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. 1,500 or less. The list has been curated with valuable input from our in-house experts.
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.
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!
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-HT460 is one of the many budget headphones from Panasonic and has been lauded for its great value for money aspect.
The RP-HT460 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 HT460 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 HT460. The earcups may look huge but that is just to fit the 40 mm drivers in. Otherwise, the headphone sits perfectly on your head and will be comfortable enough for your long listening sessions. The HT460 claims to be a studio monitoring headphone, but essentially the basic studio monitoring headphones start at least 5k. Their close, large ear pads are precisely doing their jobs by cutting out any external noise, though.
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 powerful and heavy regarding their huge 40 mm driver units. As for the bass, it is very heavy and overpowering and will muddy other signatures.
Another astonishing fact is the vast frequency range, that starts from a mere 10Hz leading all the way till 27kHZ, we are not sure if the extra input in the frequency would help or not, but we believe it will make a difference for those for whom it matters.
The Panasonic-RP-HT460, may not be as great an addition to the list but is definitely one of the best options available for bass lovers and people who love big driver units. These are also perfect for long hours of movie watching on your laptop and computer.
Sennheiser is a brand with a legacy of 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 PX 80 gives brings its users a portable option to easily carry their headphones wherever they go. They are so thin and collapsable that they can be carried even in the smallest of your bags. 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 recognised 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. All can be ignored when we consider Sennheiser's effort to add a carry case at this price point.
Featuring an On-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 PX 80 sound 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 PX 80 gives you just enough.
The soundstage is fairly wide, but your sound may crack at higher volumes which may be quite off-putting.
Noise isolation is not something that these headphones can boast about as there is a lot of leakages and may not particularly block you out of the ambient noise.
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-ZX110AP too does not stray far away.
The Sony MDR-ZX110AP 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 ZX110AP 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 ZX110AP 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-ZX110AP 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-ZX110AP 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 ZX110AP comes with a variant Sony MDR-ZX110AP that has a mic and remote specifically to take calls when used with a mobile phone.
Like the name suggests, the 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 ZX110AP is worth all your money!
This is the second presentation from Panasonic in the same price-point. The RP-HXS200 are budget headphones by the house of Panasonic. The first look at it and you will notice something immediately evident from the rather basic clamshell packaging which claims “Clear & powerful sound". Once you get them out of the packaging and in hand, they do feel very plasticky and we are not sure how much daily abuse they’ll take, although we were pleasantly surprised to see the flat, tangle-free type cables do seem reassuringly robust. A rarity at this end of the market.
One of the main gripes with on-ear headphones has always been a question of where you put them when they aren’t in use. Like most of the headphones at this price point, these too are easily collapsible and good enough to chuck in a bag.This is a great feature, but sadly these headphones are not the clunky, rugged Transformers of old, they are the flimsy plastic modern ones and I was more than a little wary of putting too much strain on the various joints, hinges, and rotating pieces. The HXS200 also comes in a slew of vibrant colors that make them stand out in the crowd and for you to choose from.
When it comes to sound, the HXS200 is unable to handle all the layers and detailing, the sound appeared compressed as they struggled to funnel the high, mid and bass levels through the drivers. Overall we'd say these headphones are aimed at the younger user and at the price point there is always going to be a compromise with the quality of sound and construction. If you like on ear headphones and simple pop music, then they are a pretty good buy and certainly worthy of consideration. For those looking for a quality sound, however, we would suggest leaving these for the kid in the skinny jeans and slouch hat behind you.
These were the best 4 headphones that come under Rs 1500. 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!
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