This price category is where serious audiophiles can begin to experience the best the world of sound has to offer. Although this is still regarded as a rather niche category in India, consumption of IEMs in this range has grown considerably. And rightly so, because the combination of value for money and high quality is probably the best you can get.
Build Quality: This marks the beginning of the high-end range, so understandably, build quality will be top notch for all products with earphones offering high-quality full metal construction and robust cables.
Sound Quality: If you're a serious audiophile, then this is the best price point to venture at. Almost all earphones around this price category are balanced or flat and true to life. The bass-heavy models in this range, however, do provide tight, energetic bass that doesn't compromise on the mids and highs.
Form Factor: Wireless earphones in this category do well. They will not sound brilliant, but for listening to music while working out or on the go, they'll do very well. Active noise cancellation will be fairly effective, but don't expect audiophile grade sound from them. IEMs in this price range will sound better than over-ears at the same point.
Remote and Mic: This functionality is definitely very common. However, most models do come with variants with or without the mic. Which you can usually get by paying a thousand or so more.
This list has been compiled with the help of users as well as our in-house experts.
In no particular order, here we go!
RHA has created a ground for itself in the headphone industry, and this being for all the right reasons. The premium audio company never ceases to surprise its fanatics with its well-built design and more than great sounding audio pieces. Taking the same route as that of all other RHA in-ears, the RHA MA750i comes with an all metal build. The all brushed premium casing reeks quality in every sense. The RHA MA750i are the flagship in-ears of RHA's critically acclaimed MA series of earphones. The ‘i’ basically stands for the iOS compatible variant with an in-line mic and remote.
While not as flamboyant as you may like, the RHA’s MA750i has a more subtle, classy and sophisticated look. This looks like a delicately crafted product. The cables are robust but they aren’t detachable, which is a bit of a letdown on RHA’s behalf.
The RHA MA750i screams 'Pure Business' with its straight forward design. 'RHA' is etched into the back of the earpiece and the metal piece is etched with the phrase "Designed by Reid Heath."
The RHA MA750i also features a unique IEM over-ear design. The earbuds go straight inside your ear canal and sit perfectly without causing strain. A feature that definitely makes a difference to these earphones is the ability to wear this both in a regular way and around the ear. This is a nice design quirk, as the metal housing does cause strain to the ear when worn in the traditional style. The noise isolation is also decent, and indubitably better when worn over the ear.
The cable is robust and is coated with a thick durable material. It's gray, rubber-coated cable is quite thick compared to typical earphones in this price range, and there's some serious design thought here.
The RHA MA750i does not stray too far away from the V-Moda Forza Metallo in terms of audio presentation. Although bassy, these are not tuned to sound like most other cheap earphones that come with a trumped up shrilly sound quality.
Tha bass quality is top notch, and hasn't been sacrificed on. The best tweak with these earphones is the sub-bass. The RHA MA750i deliver pleasurable sounding thunder and just like the V-Moda Forza Metallo does not distort even when listening to music at high volume levels. Lovers of big bass are bound to enjoy the truckloads of thunder that is clearly not overdone in any way.The MA750i variably boasts of one of the best soundstages among earphones in this range.
Although the MA750i is a bass inclined, instrumental and classic music sound lovely with the balance of rich lows and perfectly synced mids and highs.
When it comes to noise isolation, it's probably among the best in is class.
If the MA750i's packaging and presentation weren't enough, RHA further delights with oodles of accessories, including a vast array of eartips and a carry case; easily trumping those offered by Shure with the SE215.
Coming to the sound, the bass has a slight emphasis, but that emphasis isn’t overdone. The mids, especially the lower mids are clearly reproduced and the highs are bright. Overall, there’s a nice balance in the reproduced audio.
The soundstage is very open and airy, with extremely good balance and dynamic contrast. Acoustic jazz and classical music work better with RHA, but it also sounds as good as rock and soul do in headphones that are heavier on the bass. You get a large and spacious soundstage with very little coloring, enabling instruments to retain their tonal quality and with vocals sounding natural and true-to-life.
V-MODA is an award-winning maker of the world’s finest high-fidelity audio devices, entered the sports market with the Forza series along with their famous V-shaped sound signature. The Forza Metallo simply boasts the metal body of the earphones.
When talked about design, their design hails all the way from Milano. Forza Metallo is not only stylish but an in-ear sport ready earphones which are made from CNC-forged aircraft grade material.Moreover, these are mechanically sealed to be sweat and water resistant so that you can enjoy running without worrying about your earphones. So if you are someone who's mornings start with that long run, then these are certainly made for you.
The punchy bass response and wide soundstage motivate you to workout harder. Forza Metallo, hybrid sports earphones supports frequencies beyond 40kHz with hi-res music, certified by the Japan Audio Society. The hex lightweight housing, RemixRings, BLISS™ fittings and the designed DiamondBack™ reinforced cable come together to change your music listening experience. The detachable ear hooks and sports fins fit comfortably offering more convenience.
Forza Metallo is the perfect name for these earphones, in Italian, it means metal strength and these pass military test standards. The three-button remote and mic let you control the volume levels, tracks, voice call and voice recognition feature allow you to command Siri or OK Google. Designed in Milano and printed in NYC, the custom handcrafted caps are a work of meticulous art. Keep your Forza Metallo safe in the luxury “V” pouch.
Enjoy working out like never before with the Forza Metallo earphones! V-Moda, the California-based audio company has taken the world of audio by storm with it very cool and sporty looking earphones and headphones. The V-Moda Forza Metallo brings the brand's standard audio quality in sturdy and well-built design.
One glance at the V-Moda Forza and you will notice that the delicately crafted earpieces are as tiny as it can get. And V-Moda has taken great effort into fitting drivers into this small casing. The earphones are crafted to be durable with a slight edge.
What is most admirable is the material used into engineering these earphones. Just like the RHA MA750i, the earpieces are made from aircraft metal, giving them a durable touch. It is more than solid and you will have a tough time breaking these.
The specially designed cable is yet another design aspect that deserves applaud. The “Diamondback” dubbed cable is custom made and adds its own quirk. The cable pattern resembles cable resemble the diamond-like pattern of the snake and looks really cool. Moreover, the cord is tangle-resistant and you thus, not have to sit around untangling the cable.
Since the Forza Metallo features tiny earpieces, the earphones snugly fit into your ear canal and stay put in place. Even if you have extremely small ears, these earphones are more than comfortable to sport.
If you are still not convinced about its comfort, the earphones can be used during workout too. The Forza Metallo comes packed with wing tips and sports ear hooks that help them stay in place, while you sweat it out.
The cable is tenacious and houses a slim remote and microphone. The 3-button control is plastic, while the buttons are made of rubber. You can control your calls and music, without having to fetch your phone out.
Noise isolation is creditable and these are no sound leakage even at high volumes. A notable feature, the V-Moda Forza is sweat and water resistant. They are also built to withstand variable temperatures and humidity.
Just like the RHA MA750i, the V-MODA packs a bountiful of added accessories. The vegan leather carry pouch looks more that premium and enables easy portability.
So what does the V-Moda Forza bring to the plate in terms of sound? But obvious the answer is bass. V-Moda like always spices it up with the Forza Metallo.
The earphones have a very interesting sound signature. Although aimed at the audiophile tier, the sound signature is evidently tuned to please the ear of the Indian consumer. There is a deep emphasis on bass, however, the detail and depth are not compromised upon. The earphones deliver audio that is exceptionally fun to listen, and the low does not interfere or muffle other frequencies.
The mids are forward enough, so as to add a little of its own spark. They lift up the vocals and let them stand out well against the instrumental tunes. Every little detail comes through. The treble frequencies pack along with its own shimmer. Good thing, none of the frequencies overpower the other. If you are looking to music genre's like classical, then these earphones will not do good.
The V-Moda is great to listen to lively music and great for enjoying audio even at high volumes.
Shure is one of the oldest audio companies in the world, and they've put those years of expertise in their IEMs, making any best earphone list is incomplete without the Shures. They unveiled itsSE215m+ Special Edition (SE215m+SPE), late September 2016 alongside the IFA show in Berlin. This upgrade to its legendary entry level IEM, the SE215 has added a 3 button remote+mic. This gives users the power tocontrol their smartphone playback, volume and send /receive calls. The microphone not only helps answer calls but also syncs with Siri tocontrol your appswith voice commands. All this is added on adetachable and replaceable cable and it comes with an optimized nozzle angle positioned to rest in the ear for hours of comfortable listening.
The SE215m+SPE just like Shure's SE series are made for in-ear monitoring. It uses the same technology that was originally developed for pro musicians to deliver premium sound quality. With comfortable sound-isolating sleevesblocking up to 37 dB of outside noise, the earphones reproduce uncolored, artifact-free sound that prevents outside noise from interfering with your music, thus making sure that you enjoy uninterrupted sound on-stage or on-the-go.The SE215m+SPE specially designed for music enthusiasts using iOS devices, also boasts a single dynamic MicroDriver for detailed sound and enhanced bass extension and features an acoustic network tuned for extended bass performance which was notably not present in the Shure SE215.
The transparent sculpted earpieces are striking to look at and probably the most iconic looking pair in this list. With every Shure product, an exceptional build comes as a standard, and the SE215m+ are no exception. With a solid robust construction and detachable cables, these Shures are built to last. The Shure SE215 is an entry-level model for On-Stage monitoring and professional use, which is why it was never expected to come along with a mic and remote making this edition special in a lot of ways.
The fit needs getting used to, as these are negative profile earphones. But once fitted well, they are surprisingly comfortable for their size. The noise isolation is definitely a key achievement here and is probably the best in class.
There are a few extras, like a carrying case and several eartips. As always, Shure has concentrated more on the earphones rather than any additional frills.
The bass is the highlight. It’s powerful and well controlled. The mids are admirably present and aren’t washed over by the lows. The highs, unfortunately, aren't as clear as they should be. The bass does tend to muddy them out, losing out on clarity, sparkle, and detail.
Soundstage is also excellent for this price point, giving the impression that your music's spread out across a wide sonic area rather than in one corner, probably making them the best in this range.
German audio giant, Beyerdynamic, is known for its pro-audio headphones and mics. But, its IEMs are nothing to scoff at, with the iDX 200ie making this list. The iDX 200ie is basically the microphone and remote inclusive variant of the DX 200, which has won multiple editor’s choice awards. The iDX 200 iE sit at top of the company's in-ear headphone offerings, and after spending a week with them, I think they fully deserve the crown at the top.
The iDX 200ie has a sleek look, with striking metal bits, inverted color tones, and an overall sophisticated look. They have a design language that is similar to those found in premium AKG earphones, which is a very good thing.
The build is great, and the use of metal makes it look high end, especially since the cable is thick and tangle- free. There’s a lot of thought that has gone into the design, with its design being stylish but ergonomic, which is key for the iDX 200ie’s fit, which does work surprisingly well, even if your ear canals may stray from the norm.
The isolation is good, but not as good as what the MA750i or SE215m+ offers. There are tons of accessories, however, such as a cable extender, a case, a plethora of ear tips, etc.
Moving onto the sound, it is fairly balanced. (With some minor imperfections). The bass is admirable, deep and punchy, however, the higher mids are recessed, and this is easily evident for a critical listener. Midrange detailing is excellent, but treble clarity is somewhat lacking.
The definition is excellent, and this headphone's sound works very well with rock, jazz, electronica, and classical music. Overall, there is a fair balance in the audio and the icing on the cake is the soundstage which is among the better ones for the price point.
The Klipsch Reference R6m series is one of the most popular products from the Klipsch stable. The Americans made these earphones well suited for both audio enjoyments as well as partial on-the-go studio monitoring.
The R6M uses Klipsch’s patented oval-shaped eartips, providing both superior fit and comfort. It's not the most eye-catching design out there, but it's minimal and straightforward in all the right ways. It looks engineered rather than crafted. Some people prefer that industrial kind of design. The Klipsch R6M boasts a solid construction that feels that it's been ‘built to last’.
The noise isolation is definitely very effective. The ergonomic simplistic design fits like a glove, isolating a good deal of the ambient noise. They are very comfortable and a perfect companion for long sessions of music. The cable is of very high quality, and the design is intricate enough to abolish almost any cable noise. An in-line remote and mic for Android smartphones is also included.
In the box, apart from the earphones, we found a compact zippered carrying pouch and a clever card with three pairs of alternate silicone eartips and a security clip mounted to it, kind of similar to RHA offerings.
Sound wise, they lack that totally flat musical emphasis desired by some audiophiles and professionals, but most listeners will be glad about the way they sound. There’s weight in the bass and there’s room for the vocals to wash over the top. The deep lows are well balanced by crisp highs. Fundamentally, it’s a fun forward sound that is consumer friendly. The soundstage is pretty decent, there is a presence of space, and they are gonna please a good deal of listeners.
But serious audiophiles should look to the MA750i instead.
These were the best 6 headphones that come under Rs 10,000. 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!