, the microphone can’t immediately pick up as well as adjust itself with different frequencies. Though, these are still useful for drowning out the usual droning sound such as the factory machinery, aeroplane engines, hum of the air-conditioner as well as the frequency sounds that are uniform in nature.
The negative aspects of such headphones are that they need additional power, which means the usage time of the battery would be less. Moreover, since the technology works with only specific kind of sound, it can’t block out every kind of sound in its entirety. Still, it is best for use in noisy environments and aeroplanes.
B) Gaming headphones: These headphones are made to be used while playing video games on portable devices, computers or consoles. Some of the headphones are designed to render virtual surround-sound experience, and few others give a true 7.1 channel-surround experience to its users. It helps the gamer recognise the audio direction and play accordingly. For instance, in a first-person shooting game, a gaming headphone will let the gamer recognise the direction of enemy fire at him or her. Such kind of gaming headphones are mostly tuned to enhance the sound effects and dialogues as well as also have one or two microphones for multiplayer voice-chat.
The gaming headphones are deemed to be not good enough for listening to mere music, but they are extremely specific to their use. Though, they do provide the best surround-sound effect as well as well-tuned for picking up detail and direction of the sound; precisely.
C) Wireless headphones: Such headphones have no cables and cords, while they can be conveniently used without worrying about their cable length or tangling issue. The wireless headphones mostly have one of the three prominent transmission technology, Bluetooth, infrared and radio frequency. First transmission technology can be wirelessly paired with a variety of computers, tablets and smartphones. On the other hand, the latter two need dedicated base-unit that connects with the source device and then transmits the respective frequency to the single or many headphones. The radio frequency equipped headphones to tend to work over larger areas, while the infrared-equipped headphone depends on line-of-sight, whereas Bluetooth has 30 m range-limit in most situations.
However, the sound quality of wireless headphones is not as good as the wired ones. The battery life and range of transmission are two issues that wireless headphones frequently face; in listening and sound clarity. Nonetheless, their portability is convenient as well as they are suitable for using outside.
2. Headphone Jargon
Though the above three categories of headphones can be found in every electronic store, there is a headphone jargon that one should be aware of. These are the fundamental terms that are mentioned on the headphone box or telling the store-keeper to fetch the specific headphone by just using the terms; will have the right product in your hands.
A) Open-back or Closed-back: There are two kinds of ‘back’ of a headphone driver enclosure. As a driver works both away and into the ear, with an open-back headphone, the sound will escape outside while a closed-back will block the sound from escaping outside. There are benefits and disadvantages to both the type of backs. The open-back kind has considerably more sound that is open, while it gives a realistic and comfortable listening experience which is opposite to the closed-back ones. The closed-back have a sound that is similar to ‘in-your-head’ kind of experience. They prevent the others from listening to whatever you have on in your headphone, which is why it is better for use in public places.
B) Drivers: These are considered the core part of any headphone that you would see around. A driver converts an electrical signal into an audible signal of sound which is then perceived by ears of a human. There are multiple kinds of drivers that are put in the headphones. Moving coil or dynamic drivers are the most common kind of drivers, while electrostatic drivers, planar magnetic drivers and balanced armature drivers are a few of the drivers that are used in headphones.
All of these have different technologies used in them to activate the sound. Some offer much better and powerful sound in comparison to others. While dynamic drivers are mostly used in almost all variety of headphones, the balanced armature drivers tend to be used in the in-ear kind of headphones as they are small. Electrostatic drivers and planar magnetic drivers are the big ones which are mostly fitted in the over-ear headphones.
The hybrid headphones usually have a two-driver combination to them which is mostly balanced and dynamic drivers. However, do know that the presence of big drivers in a headphone does not mean that they are better than others. Many factors decide if the driver is good or just average, the bass is important after all. Though, it is highly recommended to audition the headphones prior to buying them or reading their reviews to ensure that the product will suit your need.
C) Frequency Response: The range of frequency range denotes the complete sonic range frequencies of a headphone that it can achieve. Our human ears could only listen to 20 to 20,000Hz frequencies. Hence, the majority of headphones tend to stay within this frequency range. Though, few headphones extend their range on both ends to render a more profound response. However, such frequencies cannot be heard, but they can certainly make the listener feel the difference. This difference can be noticed in the high, low, midrange of handling and responses as well as a better tone. One should check the range of frequency on the product box which will be an indication of how such particular headphones will tackle the spectrum.
D) Impedance: This represents the power volume required to activate the headphones. The headphones with low-impedance need less power to their drives, and thus they can be paired with weak amplification source devices. Such devices could be media players, smartphones as well as few other devices that are portable. However, they are indeed susceptible to being blown out if more amplification is delivered upon them than what the headphone can handle.
The headphones with high-impedance need increased amplification to their drives or dedicated amplifiers, which results in a strong and performance driven device. These have a lower susceptibility to blow-outs while they are made to tackle more amplification to them. While buying headphones, it is advised to check the impedance and purchase in accordance with the sound source device that the user intends to pair the headphone with.
150 Ohms of impedance and below it, is considered low as well as easy on the drive, whereas 50 Ohms and beyond might need more amplification for better output. Though, the majority of media players and smartphone are made to have the ability to drive headphone with the impedance to 80 Ohms. Hence, a higher impedance level might not be a significant problem.
E) Imaging and Soundstaging: These two terms implicate the ability of the headphone to make an accurate sonic image and stage within the mind of the user. A good imaging and soundstaging would give an impression of a live-performance experience. Here the sound’s elements are much distinct, and they make the user feel as if the different sounds are originating from peculiar locations on a stage that is virtual. The sonic element separation is an imaging function, where a good separation gives a true-to-life sound that is realistic.
It is best judged when listening as well as keeping the ears open for clarity and separation. Hence, one won’t find it in the headphone specification but will undoubtedly find it mentioned in the product review.
In case you happen to be a gadget geek then you will want to buy the best, which can strain your pocket; financially. Hence, research and getting a sense of the price-range on various models of headphones that are appealing to you; would be a wise thing to do. Choosing to spend much money on a set of expensive headphone that will get your sweat when you are working out, will not make sense; when they wear out quick.
Mostly, technology runs on a fundamental principle that you receive what you tend to pay for in the store. If you wish to buy a basic headphone, then the price would be low. However, the cost would go high, if the audio quality and fidelity are focused more on the particular headphone model of choice. In case you wish to break a bank, few manufacturers will take orders for headphones that are custom-fitted only for your ears.
Now the good thing is that any headphone combination that you would want, you can always find it within your budget. However, do settle on an upper limit of your budget prior to hitting the headphone stores and stay put with the same limit.
For some it matters, for others, it doesn’t. However, some brands such as Bose has scientific credentials which are legitimately backed, while Beats by Dre is a celebrity-backed brand. Both brands have their price tags that match with their popularity. The brand is usually a significant factor for people when they want to reach closer to the surround-sound experience of a stereo. Whereas, the big technology companies such as Yamaha, Panasonic, Sony do deliver great headphones, but there are still other specialist audio brands in the market that sell products at a reasonable price.
Last but not the least; the looks do matter. To appease oneself and impress others, you will want to look at the appearance and see if you like it or not. There are always a plethora of options to choose from. However, you may want to compromise on the appearance if the technical features are available within your budget in other design. Because that would be a wise thing to do.
Now we have listed 10 headphones out of many models available in India. You can buy them from the local market as well. The choice of action is yours, while all the brands mentioned below are trustworthy and lasts a relatively long time.
Top 10 Best Headphones In India 2018
1. Boat Super Bass Rockerz 400 Bluetooth On-Ear Headphones with Mic
The era of wired headphones has passed away. So does the On-ear BoAt Super Bass Rockerz 400 Bluetooth model emphasises. This wireless headphone can play up to a good 8 hours once fully charged. Its HD sound clarity will make you fall in love with yourself for buying this piece. It has super bass with 40 mm drivers and connects with Bluetooth. Its noise-cancelling microphone ensures that the outside noise doesn’t bother your listening time to the music or watching a movie.
With an operation range of 10 meters, it has a standby time of nearly 100 hours which is indeed a fabulous thing for anyone who is travelling. The nominal time for charging it is 2 hours, which is possible because it has a Li-polymer 250mAh battery. Its red LED signifies charging and blue LED indicates pairing and power. The frequency range is 20Hz to 20kHz. Its sensitivity at 1KHz is 110db.
For 109 g, its dimension is 26.6 x 26.4 x 9.1 cm. It has an extra port of 3.5 mm size for which a cable is also given with the product. The battery can be charged through Micro USB. A yearlong Manufacturer Warranty keeps this product safe. And yes, it does have a microphone.
2. Sony MDR-XB450 On-Ear EXTRA BASS Headphones
The MDR-XB450 On-ear Headphones with extra bass comes from the house of much trusted global brand; SONY. It has Advanced Direct Vibe Structure as well as 30 mm power-packed driver units that deliver a much deep bass that is hard-hitting. Its flat-folding build and serrated tangle-free cord make this wired headphone no-fuss accessory to all your music and sound needs; which you carry anywhere. It comes in vivid colours that match with your styles.
The closed headphone has Neodymium magnet enable drivers with a frequency response of 5Hz to 22000Hz while its impedance is at 24 Ohm (1Khz). It can handle 1000 mW without any pressure. It comes in a dimension of 21 x 6 x 28 cm. Also, know that this headphone doesn’t have a microphone to it.
3. Audio-Technica ATH-M20x Over-Ear Professional Studio Monitor Headphones
The Audio-Technica ATH-M20x Over-Ear is a professional studio monitor headphone. Its design is impressive and trendy, with beautiful soft ear-pad cushions that offer an exceptionally comfortable listening to the user. The sound isolation feature of this headphone gives exceptional convenience in the times of loud environment. It has wire voice-coils made of aluminium that are copper-clad to improve the sound sensitivity and quality of both speakers. Since these are built of pro-grade ingredients; they are durable and robust.
It has neodymium drivers of 40 mm size with rare-earth magnets that boost the performance of the sound. The headphone is tuned excellently to enhance the low frequency to produce a bright and clean sound that is not a distorted sound in any way. It has a 3 m single side straight cable that makes it easy for the field recording or studio tracing. The maximum input is 700mW that allows its user to enjoy the music uninterrupted.
Furthermore, it is incredibly compatible with multiple numbers of gadgets such as laptops, smartphone, desktops and more. It has a one-year long manufacturer’s warranty, while it has a dimension of 29 x 25.4 x 10.4 cm.
4. Sennheiser PC 8 Over-Ear USB VOIP Headphone with Mic
It can be considered an ideal accessory for the personal computers and laptops. It gives stellar audio output and has an excellent built-in microphone to let the user video conference and voice chat through the internet. In short, its VOIP compatibility is excellent. Its audio output has a frequency range from 42Hz to 17000 Hz. Its open acoustic makes and design are incredibly functional when there is a need to limit the ambient noise around. The audio experience is immersive, irrespective of what you are doing with it; for instance, playing games, watching movies and TV, listening to music, doing video chat or more.
The headphone has a dimension of 21.11 x 6.4 x 24.4 cm and weighs 191 g. This over-ear headphone is chosen mostly by the gamers. It is compatible with any computer and Mac. But if you doubt why Snneheiser? Well, because it is one of the most chosen brands by multiple high-profile recording artists as well as live sound engineers. It has been in the market for more than 65 years now and applies its in-depth knowledge of audio research for developing the premium headsets, microphones and headphones. All the Snneheiser products go through rigorous quality test and control to make sure that the consumers receive the great-sounding and durable headphones that can be used daily in a different atmosphere.
5. Philips SHB7250/00 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
Philips SHB7250 wireless headphone with Bluetooth connectivity cuts the cables, yet not the quality of the sound and delivers pristine clarity with deep bass. You can conveniently and quickly switch from the music to phone calls while enjoying the comfort of the movement. It has neodymium 40 mm speaker drivers that are the reason for this headphone’s clear sound and bass. The one-tap NFC pairing allows the headphone to connect with any device that is Bluetooth enabled. The headband and ear shells are adjustable, which renders a good fit as well as much comfort.
The headphone is foldable and convenient to store and carry. The impedance of 32 Ohm and maximum 40 mW of power input; it has 104 dB of sensitivity. Its music playtime is nearly 11 hours and standby time is close to 200 hours. It has a closed-back acoustic system that isolates the music from any of the external sound, which allows the user to enjoy more.
6. Audio-Technica ATH-AX1iSBK Over-Ear Headphones
Audio-Technica ATH-AX1iSBK is an Over-ear headphone that has 36 mm speaker drivers and delivers a sound which reproduces the real melodies and beats of the music. Its optimal frequency ranges from 15 Hz to 22000 Hz and contributes to the much richer audio that this headphone renders to its user. It is compatible with iOS and Android platform devices. The fitting is comfortable while the ear-pad cushioning is done in a liberal manner that makes it luxurious. The in-line microphone of this headphone can receive the incoming phone-calls. The music and call controls on this headphone are conveniently accessible.
Audio-Technica has been in the business for more than 50 years now. Though the quality has never been compromised and it has powered the World Cup, Grammys, Super Bowl and Commonwealth Games with its products. This particular product has a dimension of 22.9 x 7.6 x 17.8 cm and weighs 299 g.
7. JBL T450BT Pure Bass Wireless On-Ear Headphones with Mic
A company that is synonym with sound for the music aficionados; JBL. The products of JBL have gathered a colossal fan following from the beginning. The T450BT of JBL has wireless Bluetooth connectivity to it, while it can give 11 hours of pure uninterrupted audio with a single charge. This power packed headphone of 145 g has a dimension of 15 x 7.6 x 18.5 cm.
This On-ear headphone is compact, comfortable, lightweight and flat-folding. The 32 mm drivers give the signature JBL bass sound which is similar to the one that people here at big events. A must pick item if you are a JBL fan because it is considered as one of the best headphones in India.
8. Motorola Pulse 3 Max Wired Headphones
Motorola brand is known more for its mobile-phones than the headphones. Hence, we won’t be astonished if you are taken aback by the inclusion of Motorola in this list. The Plus 3 Max headphone of Motorola is a full-sized Over-ear device that has 40 mm drivers to isolate the ambient noise and deliver great bass as well as big sound. Its in-line microphone allows the user to take calls without using hands.
The ear-cups can be rotated, and the headphone can become compact enough to get in the bag for portability. At 181 g and a dimension of 8.9 x 16.2 x 20 cm this headphone gives a listening experience from 20 Hz to 20000 Hz.
The swivel ear-cups gives a snug-fit while a cable that is tangle-resistant comes with a 3.5 mm audio jack for this built-in microphone headphone. The playbacks and calls are done efficiently. A good buy indeed.
9. Samson SR950 Professional Studio Reference Headphones
SR950 of Samson gives the precise performance for monitoring the studio applications. It is a perfect device for mixing, engineering as well as playing back the audio with excellent results. It has a combined comfort of robust bass response, closed ear design and ultra-clear highs. The feature of closed ear design gives optimum noise reduction and sound isolation which then provides the much accurate and possible stereo imaging.
Its 50 mm drivers give an excellent reproduction of sound with more extensive dynamic range to the final mix of the playback or music. Its headband is self-adjusting, which offers a natural and secure fit, while the 10 Hz to 25 kHz frequency response makes it worth the money. At 22.2 x 11.4 x 23.5 cm dimension and 599 g, it is undoubtedly a big on the heavier side; but utterly perfect.
10. Avantree Audition 40 hr Wireless / Wired Bluetooth 4.0 Headphones
At 399 g and 22 x 20 x 10 cm of dimension, the Avantree Audition Over-ear headphone has a lot of features that will impress you. The aptX hi-Fi Sound technology makes the reproduction of sound in a wide audio-range that gives clear treble and rich bass.
The dual mode of this model provides 40 hours of wireless music play-time and also gives the option of 3.5 mm cable so you may switch to the wired connection and not burn the battery. But, do know that there will be no microphone usage possible in the wired mode of this headphone.
The comfort with Over-ear headphone is possible because of the ear-pads which are incredibly soft and conveniently adjustable, which gives a customised fit which is indeed comfortable. It is indeed an ideal choice for the long hours of watching TV, music and gaming. Its possibility to connect with two smartphones simultaneously allows it never to miss any call. The NFC feature gives it one-tap connectivity.
The headphone comes with a full year of warranty, with 24 hours email response, Live Chat-support and the brand works dedicatedly towards ensuring a customer’s highest satisfaction. Indeed, a headphone to buy.
Buying headphone should be a personal choice based upon your preference, budget and the specific requirements; if any. Thus, we hope that this piece helped you get the much-needed information on how to go about selecting the best headphones in India and buying it.