Monday, December 4, 2023

Earphones: The Cheap, the Neat & the Visionary

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Popular & Inexpensive standard earphones: Philips SHE1360/97

All you care about is music playing through a little speaker in your ear? Want no gimmicks or promises of revolutionary technology? The Philips SHE1360/97 is the earphone you want. Retailing for about Rs. 109 – 150 based on where you look at, it has a 15-millimetre driver, 16-ohm impedance, and a frequency response of 16 – 20,000Hz. A four star rating on Amazon backs it up.

Popular & Inexpensive In-Ear earphones: Sennheiser CX 180 Street II

These will offer better noise-isolation than the Philips earphones mentioned above, while featuring a similar impedance and frequency response. It comes with a set of differently sized ear buds to help deliver a better fit for your ear. The Sennheiser brand, a Rs. 889 price tag at Amazon, as well as a 4.5 star average rating on Amazon makes this one a value for money best seller.

Wireless & Revolutionary Earphones: Dot STEREO featuring aptX

These are extremely small earphones that you can keep in your ear to enjoy music without wires dangling out. While there have been Bluetooth earphones available previously, they did have wires connected to the second earphone in the pair. Dot comes with aptX technology that minimises latency and audio syncing issues while wirelessly delivering the full audio bandwidth for better quality music. Weighing just 3.5 grams, this light weight pair comes with a heavy weight price tag of above Rs. 10,000 unless you get it from for a discount.

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High-end Noise Cancellation earphones: Bose QueitComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling

Bose’s legendary active noise cancelling technology remains unparalleled in their full size headphones as well as these earphones. The design looks like a hybrid of a standard earphone and an in-ear phone, but that is due to the need to house the electronics needed to deliver noise cancellation to the user. An in-built microphone senses external noise and an equal and opposite signal is created, which is converted to sound by the speaker. This essentially cancels the intruding noise and you enjoy almost perfect silence. It is similar to the technology used in aviation headsets worn by pilots. These earphones also let you activate a setting in which the ambient noise around you is let in so that you can stay aware of your surroundings if needed. This pair retails at a smarting Rs. 25,000, although you might be able to find deals online taking it down by 20 per cent.

Professional grade earphones: Inear Stagedriver 4 (SD-4)

Used by picky musicians and artists, this is a flagship offering from German company Inear. It features four Balance Armature drivers on each channel, black twisted cable, and silicon tips. Most audiophile review websites claim that this pair of earphones is one of the best-tuned ones they could find. It costs Rs. 1,54,000 at Amazon India, but is “cheaper” abroad at around the equivalent of Rs. 60,000.

What will it be?

So have you decided to go for another value for money earphone, or has this article excited to check out one of the more expensive models? Whichever you select, hope you have a wonderful listening experience!



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