5 Best Headphones under Rs 10000 | 2016
Choosing the right pair of headphones is much harder than you think. Unlike buying a smartphone, where all features are tangible and on paper, the true quality of headphones is very subjective and differs from person to person. Every ear is unique and finding the right match for it requires in-depth research and comparison. In this list of ‘5 Best Headphones under Rs 10000 in India' we have covered some of the leading brands in the industry and compared their products on the basis of sound signature, design and durability, additional features and value for money. Check out the pros and cons of these exceptional over-the-head / on-ear headphones and decide which one is suited best for your listening style.
- No in-line mic
- Excellent Sound Signature
- Detachable cord
- Available in three colors
The latest ATH-M50x, from Japanese headphones manufacturer Audio Technica, is an improved version of the exceptional ATH-M50, one of the best budget studio headphones on the market. The Audio Technica M series is a collection of well built studio monitoring headphones for audio professionals; however, this does not stop casual listeners from raving about its excellent sound.
Changes from the previous model include improved padding on the ear cups and a new detachable cord design. The design of the Audio Technica ATH-M50x is very Spartan to the say the least. Available in three basic colors – black, white and blue – the ATH-M50 are known more for their ruggedness than their ability to turn heads. Designed to be used in a recording studio, the ATH-m50x's detachable cord, two-axis swivel ear cups and padded ear cups are extremely useful during prolonged use. The only drawback is the absence of an in-line mic or remote control, a feature in demand amongst many consumers in the headphone market.
In terms of sound quality, the ATH-M50x are possibly the best sounding headphones at their price point. The balance between mids, lows and highs is perfect – immediately striking a chord in your ear. Audio performance seems more refined that it predecessor, with more details being covered across the frequency range. If you're looking for a great pair of headphones that offers a dynamic soundscape and durable design, check out the ATH-M50x.
2) Sennheiser Momentum On-Ear Headphone
- Microfiber lining attracts dust
- Retro look
- Excellent sound dynamics
- Comfortable fit
- Additional remote cable for Apple devices
Sennheiser has adapted the successful formula applied to their larger Momentum over-the-ear headphones to a smaller form factor without losing out on the trademark sound signature. The on-ear Momentums are compact, although they don’t fold up flat like their older sibling. The retro look is eye-catching and the use of high-quality materials completes the total package.
The Sennheiser Momentum on-ear headphones are comfortable to wear after some breaking in. The headband might be a little tight to some, but with use will become comfortable. The microfiber cover on the ear cups makes prolonged listening much more enjoyable. It features a detachable cable design and ships wit two cables – one normal cable and one cable with a remote optimized for Apple devices. Sennheiser has also thrown in a good looking carrying case, in order to complete the suave look of the Momentum series.
The larger Momentum headphones were an instant favorite among audiophiles when it released. The Momentum on-ears follow the same formula and dynamic sound signature. Highs and lows are crystal clear, sound rich and warm through the comfortable ear pads. Bass performance is exceptional, outperforming the formidable V-Moda M80 as well. Music listener who like rock, hip hop and electronic music will love the warm thump the Momentum's give out. The premium look and excellent sound make the Momentum on-ear headphones an excellent buy under Rs. 10000.
3) Audio Technica ATH-M40x (Over-the-ear)
- Only available in black
- Big in size
- Excellent sound signature
- Good sound isolation
- Excellent midrange reproduction
Returning back to the list of ‘Top 5 Headphones under Rs. 10000 India' is Audio Technica, with their M40x on-ear headphones. Designed as cheaper alternative to the excellent M50x, the smaller M40x delivers similar performance at a much lower price. Even then, Audio Technica have managed to avoid any major compromises in sound and design. Although the M40x are priced like any other affordable and consumer-oriented headphones, they can be used for studio monitoring and recording, thanks to the excellent sound signature.
If you're wondering how Audio Technica delivers performance as good as the ATH-M50x at the price of the ATH-M40x, the answer lies in the streamlining of variety. Audio Technica has kept costs and in turn prices low by only offering on matter black color option on the M40x, as opposed to the three colors available for the M50x.The M40x design is simple and utilitarian, with a matte black metal finish and silver grey highlights.
One of the biggest differences between the ATH-M40x and the more expensive ATH-M50x is the driver size. The drivers here are 40 mm in size, just slightly smaller than the 45 mm drivers in the M50x. While this doesn't sound like a huge difference, it does affect the sonic signature. The one area where the smaller driver size makes the biggest difference is definitely the bass, but that doesn't mean that the bass is weak here, just that it isn't as strong as the M50x. The midrange is the frequency range where a lot of the instruments and vocals take up space and the midrange is clear and accurate, with excellent low-mid depth. The ATH-M40x do a great job of delivering crisp highs with excellent detail. You'll hear harshness if it is present in the mix, but this pair of headphones certainly won't add any.
The soundstage is often accentuated and exaggerated in consumer-focused headphones, so depending on what you're listening to, these may sound narrow. That said, mixes that make good use of stereo space will sound excellent on these. The ATH-M40x trade a tight seal for comfort, so while you'll be happy listening to your tunes, anyone nearby will definitely get at least a hint as to what you're listening to.
4) Sennheiser HD 380 Pro Collapsible Headphones
- No major drawbacks
- Stylish design
- Professional sound
- Excellent noise reduction
- Ergonomic Acoustic Refinement
Sennheiser is one of the best premium headphones manufacturers around that has created products that satisfy the needs of the most stringent audiophiles on the planet. The Sennheiser HD 380 Pro is an on-ear headphone that gives your professional quality sound at a lucrative price under Rs. 10000. The HD 380 Pro provides an extended frequency response with increased sound pressure level (up to 110dB) for accurate sound reproduction in demanding applications. Not only that, but the headphone's lightweight, secure, and rugged design offers a comfortable listening experience for long recording sessions.
The Sennheiser HD 380 Pro sport a closed circumaural design that is excellent at reducing background noise and interference up to 32dB. The casing of the HD 380 pro is sturdy and flexible, yet the excessive use of plastic may be a concern for some buyers. Sennheiser has used its advanced Acoustic Refinement technology in the ear cups to reduce any distortion. The detachable coiled cable and slimline carrying case are two nice additions to the Sennheiser HD 380 Pro package.
Cheap headphones usually tend to reproduce an ‘artificial' sound, which is mainly due to the subpar components used in the drivers. The drivers on the Sennheiser HD 380 Pro crank out excellent natural acoustics that haven't been ruined by compression. All frequencies get equal representation in the mix, resulting in a whole, full-bodied sound that is music to the soul. For the price, the excellent audio performance of the HD 380's is a bargain that should be taken at the soonest.
5) Skullcandy Hesh 2.0 wireless (Bluetooth)
- Rigid headband
- Highs can get edgy
- Customizable looks
- Stylish colors and patterns
- Balanced sound signature
- Dedicated control buttons
Skullcandy has really evolved over the ears as a player in the headphone industry. From making artsy headphones that banked on gimmicks like bass boost, they have now started releasing headphones with a refined sound signature. The new lineup has definitely kept its stylish, skater-esque styling, but the internal components seem to be improving. The Skullcandy Hesh 2.0 focuses on mids and highs to deliver sound that is crisp and relatively balanced.
As is the norm with Skullcandy products, you get the choose from multiple color options, designs and logos. Unique graphics and finishes will make your headphones look unique and stand-out from the lot. The circumaural design proves to be uncomfortable at times due to the tight fit and small sized ear cups. The lack of comfort is mainly due to the awkward fitting, as long term hearing with the Hesh 2.0 was reasonably comfortable. The rigidity is due to the metal understructure of the headband, which makes the Hesh 2.0 durable to rough use. There are dedicated volume buttons and a power button that can be used to answer or place phone calls. Skullcandy also provides a free drawstring carry bag for the Hesh 2.0.
Hesh 2.0 departs Skullcandy's ideology of earth-shattering bass. The bass response on the Hesh 2.0 is perfectly balanced and nuanced. At high volumes, it recreates subtle, yet deep bass that does not distort the tracks. The same cannot be said about the highs though. At higher volumes, certain instruments sound edgy and unrefined. The true winner for the Hesh 2.0 is its capability to reduce the perfect midrange. Vocals are crisp and crystal clear while percussion is snappy and full of character. The Hesh 2.0 definitely offers a mature and sophisticated aural experience in a package that can be customized to your liking. While not the best pair of headphones under Rs. 10000, the Hesh 2.0 is the most stylish.
Adit Jhaveri Posted on July 01, 2016
Adit Jhaveri is B.B.A graduate (Kingston University, London) who is currently pursuing his post graduation diploma in Integrated Marketing Advertising and Communication (quite the mouthful), while simultaneously pursuing his passion for writing. Adit has worked as a Content Writer at Lexiconn Content Services, where he created online and offline content for leading brands and businesses. A tech enthusiast, audiophile, football fanatic and a voracious reader, he is always scouring the web for abstract knowledge. He currently resides in Mumbai with his favourite four-legged companions, Max and Molly.
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