All about earphones
Your choice of earphones should depend on usage—and budget
Unless you are buying the LG V20 (Rs34,000; Amazon.in), which bundles premium Bang & Olufsen earphones, chances are you won’t be at all impressed with the earphones that are handed over with your newest smartphone acquisition. In fact, some phones don’t even ship with earphones. And this at a time when phones come with powerful hardware that enhances music playback.
Here are some of the best earphones for different usage scenarios
Block out the noise
Earphones now offer very robust noise-cancellation capabilities, which are useful if you regularly find yourself in very noisy environments, such as airports.
Sony h.ear in NC
It is easy to summarize the MDR-EX750NA—this hi-res earphone reproduces lots of bass and has noise-cancellation (NC) capabilities too. It has two microphones, which work in tandem to reduce ambient noise and drive the Artificial Intelligence Noise Cancellation feature. It has large, 9mm audio drivers, and offers 16 hours of NC battery life.
The current-generation QC20’s noise-cancellation battery, which lasts around 16 hours on a single charge, is between the 3.5mm connector and the earbuds. The StayHear + eartips are among the most comfortable across all earphones. The unmistakably detailed Bose sound is music to the ears.
‘Flagship killer’ earphones offer excellent specs and performance while costing about half as much.
Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear
The very powerful earphones handle bass as well as vocals better than most similarly priced rivals. Even at high volumes, the typical Sennheiser sound signature will remain unmistakable. The only downside is that the mid-range frequencies are a bit less vibrant. The red colour option looks amazing.
Rugged earphones that can handle rough usage as you jog, run or work out in the gym.
Bose SoundSport in-ear
Those who are regular about their fitness routine would appreciate the attention to detail in the SoundSport in-ear. The TriPort technology balances the low and high frequencies brilliantly, and you hear pristine detailing. It can take a lot of rough use. Available in bright colours, including Energy Green, Neon Blue and Power Red.
Heavy on bass
Many music enthusiasts prefer more pronounced lower-range frequencies, or bass, in their music.
V-Moda Forza Metallo
Made of forged CNC metal also used in aircraft, the Forza Metallo are water-resistant and military-grade tested. The 5.8mm drivers are the same as in the Forza earphones, and use the Bass Level Isolating Soft Silicon (BLISS) fittings in each ear. These hi-res audio- capable earphones are ideal for up-tempo music.
Money no bar
If you love your music and money is not a constraint, these could be an option.
Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H3 ANC
This is the BeoPlay H3, but it comes with the noise-cancellation feature. Inside the unibody aluminium housing sit 10.8mm audio drivers. The 23 ventilation holes in each earpiece, for a wide soundstage, bear testimony to the attention to detail. Frequencies are well distinguished, and the adequately powerful bass doesn’t overshadow the mid frequencies or vocals.
The new trend of ‘look ma, no wires’ has caught on with earphones too, with many users experimenting with the idea of cutting the cord.
Affordable wireless earphones aren’t always worth your money, but Leaf Ear is a refreshing exception. Available in blue, red, green and black colours, the lightweight yet solid build is impressive. The sound is very balanced too, with adequately powerful bass and clear vocals throughout. The battery lasted through around 9 hours of music playback each time.
Put the new AirPods next to your iPhone and they’ll pair automatically, as they will with all iOS and MacOS devices linked to your iCloud. There are optical sensors that know when you’ve removed AirPods from your ear, and music playback is paused. The AirPods have a battery life of up to 24 hours, thanks to the charging case.
*Prices may vary.