Today, we're exploring various in-ear headphones in a variety of budgets, ranging from affordable and cheerful to high-end and luxurious. Whether it's look and feel, sonic variety or just plain exciting sound you seek, there's something in the in-ear segment for everyone, and at every price.
Best under Rs. 1,000
One of the highest selling in-ears sets in India, the Sennheiser CX180 is an in-ear canalphone that offers serious value for money from one of the world's leading headphone makers. Canalphones fit tightly inside your ear and block out ambient noise. Offering good noise-isolation and a bass-inclined sound, the CX180 is designed to offer superior bang-for-your-buck.
Also consider: Soundmagic PL11 - Rs. 680
Best under Rs. 2,500
Soundmagic is a relatively new company in the personal audio industry, but has made a big impact in its ten years of manufacturing affordable headphones. The E10S is the company's break-out product, and has garnered a lot of attention for being one of the best in-ear headphones in its price range. It's a bass-happy sound, but with plenty of definition and clarity to keep all kinds of listeners happy, and its solid build quality makes it one of the most durable low budget in-ears around.
Also consider: Audio Technica ATH-CKX5iS - Rs. 2,299
Best under Rs. 5,000
These in-ear headphones are developed and engineered by Rock Jaw, a small British audio specialist brand that focuses on delivering a superior experience at affordable prices. At just under Rs. 5,000, the original Rock Jaw Alfa Genus offers the benefits of three different sonic signatures through its interchangeable tuning filter system: enhanced bass, enhanced highs and neutral. Made using a generous helping of wood and metal, the Alfa Genus looks and feels as good as it sounds.
Best under Rs. 10,000
A hybrid-driver headset, the Fidue A73 in-ears offer a sound that stands out and rings like nothing else we've heard. The A73 has two distinct drivers; a dynamic driver to handle the lower half of the frequency range and a balanced armature driver to take care of the upper half. Together, the A73 produces a sound that is bass-happy and exciting, as well as detailed and tonally balanced. Although it doesn't look too great, this is still a fantastic pair of in-ears, if you're looking for a unique, interesting sound.
Best under Rs. 20,000
Reid Heath Acoustics (RHA, in short) is a Scottish earphone specialist that builds solid, tonally balanced in-ear headphones. Following on the success of the T10, the T20 uses an interchangeable tuning filter system that only slightly boosts certain elements in the frequency range. You're still left with a mostly neutral sonic signature that tries to stay as neutral to the recording as possible. The T20 is not only very well built, but it also features RHA's proprietary dual-coil driver technology, which functions similar to hybrid-drivers, while using only a single dynamic driver in each earpiece.
Best - Budget no bar
Sennheiser IE800 - Rs. 49,990
If you're looking for the ultimate in-ear listening experience, look no further. The Sennheiser IE800 offers quite possibly the most detailed and open sound ever, with a sonic balance that cannot be matched by anything else in or around its price range. It's built well and performs admirably with practically any genre of music, giving the listen an immersive and almost hypnotic audio journey.
Also consider: Logitech Ultimate Ears UE900 - Rs. 25,000 (Approx.)
That's it for this edition of Headphones 101. We'll be back soon to give you the lowdown on another category of headphones. Do you have any other in-ear recommendations? Let us know via the comments.