February 03, 2017

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


Today the headphone industry has undergone a sea change, with a veritable smorgasbord of choices and cut-throat competition between manufacturers. Fortunately, the consumer has been crowned king.

If your pocket is on a budget, there are an array of affordable options that offer brilliant value – if you know where to look. To help you out, we’ve put together this list of the best headphones for Rs. 2000 or less. The list has been curated with valuable input from our in-house experts.

What to Expect in this Category?

Build Quality: Most of the headphones in this category would be made of plastic. Whether they are durable or not is something that will depend from brand to brand. If you are looking for a pair that will stand the test of time, you should consider increasing your budget.

Sound Quality: The sonic signature will lean towards the lower end and will definitely not be of audiophile quality. Do not expect audio quality that 10K plus headphone can deliver.

Form Factor: All the headphones in this price category are wired. If you are looking for wireless options you will have to look in the 5K and above price bracket.

Remote and Mic functionality is not very common.

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. Panasonic - RP - HXD3+

Minimalistic Design. Tonally Balanced Headphones
Panasonic - RP-HXD3+

  • Panasonic - RP-HXD3+
  • Panasonic - RP-HXD3+

Panasonic is one of the most trusted brands in the world of headphones. The brand has only grown from strength to strength in these years. The Panasonic-RP-HXD3+ is one of the many budget headphones from Panasonic and has been lauded for its great value for money aspect. 

The RP-HXD3+ has a design that is has been evidently well constructed and designed. With a sleek construction, modernity is the primary focus. The branding is understated, while the design is minimalistic, with not much frill. The brand's name has been printed in small letters just above the earcup. Right to admit, we love the clean and clutter free design of these cans. 

Despite being made from plastic, the HXD3+ seems very durable and can take a fair amount of spills.

Unlike most headphones, Panasonic has taken a diagonal direction with the design of the HXD3+. The ear earcups and headband are not typically cushioned. Instead, the padding is made of a soft silicon like material that is puffed up. The vacuum seals air, making the fit extremely comfortable even for long listening hours. Unlike pleather covered earpads, the silicon material stays cool through out. It is also water and sweat resistant. However, if you have a big-sized head, you might also feel some pressure on the top.

Very basic, the cans feature a Y-type cable that is perfect for mobile use. However, a little thin in size, you will want to take off the cable to avoid breakage. 

Moving on to the sound, the headphones produce the cleanest and detailed sound as compared to any headphone in this price range. The sound is tonally balanced with absolutely no distortion. As for the bass, it is in proportion, without being too overpowering. However, if you are particularly a  bass head you should look at the Sony XB450.

The instruments are well accessed and come out very naturally. Perfect if you are looking for asound signature that is unbiased.However, you should note that the headphones do sound over sharp at highs and mids with particular genres, but you definitely won't be left disappointed.

These headphones are closed, but they’re not intended for noise isolation in loud and crowded places. But if you intend to use these at home, the noise isolation is decent.

The Panasonic-RP-HXD3+ is definitely one of the best options available for budget tonally balanced headphones. These are also perfect for long hours of movie watching on your laptop and computer.



Tim Gideon, PCMag


"The Panasonic RP-HXD3W on-ear headphones deliver a rich bass response without any distortion, but can sound a bit tinny and overly-sculpted in the high-mids."



 

UPS
Tonally Balanced Sound
Sleek Design
DOWNS
Non-Collapsible 

 


Our Verdict:
If you are looking for a pair of headphones that feature a balanced sound signature, then the Panasonic RP-HXD3+ should be your choice.


 




2. Sennheiser HD 202 II

Great Clarity. Studio Monitors
Sennheiser - HD 202 II

  • Sennheiser - HD 202 II
  • Sennheiser - HD 202 II

Sennheiser is a brand with a legacy in producing fantastic audio gear, with products appealing to average consumers and audiophiles alike. Their affordable range of headphones and earphones generally tend to be heavy on the bass but the HD 202 II is a welcome exception.

The Sennheiser HD 202 II has been designed, keeping in mind budget studio headphones. Bulky in construction, you will find that the HD 202 is not very different from other headphones in terms of look. Although built from plastic, these headphones are more than durable.  A favourite party trick, bend the headband flat and these still won't break, unless you enjoy chucking them out of windows for fun.

The branding is understated, but the headphones can be easily recognized by anyone who is well acquainted with the brand Sennheiser. The matte textured body makes these very attractive, however, black is the only colour option to choose from.

A negative design aspect however, would be that these circumaural headphones have a cord that is 3m long, so you'll definitely find portability an issue. Considerate about this fact, Panasonic packs the headphones with a cord winder that can be clipped onto your belt when out and about.

Featuring an Over-Ear design, the earcups comfortably sit over your ears. The foam earcups and headband are generously padded, perfectly contouring your ears and head while remaining lightweight and breathable. A bit of an issue though is that the padding is made of a material that may peel off over time, making maintenance and hygiene a bit of a task. 

Moving on to the sound, the HD 202 II sound very, very good. Just don't expect audiophile level clarity from them. The headphones deliver a considerable amount of deep bass that isn't overpowering and the mids are very warm and natural. You may find that the pair sometimes gets a little bright in some loud genres, especially with busy tracks, but as a package, the HD 202 II gives you just enough.

The soundstage is fairly wide, and your sound won't suffer from distortion even at high volumes.

Noise isolation is the best feature that these headphones boast about, you should have no problems with these even during commute.

 


CNET


"If you're on a strict budget and can't spend more than $40, the Sennheiser HD 202 IIs are a worthwhile entry point for aftermarket cans, boasting a comfortable fit and the company's excellent signature sound."



 

UPS
Detailed Audio 
Very comfortable 
DOWNS
3m Long Cable

 


Our Verdict:
If you're looking for a studio monitor headphones in a budget, the Sennheiser HD 202 II is for you.


 




3. Sony MDR-XB450

Bass Heavy. Metallic Earcups 
Sony - MDR-XB450

  • Sony - MDR-XB450
  • Sony - MDR-XB450

Sony has grown into a brand that has a bright and fun character, credit given to its wide array of entertaining and lively sounding headphones. Applauded for its Extra Bass range,the Sony MDR-XB450 too does not stray far away.

The Sony MDR-XB450 proudly sports a sleek stylish looking metallic earcup housing. Theswivel folding design allows for easy storage in your bag or briefcase. The earpads are softly foam padded, but the headband does not feature any kind of padding and may thus, not be very feasible for long listening hours.

The MDR-XB450 is a visually appealing pair of headphones. The plastic build however, is a bit of a letdown. It's true that with the features that it packs in at this price point, one can't expect much, but the plastic construction does make it feel rather breakable.

The XB450 is definitely not the most comfortable when compared to other headphones in this range. Like all On-Ear headphones, there will be fatigue felt on the ears after long periods. If you are looking for great noise isolation headphones, you should look away as the MDR-XB450 is a total let down. 

The biggest advantage over other headphones in this range, of course, is the flat-type cable that the Sony MDR-XB450 employs. The serrated cord is tangle-free, keeping the annoyance miles away. Perfect for on the go use with your mobile phone.

If you are looking for a mic and remote, the XB450 comes with a variant- Sony MDR-XB450AP that has a mic and remote specifically to take calls when used with a mobile phone.

Like the name suggest,  sound is inclined towards the bass end of the spectrum. However, despite being heavy on the lows, they aren't overwhelming. Just punchy and exciting. The mids are recessed, but the highs are clear and bright.

Soundstage and instrument separation aren't worth getting into. The imperfections come in with the lack of tonal balance.Sony is proudly unashamed of the same.

If you are looking for a bassy pair, then the XB450 is worth all your money!



PCQUEST


"A pair of headphones which will satisfy you no matter what genre of music you play."


 

UPS
Bass Heavy
Metallic Earcups
DOWNS
Plastic Build

 


Our Verdict:
"If you're looking for a pair of headphones that is heavy on the bass, then the Sony MDR-XB450 should be on your wish list"


 


Consult an Expert Now
Book a time of your preference and let us guide you through your options, discuss sound and help you make the right choice. Allow us to introduce you to the choicest of products at your leisure.




4. Audio Technica - ATH-AX1iS

Over-Ear Headphones From The Sonic Fuel Range
Audio Technica - ATH-AX1iS

  • Audio Technica - ATH-AX1iS
  • Audio Technica - ATH-AX1iS

Audio Technica is one of the best headphones company that produces great quality headphones for every price bucket. Part of the well-known Sonic Fuel series range, the ATH-AX1iS is a budget offering from the brand

The ATH-AX1iS is a smaller over-ear headphone and has been designed to be feasible for everyday use. The headphones have been engineered from plastic and aren't really well engineered by Audio Technica's standards.The plasticky feel does come across as cheap, but can you expect much at this low a price? The headband seems a little flimsy and you may want to take care while handling these. 

When it comes to comfort the earpads are extremely comfortable, covered in velour the pressure level is just adequate. They are soft enough that comfort wouldn't be a problem. They're also very convenient to be worn with your glasses. However, there is no padding on the headband, but there isn't much discomfort that you will feel.

The headphones are flexible enough and offer good swivel, thus they will fit everyone.
The cable quality is decent, nothing to write home about. Matching the colour of the headphones, the cable features an in-line microphone and remote. A great option if your wish to control your music volume and answer calls. 

Moving on to noise isolation, you will be more than satisfied. The Over-Ear cups aid in attenuating external noise. 

Sound is where the ATH-AX1iS excels in. These deliver some quality punchy and extended bass, that can go low, and deep. The mid-range is tapering but is not something that we would complain about. The highs are sparkly, and bright, but may get muddy with certain genres. The vocals are extremely clear and controlled. 

The sound stage is wide, and audio sounds spacious and airy.

A nice feature, the ATH-AX1iS is available in a variety of colours, thereby letting you choose your favourite shade.



NDTV, Gadgets 360


"If you're shopping for good headphones at under Rs. 2,000, this is definitely worth an audition."



 

UPS
Tight, Controlled Bass
Comfortable Over-Ear Design
DOWNS
Not so Durable Build Quality

 


Our Verdict:
If you're looking for Over-Ear budget headphones with a mic and remote, these make for the best you can get your hands on. 

 


These were the best 4 headphones that come under Rs 2000. 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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