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by Abheer Monga December 09, 2017

‘Tis the season of Jolly! It is also the season where you buy gifts for your loved ones, whether they be your kids, siblings, parents, friends, significant others, pets, any of them. Now it is fun to be on the receiving end of these gifts, but buying the perfect present for a loved one can be a daunting task. And we know that!

So we thought it would be a good idea to help you out with it, at least as far as finding the perfect for the music lover in your life (which, let’s be honest, is anyone with a soul). Thus, we have made a comprehensive Gift Guide, with a variety of products under various categories, with further options at different prices.

The three main categories are Entry Level Options, Wireless and Audiophile. They are then further divide into Earphones and Headphones, under which we have listed the best options at different price points in an ascending order.

We made sure that there is something for absolutely everyone. So let’s go.


 


Best Entry Level Earphones
Budget earphones are very popular and the following options are great for use for everyday calls and life on-the-go.

1. Best Under Rs. 1000: 1MORE Piston Fit

Holiday Gift Guide 2017 1MORE Piston Fit

1MORE is dedicated to delivering the best value for your money, in terms of both Sound and Build. All their products are made of high quality materials and sound great. Their cheapest product, the Piston Fit is no different. As a matter of fact, Xiaomi liked the original Piston so much, they even licensed it and sold them under the Xiaomi name.

A great option at a great price that you can't go wrong with.

I'll Check it Out

2. Best Under Rs. 2000: RHA MA390 Universal

Holiday Gift Guide 2017 RHA MA390 Universal

Based in Scotland, RHA has been making waves within the Audiophile community over the last few years now. They’ve been making exceptionally built products designed to deliver a well balanced, musical sound signature.

Despite being the cheapest, the MA390 Universal is no different and even features a Universal in-line microphone for use with iOS and Android. Listening to these is a highly pleasing experience and certainly one of our top recommendations.

Sounds Good!

3. Best Under Rs. 3000: 1MORE Single Driver

Holiday Gift Guide 2017 1MORE Single Driver

Another entry by 1MORE, these earphones use a triple layer dynamic driver tuned by Grammy Award Winning Sound Engineer Luca Bignardi to deliver some great quality sound.

They are built extremely well and use a really high quality driver, tuned to deliver the best sound.

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4. Best Under Rs. 5000: Meze 11 Neo

Holiday Gift Guide 2017 Meze 11 Neo

One of our favourite new companies, Meze has knocked the ball out of the park with all products they have released till now.

The 11 Neo being one of these products is actually the earphone of choice for nearly everyone in our office, despite having access to gear worth 20x the price.

Take Me There

5. Best Under Rs. 10000: Master & Dynamic ME03

Holiday Gift Guide 2017 Master & Dynamic ME03

When talking about companies making great sounding earphones/headphones that are also designed and built well, it would be unfair to exclude Master & Dynamic from the conversation. They are one of the first companies to deliver audiophile sound to the mainstream, premium market in a big way with the MH40.

The ME03 is built like a tank and with its 8mm Neodymium driver delivers some powerful dynamics and great detail in its sound. It's a great earphone that delivers a premium sound and feel at a highly competitive price.

Take Me There


Best Entry Level Headphones
Budget headphones are very popular and the following options are great for use for everyday calls and life on-the-go.

1. Best Under Rs. 1000: Panasonic RP-HBD250

Holiday Gift Guide 2017 Panasonic RP-HBD250

One of the best budget options for a full sized headphone.

With great comfort and a fold flat design, these are an easy choice for anyone looking to buy something under Rs.1000.

I'll Check it Out

2. Best Under Rs. 3000: Sony MDR-XB550AP

Holiday Gift Guide 2017 Sony MDR-XB550AP

A household name, Sony has been making quality personal audio products for decades now.

The XB550AP are a part of their Extra Bass line, hence the XB. They are really well built, available in various colours and extremely comfortable. They are mainly tuned to have a forward bass but are clean enough where the bass doesn’t overpower everything else and doesn’t sound muddy.

Sounds Good!

3. Best Under Rs. 8000: Audio Technica ATH-M40X

Holiday Gift Guide 2017 Audio Technica ATH-M40X

The overlooked younger brother of the M50X, the M40X is one of the best budget studio monitoring headphones available. With some great balance and excellent separation, some might even say that these are better than the M50X while also being an even more enjoyable listen.

A great gift option for someone you know who's an aspiring musician or just enjoys listening to music in general.

Take Me There

4. Best Under Rs. 10000: Ultrasone HFI 580

Holiday Gift Guide 2017 Ultrasone HFI 580

Another Pro Headphone? Yes, cause they are generally great. The HFI 580, made by Ultrasone, delivers some amazing staging and depth. That, along with the sparkly highs and controlled bass make for an incredibly enjoyable listening experience.

Another great option like the M40X for aspiring professionals and music lovers in general, just with some better staging.

Cool, Let's Go


Best Wireless Earphones
Wireless earphones are the new normal. Who likes the annoyance of tangling wires in a world where Bluetooth headphones are available?

1. Extreme Battery Life: Jabra Elite 25e

Holiday Gift Guide 2017 Jabra Elite 25e

You’ve probably come across the Jabra name when looking for a headset or while just browsing the shelves of a mobile store. They’ve been at it for the longest time, about as long as their new Elite 25E neckband style wireless earphones. These can last for 18hrs of continuous use, which is insane.

Along with a good sound quality and great microphones, the Elite 25E makes for a perfect pair for anyone who doesn’t access to the charger for long periods or for someone who spends long hours talking on the phone.

I'll Check it Out

2. Great Product with a Great Cause: LSTN Bolt

Holiday Gift Guide 2017 LSTN Bolt

LSTN is a company dedicated to helping the less fortunate be able to listen and enjoy music. They do so by making some great products which they sell to everyone else and the money from that goes to the Hearing Aid Program.

The Bolt is a custom tuned wireless earphone with IPX4 Water Resistance and a 10+ Hour battery life, ideal for the workout freaks in your life. Not to forget this gift keeps giving with the proceeds of your purchase going to a good cause.

Sounds Good!

3. Jack of all Trades: RHA MA750 Wireless

Holiday Gift Guide 2017 RHA MA750 Wireless

The RHA MA750 is another one of our favourite earphones at Headphone Zone. Recently RHA released the wireless version and we absolutely love it.

The MA750 Wireless deliver an incredibly smooth and sweet sound with no accentuated or exaggerated frequencies, they don’t even sound like they’re a set of wireless earphones thanks to AptX. That, paired with the 12 Hour battery Life and IPX4 Water Resistance rating, these are one of the best all round options available and make for an ideal gift for anyone.

OK, Show Me

4. Great Sennheiser Smoothness and Clarity: Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear Wireless

Holiday Gift Guide 2017 Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear Wireless

Another well known name in the list, however primarily known for making great sounding products throughout their lifetime.

The Momentum In-Ear Wireless has some amazing detail and some great dynamics in the sound and deliver an amazing, tight low end with an incredibly sweet mid-range and treble. The product is made entirely using premium materials and has a great 10+ hour battery life.

Take Me There

5. Ultra smart and fully waterproof: Bragi Dash Pro

Holiday Gift Guide 2017 Bragi Dash Pro

Bragi is the pioneer of the truly wireless earphone segment of wireless audio. The Dash Pro is their new flagship and for good reason, it’s probably the smartest audio product available right now.

They boast a 5 hour battery life on a single charge, with additional 5 full charges using the charging case and an IPX7 waterproof rating (you can swim with these on). Topped to the brim with smart features and some great functionality, the Dash Pro is one of the best products available on the market right now and a perfect gift.

Cool, Let's Go


Best Wireless Headphones
Wireless headphones are the new normal. Who likes the annoyance of tangling wires in a world where Bluetooth headphones are available?

1. Comfort and Bass: Sony MDR-XB650BT

Holiday Gift Guide 2017 Sony MDR-XB650BT

One of the best budget options available right now for full size wireless headphones. They are blatantly Bass forward as they are an Extra Bass headphone, hence the XB, but they manage to keep it clean and have enough presence in the rest of the range so they don’t feel like a subwoofer on your head.

The plush pads provide some great comfort and along with an approximate 30 hour battery life, they are an ideal commute partner and a great option to gift.

I'll Check it Out

2. Comfort and Clarity: Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT

Holiday Gift Guide 2017 Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT

Sennheiser has always made products for the best music delivery, which also makes them great products to listen to. The HD 4.40 BT is true to their philosophy, the first focus always being the sound. They sound like a proper wired set of headphones as they use the Qualcomm AptX technology to deliver a wireless signal at the highest quality possible.

Along with the great sound, the are also incredibly comfortable and have a 25+ hour battery life. As a matter of fact, I personally want these headphones and there’s no reason why they wouldn’t be a perfect gift for someone else.

Sounds Good!

3. Portability: Ultrasone Go

Holiday Gift Guide 2017 Ultrasone Go

Ultrasone does not muck about, they wanted to make an ultraportable headphone with a big sound, so they made one. The Go is TINY and it even folds up to become more tiny, but they deliver a proper big sized sound. With Ultrasone’s S-Logic technology, these headphones have a wide presentation with an even frequency response. They also have AptX and have about 21-23 hours of battery life.

They are an ideal size and form factor for daily commuters, or just people who like small headphones. So you know for whom it's a great gift.

OK, Show Me

4. Warm and Energetic Sound: V-MODA Crossfade Wireless

Holiday Gift Guide 2017 V-MODA Crossfade Wireless

V-MODA was started by Val Kolton as a direct answer to the success of Beats By Dr. Dre. He wanted to make headphones that didn’t only look great, but also sounded great. The company has been heavily involved in the forums and communities, this helps them stay up to date with real world customer opinions and also allows them to deliver a headphone to the likings of the consumers.

The Crossfade Wireless is an almost entirely crowdsourced product where V-MODA improved upon the existing wired headphone, the M-100 and made it Wireless. They have up to 12 hours of battery life and are built to last a lifetime. This is a gift that will last.

Take Me There

5. Über Luxurious Sound and Build: Master & Dynamic MW60

Holiday Gift Guide 2017 Master & Dynamic MW60

Master & Dynamic does not make compromises, whether it be sound our design. They only use the absolute best of materials like real leather and premiumly finished steel. The MW60 is not the most practical choice when considering a wireless headphone, but it’s not meant to be. It’s for those who never make compromises. It has Custom Neodymium drivers for an uncompromised sound, dual omni-directional microphones for noise cancellation and AptX for the best wireless transmission. The pads and headband are made of real Lambskin Leather with more of it on the cups and the main frame is constructed using stainless steel.

It is for those who wish to listen to their music in the highest quality in a lap of luxury. This one of those gifts you want to buy for yourself.

Cool, Let's Go


Best High-End Earphones
High-End earphones are best if you care a lot about how your favourite music sounds to you, money is no matter. Here are the best options to go for if budget is no bar and you're itching for a splurge.

1. Value and Scalability: RHA CL750

Holiday Gift Guide 2017 RHA CL750

Over the years, RHA has been making budget earphones with a sound that can be classified as “mainstream” despite their products having a sound head and shoulders better than most of the products on the market.

Recently however, they released some new earphones and an amp, targeted towards the serious listener, the CL750 being one of them. It is a highly refined version of the MA750 using a new custom driver and braided Oxygen Free Copper(OFC) Cables. These are of a very high impedance, so it’s an ideal portable solution for anyone who has a good amplifier.

I'll Check it Out

2. Simplicity: Dita Audio The Answer

Holiday Gift Guide 2017 Dita Audio The Answer

Targeted towards the purist, the Answer by Dita Audio is a no nonsense Single Dynamic Driver earphone with a simple universal fit and sensitive enough to be driven by smartphones.

The Answer is definitely The Answer for most people looking for a great earphone without any frills.

Sounds Good!

3. Full Size Sound in In-Ear Form: Audeze iSINE20

Holiday Gift Guide 2017 Audeze iSine 20

Recently, Audeze left the world in awe when they announced their new earphones. They weren’t ordinary earphones, being Audeze, they were definitely using Planar Magnetic transducers, but they also made them open back.

The iSine 20 being the higher end version at launch, available with a standard 3.5mm cable and a Cipher Lightning Cable with an inline USB DAC/Amp. Their design, even though unconventional, is an ideal headphone design. So for someone looking for a full sized sound in a portable form factor, these are an ideal present.

OK, Show Me

4. Choice of the Professionals: JH Audio JH16V2 Pro

Holiday Gift Guide 2017 JH Audio JH16V2 Pro

Jerry Harvey has been making some of the best In Ear Monitors for our favourite musicians over the last few decades or so.

The JH16V2 Pro is one of the top earphones made by JH Audio for stage performers, designed to provide them with an accurate representation of the music being played while performing live. If they’re good enough for some of the finest musicians in the world, it’s fair to assume they’re some of the best available and definitely make for a great gifting option.

Take Me There

5. Ultimate Musicality: Noble Audio Kaiser Encore

Holiday Gift Guide 2017 Noble Audio Kaiser Encore

The Wizard, Dr. John Moulton is regarded as one of the best In-Ear Monitor designers in the world, who has been more focused on creating products for Audio Enthusiasts rather than for Professionals. He knows that the majority of enthusiasts aren’t looking for a true-neutral, but rather, the best music listening experience.

The Kaiser Encore is the successor in spirit to the previous flagship, the K10 and they have combined the best aspects of the Katana and the K10, making for one of the absolute best In-Ear Monitors in the world. It is the Best, made by the Best and it’s probably the Best Gift for someone you consider the Best.

Cool, Let's Go


Best High-End Headphones
High-End Headphones are best if you care a lot about how your favourite music sounds to you, money is no matter. Here are the best options to go for if budget is no bar and you're itching for a splurge.

1. Great Design and Natural Sound: Meze 99 Classics

Holiday Gift Guide 2017 Meze 99 Classics

Designed by Antonio Meze, in Romania, the 99 Classics are a beautiful pair of headphones made using high-quality parts of which almost all are user replaceable.

Also, they sound amazing, they don’t sound like any other “designer” or “fashion-fi” headphones, they sound really natural and can be driven easily with any device. It’s one of the best portable closed back headphones available, which makes it a great gift for any audiophile you know who’s often on the go.

I'll Check it Out

2. Natural Tone and Scalability: Sennheiser HD 650

Holiday Gift Guide 2017 Sennheiser HD 650

This isn’t a new headphone, but it sure is a legendary one. First released in 2003, the HD 650 was The Best headphone available at the time and still is the favourite for a lot of audiophiles.

The reference for a lot of people, the HD 650 even responds amazingly well to amplifier upgrades, such that it even has the moniker of an “Infinitely Scaleable” headphone.

Sounds Good!

3. Professional Use: Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro

Holiday Gift Guide 2017 Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro

The latest product in Beyerdynamic’s DT line (professional user targeted line), the 1990 features their Tesla neodymium drivers, originally used in the T series line of headphones. It is designed for studio use, however it also comes with an additional set of pads which can be used to make the sound signature slightly darker. They are suitable for extensive studio sessions or even home use.

Great gift for aspring professionals and enthusiasts.

OK, Show Me

4. Smooth Tone and Laid Back Sound: Audeze LCD-2

Holiday Gift Guide 2017 Audeze LCD-2

Audeze has been making some of the best Planar Magnetic headphones in the world for some time now and their pride and joy over the years has been the LCD-2, despite releasing a host of newer products at even higher prices. Reason for that being the incredibly smooth and laid back sound of the LCD-2, which is not the closest to reference but definitely the most enjoyable.

It manages to maintain an amazing level of clarity and resolution, despite not sounding cold or dead. Probably the best headphone made for Jazz and Classical, but not incapable of doing justice to other genres. One of my personal favourite headphones, the LCD-2 is an amazing gift for that Jazz listener in your life.

Take Me There

5. Clarity and Detail: Stax SRS-5100

Holiday Gift Guide 2017 Stax SRS-5100

Stax is a legendary Japanese brand, known for making Electrostatic Headphones, or as they call it, “Earspeakers”, which are revered by all audiophiles. The SRS-5100 is a full system, that comes with the L500 Earspeaker and the 353X Driver (electrostatic amplifier).

The L500 is one of the newer Earspeakers in their Lambda line, slightly more affordable than it’s 00X counterparts. This system is for those seeking hyper clarity, with pin-point imaging and a linear soundstage. It’s no joke! It could be a great present though, for someone you love who is really serious about their music.

Cool, Let's Go


We hope our guide helps you make the right choice!


Done with your research?

Abheer Monga
Abheer Monga


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