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Buying Guidance For Headphones

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Sound Quality: Audio quality in this category is good, substantially better than what you’d get out of your smartphone box. Headphones claiming to have balanced sound actually start delivering on those claim at this price point. However, for true neutrality, you should look at a budget that’s at least twice as much.

Build Quality: Most of the headphones in this category would be made of durable plastic. They would also be comfortable enough for long hours of use.

Remote and Mic functionality is available, but not very common.

Form Factor: Headphones for specific purposes like studio monitoring or noise cancellation will perform the function perfunctorily. Wireless headphones of good quality cannot be expected here.

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

1.Audio Technica – ATH-AX3is

The style and portability factor definitely seems to be the reason that the entire structure has been made with plastic. These headphones are definitely lightweight and aesthetically appealing (the multiple colours help out), but do end up looking slightly weak. To its credit however,

The biggest USP of these over-ear headphones is that they come with a mic and remote that you can use with Android devices, iPhones, iPads, iPods, Windows phones etc.

Compared to the others in this list, the AX3is is the probably your best option for daily, constant use.

If you’re looking for the best mobile headset that can be worn for hours on end, do consider these.

 

2.AKG – K77

AKG is rather well known for its high end pro audio headphones like the K702 & K712. With the K77, AKG’s expertise in studio monitors is brought to the budget conscious.

AKG hasn’t wasted any money in providing additional frills to the circumaural headphones. There isn’t a case or a mic, and aesthetically, they aren’t particularly attractive.

Despite these faults, what they are, is comfortable. Adjusting the fit doesn’t come via a metal mechanism but by a traditional flexible headband, with a cage above it providing structural support and a place for the stereo cable to run. This along with the light weight makes them perfect for long listening sessions.

When you actually get to listening to these headphones, the underwhelming design is completely forgotten.

Although, these headphones sound impressive, the pronounced bass is what hinders its claim of being an actual studio monitor. For that specific purpose, the M20x is definitely much better.

 

3.Audio Technica – ATH-M20x

Studio Monitors From the Acclaimed M-Series

Audio Technica ATH-M20x

The M20X is an upgrade to the M20 and was launched along with upgrades to the entire M-series.

The M20x has a design that is quintessentially Audio Technica.

The ATH-M20x is definitely the best option for budget studio monitors, preferable to the ever-popular AKG K44 & K77. These are also perfect for long hours of movie watching on your laptops and computers.

 

4. Sony – MDR-ZX110NC

For the uninitiated, noise cancellation is very different from noise isolation. Noise cancellation employs active technology (with the help of batteries) to stop ambient noise from getting in. The key information to know is that only constant, rhythmic sound can be blocked out. So if your boss starts yelling at you, you will be able to hear it. While the constant hum of an aeroplane in flight will be blocked out.

Noise isolation, on the other hand, is mostly due to the design of the headphones.

The ZX110NC is the noise cancelling version of Sony’s ZX110. Sony claims to provide upto 90% noise cancellation, which does its job for the price.

Despite being one-tenth the cost of the Bose QC25s, they do a pretty respectable job of cancelling out unwanted sounds.

The build otherwise, is not very strong. The structure is plasticky and to add to it, the on-ear design has a slight tendency to become uncomfortable and hot. Changing out the AAA battery every few weeks, can also become vexing too.

When it comes to sonic performance, the ZX110NC definitely sounds much better with the ANC function on. T

The ZX110NC is definitely the weakest, sound wise. But, all this can be forgiven because for the purpose it has been designed, it excels.

I have been listening to music all evening through this headphone, and it is sounding better and better. I loaded my current test tracks in wave format into my phone and gave them a spin – with surprising results. The same tracks sounded better as 320 kbps MP3! The wave files have too much bass for my liking. To my pleasant surprise, the 320 kbps also didn’t lose out details.”

 

If you’re a frequent flyer who doesn’t want to drop a lot of moolah for a decent noise cancelling headphone, this should be your pick.

5.Beyerdynamic – DTX 710

Sound is where the DTX 710 excels in. These deliver some quality punchy and extended bass, it can get sloppy sometimes, but on the whole, i The mid-range is pure and well defined. The highs are also nothing to scoff at, being rather clear and exciting.

“Incredible headphones for the price. Very comfortable, sounds really great and it’s cheap! If you can mod them, they’d be perfect. Definitely get them.”

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