March 27, 2017 4 Comments

For The Confused Indian Buyer: Here Are The Best Earphones Under Rs. 3000

Most smartphones come with a pair of earphones as an additional accessory. A lot of people might be happy with these, and you'll generally be okay if you use them only for phone calls or some radio. However, if you use your phone for music, you'll most likely be unhappy with the bundled pair. That's where our services come in.

What to Expect in this Category?

This price category is perfect for those looking for a substantial upgrade without spending the big chunk of money.

  • Build Quality: These earphones would be fairly sturdy, with tangle resistant cables. 
  • Sound Quality: This is where you get into the good stuff, sound moves from overpowering bass to a comparatively balanced sound signature. Audiophiles however, should not expect too much from these. 
  • Form Factor: You'd definitely get better earphones than headphones in this category. Wireless earphones would be very basic. More functional, rather than actually sounding good.
  • Mic and remote ability differs from model to model, but is generally prevalent.

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 - S500

Premium In-ear headphones with Micro Dynamic Drivers

  • Best Earphones under Rs. 3,000 - RHA - S500
  • RHA - S500

RHA has made a name for itself by offering quality earphones at budget prices. Eventually, the company expanded its lineup to include some high-end models, like the RHA T20, but is returning to its roots with the S500. The S500 is a replacement to the now discontinued MA350.

When it comes to build quality, these earphones are excellent, being made with highly durable aircraft grade aluminium with each earphone being handmade by RHA. The S500 also has a rather sleek and stylish look, with earpieces that are tiny and extremely lightweight. 

As for the cables, they are fabric braided with a section covered in Kevlar, a feature absent in any of the earphones in this list. The wires are highly durable, don't tangle easily and RHA has definitely reduced cable noise, which was an issue in the previous model.

A negative in the design aspect might be the straight 3.5mm jack. But since RHA has made the cables rather durable, thus one does not miss the angled jack, that is usually present/preferred in a pair of earphones/portable headphones.

Moving on to noise isolation, the S500 is very impressive. This can mostly be attributed to the staggering number of eartips that come in the box, which includes six pairs of dual density and double-flange silicone tips. Apart from these accessories, a handy fabric carry case and clothing clip has also been provided.

When it comes to the sound, the S500 has one of the smallest dynamic drivers in the world at 6 mm, which has been designed for music of all genres. The S500 as a whole, does emphasize the highs and lows quite a bit. Although the bass is deep and rolling, the sparkle in the highs balances out the sound signature quite nicely. Mids are good enough, but aren't as flat and precise as audiophiles may prefer.

Budding sound enthusiasts shouldn't worry however, these earphones are very clear and detailed with a rather warm sound signature. And in case these earphones conk out, RHA offers an astounding 3 year warranty!

A product of one of the best brands in the world, the RHA S500 definitely stands on top of this list both in terms of quality and giving you a bang for your buck.

Kanishk Luhach


"The all aluminium design makes it sturdy and robust enough for day to day use and travel. As far as sound is concerned, in this price range, you will not find a more flat and balanced sound in any of the earphones available in the market. The sound stage is perfect I mean perfect, you will not miss a single beat, anything that comes closer would be an audiophile range studio monitor."



 

UPS
Warranty: 3 Years
Best-In-Class Detailing
DOWNS
Microphone: No
Lacks Punchiness

 


Our Verdict:
We would recommend the RHA S500 for those seeking a detailed sound with enhanced bass that doesn't muddy the sound.


 




2. JAYS-a-Jays-One

Premium In-ear headphones with Micro Dynamic Drivers
JAYS-a-Jays-One

  • Best Earphones under Rs. 3,000 - JAYS-a-Jays-One
  • JAYS-a-Jays-One

The most interesting thing about the a-Jays One design isn't so much the ear buds themselves, which are an ordinary bud style only enlivened by the presence of sets of different-sized silicone sleeves, but the cable, which rather than the customary round, is instead 115cm of flat black cable. While the a-Jays One represents the very bottom of the rung of the ladder of Jays headphones, with prices increasing as you go up the quality scale, it's a nice feature to have at a budget price point, as it makes it very hard (but not quite impossible) to tangle up the headphones themselves.

The treble is smooth and free of harshness and sibilance, but this is in part because the top-end seems to roll off fairly early. Detail and resolution is surprisingly good at this level, but overall treble presence is much greater in something like the Ultimate Ears 200. This can be EQ'd-in without adding much harshness, leading us to believe that the higher a-JAYSs' models improved treble response may be down to tuning rather than an entirely different driver.

The a-JAYS One's frequency response tops out at an unimpressive 18,000Hz, but the slightly more expensive a-JAYS Two reaches to 20,000Hz and the Three 22,000Hz. We're not usually ones for judging sound by specs, but could Jays be sacrificing the frequency curve here to give the product line a more convincing curve of its own?



C|NET


"As basic headphones at a basic price, the a-Jays Ones acquit themselves well. The inclusion of the flat easy-to-use cable makes them particularly easy to recommend for everyday use."



 

UPS
Warranty: 2 Years
Robust Smooth Sound
DOWNS
Microphone: No
Treble Could Do with Boost

 


Our Verdict:
We would recommend the RHA S500 for those seeking a detailed sound with enhanced bass that doesn't muddy the sound.


 




3. Beyerdynamic - Byron

IFA 2016 Winner

  • Bayerdynamic - Byron
  • Bayerdynamic - Byron

Beyerdynamic has a long and illustrious history when it comes to headphones, with its budget and high-end pairs collecting numerous Best Buy accolades over the years.

Byron, from the high-end audio company Beyerdynamic, are entry level in-ear earphones to the all new Byron series. The new edition in-ears combine incredible sound and high-quality craftsmanship. With the Byron, Beyerdynamic aims at making your mobile music listening extremely enjoyable. Offering exceptionally detailed sound through your phone, these produce sound that is consistent with exceptional bass.

Featuring a microphone and remote, the Byron lets you comfortably control your music, while also answer calls. Now attend to your calls with ease, without comprising on your music listening experience. 

Ergonomically engineered, these headsets have been designed to give you the best fit for long periods. The 3 included pairs of silicon eartips further enhance your wearing comfort.

The Package comes with an included soft zipper carry case with a for your headsets, making storage and travel easier. The included cable clip lends a firm hold, while the silicon eartips give the best fit.

Creating an icing on the cake for all this is its 2 years manufactures warranty.


What HiFi


"Beyerdynamic is back – and the Byron in-ears are the ones to beat..."




 

UPS
Aluminium Housing
Wide Sound-Stage
DOWNS
Not for Bassheads

 


Our Verdict:
It is undoubtedly the best in this class if bass is not your utmost priority then, look no further


 




4. Sennheiser - CX 3.00

Bassy Headphones from the German Giant

  • Sennheiser - CX 3.00
  • Sennheiser - CX 3.00

Reasonably priced but delivering decent sound quality, the CX 300 and subsequent CX 300-II were some of Sennheiser's most popular in-ear headphones. The originals date back to 2008 and so were definitely due for an update, which Sennheiser did with the CX 3.00.

The most noticeable improvement is the angled resonator. This lets the earpieces sit more comfortably in your ear canal and rest on your outer ear - a big improvement over in-ears that go straight in and then gradually fall out due to the combination of gravity and the weight of the cabling. Another design improvement is that the cables are elliptical rather than being flat or round. Although this doesn't make them entirely tangle free, it does a fair job.

The CX 3.00 are probably one of the most comfortable earphones on the list. Sennheiser has upped their game here, with a rather long nozzle to go deeper in to the ear. The lightweight design is another big tick mark in favor of this model.

Where the CX 3.00 slightly loses its way is with its noise isolation. The earphones have a vented design, which although allows for more airiness, doesn't allow the isolation to be anything more than average. However, getting yourself a set of Comply Foam Isolation tips should help you solve this problem.

Also, the plastic carrying case (reminiscent of JBL's E10s) is impractical and cumbersome to carry.

Moving on to sound, this is a basshead's delight. The bass is rather warm and emphasized which occasionally might be slightly overpowering. It’s meaty, and has bit of a boomy quality to it, and retains its quality even as you turn it up the volume, a big plus for those that like their music loud. The midrange here is recessed, especially compared to the big bass. As for the highs, they're not as sparkly and rich as they should be. But the casual listener shouldn't complain.

Soundstage is a little narrow though and sound separation is average, but well centered.

If you're looking for a more balanced sound signature however, the RHAs would be more suited to your taste.

Trusted Reviews


"The Sennheiser CX 3.00 are almost the perfect entry-level earphones. They’re incredibly light and comfortable, and just easy to get on with. However, they're very bass-heavy, so only really for casual listening unless you're seriously into low frequencies."



 

UPS
Fun Bassy Sound
Thick tangle free cords
DOWNS
Microphone: No

 


Our Verdict:
If you're a bass head, or into genres like EDM, hip hop or commercial Bollywood; then these are the ones for you.


 




5. Sony AS410AP

Earphones for the Active Lifestyle

  • Sony AS410AP
  • Sony AS410AP

The Sony MDR-AS410AP have been specially designed keeping in mind the athlete in you. Powered with 9 mm powerful drivers these in-ears keep you charged during those heavy workout hours. Experience pure and energized sound, that keeps you going until the very end.

With its unique design and style the MDR-AS410AP looks extremely stylish and different from the rest. Simply slide these over the ear and you are good to go.

The Sony MDR-AS410AP features a built-in microphone and remote lets you take calls on the go. Be unstoppable.

The headphones come with a splash proof feature, protecting them from sweat and perspiration during long hours of workout. Four pairs of silicon ear tips come included in the package, ensuring that you enjoy the most secure and snug fit.

The included attractive carry pouch keeps your earphones safe, while also enabling easy portability.

All this is included along with a one-year manufacturer warranty.


Michael Aulia, Craving Tech


"While these headphones can withstand sweat and are generally more ruggedised than their standard counterparts, you still shouldn't chuck them around with complete impunity."



 

UPS
Transparent, balanced sound
Reduced Cable Noise
DOWNS
Not for Bassheads

 


Our Verdict:
If you're looking for a wired sports easrphones which also lets you take calls and skip tracks then SONY MDR-AS140AP is the one for you.


 




6. SONY-MDR-XB70AP

Excellent Sonic Performance for Runners

  • SONY-MDR-XB70AP
  • SONY-MDR-XB70AP

The Sony - MDR-XB70AP is an in-ear stereo earphone from Sony's XB range, specially designed for Extra Bass and Loudness.  The powerful 12 mm driver unit and Powered Bass Duct++ ensures powerful sound delivery. It's universally compatible  in-line remote and microphone lets you multi-task on the go. These in-ear earphones also come with stylish pouches and have serrated cords that give you a tangle-free experience.

XB70AP demonstrates its impressive ability to produce sub-bass.  The long decay times can actually be felt, and the effect is quite enveloping.  However, moving into mid and upper bass, the XB70AP demonstrates its lack of punch.  It doesn't quite move fast enough to ensure that good clarity is kept throughout the general bass line.  The weakness is especially evident when various types of bass come together.  The sub-bass generally overwhelms the rest of the bass, and the XB70AP sometimes blows through songs with the stereotypical "dun-dun-dun".  While this can be fun at times, it is annoying at others.  

Trebles are okay.  They offer a bit of sparkle, but this observation is biased in the sense that all most anything will sparkle in light of XB70AP's bass.  The clarity at the higher-end is good, and really helps to open up the otherwise narrow soundstage. However, the headphone's weakness comes to light with the mids.  A deep V-parabola means that the mids are heavily recessed. Vocals sound like they are coming from another room in fact.



Head-Fi.org


"The MDR-XB70AP is not a high clarity, high-fi earphone.  In comparison to its predecessor, the XB70AP has apparently sacrificed too much to achieve the "extra bass."



 

UPS
Good Quality
Attention to Detail design
DOWNS
Overpowering bass
Lack of punch

 


Our Verdict:
Dedicated bass heads will revel in the"epic" bass available.  However, for regular users looking for a balanced sound and the included price tag and deep-v signature may make the MDR-XB70AP off-putting.


 



These were the best 5 earphones that come under Rs 3000. 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

Akash Kapur
Akash Kapur

April 24, 2017

Probably a little too late to the party: but I’m hearing a lot of good things about Signature Acoustic IEMs. Was wondering if you have or would be reviewing those so they can be compared to this line-up.

NISHANT SHARMA
NISHANT SHARMA

March 05, 2016

CX3.00 SOLD OUT…………………………….BRING IT BACK

sandeep
sandeep

January 14, 2016

nice picks. Thanks for the blog.

sarath
sarath

January 13, 2016

You missed out something… Sony XB 50 ap!!

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