Finding the best pair of headphones these days has become a tough job — thanks to a large number of new entrants in the market. Existing brands and known names including Audio-Technica and Sony are also bringing their new models on a regular basis to stay relevant among customers. The headphones market has additionally been expanded with new form-factors and technologies. Similarly, the swift growth of smartphones — and the disappearance of the 3.5mm jack — has made truly wireless stereo (TWS) earbuds the leading category in the market for a large number of young people.
To make things easier, on this week’s episode of Gadgets 360 podcast Orbital, we talk all about headphones and what’s best in your particular 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 go about picking the right headphones for you.
For people looking for a decent audio experience under Rs. 2,000, the market is full of TWS earbuds to go with. Audio lovers, though, can also look at some wired options including the KZ ZSN Pro X that are aimed to provide a compelling sound quality in their price segment.
Companies including Realme and Xiaomi (Redmi) as well as their Indian counterparts such as Boult, Boat, and Noise also have their budget TWS earbuds for about Rs. 2,000–2,500 that can be a pick for people looking to get the new form-factor without spending a few more thousands. Realme also has the Buds Q2 as its TWS earbuds with active noise cancellation (ANC).
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It is, however, important to note that most TWS earbuds don’t have batteries that can last for years. In most cases, you need to switch to a new model just months after using the last option.
Nevertheless, there are on-ear wireless headphones that you can get after spending Rs. 6,000–7,000. Brands including Jabra and JBL also have their wireless options in that segment that are worth looking for 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 of under Rs. 10,000, companies including JBL, Jabra, and Sony have TWS earbuds for you to look for. Newcomers including Nothing are also in the market of ANC-enabled TWS earbuds to compete against established names.
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However, for people who have an iPhone or Mac, Apple has the AirPods (2nd generation), AirPods (3rd generation), and the AirPods Pro as its best TWS earbuds in different price segments.
Audiophile-focused brands such as Audio-Technica, Beyerdynamic, and AKG have some of the worthy options around the Rs. 10,000 price segment that can be your choice. But it is worth noting here that you are not likely to get a pleasing sound experience if you are planning to use any of these options with your phone or PC. They are mostly meant to be used with a sound card, keyboard, or guitar amplifier.
Smartphone vendors including Oppo and Samsung also bring their ANC-supported TWS earbuds around the Rs. 10,000 price bracket. These include the Oppo EncoX and Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro that you can get for your regular music listening.
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If your budget isn’t limited, the market has models including 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 that are specifically designed to please you with their top-of-the-line audio output.
We also talk about the things you should keep in mind while looking for a new pair of headphones. Additionally, the discussion touches upon the fact whether you need hi-res music to get a mesmerising experience from your headphones or your audio device should have a specific hardware feature to deliver a decent audio experience, irrespective of the audio file you have.
You can listen to all this and more by hitting the play button on the Spotify player embedded above.
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