Finding the best headphones has become a tough job these days – thanks to a host of new entrants to the market. Existing brands and household names, including Audio-Technica and Sony, also regularly release new models to stay relevant with customers. The headphone market has also expanded with new form factors and technologies. Likewise, the rapid growth of smartphones – and the disappearance of the 3.5mm jack – has made true wireless stereo (TWS) earbuds the top category in the market for many young people.
To make things easier for you, in this week’s Gadgets 360 podcast Orbital episode, we’re all about headphones and what’s best for your specific budget and requirements. Host Akhil Arora speaks with our in-house audio expert Ali Pardiwala and founder and CEO of Mumbai-based Headphones Zone Raghav Somani, who tell us how to choose the right headphones for you.
For those looking for a decent audio experience under Rs. 2,000, the market is full of TWS earbuds. However, audio enthusiasts can also look into wired options, including the KZ ZSN Pro X, which aims to offer convincing sound quality in their price segment.
Companies including Realme and Xiaomi (Redmi) and their Indian counterparts such as Boult, Boat, and Noise also have their budget TWS earbuds for around Rs. 2,000-2,500, which could be a choice for those looking for the new form factor without spending a few more thousand. Realme also has the Buds Q2 as TWS active noise canceling (ANC) earbuds.
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However, it is important to note that most TWS earbuds do not have batteries that last for years. In most cases, you should switch to a new model just a few months after using the last option.
Nevertheless, there are wireless on-ear headphones that you can get after spending Rs. 6,000-7,000. Brands like Jabra and JBL also have wireless options in that segment that are worth seeking out if you don’t want to go with a Chinese or Indian brand.
If you don’t want to go with the traditional headphones in the price segment below Rs. 10,000, companies including JBL, Jabra, and Sony have TWS earbuds you can look for. Newcomers, including Nothing, are also entering the market of ANC-compatible TWS earbuds to compete with established names.
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However, for those with an iPhone or Mac, Apple has ranked the AirPods (2nd generation), AirPods (3rd generation), and the AirPods Pro as the best TWS earbuds in different price segments.
Audiophile-focused brands like Audio-Technica, Beyerdynamic, and AKG have some worthy options around the Rs. 10,000 price segment that can be your choice. They are usually intended for use with a sound card, keyboard or guitar amplifier. But it’s worth noting that you probably won’t get a pleasant sound experience if you use any of these options with your phone or PC.
Smartphone vendors, including Oppo and Samsung, are also bringing their ANC-supported TWS earbuds for around Rs. 10,000 price range. These include the Oppo EncoX and Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, which you can get for regular music listening.
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If your budget is not limited, the market has models like the Sony WH-1000XM4 and Bose 700 that are known for delivering a high-quality audio experience. Audiophiles also have options such as HiFiMan Sundara and Sennheiser HD650 full-size open-back headphones designed specifically to please you with their premium audio output.
You have. We also talk about the things to look for when looking for a new pair of headphones. In addition, the discussion is whether you need hi-res music to get an enchanting experience from your headphones or whether your audio device must have a specific hardware function to deliver a decent audio experience, regardless of the audio file used.
You can listen to all this and more by hitting the Spotify player’s play button.
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