Everybody expects more for less these days, and headphones are no exception to the rule. Fortunately, the headphone industry has undergone a sea change, with a veritable smorgasbord of choices, thereby creating cut-throat competition between manufacturers, and crowning the consumer as king.
There’s no question that headphones as pricey as the Audezes & HD650s can easily transform your music collection into a regulatory experience. But if you don’t have that kind of money, there are still plenty 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. 5000 or less, all of which have our stamp of approval.
Build Quality: Most of the headphones in this category would be made of durable plastic. With metal components or accents probably pitching in. They would also be comfortable enough for long hours of use.
Sound Quality: Audio quality in this category will definitely be very good. You will be able to get cans that sound excellent for studio monitoring as well as casual listening. Of course, don't go around expecting the kind of quality that a 10 K plus headphone can deliver.
Form Factor: Wireless headphones of good quality are definitely possible. They won't blow your mind, but will do a decent job.
Remote and Mic functionality is not very common, but you might find some of 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!
Professional-grade monitor headphones are engineered to produce sound that is exceedingly accurate and true-to-life. Audio-Technica is famed for making audiophile-grade headphones and the ATH-M30X is the mid-level model to its highly acclaimed M-Series headphones. The M30X is an upgrade to the M30 and was launched along with upgrades to the entire M-Series.
The M30x has a design that is quintessentially Audio Technica. A rather large company logo runs along the headband. The update style on the M30x gives it a look that is similar to the iconic M50 and M50x headphones. Like the M50 and M50x, the M30x now features a collapsible design for space saving portability. Both of these are welcome changes from the dated looking and clunkier M30.
The earcups and headband have plush faux-leather making them very soft and comfortable. Unless you have uncommonly large ears/head, you should be able to use the headphones for long hours without experiencing fatigue. If you have a big-sized head, you might also feel some pressure on the top.
A negative design aspect would be that these circumaural headphones have a cord that is 10 feet long and non-detachable, so you'll definitely have to roll it up if you want to go portable. Also, after about 30 minutes to an hour of wearing these you may start to feel some heat build up around your ears and sometimes on the top of your head where the headband sits.
Moving on to the sound, the first thing that you should keep in mind is that the M30x has a very high impedance of 47 Ohms. So, most smartphones and iPods will be unable to drive it well. You can expect sound to be rather soft and muffled. Move on to your laptop or desktop PC and the difference is immediate.
The headphones produce rich, clean, and detailed sound with a good amount of bass. The sound is flat with absolutely no distortion. As for the bass, it is relatively tight, the amount present enough to be perfect for studio sessions. However bass heads will definitely not be satisfied.
Mids are where the M30x shines. Male vocalists and other instruments particularly do well and are great to listen to. The highs are nice and clear and each note can be easily discerned. However, they could do with a little more sparkle. These cans also have a nice full sound stage and good left/right separation
These headphones are closed, but they’re not intended for noise isolation in crowded, loud places, so they’re not ideal for a commute. But for the purpose of studio and home use, the noise isolation is perfectly adequate.
The ATH-M30x is definitely the one of the best options available for budget studio monitors. These are also perfect for long hours of movie watching on your laptops and computers.
Sennheiser is a brand with a legacy in producing fantastic audio, with products appealing to average consumers and audiophiles alike. Their affordable range of headphones and earphones generally tend to be heavy on the bass and the HD 461 is no exception.
These headphones are a replacement to the very popular HD 419s. HD 451's biggest plus point is how comfortable it is. In fact, the cup and padding are almost identical to HD 598's predecessor, the highly respected, albeit discontinued, HD595 which used to be considered as one of the most comfortable cans in production.
The foam earcups and headband padding perfectly contours 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 attracts dust and lint, making maintenance of hygiene a bit of a task.
The design on the other hand is understated and attractive, only let down by the slightly scratch prone plastic they're made of. Despite the plastic, the headphones are sturdily built and won't break unless you enjoy chucking them out of windows for fun.
The cable is probably the only feature that you'd have an issue with. It's thin and not the tangle-free kind that is the norm in this category.
Moving on to the sound, the HD 451s sound very, very good. Just don't expect audiophile level clarity from them. They deliver a considerable amount of deep bass that isn't overpowering and the mids are very warm and natural. However, the highs are recessed, which is a disappointment.
The soundstage is fairly wide, although not as wide as the M30x's. And your sound won't suffer from distortion even at high volumes.
Although there have been complaints about noise leakage, unless you're someone who listens to music at blaring volumes, you should have no problems with the same. Noise isolation is also pretty good.
Formerly MEElectronics, MEE Audio aims to deliver "Music Enjoyment for Everyone". MEElectronics built its reputation for delivering quality audio at an affordable price. With MEE Audio and the Wave, they've definitely aimed at retaining that status.
The MEE Audio Wave is surprisingly suitable for sport activities. The on-ear cushions have small holes cut into them to let your ears breathe when worn, stay warm, but dry, and not accumulate sweat or moisture. The headband is also well cushioned to provide comfort and stability, so you can use them while working out and it'll do the job fairly well.
You can also get yourself the Air-Fi Connect Transmitter in case you'd like to use these headphones with the TV.
The Wave is a visually appealing pair of headphones. The plastic build however, is a bit of a let down. 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.
Despite having an on-ear design, the Wave is quite comfortable and can easily be worn for long hours. However, where the design loses out on is noise isolation. Just like most on-ear headphones out there, you can't expect much. Sound leakage also may be an issue.
The main feature that sets the Wave apart is of course, the Bluetooth connectivity. Pairing the Wave with all your Bluetooth devices is very easy. The range is standard, about 7-10 meters of clear audio. The Multipoint Technology is also a nifty trick that lets you pair it with 2 devices at the same time, which is impressive at this price.
The Wave delivers on its promise of an outstanding 24 hours of battery life. Infact, it may even last for longer. Also, it requires only approximately an hour and a half to fully charge. The inbuilt mic also does its job well.
On the whole, 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 without being harsh.
Soundstage and instrument separation aren't worth getting into. For a wireless headphone, they're good. Otherwise, not so much.
Being a wireless headphone, sound quality is definitely weaker than the others in this list. However, the plethora of functions it offers definitely make this the most value for money option in this budget.
The K92's are a big pair of headphones. With their large flat design AKG appears to be making a pair of headphones that it wants people to use in the studio or at home rather than while out and about.
The K92 headphones come with comfortable leatherette ear padsand a self-adjusting headbandthat allows extended wear without discomfort.
Designed to look stylish, these over-ears feature gold accents that are subtle. Thus, they are extremely good to look at as well as feel.With a lightweight yet durable design, high-quality components and replaceable ear pads, K92 is a serious headphone that delivers great sound in the studio and beyond.
If you wish to add to your collection a headphone thatpossesses a great rhythmic quality without burning a hole in your pocket, the K92 is your perfect bet.
TheSony - MDR-XB950AP is the wired version of its predecessor Sony - MDR-XB950BT. It is anover-ear closed back headphone that comes with addedbass emphasis to every beat and is credited to the Electronic Bass Boost circuitry. Which makes us admit, it is so very refreshing to have a headphone that not only sounds this good, but also one that is very comfortable and intelligently designed from an exterior point of view.
The MDR-XB950's are specially designed for today's bass-heavy music requirements, picking up every possible sub bass note and covers sounds across a wide range of frequency spectrum of 3Hz to 28kHz.
The best part of XB950AP is their comfort factor. It is very comfortable and lightweight. Thus, making them not only great sounding but intelligently well-built. Its sleek design conforms to any head size, making long music sessions a treat.
The exterior traits of these over-ears are noteworthy and only goes on to lend these over-ears a luxurious look and feel. Although built of plastic, its joints and braces are extremely durable and sturdy. The headband is engineered from metal and retains all the solidity.
The detachable cord has a convenient in-line remote and microphone, so you can take hands-free calls whenever they come through on your Android smartphone or iPhone. Swiveling ear pads allow for easy transportation.
The MDR-XB950AP comes with one year warranty.
These were the best 5 headphones that come under Rs 5000. Although there are others that come within the same budget, these are the ones we definitely recommend.
What are your favorite earphones in this range? Do let us know in the comments below!
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