Buying Guide: The Best Earphones Under Rs. 2000

by Nausheen Shaikh February 03, 2016 1 Comment

For The Confused Indian Buyer: Here Are The Best Earphones Under Rs. 2000

Most (if not all) smartphones come with a set of stock earphones which while being nowhere in the realm of providing 'quality audio', work for taking calls and listening to a bit of radio in a pinch. If you're looking for a replacement that is slightly better or for when these earphones (eventually) die on you, this is the category you should look at. 

What to Expect in this Category?
  • Sound Quality : You can expect decent sound quality in this budget. It will be better than your stock earphones, relying on a sound signature that is mostly heavy on the bass. 
  • Form Factor: In this price category, its easier to get in-ears and earbuds rather than over or on-ears. And earphones will definitely be better in quality than headphones in this range. If you're looking hoping for wireless options, you should probably think about investing a bit more money.
  • Build Quality: Earphones in this range are mostly built using plastic and rely more on attractive colours than higher quality materials for aesthetics. Tangle free cords are also available.
  • An in-line  remote and mic is quite commonly available at this price point.

This list has been compiled with the help of users as well as our in-house experts.

In no particular order, here we go!





1.  Sennheiser - CX 275s

Bassy Universal Headset


The Sennheiser CX 275s is an earphone pair geared towards the bass lover on a modest budget. At under 2K, it's neither cheap nor over-priced, and offers solid, distortion-free audio performance, making it one of the most popular earphones sold in the country. It does however, face tough competition in a category rife with strong contenders.

The CX 275s features a simple, lightweight design, with dark, metallic gray earpieces and black, ridged accents. Although the plastic construction does make them feel a little cheap  they’re durable enough. As far as fit, the CX 275s feels quite secure—the earpieces are so tiny and glossy, they're almost difficult to put in at first, but once you get a good fit, they stay put.

A big boon is the inline remote of the single-button variety which is universally compatible. However, the cables are very thin and the lack of tangle-resistance is a disappointment.

The noise isolation is decent but not great, assuming you can get a decent seal with the 3 different sized silicone eartips. Using ComplyFoam eartips definitely improves isolation considerably.

Moving on to the sound, the in-ears are a bit heavy in the bass department. It’s also mostly quite boomy and upfront, to the point where some of the bass notes get a totally different tonality altogether. In contrast, the mid-range and the upper mid-range in particular are significantly recessed. While the trebles are sharp at the very top.

This makes it great for bass heavy music like EDM and hip-hop, but listen to something with vocals and the CX 275s disappoints. The sound isn’t particularly detailed, either. The soundstage is also not as wide as the E10s further in this list. 

This is definitely not for audiophiles. However, it does have what one might call a ‘fun’ sound, so if you want something with a bit more bass on a budget to satisfy the bass-head in you, then this should do the trick.


PCMag


" The Sennheiser CX 275s combines serious bass response with a light, secure design, but these affordable earphones are not for everyone. "



 

UPS
Universal Mic and Remote
Bassy Sound
DOWNS
Mids are muffled
Weak Cables

 


Our Verdict:
If you're looking for an earphone with a bass driven sound signature which you can use with your smartphones, these are for you.


Check it Out

 




2.  SOUNDMAGIC - E10C

A worthy upgrade to the E10S


SoundMAGIC has come to be known as a brand that offers good quality earphones at very affordable prices. Thus, it has won applause from earphone enthusiasts all over. The E10 series from SoundMAGIC has gained immense popularity.

SoundMAGIC recently upgraded their most popular E10S to the E10C. The major point of difference is that it has a 3-button remote and microphone which is supposed to be universally compatible with all devices and smartphones. 

Let’s talk about the design - the E10C has its earpieces built of metal. However, the metallic red accents and the L-R indicators may come across as gaudy to some if not all.

The cable of the E10C, like the E10S series earphones is braided. This makes the cable tangle resistant. Although, the plastic sheath coating the cable makes it look pretty cheap. With its plastic cables and almost fragile sense of durability, the build quality disappoints. For users who aren’t generally rough with their earphones, the E10C could probably work just fine.

The most innovative feature to the E10C is its unique remote. The cylindrical shaped metal microphone and remote has three buttons. This enables one to switch between tracks, control the music volume and also answer calls with ease. The cross-platform support offering a universal remote is a welcome feature to these upgraded SoundMAGIC’s.

Coming to the sound, the E10C offers heavy bass. However, it does not compromise on the on the mids and high end. The earphones also offer wide soundstage, this enable you to enjoy a more natural sound experience. The E10C performs well at capturing the essence of songs from all genres.

The E10C comes with a great accessory package. This includes a mini-adapter cable, an adaptor plug, seven pairs of silicon ear tips, a shirt clip and a hard carry case. For the uninitiated, the mini-adapter cable lets you plug your earphones into laptops with separate earphone sockets; while the adaptor plug lets you connect to phones that misbehave with your earphone remote.

SoundMAGIC’s E10C comes with a One year warranty.


What-Hi-Fi


" The E10C model features a three-button remote that automatically switches the poles on the jack for compatibility with iOS and Android. And it works. "

 

UPS
Good build quality
3 button Remote
Realistic sound stage and natural vocals
Compatibility Switch 
DOWNS
Bass biased
Cheap plastic cable

 


Our Verdict:
SoundMAGIC’s E10C is a good buy at this price range, with its 3 button remote and good build quality.


 




3. Sony - MDR-EX250AP

Dynamic & Energetic Sounding Mobile Headset


In the headphone industry, Sony is one of the most popular and fastest selling brands in the world. Sony's EX series has been designed for the best possible sound at the best price possible, as evident with the decision of using Neodymium magnets for the driver unit. The EX150 and EX250 are the entry level earphones, behind the EX750 which have a High Res Audio Certification.

The EX250AP is the bigger brother to the EX150, with an in-line mic and remote control which is compatible with Android and iOS. They have regular cables, but use a brass housing for the earphones itself, which gives it good structural integrity and makes it feel solid. Unlike the CX275s & E10s, the cables are terminated with an L-shaped jack. For the uninitiated, this would make the earphones longer lasting as the conventional straight jack gets weakened with the frequent bending that occurs. And they also include a wide array of silicone tips in the box.

Due to the included eartips and the shape of these earphones, they do a good job of providing noise isolation. You should not face issue while using them in your long commutes.

Moving on to the sound, these earphones have a fast, dynamic sound, which feels energetic. The bass is classic Sony. By classic Sony we mean it is powerful and energetic, and if turned up can very well colour the rest of the sound.

When you start using them for the first time, they do sound a little dull, artificial and processed. However, after using them for hours on end, a noticeable change appears. The treble smooths out without any annoying peaks. The midrange is clean. Bass, although overwhelming at times, mostly refrains from muddying too much. The bass extends low and has a huge impact and punch.


Oscar Obianenue


" Good quality earphones for the price. The wire isnt flimsy and it has a rather solid and premium build. The sound so far is just mind blowing with good bass thumps and it hasn't even burned in yet. Overall I'm happy with the product. "

 

UPS
Punchy Bass
Sturdy Build 
DOWNS
Tangling Cables

 


Our Verdict:
These have good detail and will have a satisfactory overall signature for lovers of warmer sound. They might be sonically weaker than the E10s & CX275s in many aspects, but the bass does pack a punch.


 


Consult an Expert Now
Book a time of your preference and let us guide you through your options, discuss sound and help you make the right choice. Allow us to introduce you to the choicest of products at your leisure.




4. Audio Technica - CKX5is

Sports Sonic Fuel Earphones


The baby brother of the much lauded and very popular CKX9is, the Audio Technica CKX5is offers features that are similar to the pricier model, but with a sound signature that isn't as polished. Whether it stands up to the legacy is something that'll be answered.

The 360 degree rotatable eartips & C-Tip design makes the CKX5is immediately recognizable.

Th C-tip feature however, is probably the most divisive amongst owners. Some praise it for the secure fit and comfort it provides, while others have diametrically opposite opinions, with complaints about how the large tips don't fit and are sometimes downright painful to wear, especially for long hours.

The differing opinions arise because not all ears are the same size. If you're someone with smaller ears, then you should probably stop reading and consider any of the other options in this list.

Otherwise, read on.

The CKX5iS are built of plastic which help keep the weight down, but do give them a rather cheap look and feel. The earphones also have an extremely secure fit, and won't fall out even when you shake your head vigorously. A disappointment however, is that the CKX5is  isn't sweat or water proof. This does take away from its effectiveness as a sports earphone.

Noise isolation too is not as effective as it should be. Cable noise is also an issue, but with the provided shirt clip, it can be controlled. 

An inline mic and remote with a volume slider is also a big boon. 

Moving on to the sound, t he bass is the highlight of the CKX5iS. The CKX5iS control the bass rather nicely, reaching deep with a strong mid-bass presence. The mid bass is clean and rounded with tons of energy, making these fun to listen to for electronic dance music.

The mids and highs on the other hand, are where the earphones suffer. The mids seem to find themselves lost sometimes, with the bass overwhelming them.  Higher pitched vocals also have a tendency of coming off harsh on bad tracks, pianos and guitars have an artificial tone about them.

Coming to the soundstage, it is as you would expect with budget in-ears. Not particularly impressive. However, instrument separation is pretty good.

Consider these over the other three if you're looking for something with a secure fit when you workout.


Mandy Southgate,  Addicted to Media


" Would I recommend these headphones? Definitely. I have no complaints with the sound and my only complaints come from a comfort perspective. "

 

UPS
Universal Mic and Remote
Bassy Sound
DOWNS
Uncomfortable for Some

 


Our Verdict:
If you're looking for a pair to exercise with while enjoying upbeat electronic music, then consider these.


 


 

5. Skullcandy - Method w/Mic 2.0 

Sweat Resistant Earbuds for Sports


Skullcandy is known for headphones that  are incredibly bass heavy, and the exercise-focused, Method is no exception. Purists seeking flat response can stop reading, but for the price it is at, the Method is great value for any bass lover on a budget.

Available in five different colours, the Method's overall design is simple, with a focus on a secure fit over flare. However, Skullcandy being Skullcandy, wants you to never forget you're wearing their product. There are four company logos on the lightweight Method earbuds along with the Skullcandy brand name on the back of the inline remote.

The wires are thin, and the pieces of hardware attached to them are jagged and slightly misshapen, giving them a likeness to bones. Even without the logos, everything about the Method screams Skullcandy.

The included eartips fit snugly into the ear canal, and they're moisture-resistant, so sweat won't cause them to fall out. In fact, the entire design is sweat-resistant, so you don't have to worry about the internal components getting ruined during your workout. 

Unlike the CKX5is however, the inline mic & remote is of the single button variety, without the volume slider.

Coming to the sound, as everything with Skullcandy, it's all about the bass. T his is a pair for bass lovers who like some serious boosting of lows and not for anyone with audiophile aspirations. The vocals on the other hand, remain clear and in focus throughout; with enough high-mid presence that the lows aren't overbearing. The highs also hold their own by remaining crisp and bright.

For pumping up your workout these definitely do the job, but purists should definitely stay away and consider the E10s instead.


Valentina Palladino,  Tom's Guide


" The Skullcandy Method In-Ear Sport headphones give you booming bass and a secure fit, but that's about it. "

 

UPS
Sweatproof
Bassy Sound
DOWNS
Bass can be overwhelming

 


Our Verdict:
If you're looking for thumping bass, in a pair of sweatproof workout earphones, then go for these.


 


 

You can check out earphones under Rs. 1500 and under Rs. 2000 too!

 

If you like this article you may also like:

 

 

Nausheen Shaikh
Nausheen Shaikh


1 Response

Abhinav
Abhinav

April 28, 2016

Check out MI In-Ear and In-Ear Pro too…..Those are much better than any of these. :) :)

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