February 15, 2017 4 Comments

For The Confused Indian Buyer: Here Are The Best Earphones Under Rs. 1000

We all own a pair of stock earphones that came as a complimentary pair with our smartphones. However, we can't help but admit that these earphones are no good for more than answering calls and listening to terrible audio quality. But wait! We have you covered.

If you are low on budget and still wish to experience better quality audio, this is the category you should look at. This listicle comprises of all the earphones that you can buy, within a 1000 grand. 

What to Expect in this Category?
  • Sound Quality: There's only so much you can expect in this budget. Sound quality will be incrementally better than your stock earphones. It will undoubtedly lean towards the lower end. Do not expect a warm and detailed audio output. 
  • Form Factor: In this price category, it is easier to get in-ears and earbuds rather than over or on-ear headphones. Earphones will definitely lend a more secure fit and a ton of portability.
  • Build Quality: Do not expect metal built ear pieces. The earphones will be primarily engineered from plastic, with some rare exceptions. Tangle free cords are a big boon at this price point. 
  • A remote and mic would come like sunshine in the rain at this price point. 

This list has been compiled with the help of users as well as our in-house experts.

In no particular order, here we go!

1. 1MORE - Piston Fit

Best Sounding In-ears in this Price Range
1MORE - Piston Fit

  • 1MORE - Piston Fit
  • 1MORE - Piston Fit
1MORE is a new specialist headphone brand from California. Haven't heard of this brand before? Well, we aren't surprised. Where most brands struggle to keep up the pace, 1MORE has scaled the heights of popularity and for all the right reasons!

The Piston Fit, not to be confused with the Xiaomi Pistons, is a pair of elegant looking in-ear headphones. 1MORE has not compromised on the build and design of these great looking beauties. You will find that most earphones are made from plastic in this price range but 1MORE has taken a different route. The sound chambers are made of a stylish looking aluminium alloy and feature a 45° in-ear design lending these the look of extremely high priced IEMs. The brand has designed these in-ears to look aesthetically appealing to the eyes and we have to admit, they have done a brilliant job. 

Coming to the comfort, the trumpet-shaped style ensures that your ear buds fit like a ride. They smoothly get inside your ear canal and put for the as long as yo like. A nice quirk, the textured housing offers a great finger grip. 

In order to make the cable robust, 1MORE has wrapped the same in Kevlar fiber.Yes, this is the same material that is used to make bullet-proof jackets.To put in short, your cable is bound to last for a long while and is undoubtedly an impressive feature for this price point.

The Piston Fit features a one button remote and microphone, letting you answer calls and control your music like a breeze. What is even cooler is the single button is so durable that it can withstand more than 10,000 strikes.

When it comes to the sound, the 1MORE Piston Fit present you with an exceptional floor show. The earphones employ a lightweight aerospace metal and flexible PET material that gives you the minutest details. The warm and full-bodied sound is a treat to listen to. The bass, mids and highs, work in perfect sync and amazingly, no frequency is overpowered. A bit of a disappointment is the Piston fit's soundstage. It does not sound as wide as one would preferably like. However, the Piston Fit still earns brownie points with its impressive audio output.

A very thoughtful add-on from 1MORE, is its Smart Burn-in Mobile App. Instead of you scratching your head trying to figure out how long you should burn in your headphones for, the app allows your headphones to reach maturity level before you can enjoy its true essence.

Available in 4 assorted colours, the Piston Fit lets you pick from Deep Space Grey , Clear Lake Blue , Galaxy Silver and Rose Pink.


"It is elegant, simple, and works incredibly well."


Astounding Audio Quality
Best Build Quality
Limited Soundstage


Our Verdict:
Doubtless, the best way to spend Rs. 1000/-


2. Sennheiser - CX 180

A Budget Offering from the German Audio Giant
Sennheiser CX180

  • Sennheiser CX180
  • Sennheiser CX180

The Sennheiser CX180 in-ears are one of the most popular earphones sold in the country. In fact, Sennheiser specifically launched this model for the Indian market, keeping in mind the average consumer's audio palate and budget requirements.

Designed to be used mostly with your smartphones, these earphones are pretty lightweight and comfortable due to its plastic build. A downside, of course, is that it is very flimsy and the cables tend to rather tangland are susceptible to cable noise. If you love flamboyant and love all things fancy, the Sennheiser CX 180 is a disappointment as it comes in just one boring greyish black coloured body.  

Ergonomically, these earphones are superior to most in this list; the finger-contoured housing design which allows you to easily take these on and off and the soft eartips in varying sizes also make a for a good fit. You should also consider getting yourself a pair of ComplyFoam 400 Series ear tips for better comfort, isolation & improved sound.

When it comes to sound, these are rather biased towards bass. Most Indians are all about that bass and Sennheiser has catered to this very audience with the CX 180. What pulls these down is how the overpowering bass muddies the mids and highs.It is obvious that one can't expect a lot from cheap earphones, but Sennheiser being a brand as big as it is, definitely could have done much better. The highs aren't as bright and detailed either.

Ali Pardiwala, NDTV's resident audiophile, and headphone geek, has done an extensive review for the CX 180 in which he described the sound as, "There is a clear boost in the bass. And although the tone and detail isn't fantastic, it certainly isn't bad either. Once again, the focus on the bass tends to drown out any scope for the mids and highs to stand out, and the upper ranges fall short in sparkle and detail as a result. However, the imaging doesn't suffer immensely, and still has enough in it for you to enjoy the music."

We're inclined to agree.

Coming to the soundstage, we wish to not venture there and Three-dimensional imaging is a distant dream. In fact, 'narrow' is the word that comes to mind here. Noise isolation, on the other hand, is trumped by the Panasonic RP-HJE190 which is also featured on this list.

Ali Pardiwala, NDTV Gadgets360

"The Sennheiser CX180 has a lot going for it. It's inexpensive, well designed for the price, and has a sonic signature that appeals to the masses. If you're looking for a simple, comfortable and bass-driven pair of in-ear headphones, consider the Sennheiser CX180."


2 Year Warranty
Bass Baised Audio
Reference and Treble frequencies are muffled
Lack of Colours


Our Verdict:
If you're looking for an earphone with a bass drove sound signature that you can use for years to come, then you should check out the Sennheiser CX180.


3. Panasonic - RP-HJE190

Ergofit Earphones with Deep Bass
Panasonic - RP-HJE190

  • Panasonic - RP-HJE190
  • Panasonic - RP-HJE190

A few years ago, Panasonic was at the top of its game, known for its fantastic sounding value-for-money earphones. Although the company lost the price wars it had in the subsequent years with Sony & Phillips, the fact remains that they're a company with strong credentials in the category of budget personal audio. And the HJE190 is one of them.

The highlight of the HJE190 is its comfortable design and secure fit. Panasonic has employed its proprietary design funda called 'Ergofit' which is a two-step fit, first fitting into your ear and the next angling towards your ear canal for better isolation and a firmer hold.

These earphones have a low profile and can stay in your ears even when you engage in rigorous outdoor activities like cycling, running etc.

Cable noise is another factor that Panasonic has tried to combat. For the uninitiated, cable noise is that irritating noise you hear when your wires rub against your clothes/body. The cord slider basically ensures that this reduces. Unfortunately, the wires are very thin, seem flimsy and aren't tangle resistant, which is a letdown, especially since Panasonic's main selling point here is design related. 

Coming to the sound, these are big on bass with clear and bright sounding highsWhere the HJE190 suffers a little are the mids. They could have been a little crisper and detailed. As for soundstage, it's good enough for the price and does a better job than most earphones in this price category.

If you're looking for a pair of earphones to use with EDM or bass heavy music that will make your head vibrate due to the thumping bass, get yourself the Panasonic - RP-HJE190.

What Hi-Fi

"These in-ears are comfortable are impressive, but they don’t sound as good as the best."


Full Sound with Deep Bass
Comfortable Ergofit Design
Weak Cables


Our Verdict:
If you're looking for a very comfortable pair of earphones, with a deep bassy sound, then these are for you.


4. Audio Technica - ATH-COR150

Two-Way Design with Core Bass
Audio-Technica - COR150

  • Audio Technica - ATH-COR150
  • Audio Technica - ATH-COR150

Audio Technica is most famous for its M-Series studio monitor headphones and is touted as the brand for the niche. With the COR150, the company aims to bring its technology to the masses. How is this in-ear different from Audio-Technica's higher-end models? The answer is bass. Rather than providing their signature reference sound, these earphones employ a 'Core Bass' technology.

The COR150's have a two-way design that is a unique find in this price category. They can hang down in the traditional way or can also hang over the ear with the help of plastic ear hooks for extra security. When they hang over the ear it also takes away from the traditional tension that exists from the ear canal to the weight of the cord. However, depending on your ear size, this style might also get exceedingly uncomfortable, that is probably because

The plastic they use for the cord is standard; nothing to write home about. What will appeal to you most is the circular cord winder that comes with it. You can conveniently wind your in-ears around this cable manager, eliminating the risk of damage. 

Noise isolation is decent bu considerably better at blasting volume. 

When it comes to sound, the earphones are definitely bassy, but the bass isn't as refined as the others in this category. Out of the box, it is rather boomy, muffling the mids and highs. To be fair, however, it does get better after a few hours of burn in. Moreover, the highs stand out, but sound harsh and inarticulate. The soundstage is surprisingly wide.

All said and done, the earphones are better for their design rather than their sound.

Mohamed Imran 

"These earphones were purchased by me for 799/- also got comply ear tips which are amazing and comfortable. I would say they are worth every penny and are a bang for your buck.

The only reason i am rating them 4 out of 5 is because of poor build quality ."


 Two-Way Design
Cord Winder
Build Quality could be better


Our Verdict:
If you're looking for a pair of bassy earphones that you can way in different styles, then these are your best bet.


5Sony MDR-EX150

Stylish, Lightweight Earphones  
Sony MDR-EX150

  • Sony MDR-EX150
  • Sony MDR-EX150

The Sony MDR-EX150 is an update to the extremely popular, albeit discontinued Sony MDR-EX110. Sony hasn't made any technical changes of note to these earphones and the only noticeable difference, to be honest, is in the variety of colours that this model is now available in.

The design is probably the biggest selling point for these earphones. Apart from the colours, they're very lightweight and rather comfortable. The aren't too many accessories to speak of, with just additional ear tips coming in the box. A negative aspect would be that the cables are rather thin making them slightly weak.

Being available in colours like pink and purple and an eartip size of extra small, the MDX-EX150 allows for a very comfortable fit, perfect for girlfriend appeasing

These earphones do come with 9mm drivers, so the sound clarity is good enough. Clear sound without distortion at high volumes is another point in favour of this model. Despite the wide frequency range (as low as 5hz), bass could be much better. It isn't as deep and attacking as is mostly preferred.

Noise isolation, unfortunately, is rather mediocre. As for soundstage, just like the Sennheiser CX180, the less that is said, the better. 

On the whole, these earphones would substitute your stock earphones in a pinch. However, they won't provide an upgrade of noticeable value. But if you're looking for something colourful, stylish and highly portable, then these might appeal to you.

Pro Headphones Review

"Sony MDR-EX150 is a good buy if you are looking for a headphone which has decent clarity, optimal bass, and extreme portability. The features of the headphone is standard, and provided the Brand Sony, you can consider buying Sony MDR-EX150 because of its durability and support."


Comfortable & Lightweight
Attractive Design
Bass could be better


Our Verdict:
If you're looking for earphones that look good and are from Sony, then these are the way to go. 


6. JBL - C150SI

JBL sound signature, Lightweight
JBL - C150SI

  • JBL - C150SI
  • JBL - C150SI

JBL is one of the most popular brands among the urban cool youth. It comes as no surprise, owing to the fact that the brand always brings to us well designed, budget earphones and headphones. 

The C150SI is the latest stylish launch from the house of JBL. Extremely tiny, the earpieces are as small as glass marbles in size. Available three basic colours, you can choose from white, red and black.

Ultra lightweight, JBL has ensured that these in-ears lend the best fit, even at the lowest budget. The earphones perfectly fit inside your ear canal and stay in place for as long as you enjoy your favourite tracks. 

Great portability is what we love about the C150SI. The in-ears feature a universal microphone and remote. Compatible with all android and iOS devices, it lets you control your music volume, so you speak without hassle. 

The cable is regular, nothing too fancy.  A little thin, you may want to handle it with care. Tangle prone, the cable may come across as a hindrance when you are soaked into your music. However, can you expect much? at this price point. 

When it comes to the sound, the C150SI brings to you JBL's superior sound. The bass is heavy and does make you want to groove. The mids and highs come out clear, but perfect clarity is not something you can expect. Great for listening to fun music genres. 

Looking for in-ears that are lightweight and perfect for your everyday sonic dose? The C150SI is an earphone you need to get your hands on.

Abhimanyu Singh 

"The best you can get in this price range"


Powerful Bass
Comfortable and Lightweight Design
Tangle-prone Cables


Our Verdict:
If you're looking for a very comfortable pair of earphones, that can be used daily, then you should get your hands on the JBL C150SI.


These were the best 6 headphones that come under Rs 1000. Although there are others that come within the same budget, these are the ones we definitely recommend. 

What are your favourite earphones in this range? Do let us know in the comments below!

If you'd like to learn more, #AskHeadphoneZone!


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4 Responses

Durgesh Shukla
Durgesh Shukla

August 02, 2016

i had Skullcandy S2RFDA-003 and Sennheiser MX 170 Earphone both were good but i want something better with a mic under a price range of 1000rs. Help me out to buy one.


June 29, 2016

i have recently ordered Brainwavs Delta @ 1099. I would like to hear your comment about it.


May 26, 2016

SoundMAGIC – ES19S what is the warranty of this product? Are there any service centers in India?


April 29, 2016

Panasonic RP-TCM 125 is one of the best in ear headphone under 1500..soft bass and sound clarity..

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