February 03, 2016 2 Comments

For The Confused Indian Buyer: Here Are The Best Earphones Under Rs. 2000

Most (if not all) smartphones come with a set of stock earphones which while being nowhere in the realm of providing 'quality audio', work for taking calls and listening to a bit of radio in a pinch. If you're looking for a replacement that is slightly better or for when these earphones (eventually) die on you, this is the category you should look at. 

What to Expect in this Category?
  • Sound Quality: You can expect decent sound quality in this budget. It will be better than your stock earphones, relying on a sound signature that is mostly heavy on the bass. 
  • Form Factor: In this price category, its easier to get in-ears and earbuds rather than over or on-ears. And earphones will definitely be better in quality than headphones in this range. If you're looking hoping for wireless options, you should probably think about investing a bit more money.
  • Build Quality: Earphones in this range are mostly built using plastic and rely more on attractive colours than higher quality materials for aesthetics. Tangle free cords are also available.
  • An in-line remote and mic is quite commonly available 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. RHA - MA350

The RHA-MA350 offers cracking value for money
Headphone-Zone-RHA - MA350

  • Headphone-Zone-RHA-MA350
  • Headphone-Zone-RHA-MA350

RHA, the premium Scottish brand has taken the audio world by storm, ever since its inception. Producing well-built earphones with great audio output, the brand has grown on to become extremely popular among audiophiles. 

The RHA MA350 is an entry-level in-ear from RHA. Built entirely from metal, the earphones are bound to last. From the earpiece casing to the driver grille, every little element is made of machined aluminium. And it goes without saying, it is not common to find headphones with this robust structure, especially at this price point.  The RHA MA350 surely give you a high-end feel.

Coming to the design, RHA has taken a subtle route. The casing is painted in a welcome combination of silver and black, while the back has a flat body. The ear tips bloom outwards like a trumpet and are proof that these earphones have been designed with aesthetics in mind. 

The cable is covered in fabric and lends fair durability. All though tangling is not entirely eliminated, it is fairly better than plastic and rubber coated cables. In terms of thought to design, RHA deserves applause. 

Coming to the sound, the RHA MA350 offers good bass, but without feeling overwhelming or muddying other sonic elements. The lower-end is impressive and lends immense impact to bass heavy music genres such as Hip-hop and EDM. The treble sounds a little too sharp and does sound harsh at very high volumes. Having said that, the overall audio quality does not suffer to a large extent. The mids are clear and detail and can be prominently heard. 

If a remote and microphone are your priority, the RHA MA350 is not meant for you. The earphones pack along a carry case and added pairs of ear tips for comfortability and portability. 

The RHA MA350, like all other RHA products, comes with RHA's signature 3-year warranty. 


What-Hi-Fi


" And the MA-350s are a gratifyingly poised listen. The 10mm driver doesn’t place undue emphasis on any particular area of the frequency range, instead delivering an even, balanced sound"

 



2. JAYS - a-JAYS Five

Superb Tasteful Bass Reproduction
Headphone-Zone-JAYS - a-JAYS Five

  • SOUNDMAGIC - E10C
  • SOUNDMAGIC - E10C

JAYS has been in the audio for a long while and through knows its game. Over the years, the brand has improved its sonic performance and won accolades for its clean, to the point, minimalist design. 

The JAYS a-JAYS Five stands at the top of the brands in-ear tier and undoubtedly on finest production from the company. The earphones come packed in an all-black box that oozes sophistication and Swedish design characteristics. 

When it comes to the design,  the a-JAYS Five feels great and light in the hand. The silicon touch to the earphones is a welcome change. The earpieces are made of a sturdy plastic and feel and look very tiny. But wait, don't be fooled by minuscule size yet. 

The cable of the a-JAYS Five is coated in a rubber material and can handle a fair amount of tugging. The flat-type design aids in entirely eliminating troublesome tangling. 

The a-JAYS Five comes withs a three-button remote and microphone. And the earphones let you carry out all your functions such as answering calls and control audio volume, hands-free. What is even more commendable is the JAYS Headset Control App that you can install on your Smartphone. It allows you to dedicate each button for a specific function, for an entirely tailored experience. 

Where the a-Jays Five falls short if the fit and in-ear comfort. The earbuds tend to fall off everywhere and you will especially face this problem if you have small ears. However, the extra ear tips do prove helpful. 

Coming to the sound, the a-JAYS five is bound to take you by storm for the very first note. The bass is pounding and makes you feel your sound in your veins. The mids are present and articulate, however, the treble tends to sound hissy at high volumes. The bass does well and never obscures the other frequencies, something that is a requisite for a great-sounding pair of earphones.  

The JAYS - a-JAYS Five too comes with a wide array of accessories that includes a carry case, 5 pairs of eartips and a cable clip. 

The headsets come with a Two-year warranty.


Digital Trends

" The Jays a-Jays Five are the sort of headphone that bring the party to whatever music you might be listening to. Anyone looking for an in-ear with big, yet tasteful, bass at under $100 would do well to put them on their shortlist."

 



3. SOUNDMAGIC - E10C

A worthy upgrade to the E10S
SOUNDMAGIC - E10C

  • SOUNDMAGIC - E10C
  • SOUNDMAGIC - E10C

SoundMAGIC has come to be known as a brand that offers good quality earphones at very affordable prices. Thus, it has won applause from earphone enthusiasts all over. The E10 series from SoundMAGIC has gained immense popularity.

SoundMAGIC recently upgraded their most popular E10S to the E10C. The major point of difference is that it has a 3-button remote and microphone which is supposed to be universally compatible with all devices and smartphones. 

Let’s talk about the design - the E10C has its earpieces built of metal. However, the metallic red accents and the L-R indicators may come across as gaudy to some if not all.

The cable of the E10C, like the E10S series earphones is braided. This makes the cable tangle resistant. Although, the plastic sheath coating the cable makes it look pretty cheap. With its plastic cables and almost fragile sense of durability, the build quality disappoints. For users who aren’t generally rough with their earphones, the E10C could probably work just fine.

The most innovative feature to the E10C is its unique remote. The cylindrical shaped metal microphone and remote has three buttons. This enables one to switch between tracks, control the music volume and also answer calls with ease. The cross-platform support offering a universal remote is a welcome feature to these upgraded SoundMAGIC’s.

Coming to the sound, the E10C offers heavy bass. However, it does not compromise on the on the mids and high end. The earphones also offer wide soundstage, this enable you to enjoy a more natural sound experience. The E10C performs well at capturing the essence of songs from all genres.

The E10C comes with a great accessory package. This includes a mini-adapter cable, an adaptor plug, seven pairs of silicon ear tips, a shirt clip and a hard carry case. For the uninitiated, the mini-adapter cable lets you plug your earphones into laptops with separate earphone sockets; while the adaptor plug lets you connect to phones that misbehave with your earphone remote.

SoundMAGIC’s E10C comes with a One year warranty.


What-Hi-Fi


"The E10C model features a three-button remote that automatically switches the poles on the jack for compatibility with iOS and Android. And it works."

 

UPS
Good build quality
3 button Remote
Realistic sound stage and natural vocals
Compatibility Switch 
DOWNS
Bass biased
Cheap plastic cable

 


Our Verdict:
SoundMAGIC’s E10C is a good buy at this price range, with its 3 button remote and good build quality.


 




4. Sennheiser - CX 275s

Bassy Universal Headset
Sennheiser - CX 275s

  • Sennheiser - CX 275s
  • Sennheiser - CX 275s

The Sennheiser CX 275s is anearphone pair geared towards the bass lover on a modest budget. At under 2K, it's neither cheap nor over-priced, and offers solid, distortion-free audio performance, making it one of the most popular earphones sold in the country. It does however, face tough competition in a category rife with strong contenders.

The CX 275s features a simple, lightweight design, with dark, metallic gray earpieces and black, ridged accents. Although the plastic construction does make them feel a little cheap they’re durable enough. As far as fit, the CX 275s feels quite secure—the earpieces are so tiny and glossy, they're almost difficult to put in at first, but once you get a good fit, they stay put.

A big boon is the inline remote of the single-button variety which is universally compatible. However, the cables are very thin and the lack of tangle-resistance is a disappointment.

The noise isolation is decent but not great, assuming you can get a decent seal with the 3 different sized silicone eartips. Using ComplyFoam eartips definitely improves isolation considerably.

Moving on to the sound, the in-ears are a bit heavy in the bass department. It’s also mostly quite boomy and upfront, to the point where some of the bass notes get a totally different tonality altogether. In contrast, the mid-range and the upper mid-range in particular are significantly recessed. While the trebles are sharp at the very top.

This makes it great for bass heavy music like EDM and hip-hop, but listen to something with vocals and the CX 275s disappoints. The sound isn’t particularly detailed, either. The soundstage is also not as wide as the E10s further in this list. 

This is definitely not for audiophiles. However, it does have what one might call a ‘fun’ sound, so if you want something with a bit more bass on a budget to satisfy the bass-head in you, then this should do the trick.


PCMag


"The Sennheiser CX 275s combines serious bass response with a light, secure design, but these affordable earphones are not for everyone."



 

UPS
Universal Mic and Remote
Bassy Sound
DOWNS
Mids are muffled
Weak Cables

 


Our Verdict:
If you're looking for an earphone with a bass-driven sound signature which you can use with your smartphones, these are for you.


 




5. Sony - MDR-XB55AP

Dynamic & Energetic Sounding Mobile Headset
Sony - MDR-XB55AP

  • Sony - MDR-XB55AP

  • In the headphone industry, Sony is one of the most popular and fastest selling brands in the world. Sony's XB series has been designed for the best possible sound with extra bass at the best price possible, as evident with the decision of using Neodymium magnets for the driver unit. 

    The XB55AP is an upgrade to the XB50, the former popular extra bass in-ear from Sony. This extra bass headset features an in-line mic and remote control which is compatible with Android and iOS. Featuring serrated chords with thin and flat design makes the cables tangle-free. Unlike the Sony CX275s & Soundmagic E10C, the cables are terminated with an L-shaped jack. For the uninitiated, this would make the earphones longer lasting as the conventional straight jack gets weakened with the frequent bending that occurs. And they also include a wide array of silicone tips in the box.

    Due to the included eartips and the shape of these earphones, they do a good job of providing noise isolation. You should not face issue while using them in your long commutes.

    Moving on to the sound, these earphones have a fast, dynamic sound, which feels energetic. The bass is classic Sony. By classic Sony we mean it is powerful and energetic, and if turned up can very well colour the rest of the sound.

    When you start using them for the first time, they do sound a little dull, artificial and processed. However, after using them for hours on end, a noticeable change appears. The treble smooths out without any annoying peaks. The midrange is clean. Bass extends low and has a huge impact and punch.


    Oscar Obianenue


    "Good quality earphones for the price. The wire isn't flimsy and it has a rather solid and premium build. The sound so far is just mind blowing with good bass thumps and it hasn't even burned in yet. Overall I'm happy with the product."

     

    UPS
    Punchy Bass
    Tangle free cables
    DOWNS
    Overpowering Bass

     


    Our Verdict:
    These have good detail and will have a satisfactory overall signature for lovers of warmer sound. They might be sonically weaker than the E10C & CX275s in many aspects, but the bass does pack a punch.




    7. Skullcandy - Smokin' Buds 2 w/Mic 

    Vibrant looking. Punchy Skullcandy Audio
    Skullcandy - Smokin buds 2 w/Mic

    • Skullcandy - Smokin buds 2 w/Mic
    • Skullcandy - Smokin buds 2 w/Mic

    Skullcandy is known for headphones that are incredibly bass heavy, and the Smokin' Buds 2 w/mic is no exception. Purists seeking flat response can stop reading, but for the price it is at, these in-ears give you entertaining and lively audio in a budget.

    Available in a slew colour options, the Method's overall design is anything but simple. With these in-ears, Skullcandy has focused on the look and appeal more than any other aspect.The colours used are vibrant, while the is attractive design is definitely going to appeal to youngsters. Skullcandy being Skullcandy, wants you to never forget you're wearing their product. The company's logo has been impressed all over the tiny earphones, including the earbuds. 

    The wire is flat, and the pieces of hardware attached to them are jagged and slightly misshapen, giving them a likeness to bones. Even without the logos, everything about the Smokin' buds 2 w/mic screams Skullcandy.

    The ear tips have an angular design and fit snugly into your ear canal.

    Unlike the CKX5is however, the inline mic & remote is of the single button variety, without the volume slider.

    Coming to the sound, as everything with Skullcandy, it's all about the bass. This is a pair for bass lovers who like some serious boosting of lows and not for anyone with audiophile aspirations. The vocals and everything on the other hand, are unclear, getting muffled throughout the frequencies. The mids and highs are decent but do get drowned at high volumes.

    The sound stage is surprisingly good, and you do feel like your music is being produced with more depth. 

    For pumping up your music and delivering a lively show, these do well, but purists should definitely stay away and consider the E10C instead.


    Oscar Obianenue


    "The Skullcandy Smokin' Buds 2 w/mic is a good earphone for regular daily use. Ensure to use these with a dedicated MP3 player to get the best from it."

     

    UPS
    Vibrant Design
    Wide Colour Options
    DOWNS
    Bass is too overwhelming

     


    Our Verdict:
    If you're looking for pumpy bass and an eye-catching design, while comprimsing on everything else, these in-ears will serve well.


     


     

    If you like this article you may also like:

     

     

    Talk to a Headphone Guru


    Talk to a Headphone Guru

    Information overload? Your Guru will find the best headphones keeping in mind your budget restrictions and brand preferences.


    2 Responses

    Maaroof
    Maaroof

    April 19, 2017

    what about jays a jays five for windows

    Abhinav
    Abhinav

    April 28, 2016

    Check out MI In-Ear and In-Ear Pro too…..Those are much better than any of these. :) :)

    Leave a comment

    Comments will be approved before showing up.


    Also in Best Earphones under Rs. 2000

    JAYS - a-JAYS Five Vs SoundMAGIC - E10C
    JAYS - a-JAYS Five Vs SoundMAGIC - E10C

    May 17, 2017

    The most asked about question. A comparison between the most popular earphones under 2000 rupees price bracket. Check out their Pros and Cons. Let this post help you make a better decision.
    Read More
    RHA - MA350 Vs SENNHEISER - CX275S
    RHA - MA350 Vs SENNHEISER - CX275S

    May 17, 2017

    Comparison between RHA's entry level in-ear the RHA MA350 versus the popular  Sennheiser CX275s. Make your choice after evaluating abouth these in-ears here.
    Read More
    JAYS - A-JAYS FIVE VS SENNHEISER - CX275S
    JAYS - A-JAYS FIVE VS SENNHEISER - CX275S

    May 17, 2017

    Read our detailed reviews to know the best in-ear earphones created for you. Know the key difference in specifications and sound signature between the JAYS-a-JAYS Five and the Sennheiser - CX275s
    Read More