What You Need to Know Before Buying New Headphones

It’s all about headphones, truly wireless stereo (TWS) earbuds, and in-ear monitors on this week’s Orbital podcast.

What You Need to Know Before Buying New Headphones

Photo Credit: Nothing

Nothing’s Ear 1 is amongst the most prominent TWS earbuds you can pick under the Rs. 10,000 segment

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).

KZ ZSN Pro X Wired Earphones Review: Audiophile Sound on a Budget

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.

Nothing Ear 1 Review: It's About Nothing

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.

Best Headphones and Earphones of 2021 in India

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.

If you are new to our site, you can find the Gadgets 360 podcast on Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Gaana, JioSaavn, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.

Don't forget to follow/ subscribe to Orbital wherever you're listening. Please also rate us and leave a review.

New Orbital episodes release every Friday, so make sure to tune in each week.

  • REVIEW
  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS
  • Design / Comfort
  • Audio Quality
  • Battery Life
  • Value For Money
  • Good
  • Active noise cancellation for less than Rs. 2,500

  • Excellent Realme Link app support

  • Good looks

  • Decent sound quality and battery life for the price
  • Bad
  • Narrow, closed soundstage

  • Sounds shrill at high volumes

  • Low-latency mode not very useful
Headphone Type In-Ear
Microphone Yes
Connectivity True Wireless Stereo (TWS)
Type Earphones
  • REVIEW
  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS
  • Design / Comfort
  • Audio Quality
  • Battery Life
  • Value For Money
  • Good
  • Improved design and fit
  • Superb sound quality
  • Very good battery life
  • Good active noise cancellation and Transparency mode
  • Bad
  • Expensive
  • No volume controls on the earphones
  • Lightning port for charging
Headphone Type In-Ear
Microphone Yes
Connectivity True Wireless Stereo (TWS)
Type Earphones
  • REVIEW
  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS
  • Design / Comfort
  • Audio Quality
  • Battery Life
  • Value For Money
  • Good
  • Looks good, comfortable

  • Wireless charging

  • Decent active noise cancellation

  • Detailed, crisp, immersive sound

  • Stable connectivity, good for calls
  • Bad
  • Average battery life

  • Limited customisation for controls, app doesn’t do much

  • Limited support for advanced codecs
Headphone Type In-Ear
Microphone Yes
Connectivity True Wireless Stereo (TWS)
Type Earphones
  • REVIEW
  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS
  • Design / Comfort
  • Audio Quality
  • Battery Life
  • Value For Money
  • Good
  • Familiar, comfortable design and fit
  • Good app, useful features
  • Speak-to-chat and hear-through modes work well
  • Detailed, engaging, fun sound
  • Superb noise cancellation
  • Bad
  • No Qualcomm aptX codec support
Headphone Type Over-Ear
Microphone Yes
Connectivity Wireless
Type Headphones
  • REVIEW
  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS
  • Design / Comfort
  • Audio Quality
  • Battery Life
  • Value For Money
  • Good
  • Excellent design, useful controls

  • Good ANC with two intensity levels

  • Wireless and fast charging

  • Decent app

  • Balanced, detailed sound

  • Bad
  • Charging case is a bit big

  • No voice assistant support

  • Sound falls a bit short on attack and aggression
Headphone Type In-Ear
Microphone Yes
Connectivity True Wireless Stereo (TWS)
Type Earphones
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Jagmeet Singh
Jagmeet Singh writes about consumer technology for Gadgets 360, out of New Delhi. Jagmeet is a principal correspondent for Gadgets 360, and has frequently written about apps, computer security, Internet services, and telecom developments. Jagmeet is available on Twitter at @JagmeetS13 or Email at jagmeets@ndtv.com. Please send in your leads and tips. More
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