March 27, 2017

For The Confused Indian Buyer: Here Are The Best Headphones Under Rs. 8000

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 meticulously curated collection of the best headphones under Rs. 8000, all of which have our stamp of approval.

What to Expect in this Category?

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 depends from headphones to headphones and on the fact that what sole purpose they are built for.

In no particular order, here we go!





1. ULTRASONE - HFI 450

ENTRY-LEVEL DJ HEADPHONES FROM ULTRASONE
ULTRASONE - HFI 450

  • ULTRASONE - HFI 450
  • ULTRASONE - HFI 450
Ultrasone is the newest addition to the Headphone Zone family, and we couldn't help but agree that it is one of the coolest headphones we have added to the under 8000 category. This with its all unique S-logic technology, gives you a spectacular experience of "Music Around The Ears "


The build of the HFI-450 can hardly be questioned due to its astounding 5 Years warranty tag. Overall it is a typical Ultrasone Model with tough plastic forks and hinges and a thickly comfortable headband. The cables are 10 foot straight and detachable which thereby increases its durability. The straight 1 m and 4 m cables come with gold plated jack and a gold-plated 3.5 mm screw-on adapter as standard forming them a well-constructed DJ headphones. Like most DJ cans, the HFI-450 is both flat-folding and collapsible. A soft carrying pouch is also included for storage and transport of the headphones. On the counterpart as these headphones are essentially made keeping a DJ"s need in mind, the HFI-450 clamps harder than the majority of similarly-priced headphones down below.


When it comes to sound, the Ultrasone HFI-450 is Ultrasone’s entry-level DJ model and posses the unique to its brand S-logic technology for the drivability. The S-logic technology is sound technology used only in Ultrasone headphones which enables a 3D audio imaging with minimal hearing damage. The 3D audio imaging gives the audiophile a spectacular experience of “music around the head”.It’s almost like being in the music video, which is pretty cool!

Ultrasone HFI 450 uses the Mylar Transducer for a more enhanced and a all around sound. What makes the HFI Series headphones really special is that Ultrasone has used proprietary sound transducer technologies for each of the headphones: 580 and the 450. The HFI 450 sees Ultrasone adopt a Mylar sound transducer which is capable of producing an incredibly wide sound-stage with great clarity. All this just adding further in your tonal range and better clarity of the sound. 

As with most DJ headphones, the bass is emphasized in comparison to the rest of the spectrum. The bass is tight, punchy, and impactful. Very clean and dynamic. Bass frequencies really sound excellent out of these. Sub-bass is well extended.The mid-range is not emphasized but it will sound exactly the way it should to your ears. Great for a closed-back headphone. The mids are clear of bass bleed but take a half-step back in terms of emphasis compared to the bass. The notes are a bit thick, which is also the case with my higher-end Ultrasones, and transparency suffers slightly as a result.  The treble is in good balance with the midrange but possessed at least one huge spike out of the box, which brought about bucket loads of sibilance on certain tracks.

When it comes to soundstage, nothing at this price-point can beat HFI-450, due to its S-Logic technology producing a three-dimensional gives a larger than life feel of the sound, which in fact is pretty amazing.

Overall, the Ultrasone HFI-450 is a well-built, well-isolating, and very comfortable closed headphone that retails at a slightly lower price point than many other headphones with same features at a higher price-point. 


C|NET


"The Ultrasone HFI-680 headphones' abundant bass power, forgiving treble, and isolation from external noise should make these an attractive choice for some buyers."




 

UPS
S-LOGIC TECHNOLOGY
DETACHABLE CABLE
DOWNS
CLAMPING FORCE 

 


Our Verdict:
Budding DJ's and Spinmasters will love them, but if you want something just for casual listening then you may look into some others given in this list.


 




2. AUDIO TECHNICA - ATH-M40X

STUDIO MONITORING HEADPHONES WITH DETACHABLE CABLES
AUDIO TECHNICA - ATH-M40X

  • AUDIO TECHNICA - ATH-M40X
  • AUDIO TECHNICA - ATH-M40X

Like much of the Audio Technica's M-series, the ATH-M40X too is made for studio-monitoring. The headphones are tuned flat, offering incredibly accurate monitoring across a wider frequency range. They are ideal for studio use, as they offer an enhanced experience with the help of better sound isolation. The swiveling ear cups make one-ear monitoring more convenient and allow for a more compact traveling arrangement. They have been made with the help of pro-grade materials and by following robust construction techniques similar to most studio headphones out there in the market. These are by no means cheaply made headphones people — the builds of their monitor headphones are outstanding. 

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-M40X is the mid-level model to its highly acclaimed M-Series headphones. The M40X is an upgrade to the M40 and was launched along with upgrades to the entire M-series.

The M40x has a design that is quintessentially Audio Technica. The typical "A" that is engraved on the earcups never fail to impress us, whereas a rather large company logo runs along the headband. Like the M50x, the M40x now features a collapsible design for space saving portability. 

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. 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. 

Another plus point is the detachable cables which were not present in their previous models. You get 2 types of cables, all of which are detachable depending on their utility. One is a 1.2 m-3.0 m coiled cable suitable for DJs and a 3 m cable for monitoring use in the studio. 

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 M40x 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 sparkleThese cans also have a nice full sound stage and good left/right separation 



 SOUNDGUYS.COM




"Obviously, the ATH-M40x aren’t quite as good as the M50x — if that was the case, Audio-Technica wouldn’t sell both products. That said, it is impressive how close these do get, and stepping outside of the shadow of their bigger brother, this is a great pair of headphones. Long story short: if you’re looking for a great pair of headphones for monitoring or just for listening to music and you don’t want to drop a bunch of cash, these are a great buy."

 

UPS
STUDIO MONITORING
DETACHABLE CABLES 
DOWNS
WARMING OF EARS

 


Our Verdict:
If you're looking for a pair of for your studio monitoring purposes along with it being good enough for long commutes or casual listening then, these are the ones for you.


 




3. GRADO - SR60E

ON-EAR OPEN-BACK HEADPHONES UNDER RS. 8000
GRADO - SR60E

  • GRADO - SR60E
  • GRADO - SR60E

In a world where almost every traditional maker of headphones has prostrated itself at the altar of Dr. Dre, the Grado SR60e are something very unusual. These are an ideal choice for audiophiles on a budget, these on-ear open-back headphones have earned quite a reputation among critics for their warm mid forward sonic signature. While most of the headphones in this price-point have met ends with making their headphones portable, this one sticks to classics and prefers staying in your headphone stands than swaggering around with you on the streets.

Size-wise, the Grado SR60e appear quite small since they are on-ears. However, these are not portable in the traditional sense. While the Grado SR60e don’t need a headphone amplifier, and so aren’t tethered to other equipment bar your phone/MP3 player, they are open-backed. Which ultimately means there will be more of the ambient noise and all that will separate you from the whole wide world is a wide-spaced speaker grille on the back of each ear cup. 

When it comes sound, the Grado SR60e has an absolutely superb sound. Quite probably the best open-back you can get at this price. The sound is far more open, with much clearer imaging than you get. There are benefits to having an open design that mitigate all those inconvenient bits. A laid back bass, distortion free treble response and a mid-forward sound, all recipes for a professional audio experience. The SR60e wows with its overall fairly neutral sounding highly detailed audio capabilities. Though there is a sight emphasis on the lower mids for a warm soud.

The SR60e is a perfect choice for in-studio use. The headphones also come with a 6.5mm audio adapter to aid in the same. All this comes with a 1 year warranty to back you up.


TRUSTED REVIEWS


"The Grado SR60e are some of the best sounding sub-£150 headphones, making their £79 price all the more remarkable."




 

UPS
GOOD SOUND QUALITY
VALUE FOR MONEY
DOWNS
NOT SO PORTABLE 

 


Our Verdict:
"If you want a pair of open-back in this budget and don't want portability priorities then, your search may have just ended up there."






4. BEATS BY DR. DRE - EP

STYLE STATEMENT WITH BEATS SOUND  
BEATS BY DR. DRE - EP

  • BEATS BY DR. DRE - EP
  • BEATS BY DR. DRE - EP

Beats has always wooed us by creating style statement oriented headphones, now at a price-point of under 8000, they have the Beats By Dr. Dre EP. Beats EP is a delight for all the beats fans out there.

"WE DIDN'T LIKE THE BEAT'S DESIGN" said no-one ever! The elegant looking Beats EP is sure to impress everyone without compromising on the sound end. The headband is plastic, but it’s a much stronger, hardier-feeling plastic than other Beats models. The earcups have a slide adjustment feature so that the headband sits perfectly on you head. 

The typical 'b' for beats is placed on top of each earcups, whereas the headband consists of the complete name which does not go overboard and rather fells cool!  

The beats EP comes in a slew of colors to choose from, you can choose from Red Blue White and Black. The cord comes in the same color as the upper part whereas the logo gives a contrast to the whole look. 

Look wise, the EP seem quite small and portable. It also comes with a soft cloth carrying bag which may not protect the headphones all that well but looks nice and fits easily in a different, larger bag or backpack. We wouldn’t trust it out in the elements as much as the neoprene and hard cases other Beats products use.

The cord has a 3 button Apple remote and Mic which works well with the apple products, but may have compatibility issues in other devices. Being the first beats product which is entirely made under the guidance of apple we are surprised to see that EP's cord doesn’t detach. That’s a little tough to swallow for this price range, although the cord is very high quality and is flat for extra tangle resistance. The cord is reinforced on the ends and feels like it’d be hard to break.

The compatibility of these headphones may differ for devices which are not iOS. The Remote Talk cable promises a hassle-free period of long music sessions.Their design is such that you can carry them everywhere you go. As they say just grab and go!



MEDIUM.COM


" It’s the first Beats headphone designed solely under Apple’s guidance. It’s built really well. It sounds like a Beats headphone."




 

UPS
BOLD LOOKS WITH VIBRANT COLORS
PORTABLE AND STYLISH
DOWNS
BASS SHOULD BE SUBTLER

 


Our Verdict:
Beats By Dr. DRE fans have something really great to take home with the EP. 


 




5. SENNHEISER - HD 518

OPEN-BACK WITH A PUNCHY BASS RESPONSE
SENNHEISER - HD 518

  • SENNHEISER - HD 518
  • SENNHEISER - HD 518

Being Sennheiser’s entry-level pair of audiophile series headphones, the HD 518 are priced just right for those who may want to dip their toes in audiophile pool but don’t want to spend too much. 

When it comes to design, HD 518 have a typical Sennheiser understated design with a bit of flair to keep them interesting. The earcups are oval in shape and sit perfectly around your ears for a comfortable binge listening session. The oval speakers are finished in a shade of gray that is mostly matte but with a hint of gloss is added around the speaker grille to make them pretty interesting. The earcups and the headband is visibly thickly padded which itself speaks volumes of its comfort. 

The headphones are made solely for home audio and its unimaginable to use it outdoors. There is no remote and mic to back you up and its open-back which again, like the Grado-SR660E may not really help in parting you from your noise surroundings.

For usability, you have a cord which is non detachable to be used with your smartphones and PC's whereas a gold adapter is added to snap them on while using it with high end devices. The impedance is as high as 50 ohms, hence we would recommend to pair it with an amp before you can listen to it in full capability. 

When it comes to sound, we would have never expected Sennheiser to be so wide and airy.  But we don't state that its bass is gone with this. The HD 518 has a punchy bass response that is often lacking in an audiophile headphone. 
Sennheiser has tuned the low end to offer just the right amount of thump to the sound without going overboard. This results in a sound that is genuinely enjoyable without being excessively bass heavy. It also makes these headphones a lot more approachable to those who are new to audiophile headphones, who may be coming from a bass heavy pair of headphones and will find the neutral sound of proper audiophile headphones not entirely to their tastes.

Overall, the audio quality of the HD 518 is very enjoyable with enough bass presence and clarity to keep most budding audiophiles happy but those who demand more precision in their sound should consider investing in more expensive models.

 


HINDUSTAN TIMES


"TheHD 518 have a lovely punchy bass response that is often lacking in audiophile headphones. ... The sound is a bit soft, often referred to as being dark, a trait which theHD 518 shares with otherSennheiser headphones."



 

UPS
OPEN BACK
HIGHLY COMFORTABLE
DOWNS
BASS MAY NOT BE LIKED BY ALL

 


Our Verdict:
If you're looking to invest in a good pair of open-back with sennheiser's signature sound without the hopes of portability, then you may go with the Sennheiser HD 518.


 



These were the best 5 headphones that come under Rs 8000. Most of them are studio monitoring and DJ headphones. 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!

If you'd like to learn more, #AskHeadphoneZone!

 

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