Whether you love music or killing time on a long journey, you need a pair that fits you and caters to your listening needs. Investing in good headphones is like complementing the efforts that you put into making your playlist. But your headphone should also have important features like a microphone, noise cancellation, a proper fit, and more.
Before investing, take a look at our buying guide and check if your pair has everything you need – the right sensitivity, apt drivers, and a comfortable fit. Some of the best Bluetooth headphones under Rs. 5000 in India include companies like Sony, Sennheiser, Skullcandy are some of the top producers of quality headphones.
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What is it that you should look for in a headphone? Well, you might put sound quality and comfort at the top of your priority list. Aesthetics are not that important. This is because there is no point in getting a sparkly unicorn headphone that clamps tightly on your head.
Often, people don’t just use the headphone for music but turn them into a multi-tasking device. They answer calls, use it for gaming, and even for Netflix. Not all headphones are created equal, and this is why you need a pair that suits your purpose.
Connoisseurs of music would prefer sound quality over everything else. But commuters would prefer ANC, Active Noise Cancellation or noise isolation, and a microphone while in a crowded bus. To suit different needs, each pair has some combination of features. And our goal is to help you find those.
Before you get yourself a new pair of headphones, it is better to know their types so you can choose better. Broadly, headphones are over-ear, on-ear, and in-ear.
On-ear headphones are slightly less comfortable than over-ear ones as they fit onto the top of your ears. The drivers are large, just like over-ear headphones. However, they are less portable than those tiny earbuds due to size and weight. But these are foldable and have flexible hinges which make them fit for commuters.
If you compare over-ear headphones with earbuds, the former is undoubtedly more comfortable. But in-ear headphones, wired or wireless, are extremely portable, fit for runners or athletes. Hunting the right pair of earbuds is easy and you can get them at any budget. Their battery life is about 5 to 12 hours.
Close-backed headphones are the ones whose exterior is enclosed. The sound gets trapped inside the earcups. This provides punchier bass and is good for recording as it keeps external noises out and minimal sound leakage.
This feature is especially beneficial in a moving train, this way you don’t get to hear the clickety-clackety noise of the train’s fish plates. The open-backed headphones have holes or vents in their exterior, and their purpose is to let air pass through and produce natural sounds.
If you are not in a silent room, the surrounding noises will distract and cause sound leakage. The person next to you can hear through the headphones. If you plan on enjoying music while commuting, open-backed headphones are not for you.
Music enthusiasts are the patrons of wired headphones. With wired headphones, you don’t have to worry about running out of juice. Plus, wired headphones can receive analogue signals and manage more data than the wireless counterparts. The sound does not have to undergo audio compression and is delivered in full resolution.
Wireless headphones work on Bluetooth connectivity and on average, their battery lasts between 10 to 30 hours. We recommend getting the latest Bluetooth version 5.2 that connects with devices fast. Wireless over-ear and on-ear headphones are often accompanied by a 3.5mm audio jack for wired listening.
True wireless earbuds are the new thing. They are just earbuds with Bluetooth connectivity. They come in tiny cases, which also double up as a charger. They provide around 5 to 8 hours of battery life and the case can give a few rounds of battery. If you have an active lifestyle, you can get your hands on a true wireless pair. The only concern is losing them, considering their tiny size.
The comfort of your headphones matters a lot. You cannot wear a wobbly over-ear pair that slips off when you jog. If you jog, run, or if you are an athlete, an in-ear pair would be suitable for you. Over-ear and on-ear headphones have a good fit for commuters. Plus, ANC headphones drain out all the external noise.
Often, some people dislike the excess clamping force of on-ear headphones. Check out the user reviews to see if the pair you are looking at is comfortable and not too tight but also remember that it depends on the size of your head and face.
The sensitivity of a headphone gives you an idea about how loud they can get. Typically, headphones have a sensitivity of 85 to 110 dB and earphones' sensitivity ranges from 60 dB to 80 dB. Higher sensitivity means louder audio. Get a pair that falls within this sensitivity range. Anything above 110 dB can lead to hearing loss.
The drivers are the parts in the earcups that convert electrical signals into sounds. Larger drivers, like 40mm, enhance the mids, treble, and bass. This is because they can produce stronger sound waves. Drivers can be balanced armature or dynamic.
Balanced armature drivers are for noise isolation and crisper sound in general. However, the dynamic drivers are better for bass. They are affordable and durable. Over-ear and on-ear headphones usually have 20mm to 50mm drivers and earbuds have 8mm to 15mm.
Active Noise Cancellation is the much-hyped feature that many buyers look for. ANC works by producing ‘opposing’ sound waves from mics and cancelling the ambient noise. Some complain that ANC causes headaches due to high pressure.
Plus, it is no secret that ANC drains out the battery quickly. Consider getting an ANC pair if your surroundings are noisy, or if you travel or fly a lot. Alternatively, you can go for pairs that offer regular or passive noise cancellation, which blocks major disturbances. Over-ear headphones also offer better noise isolation.
If you are an athlete, look for a water-resistant pair. Check out the IP rating for that. The IP ratings show water and dust resistance. There are two digits in an IP rating - the first one indicates resistance against foreign particles and the second one denotes the resistance against moisture.
For instance, IP66 would mean protection from dust and rapid jets of water. Meanwhile, a rating of IPX6 would mean that the device has no defined protection against dust but is protected from water. If you listen for a longer duration, battery life must be at least 20 hours. Meanwhile, go for headphones that are foldable and lightweight if you travel a lot.
Click to purchase
x-Five On-Ear Wireless Headphones
Minimalist Design With Sheer Comfort
Buds Air 2 with Active Noise Cancellation
Water-Resistant Earbuds With ANC
Elite Active 65t
The Perfect Pair for Athletes
Tune 700BT Bluetooth Headset
27 Hours of Non-stop Music to Last You All Day
Ergonomic Foldable Headphone with Bass
WH – CH510 3099
Comfortable Wear for Longer Durations
X Free Tune
Rich Stereo Sound Even At a 33m Distance
a-Six Wireless in-Ear Bluetooth Earbuds
Phenomenal Bass in the Shortest Ear Buds
Riff Wireless On-Ear Headphone
Featherlight Headphone With a Colour Pop
HD 250BT 4624
A Headphone Inspired by DJs
If you are into minimalistic designs, JAYS x-Five is sure to catch your eye. The on-ear headphone fits comfortably, and the memory foam is ideal for longer usage. You can wear it while running and jogging. The headband is padded with soft leather, and the metal hinges make it a flexible fit.
The clamping force is non-existent, but the headphones won’t slip off. If you are into vocals, pop music, or acoustics, you will love this pair. The treble is pitch-perfect and the vocals are crisp. The overall sound quality is excellent, but this pair is not for listeners who prefer bass.
Realme Buds Air 2 is certainly a better product than its predecessor, Realme Buds Air. Buds Air 2 fits well into your ear canal. This fit makes noise isolation and active noise cancellation work effectively. The buds are touch-sensitive, and you can customize the controls through the Realme Link app.
The case is sleek and compact, and the earbuds look fancy with a glossy surface and soft earbuds. The buds deliver a clear sound because of 10mm drivers and in-canal fit. The high pitches get a little shrill at times, the lows are defined, and the bass gets punchy. Overall, if you are looking for ANC at an affordable price, this is your go-to pair.
Earbuds are the new pals for gym enthusiasts. Keeping this in mind, Jabra developed the Elite series. Jabra Elite Active 65t is specially crafted for a comfortable fit and it has a lot of smart features. The buds won’t fall out during workouts or running. Although some people may find the buds a little bulky.
This Jabra pair also tracks your fitness through the accelerometer. The buds deliver a clear and balanced sound. The bass is punchy and the highs are crisp. The mids are a little repressed but natural.
Passive noise cancellation along with noise isolation eliminate most of the ambient noise. If you are walking on the road, you can activate the ‘HearThrough’ mode to hear car honks. The only con is the case that comes shut with a clamping force that takes substantial effort to open.
JBL is known for creating headsets with thumping bass, and JBL Tune 700BT is no exception. Reviews say that the headphone produces a balanced sound, but the bass is not as punchy as other JBL pairs. It does not feature ANC, but the noise isolation is excellent.
This pair comes with a quick charge feature that gives you 2 hours of playback with just 5 minutes of charging. The design is quite compact and you can fold it. It is lightweight, with comfortable padding that is fit for long hours of listening.
The faux leather cushions are the first thing that you will notice about these elegant headphones. The cubical ear cups and 40mm drivers deliver premium aesthetics and excellent sound quality with HD bass. The headband is adjustable and fits comfortably, so you wear it while commuting.
The controls are easily accessible on the outer side of the ear cups you just have to tap to answer calls, change tracks, or control volume. With a 450 mAh battery, the boAt Rockerz 600 keeps rocking for 20 hours. You can use it wireless or wired.
Sony produces top-notch electronics and headphones are no exception. The pair is quite comfortable as the earcups cover your entire ear with memory foam. Sony WH-CH510 produces even sound so, you can enjoy all genres of music.
Listeners have reviewed that bass and treble are defined and they complement the balanced sound. The mic has no noise cancellation, so you cannot use it for calls in a crowd. It is ideal for daily commuters who like some music on their way.
Soft, comfortable earcups and 40 hours of battery life make them fit for extensive use. It connects quickly to the devices, thanks to Bluetooth 4.1 and the CSR chip. The CSR chipset can support codecs like aptX and AptX HD.
These are the advanced Bluetooth codecs that promise to deliver better audio quality over wireless headphones. aptX is said to deliver ‘CD-like’ audio and Aptx HD is said to be lossless. Your device can be anywhere in a 33m radius and the headphone stays connected.
It produces an even, clear sound with its rich stereo. Customer reviews say that the bass and treble are on point, though the bass could be punchier. You can easily fold and carry it in a cool case that comes with the headphone. The headphone might feel bulky as it weighs 283 gms.
Jays, the Swedish manufacturer, is known for minimalistic designs. Jays a-Six Earbuds pack a big punch with its 12 hours playback time. The earbuds are quite comfortable and lightweight. However, the little battery pulls the earbuds away from the ears. This is why you cannot use them while running, jogging, or workout.
The audio is warm and balanced and suits most of the genres. If you go through the customer reviews, they have pointed out that the vocals are clear. You can feel the bass, and it does not overpower the vocals.
Skullcandy Riff headphones have catchy colors and comfortable wear. Weighing just 159 gms, it's practically weightless and suitable for daily commuters. When not in use, you can put it around your neck and forget it's there. Note that the headband is not cushioned. The headphone has a plastic body which not everyone would like.
Coming to the sound quality, users say that the bass is excellent, but the vocals lack clarity. This means it is good for EDM songs but okay-ish for vocals. You won’t find it very useful for watching Netflix, as the vocals are not clear. The controls are smarter with a button for activating Google Assistant or SIRI. The earcups swivel around and the headphone can be folded to fit any bag.
Sennheiser crafted this masterpiece with DJs in their mind and instilled the headphone with transducer technology. The dynamic bass is excellent and fits in well with pop songs, EDM tracks, and dubstep. So, if you are into EDMs and DJ music, you will like this pair.
The Bluetooth pairing is quick and the call quality is clear. Sennheiser HD 250BT has a battery life of 25 hours and a full charge takes an hour. Despite being lightweight, the headphone feels a little uncomfortable due to the earcup size. A few reviews said they could have been slightly bigger.
Headphones are great for enjoying music alone. But for group music sessions, you need some loud and portable speakers. The speakers come in funky colours and in all shapes and sizes. And what is gaming without a headset? Check out some of the best gaming headphones and level up your gaming skills!
Music is not just a pastime, it's a hobby. And your hobby needs to be complemented by quality sound and comfort. The overwhelming variety of headphones is enough to baffle you. But consider your needs and find a suitable pair.
Go for a pair with a microphone if you plan on attending online classes or meetings. Make sure it is lightweight to wear for longer durations. Foldable headphones are great for daily commuters as they fit any bag. Also, grab a case for your headphone to protect them.
Author: Nitisha Upadhye
No. 1: JAYS｜x-Five On-Ear Wireless Headphones
No. 2: Realme｜Buds Air 2 with Active Noise Cancellation
No. 3: Jabra｜Elite Active 65t
No. 4: JBL｜Tune 700BT Bluetooth Headset
No. 5: boAt｜Rockerz 610
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