With the proliferation of smartphones and other internet-accessing devices globally, headphones have become much more than a crucial accessory.

They have become an extension of ourselves. Generally, every smartphone comes with a free pair of earphones.

Though they are useful, they might not necessarily be the right pair that lets you listen to your favourite music on a crowded bus or enjoy a late-night movie without disturbing others in your home.

Would you like to go for an upgrade?

Are you confused by the variety and range of headphones available in the market?

This buying guide and the reviews for some of the best headphones available in India should help you to make the right choice.

Best Headphones in India 2020

1. Bose Noise Cancelling Wireless Bluetooth Headphones 700

Bose is a reputed world leader when it comes to headphones. This Bluetooth headphone is one of the best noise-cancelling headphones in India.

Prominent Features

  • Alexa optimised
  • Bluetooth range up to 10 metres
  • 11 levels of noise-cancelling
  • Stainless steel headband
  • 20 hours of battery life

The highlight of Bose 700 is its noise-cancelling feature. It allows you to personalise your environment with 11 levels of noise cancelling. Three settings, low, medium, and full noise cancellation are available on the left earcup. You can customise your preferences using the Bose Music app.

The best aspect of this over-ear headphone is that it comes with a 4-microphone system to pick and isolate your voice while cancelling the external distractions. Thus, this headphone is the ideal one to have in the noisiest of the environment.

Controlling the headphone is easy using Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. One-click of a button is enough to activate the voice assistant. You can also manage your phone’s default voice assistant utilising this feature.

Pros
  • Incredible noise cancelling features
  • Excellent for use in crowded places
  • Fantastic design
  • Responsive touch controls
  • Comfortable to wear for extended period
Cons
  • It is compulsory to open a Bose account for the headphone to be functional.

2. Sony WH-1000XM3

The name Sony is synonymous with quality. With Sony, you get full value for the money you spend. This Sony wireless over-ear headphone comes with excellent features, the most notable of which is the Active Noise Cancellation facility. The foldable feature is an attractive aspect of this headphone.

Fantastic features

  • Personalised digital noise cancellation
  • Alexa enabled features
  • Quick Attention Mode for easy conversation
  • Smart Listening facility
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Touch controls

Sony Active Noise Cancellation features make this headphone one of the best wireless headphones. The presence of path-breaking technologies like Adaptive Sound Control, Quick Attention, and Smart Listening makes it one of the most sought-after over-ear headphones in India.

The highly advanced noise-cancelling processor QN1 allows you to personalise the experience to a different level. This feature blocks out almost every distraction to deliver an impressive acoustic performance.

The LDAC technology with a maximum transfer rate of 990 kbps is better than the conventional Bluetooth audio, thereby allowing you to enjoy the high-resolution sound.

The Smart Sense Engine technology detects your activity and automatically adjusts the sound settings for you. One-touch controls make it simple for you to use your phone while pausing the music instantly.

This headphone is compatible with Amazon Alexa. Thus, controlling the phone using your voice commands becomes easy. It also ensures hands-free calling with ease. Changing the tracks or controlling the volume are at your fingertips with this headphone.

The highlight of this device is its foldable structure. The earcups swivel inside to enable comfortable pack up.

The long-lasting battery is one of the best aspects of this headphone. Besides having a life of nearly 30 hours, this battery has a quick charging facility, whereby a ten-minute charge is enough to power the headphone for five hours.

Pros
  • Admirable noise cancellation features
  • A compact device in every respect
  • Fantastic battery and excellent charging facilities
  • Incredible acoustic experience
Cons
  • Capable of connecting with only one device at a time

3. Bose QuietComfort 35 II

Bose is the pioneer as far as manufacturing headphones are concerned. The highlight of Bose headphones is the noise-cancelling capability that paves the way for an incredible acoustic experience. Every Bose appliance is worth the amount you spend on it.

World-class features

  • Noise cancellation
  • Bluetooth and NFC pairing
  • Volume-optimized EQ
  • Noise Rejecting dual-microphone system
  • Alexa enabled

Bose QuietComfort 35 II comes with astounding features like built-in Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa to help navigate through the controls seamlessly.

These virtual assistants allow you instant access to millions of playlists. Thus, you can immerse yourself into wholesome entertainment with the simplest of audio commands.

The latest over-ear headphone models from Bose feature an innovative technology Bose AR, the world’s first audio-only augmented reality platform. You would require a Bose Connect App to unlock the Bose AR feature. As of now, the introductory feature is only available in the Rose Gold model.

The Active Noise Cancellation feature cuts out all external distractions and lets you enjoy your favourite music in its full glory. Bose QuietComfort 35 II is the ideal headphone for passionate music lovers because its 3-level ANC feature allows them to focus on the aspects that matter.

Bose headphones comes with a customary battery life of 20 hours. Besides, the fast-charging feature enables you to go for a quick 15-minute charge that can give you an additional 2.5 hours of uninterrupted performance.

The volume-optimised EQ feature accounts for the exceptional clarity you experience on your Bose headphones. The noise-rejecting microphone system allows you to attend to your phone calls with incredible clarity, even in the noisiest of environments. Hence, the Bose QuietComfort 35 II qualify as the best headphones available under Rs 30,000.

Pros
  • Unimaginable noise cancellation capability
  • Excellent battery life
  • Fantastic phone for business purposes because of the terrific call quality
  • Most convenient appliance for extended usage
Cons
  • Consumers have reported inconvenience with sweaty ears during the summer months.
  • Presence of audio leakage, especially at the maximum volume

4. Sony WH-XB900N

If there is any headphone brand that can stand up to the Bose models, it has to be Sony. The striking aspect of Sony headphones is aesthetic designing. Besides, these headphones provide the most pleasing acoustic experience you can ever have.

Exhilarating features

  • Noise cancellation Optimiser
  • Wireless Extra Bass
  • Quick Attention Mode
  • User-friendly touch controls
  • Smart Listening
  • Extended battery life
  • Fast charging facility
  • Alexa and Google Voice Assistant

Sony headphones are renowned for the excellent sound quality they produce. This headphone is no different as it delivers Extra Bass for a deep and punchy sound experience. The dedicated bass duct in the headphone housing is responsible for the production of such vocal clarity.

The ANC feature enables the headphone to cancel out every external distraction and deliver the purest sound for your ears. Bluetooth and NFC compatibility ensures the elimination of cables and the troubles that come with managing tangled wires.

This headphone features an in-built microphone to enable comfortable conversation. The controls on the earcups allow you to make hands-free calls from specific smartphones.

These controls also help to change the music track or adjust the volume. The Quick Attention control option will enable you to reduce the volume instantly so that you can hear the announcements loud and clear.

Amazon Alexa and Google Voice Assistant make your job of using the headphone easy, as you can use your voice to control the appliance. The Adaptive Sound Control feature available on the Sony Headphone Connect App detects your activities and thus helps to customise your preferences accordingly.

The extended battery life of 30 hours is a fantastic feature present on Sony headphones. Besides, a 10-minute Quick Recharge facility allows you an additional 60 minutes of headphone usage.

Thus, it qualifies as one of the best headphones in India for conference calls and other business activities.

Pros
  • Seamless connectivity options
  • Fantastic foldable design with cushioned earbuds
  • Excellent noise isolation features
  • Incredible bass
Cons
  • Supports an earlier version of Bluetooth
  • Earpads tend to become warm and sweaty after continuous usage

5. Audio Technica ATH-M50x

Headphones used in audio studios need to be different from the ones you use at home. These headphones can keep out distracting noises to enable the singers to listen to the right musical notes. Audio Technica ATH-M50x is one such professional studio headphone with excellent features.

Exemplary features

  • Proprietary 45mm large-aperture drivers
  • Copper clad aluminium wire voice coils
  • Excellent frequency response
  • Incredible sound isolation features
  • 90-degree swivelling earcups
  • Detachable cable

This over-ear headphone is available in two variants, wired and wireless. The detachable cable allows for convenient storage as it prevents the tangling of wires.

The ATH-M50x headphone comes with significant 45mm Neodymium drivers with copper-clad aluminium voice coils for delivering enhanced performance. These drivers ensure an accurate and balanced bass response, thereby proving ideal for listening to all types of music.

The frequency response is in the range of 15 Hz to 28,000 Hz. Thus, it ensures admirable clarity with excellent amplification of the meekest of sounds.

This device is one of the trendiest headphones available under Rs 11,000. The large cup design with the most comfortable cushions gives it a classy look and the highest degree of comfort for extended periods. The earcups can rotate at 90-degree angles to enable single-ear monitoring.

The unique feature of this headphone is the detachable cable that can be used for various purposes. DJs require a cable length of up to 3 metres, whereas a 1.2-metre length cable should be enough for home entertainment.

The user-friendliness of this headphone makes it one of the most popular headphones. The portable nature of this headphone is another highlight that qualifies for ranking as one of the best headphones for travel in India.

The well-defined bass and treble response along with its fantastic noise isolation features deliver a fully-balanced audio experience to professionals and ordinary people, alike.

Pros
  • Incredible bass response
  • Excellent build quality
  • The highest degree of comfort
  • Minimum sound leakage
  • Range of accessories
Cons
  • Not the best of noise cancellation features
  • Consumers have reported experiencing ear fatigue.

6. Marshall Major III

Bluetooth headphones have tremendous utility because they eliminate the use of cables and are therefore the most convenient to use. Movie buffs would love to own the Marshall Major III Bluetooth headphones because of its exquisite features.

Salient Features

  • 40mm dynamic drivers for delivering enhanced bass
  • Customised audio experience
  • Multi-directional control
  • Slim hinges
  • Phone functionality included
  • Light and portable
  • Excellent battery life

Marshall Major III headphones come with the convenience of Bluetooth AptX technology to deliver an impeccable audio experience. Marshall has an excellent reputation for producing high-quality audio accessories. This ergonomically designed headphone is the latest product in the impressive Marshall line-up.

This headphone is amongst the most comfortable headphones available in India because of its plush straight-fit headband and cushioned earcups. The 3D hinges and the white-thicker loop wires give this headphone an attractive appearance.

Bluetooth AptX technology allows the appliance to play music at a higher bitrate and also minimises lip-syncing issues. Thus, it is one of the best headphones in India for watching movies.

The Bluetooth technology allows you the freedom to move within a 30-feet range without compromising on the audio quality.

The multi-directional control knobs on the earcup enables you to control your entertainment-providing devices. You can adjust the volume of the equipment and pause, play, or shuffle the music content with ease. This headphone comes with phone functionality, whereby you can answer, reject, or end a call using a couple of simple clicks.

The positive aspect of this Marshall Major III headphone is its fantastic battery life. It can deliver up to 30 hours of continuous wireless playing on a single charge.

Pros
  • Awesome sound quality
  • Most comfortable to wear
  • User-friendly controls
  • Ergonomically designed appearance
Cons
  • Can face connectivity issues at times
  • Does not have features like auto-connect

7. Fire Boltt Blast 1200

The Bose and Sony headphones can be out of reach for many because of their high pricing. Fire Boltt brings a ray of hope for such people to enjoy the best headphone features at extremely affordable prices. Amongst, the lower-priced headphones, the Fire Boltt Blast 1200 ranks as the best headphones available in India under Rs 3,000.

Enchanting features

  • Breath-taking lighting features
  • One of the most luxurious designs
  • Exceptional sound clarity
  • Power-packed performance
  • Long-lasting battery life
  • Bluetooth compatibility

The highlighting feature of Fire Boltt Blast 1200 headphones is its dynamic and unique glow light. It makes for an enchanting presence while delivering an impeccable acoustic performance at the same time.

This headphone comes with one of the most convenient designs, including padded headband and earcups. The stylish and lightweight design makes this product one of the most sought-after headphones under Rs 3,000.

This headphone is compatible with Bluetooth 5.0, the latest Bluetooth technology available today. It is necessary because most of the smartphones and other entertainment devices today feature Bluetooth 5.0 standards.

On the acoustic front, this headphone produces crisp treble, thereby proving to be an ideal headphone for listening to music.

The Fire Boltt Blast 1200 delivers exceptional sound clarity because of the proprietary 40mm large-aperture drivers. Besides providing clarity of sound through an extended frequency range, these headphones are one of the most comfortable to wear.

The ultra-soft ear cups and cushioned headband allow you to wear the device for extended periods.

The Dual Mode feature enables you to store your favourite MP3 files in a TF card and enjoy them at leisure. Similarly, you can connect your AUX cable to your device and have a great time enjoying live music.

This headphone features a built-in 1000 mAh battery capable of performing continuously for 20 hours on a single charge. These phones have a stylish and distinctive appearance because of the multi-colour lights.

Pros
  • Imposing presence
  • The glow lights make it one of the most attractive headphones in India
  • Fantastic sound quality
  • Lightning-fast Bluetooth connectivity
Cons
  • Cannot pair with devices working on older versions of Bluetooth
  • Not able to connect to multiple devices simultaneously

8. boAt Rockerz 510

Among the lower-priced over-ear Bluetooth headphones, boAt Rockerz is the best appliance available in India because of its exquisite design and exceptional performance levels. Gamers love this headphone as it delivers quality sound without any sound leakage to disturb others. The boAt Rockerz 510 is thus the best headphone for gaming in India.

Futuristic features

  • High definition sound with extra bass
  • 50mm drivers for excellent sound quality
  • Faux leather earpads
  • Stylish and sturdy appearance
  • Easily portable
  • Compatible with tablet, PC, and smartphones
  • The battery life of 10 hours

The exquisitely designed boAt Rockerz 510 headphone is ideally crafted to enhance your entertainment by delivering impeccable sound quality. The lightweight headphone is one of the most comfortable to wear.

The adjustable headbands allow placing the earbuds entirely over your ears to provide an exhilarating experience listening to your favourite music.

The flawless design of this headphone ensures complete noise isolation as you immerse yourself in your favourite musical compositions. Besides, the excellent padding on the earcups ensures to keep out external distractions. The powerful bass is a delightful experience with this headphone.

This headphone comes with user-friendly control options on the earcups. They enable you to play, pause, or adjust the volume of your songs without having to reach out for the smartphone. The Bluetooth-enabled feature allows you to go up to a distance of 10 metres from the smartphone without compromising on the sound quality.

The additional padding on the earcups eliminates sound leakage. Thus, it is one of the best headphones for gaming. The extended battery life of up to 10 hours allows gamers to use the headphone for extended periods without any fear of draining the battery.

This headphone has dual compatibility. If Bluetooth connectivity is not available, you can use the aux cable to connect to your smartphones and other devices to continue listening to your favourite music.

Pros
  • Damn good external appearance with exceptional performance
  • Fantastic battery life considering the pricing
  • Excellent bass
  • Awesome noise isolation properties
Cons
  • Good for gaming but sound quality changes to mono when you use the microphone
  • The headphone adds bass to melodious music also, thereby diluting the quality of music.

9. JBL T460BT Extra Bass Wireless On-Ear Headphones

JBL headphones have a lot in common with Sony models. One of them is the excellent sound quality delivered by both these reputed brands. Secondly, JBL headphones come with a similar foldable design to make it one of the most comfortable headphones.

Intrinsic features

  • Wireless Bluetooth Streaming
  • Foldable and lightweight
  • JBL Pure Bass Sound
  • Easy to use controls on the earcup
  • Exquisite appearance

JBL headphones are a product of Harman, a leading manufacturer of audio devices. This company does not compromise on the quality aspect under any circumstances. With JBL T460BT, you get a dynamic, immersive, and vivid acoustic experience, at par with the best that electronics giants like Sony offer.

JBL brings with it an experience of nearly seven decades into engineering precise and impressive sound into its excellent devices. Dishing out deep and punching bass sounds has always been the hallmark of JBL audio devices over the years.

This headphone is compatible with Bluetooth and capable of streaming wirelessly from any Bluetooth-enabled device.

Its battery life measures the efficiency of a wireless headphone. JBL T460BT comes out with flying colours because of its 11-hour battery life that can dish out enough juice to last all day.

This headphone is also one of the most comfortable to use because the call and music control options are situated on the earcup. Thus, you need not reach out to your smartphone to adjust the volume or changing tracks.

One of the highlighting features of the JBL T460BT is its flat-foldable, lightweight, and comfortable design. It allows you to fold the earcups comfortably and protect it from damage.

Pros
  • Stylish design
  • Excellent battery life-extending up to 11 hours
  • User-friendly controls
  • Light in weight
Cons
  • Does not have bass
  • No noise cancellation features

10. Infinity (JBL) Glide 500

Infinity Glide is another Harman product. Hence, you can expect the quality of the highest degree. This headphone lives up to its reputation of being one the best on-ear headphones in India under Rs 2,000. Fantastic discounts are available on Amazon on this product.

Praiseworthy features

  • Deep Bass Output
  • Bluetooth streaming
  • 20 hours of battery life
  • Frequency response in the range of 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz
  • Dual Equaliser Mode
  • Light in weight

Infinity Glide 500 comes with the Harman assurance of delivering exemplary performance under all circumstances. This headphone has the stylish looks to enhance your personality to a different level.

The Dual Equaliser feature available on this headphone enables you to enjoy bass, depending on your moods. Pressing the Volume button up or down can adjust the bass accordingly.

This headphone is compatible with Bluetooth and can connect to any Bluetooth-enabled device like a laptop, smartphone, or tablet. This advanced technology eliminates the necessity for wires.

The easy-to-use control options allow hands-free calling with a click of a button. The Volume control buttons on the earcups enable you to adjust the volume of your compositions seamlessly.

The Glide 500, made from high tensile PP material has foldable earcups to enhance the comfort, style, and convenience. The soft cushioned earcups rest on your ears without hurting them. Thus, you can use these headphones for extended periods without feeling any discomfort.

Infinity Glide 500 headphones come equipped with Google and Siri connectivity, thereby taking your wireless experience to an entirely different level.

One of the critical aspects of the Infinity Glide 500 headphones is its battery life. This headphone comes with a battery life of 20 hours.

Besides, the 2-hour charge feature allows you to continue listening to your favourite music by seamlessly gliding from one playlist to another without stopping to recharge frequently.

Pros
  • Excellent value for money
  • Comfortable to use for extended periods
  • Good build quality
  • Impressive performance considering its price
Cons
  • Noise cancellation feature is not present
  • No aux cable connection

11. Zebronics Zeb-Thunder

When it comes to purchasing over-ear headphones under Rs 1,000, Zebronics Zeb-Thunder is one of the best headphones option. This headphone is available in four attractive colours.

Exciting features

  • Bluetooth enabled
  • Additional 3.5mm Aux input
  • 40mm drivers
  • Frequency response in the range of 40 Hz to 20,000 Hz
  • Nine hours of battery life
  • In-built FM tuner

If you do not wish to invest heavily in a Bluetooth headphone, the Zebronics Zeb-Thunder should be an ideal option. While being priced below Rs 1,000, this headphone delivers exemplary acoustic performance.

This headphone is compatible with Bluetooth 4.2, an earlier version of Bluetooth. The device can deliver in the range of 10 metres without obstacles.

The driver size of 40mm ensures to provide excellent sound quality. This headphone supports a frequency response of 40 Hz to 20,000 Hz.

The Bluetooth compatibility allows the headphone to function without the need for wires. However, if Bluetooth connectivity is not available, the 3.5mm Aux input comes into play, whereby you can connect it to your devices.

This headphone is unique in the sense that it features a built-in FM radio. Besides, this headphone has a Micro SD card slot. Thus, you can insert your card and listen to your favourite music in style.

The earcups have controlling options to help you to adjust the volume and control the media input. The call function allows you to attend to phone calls without having to touch your smartphone.

The built-in rechargeable battery can deliver playback for a maximum of nine hours. The batteries can last for up to 200 hours in the Standby mode. The charging time of 2.5 hours compares with the best in the business.

Pros
  • One of the best headphones for first-time users
  • Exceptional Bluetooth connectivity
  • Additional connectivity options in the form of Aux cable
  • Ergonomic design
Cons
  • Compatible with an older version of Bluetooth
  • No bass
  • Noise cancellation features not present.

Buying Guide for headphones

Purchasing the right kind of headphones can be a tricky affair. A greenhorn (an inexperienced person) can find the going tough. This buying guide will go into the details and help you to choose the right one.

We shall also discuss the points to keep in mind when shopping for the ideal headphone.

Let us begin by discussing the various types of headphones available on the market.

Various Types of Headphones

Everyone who has used a smartphone knows what a headphone or earphone is. Every individual has his/her requirements and preferences. However, we shall start with the basics and understand the different types of headphones available in India today.

In-ear headphones

The in-ear headphones are the most common ones available today. Usually, all smartphones manufacturers offer a pair of such headphones as a free accessory along with the product.

Apart from the wireless earphones, these in-ear headphones are the smallest of the lot. The portability of these headphones makes it popular among people.

Upsides

  • Portability – The in-ear headphones are light in weight and can fit into your shirt pockets or hand purses. Dangling them around your neck is also a popular way of carrying them along wherever you go.
  • Excellent utility – The ease of using these headphones makes it a popular choice for people when working out. These headphones allow you to listen to your favourite music when exercising or doing any other work.
  • Noise Isolation – As the earphones are placed snugly inside your ear, these appliances demonstrate excellent noise isolation. We shall discuss what noise isolation is at a later stage in this buying guide.

Downsides

  • Tangling of wires – The most annoying aspect of these in-ear headphones is that the cables can get tangled frequently. It can be a challenge to untangle the wires every time it occurs.
  • Sound Quality – Though these headphones are good at isolating noise, the sound quality is usually not up to the mark, especially at the lower end of the pricing scale. Secondly, these earbuds use tiny drivers compared to the bigger headphones. The quality of the sound depends on these drivers.
  • Cause discomfort – Extended use of these in-ear headphones can make your ears sore, especially if they do not fit properly into your ear.

Wireless Earbuds

We have seen that tangling of wires is a significant disadvantage of the conventional in-ear headphones. The wireless earphones/earbuds get rid of this challenge and enhance the comfort factor.

Similar to the in-ear headphones, the wireless earphones rest snugly inside your ear. These wireless earbuds come with tiny batteries to power these appliances. Generally, the earbud case acts as a charging device for such earphones.

Advantages

  • Portability – Similar to the in-ear headphones, the wireless earbuds are extensively portable. You can slip them easily into your pockets and take them wherever you move.
  • Stylish appearance – As these earphones do not have wires dangling all over the place, they score high on the style quotient. The Apple Airpods are the perfect example to highlight the stylish aspect of these earphones.
  • Excellent for exercise – The absence of wires makes it easy for you to use when exercising or even driving your vehicle. Secondly, these earbuds are usually sweat-resistant.

Disadvantages

  • Battery Life – The in-built batteries can get exhausted soon because they use more power compared to other earphones.
  • Chances of misplacing – It is common for people to lose these wireless earphones as they can fall off from your ears without your knowledge.
  • Cause discomfort – Similar to the in-ear headphones, the wireless earphones sit inside the ear canal. Continuous usage can cause pain to the ears.

On-Ear Headphones

You would have noticed that the in-ear headphones cause discomfort to the ears because they sit inside your ear canal. An ill-fitting pair can cause extreme pain to the ears. The ideal solution is to use a pair of on-ear headphones.

These devices sit on the top of your ears and not inside the ear canal. The two headphones are connected by a plastic or metal band that goes over your head. As the drivers are situated on your ear, these headphones deliver excellent sound quality.

Merits

  • Portability – Compared to the in-ear headphones, these appliances are bigger. However, they are also portable because you can accommodate them in your handbag and carry with you wherever you move. Some of these headphones have hinges, whereby you can fold them and reduce them to half the original size.
  • Longer battery life – These headphones are more prominent, and hence have more space to fit larger batteries. Therefore, you get more listening time. The wired on-ear headphones might not even require batteries to run.
  • Better sound quality – The more significant drivers enable better sound quality.

Demerits

  • Hard to tag along – The in-ear headphones slip into your pockets easily. These on-ear headphones are comparatively bigger. Hence, they can’t fit inside your jacket’s pockets. You can toss them around inside your backpack easily.
  • Wire tangles – The on-ear wired headphones can be irritating to use because the wires can get tangled at times.
  • Less noise isolation – These headphones fit on your ear and not inside your ear. Therefore, they are not the best when it comes to noise isolation. Generally, some outside noise does manage to enter, especially in the case of the lower-priced on-ear headphones.

Over-ear headphones

The over-ear headphones are similar to the on-ear headphones but comparatively larger. These appliances are available with wires and as wireless devices. They have more substantial padding in comparison to the on-ear headphones.

The latest ones available on the market have sealed ear cups to muffle the ambient noise.

Such headphones can block the ringing of a phone or a doorbell. Some headphones come with openings in the ear cups. These headphones can bleed out some noise, but they also allow more external sound to go in.

Pros

  • Excellent sound quality – These devices have the most significant drivers among all earphones. Hence, they exhibit a better quality of sound compared to the other headsets. The Bose headphones concentrate on sound quality more than anything else.
  • Fantastic battery life – Compared to the other headphones discussed here, these earphones have the biggest batteries. Hence, they last for extended periods.
  • More comfortable – These headphones have larger earcups, thereby ensuring an even weight distribution. Some of the best over-ear headphones come with memory foam, leatherette, and other material to provide a higher degree of comfort and convenience.

Cons

  • Not easily portable – These devices come in large sizes, thereby making it challenging to carry them along everywhere. They are generally available with specific carrying cases that you cannot insert into your jackets or pant pockets.
  • Consume more power – Usually, these headphones display excellent battery life. However, the higher-end models might require the usage of an amplifier. Such appliances can use more power compared to other headphones.
  • Pricing – The better the headphone quality, the higher is the pricing.

Bluetooth Headphones

Bluetooth headphones have become popular today because they eliminate the need for wires.

Apple devices have removed the headphone jack from their latest gadgets to cash in on the popularity of Bluetooth headphones. Some of the Android smartphones have also followed suit recently.

Positives

  • Absence of wires – The Bluetooth headphones are the most convenient to use because you do not have to fret over the tangling of cables.
  • Excellent sound quality – Bluetooth technology has improved considerably over the years to deliver outstanding sound quality. However, you should ensure that your headphones and smartphones support the same Bluetooth standards.

Negatives

  • Wireless signals can vary – It is natural to notice interference in wireless signals that can affect the performance output of these Bluetooth headphones. You have to be in the range to receive the signals.
  • Battery issues – The more massive the batteries, the better is the battery life. However, these batteries need frequent recharging.
  • Compatibility – Bluetooth headphones usually have compatibility issues. Both the headphone and the connecting device must support the same standards because if the criteria do not match, the devices do not connect.

We have discussed the various types of headphones, depending on their structure. You can also classify them, depending on the usage. We shall look into these aspects, but it is better if you understand the technical jargon associated with headphones. It can make your job easy.

Technical Jargon Explained

Noise Isolation

As the term suggests, noise isolation means blocking out the external sound from entering your ear. The headphone positions itself physically between your ear and the external sound and prevents it from penetrating your ears.

The in-ear headphones have a higher degree of noise isolation because of their positional advantage. The on-ear headphones do not fit snugly inside your ear. Hence, they are not as good as the in-ear appliances as far as noise isolation is concerned.

Active Noise Cancellation

People confuse between Noise Isolation and Active Noise Cancellation because the objective is the same, and that is to prevent external noise from entering your ears. However, Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) works differently.

The headphones with ANC features come with tiny microphones that pick up external sounds. These microphones produce opposite sounds to cancel out the unwanted external noise. It is a complicated procedure. Hence, headphones with ANC are comparatively expensive.

Frequency Response

This specification informs the range of sound that the headphone can produce. A glance at the product specifications reveals a number in the field of 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz.

These headphones are for human use, and humans can hear sounds in the frequency range of 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz.

Some products advertise a more extensive frequency range of 15 Hz to 25,000 Hz. Indeed, humans cannot hear frequencies below 20 Hz and above 20,000 Hz.

However, headphones with such configurations can make the sounds a little better to hear.

Generally, average consumers might not be able to distinguish the difference immediately. It is a marketing technique employed by many manufacturers.

Total Harmonic Distortion

Headphones with lower actual THD sound better than those with a higher THD.

Manufacturers advertise THD of less than 1%. However, this specification does not help predict sound quality.

Good-quality over-ear headphones can help to make the sound appreciably more transparent than others.

Soundstage

The soundstage is a condition where the headphones mimic the human ability to identify the direction from where the sound originated.

For example, if someone whispers near your left ear, your head automatically turns to look over the left shoulder.

High-quality headphones come with the ability to reproduce spatial cues in a room. They can trick your brain into thinking that the origin of the sound is from a specific direction.

The over-ear headphones are better at achieving soundstage compared to the in-ears appliances.

The over-ear headphones allow the sound to bounce around the ear before reaching the eardrum.

On the other hand, the in-ear headphones sit snugly towards the eardrum. Therefore, there is not much space for the sound of moving and creating the illusion of space.

Open Back vs Closed Back

Generally, over-ear headphones are available in two variants, open-back and closed-back headphones.

The closed-back headphones have drivers enclosed in the earcup, except in the area facing your ear. It ensures that the sound does not have any space to bounce but go deep into the ear canal. Such headphones are excellent if you do not want any external disturbance.

At the same time, the person sitting next to you cannot hear the sound. In other words, they prevent sound leakage. These are the best headphones to have if you use them in a public place like your office.

The drivers in the open-back headphones are exposed, whereby the external noise can pass easily into the earcup. These headphones are not the ideal one to use in noisy areas.

However, they are instrumental when you use such headphones in a home or studio environment. It allows for better soundstage.

Impedance

A lower impedance makes it easier to get higher volume. The headphones’ electrical impedance is also known as resistance.

A lower resistance level does not necessarily guarantee a higher volume capability, but consumers should always check out the loudness quotient before purchasing a pair of headphones.

Headphone resistance is measured in Ohms. The studio headphones have a high impedance of nearly 600 ohms because they require a high level of amplification to ensure desirable listening levels.

Generally, consumer-level headphones have a resistance level in the range of 16 to 64 ohms.

Stereo vs Mono

Stereo headphones come with two separate channels, the right and left channel. Thus, you hear different sounds in both the ears.

A stereo headphone is excellent for listening to music and while watching movies because one can appreciate the sounds coming from different directions.

In a mono headphone, there is a single audio channel. Thus, you hear identical sounds in both the ears.

One can identify whether the headphone is mono or a stereo by counting the number of rings on the headphone jack plug. A mono headphone will have one circle, whereas a stereo headphone will have a minimum of two.

Features to look for in a good-quality headphone

We have discussed the technical jargon and made it as simple as possible to understand. We proceed with discussing the crucial features to look for in a good headphone.

Noise Cancellation

A headphone cannot cause every little sound to disappear, but a good appliance can cancel out the noise and ensure a better acoustic experience. Some of the top end over-ear headphones come with this feature.

Battery Life

Today, Bluetooth headphones are in fashion. Such headphones work on batteries. It is advisable to choose headphones that come with good battery life. Secondly, one should remember to recharge the batteries on time to prevent them from falling dead during your workout.

In-built microphone control

It can be annoying to receive a phone call while you are busy enjoying your favourite music on your headphone. However, emergencies can crop up anytime. Hence, the best headphones have an in-built microphone controlling option using which you can receive calls without having to remove the phone from your pocket.

These in-built microphone control can also help you to access your voice assistant and control the music played over the headphone. It is better to get used to handling these controls for a better acoustic experience.

Collapsible earcups

We have seen that the over-ear headphones can be uncomfortable to carry along because of their bulkiness. Some of the latest headphones come with collapsible earcups that allow you to fold them and tuck away comfortably inside your backpack.

Water Resistance

Using your headphone for extended periods can cause sweating in your ears. This water can seep into the microphone and damage it.

Therefore, the best headphones come with sweat absorbing materials on the earcups to prevent damage to the receiver.

Usually, headphones designed for fitness have extensive layers of sweat-absorbing sponge or other materials. It is better to ensure that your headphone has water-resistant properties.

Bass

Headphones cannot match the bass experience that the massive speakers or sub-woofers offer. However, the high-end over-ear headphones do come with a deep bass response or visceral dynamic range capabilities. The in-ear headphones and earbuds do not have this feature.

Comfort and weight

One should ensure that the earpads should not exert too much pressure on the ear lobes. At times, lack of proper air circulation can also cause excessive sweating that can lead to discomfort.

The leatherette earpads are not the ideal ones to purchase if you sweat profusely. The weight of the headphone is also a significant issue. Your head should not feel heavy after using the headphone. Hence, it is better to invest in a light headband-style headphone because they offer more comfort.

Cable length and dressing

The wireless and Bluetooth over-ear headphones are any days preferable to the wired options. If at all you choose a wired headphone, ensure that it has a Y-cable that connects to both the earpads.

Generally, the length of the wire is such that you can comfortably place the smartphone in your trouser pockets.

Volume Limitation

Some headphones come with automatic volume limiting features designed to maintain the volume at a maximum of 85 decibels. It is a protectionist feature that should be ideal for preventing children and other users from ear damage due to high volume.

Sound Amplification

This feature proves extremely useful to cut off the background noises and concentrate on the conversation. The sound amplification function helps in reducing the distraction by amplifying the sound from the compatible device to deliver a better acoustic experience.

Bone Conduction

Bone-conducting headphones come with a unique design where the appliance does not rest on your ears but the cheekbones in front of the ears. Such headphones deliver the sound through the vibrations in the bones in you hear and not through the eardrum.

These headphones are excellent for people who love to listen to their favourite music but do not want to drown out other external noises. Joggers use such headphones so that they can hear the traffic sounds while enjoying their music during the workout.

Biometric headphones

Such headphones perform a dual responsibility by gathering information from your ears to monitor your heart rate. Fitness enthusiasts prefer such headphones as it allows them to keep tabs on their heart and pulse rates without using any additional device.

Classification of headphones depending on usage

We have already seen the classification of headphones based on their structure. Let us now discuss them based on usage.

Fitness enthusiasts

Listening to music while exercising is a popular pastime. Fitness enthusiasts should use headphones that cause the least impedance to their fitness routines.

The in-ear headphones or the wireless earbuds should be the best appliances for such people. Bluetooth headphones should also be an excellent choice as they eliminate the presence of cables.

Secondly, fitness enthusiasts should concentrate on headphones with water-resistant qualities. These people sweat a lot. Water seepage into the microphone can damage it. Such people should also opt for biometric headphones or headphones with bone conduction features.

The sedentary worker

The quintessential worker should choose an over-ear headphone with noise cancellation features. It will ensure to cancel out the distracting external noises and keep their music private.

An in-ear headphone should also be an ideal one if they do not want the over-ear headphone to mess with their hairstyles. A built-in microphone should help them to attend to calls while listening to the audio.

The travel enthusiast

Portability is a critical aspect to consider for travel enthusiasts. The headphone should be light and easy to carry along. The in-ear headphones are the most portable of the lot. If you choose to purchase an over-ear headphone, it is advisable to go for the one having foldable features.

Noise cancellation feature is also a crucial one to have, especially when you are travelling on a train or a bus.

Home entertainment headphone

Nothing can be better than a high-quality over-ear headphone when it comes to home entertainment. These headphones offer a fantastic combination of deep bass and high-frequency response for incredible sound quality.

The advantage of using over-ear headphones is that the earcups encircle the ear and deliver an enhanced soundstage effect. Bluetooth headphones are also excellent for home entertainment, as you can connect to the TV and watch it without disturbing others in the home.

Audiophiles

Audiophiles require the most accurate sound quality. Hence, it is better to purchase professional-level headphones. One can go for the closed-back or open-back design depending on the usage.

Professional singers generally use the closed-back design to prevent any distraction. On the other hand, the open-back design allows for a flatter response in comparison.

Gaming addicts

Avid gamers play for extended periods. The action-packed games like PUBG and others require constant interaction between the different members of the team. It is also significant to hear the minutest of sounds to enable the gamer to gain the upper hand.

Hence, an excellent over-ear headphone with a deep bass volume with the least amount of distortion should be the ideal choice.

Kids

It is better to introduce good habits in children. Listening to music on their smartphones using headphones prevents any disturbance to others. Today, children use their laptops and smartphones for attending online classes.

Hence, a good-quality over-ear headphone should be the ideal one for kids. However, you should ensure to choose headphones having volume limiting features to protect the children’s delicate eardrums.

Accessories to look out for when purchasing headphones

Generally, headphones come with a range of accessories. One should ensure that the package contains all the accessories mentioned in it. Here are some standard accessories that come with each pair of over-ear headphones.

  • Storage case – Storing your headphone is crucial to ensure its long life. A stylish but sturdy case should be a part of your headphone. Usually, the headphones are charged when they are inside the case.
  • Charging adapters – The wireless headphones require frequent charging. The charging adapters come as part of the accessories.
  • Ear cushions – The in-ear headphones and earbuds come with silicone ear cushions. It is better to have a couple more as spares because these cushions tend to get misplaced frequently.

We have discussed an exhaustive buyer’s guide that should simplify your task of purchasing the ideal headphone, depending on your requirements. However, some doubts can persist. This FAQ should put all your doubts to rest.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find the best headphones in India?

Headphones are available at all leading stores selling mobiles and accessories. You can also order them online on e-commerce websites like Amazon. However, it is always preferable to opt for a genuine brand because the market is flooded with cheap and spurious brands. The authentic brands offer warranties on the product.

Should I go for an expensive headphone?

It depends on your requirements and your budget. An expensive headphone doesn’t need to be the best. A lot depends on your usage and preferences. If you find comfort and convenience with a less expensive headphone brand, you should unhesitatingly opt for it.

Is it necessary to purchase a new headphone if I lose one of the ear tips that come with the earbuds?

No, it is not necessary to invest in a new headphone immediately, especially if you are satisfied with your existing appliance. Replacement ear tips are available on the market.

Do you always require a headphone amplifier?

Headphone amplifiers are useful accessories. One can purchase them if the audio performance of the electronic device is not up to the mark. The cheap electronics players do not have quality amplifiers. Hence, the volume output is low. Under such circumstances, you can purchase headphone amplifiers. However, it is not necessary to buy one every time you buy a headphone.

Which are the best headphones Brands available in India?

Some of the best headphone brands are Bose, Sony, Audio Technica, Marshall, Boat, JBL, and Zebronics.

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