March 27, 2017

 For The Confused Indian Buyer: Here Are The Best Earphones Under Rs. 4000

 

This is the price-point when specifications start getting serious, you will find headphones with no frills attached and focusing on serious sound delivering quality.

If you’re looking to get serious about your audio, this is an excellent price point to start at. And what you need is help to get the best bang for your buck. That’s where this guide comes in.

What to Expect in this Category?

Build Quality: With the good amount of money you’re about to spend, a premium build comes as a standard. You may not find an all metal or high-end build, but it will be much better in terms of sturdiness and reliability. 

Sound QualityIf your previous headphones are  from the sub-2000 category, then you will notice a significant difference in sound clarity, bass and sound-stage.

Form Factor: There are very less wireless headphones in this category, most of them will be functional. Most of the headphones included are for studio monitoring.

Remote and Mic: As mentioned above, since most of the headphones are made for studio monitoring, its rare to find an in-line remote or mic. But consumer brands will have them.

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. AKG-K72

MID-RANGE STUDIO MONITORING HEADPHONES
Headphone-Zone-Buying-Guide-AKG-K72

  • Best Earphones under Rs. 3,000 - AKG-K72
  • Best Earphones under Rs. 4,000-AKG-K72

The AKG K72 sports a classic studio headphone design. you will realize at the very first glance that these are clearly not meant to be worn on the streets. The large circum-aural headphones are gigantic, and you should back off if sleek is what you prefer. 

Even though they are engineered entirely from plastic, we do not think that this pair looks cheap or flashy. Unlike most headphones at this price or any other we could say, these over-ears feature an unconventional headband. Instead of the sliding headband mechanism, this one fashions a steady skeleton with a slidable band that gently sits above your head. The actual frame of metal above, hold the headphones together, lending enough sturdiness along with headbands that have a soft fabric. 

When it comes to comfort and usability, the AKG 72 offers the best comfort among headphones in this price category. The large earcups house large earpads that can engulf the largest of the ears. The synthetic leather used to wrap the earpads is of high quality too, thus, the comfort found with these in-ears is something you will love the most.

The cable is 3 meters long and thicker than most usual cables that we have come across. Although it does make the cord strong and durable, it does restrain easy portability. A big issue, the cable is not detachable, something that is particularly common among monitoring headphones. You might want to consider an upgrade if that's your priority.

When it comes to the sound, the AKG K72 is a detailed and accurate sounding pair of headphones. With the K72, AKG has managed to deliver the basic monitoring tones that are present in higher level studio professional headphones.

The over-ears brilliantly handle different frequencies, while not sounding flabby or poorly controlled. Aiming to deliver a neutral presentation, the bass goes forward with rhythmic bass and is not over-punchy or too loud.


WHAT HIFI


"The AKG K72 are large circumaural headphones with pads large enough to engulf all but the most gigantic of ears. They help to make comfort among the best you'll find at the price. Their headband deserves some credit too."



 

UPS
Warranty: 2 Years
Best In-Class in Detailing
DOWNS
Microphone: No
Not Portable

 


Our Verdict:
We would recommend the AKG-K72 for those who wants studio monitoring at home and do not intend to use it for anything else.


 




2. Audio-Technica ATH-M30X

PORTABLE STUDIO MONITORING HEADPHONES
Audio-Technica ATH-M30X

  • Audio-Technica ATH-M30X
  • Audio-Technica ATH-M30X

The ATH-M30X is an upgrade to the ATH-M30 and thus sports a slightly upgraded design as well. The black ATH-M30X is mostly made of plastic and has oval-shaped earcups unlike its predecessor, the ATH-M30, which had a distinctly round shape.The M30X has all that can grab the attention of budding audio enthusiasts in a budget. 

On the design end, the ATh-M30X features a stern design true to its aspects and does not aim to turn any heads. We couldn't help but love the placement of Audio-Technica's logos on each Ear-Cups though. A rather large Audio-Technica logo runs along the headband which is quite off-putting. The rexine cushions on the earcups are soft and cover the ears completely. Even the flexible headband has the same rexine material. Making them wearable on hours to go.

One feature that prevails M30X from the AKG K72 is its ability to collapse, so you can easily port them wherever you go. It also comes with a nice little pouch to put them in. The only thing you’ll be lacking is being able to take the cable out of the bottom, which you can easily wrap around the headphones themselves instead. Detachable cables are available in its higher versions like M40X and M50X.

There are two cables which are bundled with the headphones. One of which is the 3 m long cable which has a thick outer covering for the copper-clad aluminum wire, making it quite sturdy. The other one is the 3.5 mm gold-plated audio jack. Audio-Technica also bundles a 6.3 mm adapter which snaps onto the 3.5 mm jack making the  ATH-M30X work with a wide range of audio equipment. The M30x is also flexible, and the ear cups can be swiveled 90-degrees, allowing forsingle-ear monitoring.

When it comes to the sound, the ATH-M30X sounds very soft and muffled when not used with an Amp or any other high-end device. Amp it up and you will immediately notice a striking difference.

Considering that they are made with studio monitoring in mind, ATH-M30X is not meant for folks who like drama in their sound definition. In fact, it produces a flat sound with absolutely no distortion. When used perfectly, the headphones get really loud and produce crystal clear sounds. They are also able to handle bass andtreb perfectly.

 


C|NET


"The Good The Audio-Technica ATH-M30X headphones offer good build quality and detailed, natural sound with good bass."



 

UPS
Balanced Sound
One Button Remote and Mic 
DOWNS
Bass could be punchier

 


Our Verdict:
If you want an aesthetically pleasing sound and looking for studio monitoring on the go then you may consider the ATH-M30X. 


 




3. Sennheiser-HD-451

SENNHEISER SOUND IN MINIMALIST LOOK
Sennheiser-HD-451

  • Sennheiser-HD-451
  • Sennheiser-HD-451

The Sennheiser HD 451 is designed to have a very minimalist look. While some may love this simplistic look, people who love all things fancy are most likely to abhor these over-ears. Although built entirely from plastic, the material seems extremely sturdy and durable.

Matte finished, the headphones are available in just one color option that is black. The only attraction to the aesthetic is the ripple design on the earcup. The colored band around each earcup too add a nice quirky touch.

The headphones are exceptionally lightweight, and we do like the fresh new design that these bring with them. Sennheiser has ensured that the headphones are suitable for people with different head sizes, and thus, the HD 451 features a slider which retracts into the band. The flexible body also allows for easy swivel and tilting of the earcups. 

The Sennheiser HD 451 comes with a1.2 meter single cable. This makes it tangle free. Moreover, the one-sided cable lets you experience your music without the nuisance of having to sort the cable every time. The left-side cable is rubberized and terminates in an L-shaped, gold-plated, 3.5mm jack. For enhanced comfort, the ear cups are heavily padded and covered in soft velour. The cushioned ear pads provide comfort even during long hours of continuous music listening. 

The heavily cushioned ear pads also ensure that outside noise doesn’t pass through. It effectively attenuates outside noise, letting you enjoy pure sonic bliss. The Sennheiser HD 451 delivers a good quality audio experience to all its users.It delivers bass frequencies with much thump. You will be able to enjoy every beat, whether it comes from a guitar or a drum. 

The most important feature of these over-ears is that, even through all powerful bass, the mid and the high range is clear and distinct. Every little tone comes out smooth. the vocal brilliantly stand out the characteristic of Sennheiser’s balanced signature sound. Sound leakage also wasn’t problematic, and your ear will likely be bleeding way before any volume distortion occurs.


REVIEW DESTINATION


"Sennheiser HD 451 is one of the coolest headphones that user can look to buy if he/she have a high budget. Though, the product doesn’t seem to be budget friendly, but still it’s worth buying at this price. The decent impedance with average frequency response and noise cancelling feature makes quality sound reach your ears."



 

UPS
Has Remote + Mic
Strong Build
DOWNS
Lack of Sound Signature 

 


Our Verdict:
If you are familiar with the sennheiser's signature sound and like it, then this one is for you.


 



4. Skullcandy CRUSHER

Flagship Reference Series Model 
Skullcandy CRUSHER

  • Skullcandy CRUSHER
  • Skullcandy CRUSHER

The Skullcandy Crusher is evidently designed for the bold and brazen. Featuring a glossy body, these plastic build headphones comes in three color options- white, red and black.

Skullcandy is known to make the most strikingly flashy headphones, and the Crusher is definitely a breath of fresh air. The plastic body is very lightweight but does not do much in terms of durability. It also feels cheap and the leather does feel like it will ware off with time. We do like the small detailed touches of the thread stitch. The silver skulls on the earcups and the silver vents at the bottom of each earcup adds much-needed oomph.

The plastic slider on the side of the right earcup lets you alter the level of bass or turn it off completely. A nice feature of the Crusher, the cables are detachable. The included cable features a one-button mic and remote. The one-button lets you carry out basic functions, but you will not be able to control the volume of your music. 

The Skullcandy Crusher employs a bass slider, and has been designed to produce a substantial amount of bass. With the slider on, you will find that these over-ears deliver extreme thump and your music sounds more than lively. The headphones actually vibrate at top volumes, yes you read that right. So if you are looking for music like at the club- then this pair will satisfy your want.

The Crusher is clearly not meant for purists and you should back off if you love to listen to your music with perfection. The mids and highs get terribly mufled and get buried deep down. The sound-stage is not great and there are other headphones in this range that do much better. 

The vocals come clean and do sound distorted even at high volumes. All being said, the Crusher does add its own sparkle and is a good choice if you want to up your spirits during rigorous activities.The headphones will work well with genres such as jazz, Hip-hop and pop, but more subtle music genres will be mangled and misrepresented.



Tech Radar


"The Skullcandy Crusher headphones are a good value for those looking into bass-heavy audio options. When the bass is there, these cans enliven concert recordings and gives music with a strong beat an extra thump."



 

UPS
One Button Remote + Mic
Bass Slider
DOWNS
Distorts at High Volumes

 


Our Verdict:
The Skullcandy has always made a style statement with their Headphones, and you may consider this one if you want an in-line remote and control your bass.


 




5. SHURE-SRH240A

Flagship Sonic Fuel Series Model
Audio Technica - CKX9is

  • Audio Technica - CKX9is
  • Audio Technica - CKX9is

The SHURE SRH240A employs a  nice and sturdy build, but is completely plastic and does not feel very premium. On the whole, the headphones feel very cheap and light in weight, but definitely can stand up to some level of beating.

Speaking of cables, they look okay and should last for quite sometime. You do get an additional 6.5 mm adapter in case you want to plug these headphones to studio equipment. For this purpose, you will find a threaded metallic part to screw on the adapter over the 3.5 mm jack. One thing we liked about the 3.5 mm jack is its nice golden look that comes because of some sort of nickel plating.

On the other hand, the ear cups are made from a good quality material. The shape is also good enough to cover your whole ears and the pads are made from soft material that feels very comfortable. The center region of the ear cups is covered with thin layer of foam and you can feel the hard plastic behind it.

You will easily notice the poor sound isolation these headphones have if you are living in a noisy area. Apart from that, the sound leakage is also quite significant. The good thing about the drivers on SRH240A is their impedance is nearly 38 Ohms which means they can sound very loud. That way, you will never need to pump your volume too high.

Having a loud sound profile does seem to be a nice thing, but it is equally important to see whether the drivers can reproduce the sound equally across the whole audio band. Unfortunate as it may sound, the drivers do not have a flat response at all. The bass is poor or actually sounds like it is completely absent. What headphones are good without the bass? Nevertheless, you could try boosting the bass through software equalizer.

On the brighter side, the mids and the highs are superb. You can hear the vocals clearly and also the instruments in the background are highlighted to some extent. The treble sounds like it is boosted to some extent, but still sounds perfectly good. If you are moving to Shure SRH240A from other, bass boosted headphones such as the Monsters and Beats, you will notice the lack of bass.

I would say that this pair of headphones is ideal for skype calls and casual listening and even gaming, but if you are an audiophile, you probably would not be even looking at this product right now.


Sound Review


"A comfortable pair of headphones that have everything but bass. It has been a long time since theShure SRH240A was released on the market. It was definitely a great headphone back then and still is even today."



 

UPS
Good For Casual Listening and Gaming
Highly Portable
DOWNS
Poor Sound Isolation 

 


Our Verdict:
If you ever wanted to own a pair of Shures without breaking the bank and compromising on audio quality, this is the one for you..


 



These were the best 5 headphones that come under Rs 4000. 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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