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Earphones are being used with every gadget today: a tablet, a smartphone, an MP3 player or even a wireless set with the TV if it is in a bedroom. “Most of us don’t hesitate to invest in a good gadget, but forget about the earphones," says Bangalore-based Sridhar Reddy, 38, an audiophile and independent consultant on custom-made audio systems.

“The earphones that come as a package deal with most gadgets are basic. They don’t fit our ears well and if they do, they don’t do a good job of blocking out external noise," says Reddy.

These generic earphones also fail to adapt to your lifestyle needs—answering calls on the go or running while listening to music. “A good pair of headphones is necessary to enjoy your gadget to its full capacity. Serious audiophiles, for example, will never go for in-the-ear earphones. They like them big and round so that music can breathe," explains Reddy. In the same way, if you answer a lot of calls while on the move, the last thing you want is static in your Bluetooth headset. We list headphones to match your every need.

• Music on the move

Money Matters: 3,990 for PMX 680i and OMX 680i and 3,290 for MX 680i, available at select stores. Check for discounted prices on

• TV watching

Money Matters: 6,190, available on

• Cut off sound

Money Matters: 17,550, available on

Also try:Sony MDR-NC200D Digital Noise-Cancelling Headphones, $179.99 (around 9,750), plus shipping, available on Its noise-cancelling technology drains battery faster but the headset is quite good at blocking external noise. It is also lightweight, cushioned, and can be folded compactly.

• Pure audio

Money Matters: On special order for $995, with $115.58 in shipping, available on

Also try: The Audio Technica ATH-M50 for 13,913, available on, offers performance on a budget. Meant for professional studio monitoring and mixing, its over-the-ear cups create a seal for maximum isolation

• Multitasking

Money Matters: 6,499, available on

Also Try: 2,889, available on, comes with a single mic and digital signal processing so that you hear clearly in noisy or windy environments.

• Hands-free work

Money Matters: Around 4,999, available at select retail outlets

Also try: If you are a rough user, opt for the relatively cheaper Research in Motion (RIM) hands-free, the BlackBerry HS300 (Rs 1,999, available on The hands-free works best with BlackBerry handsets, is subtly hidden on the ear and has automatic volume control. A good choice for those corporate calls.

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