Buying a earphone can be an arduous task with hundreds of brands out there. So if you are in the market for a Rs.1000 earphone, don’t fret about the vast choices as we have done all the work to find the best earphone for you.
Our path to the best earphone for Rs.1000 started with us gathering suggestions from reputed technology and audio websites. We also had our researcher join “The Indian Audiophile Forum”, home to India’s top audiophiles. This gave us information about niche audio brands as well as great but underrated audio products from mainstream brands.With our groundwork done, we headed to the CEO of Rontek, Mr. Jacob Abraham for picking the best earphones. Rontek has been in the audio and power-electronics manufacturing for nearly two decades.
Best Earphone under Rs.1000
1more Piston Fit
With a robust build quality and stellar audio quality, the 1more Piston Fit is a no-brainer at this price. There's also an onboard mic for calls along with a single button remote to receive and end calls. If you like to choose the colour of your earphones, the Piston comes in four funky colors as well.
Sennheiser CX 180
One of Sennheiser's cheapest offering, the CX180 is known for its bass biased audio. The CX180 is light in weight and low on price, but the lack of a mic may upset some users.
Best Budget Pick
VE Monk Plus
The Monks were our best pick under Rs.500 and given their sound quality we feel it is still a great pair of earphones in this category as well. Their mid focused sound and amazing soundstage give you an audio experience that's not expected at this price. Their earbud style, however, may not be to everyone's liking.To know more about the VE Monk Plus read our review here.
This is a really long post! Use the links below to jump around.
Why Trust us?
Our best picks were carefully selected with thorough research and consultation. We spent two days surfing through many reputed tech review and audio review websites. We also had our researcher join The Indian Audiophile Forum, home to the top audiophiles in the country. The Forum helped us to find many earphones not usually suggested by mainstream websites.
Finally, for the list of earphones we had gathered we found their specifications like impedance, sensitivity, and frequency response and so on. Now that we had a lot of technical information we needed someone to decode it for us. Who better than Rontek's CEO, Mr. Jacob Abraham an audiophile who not only has a great ear for music but also someone who designs and manufactures audio devices.
How we selected?
Earphones are not as simple to judge as a mixer or an induction cooker, they need a very good understanding of sound and electronics. So we sought the help of someone who not only had the ear and skill for music but also the knowledge of the inner workings of an audio product like earphones. We looked no further than the CEO of Rontek, Mr.Jacob Abraham who brought along more than 20 years of experience in the Audio industry. Mr.Jacob helped us pick the top earphones from our long list of products.
We arrived at our shortlist of earphones by scouting through suggestions on reputed tech websites and audio websites. Not satisfied with the picks we had our researcher join a dedicated audiophile forum "The Indian Audiophile Forum" to seek so more suggestions. Here we found a lot more earphones few of which even made it to our top picks.
Best Earphone under Rs.1000
Balanced sound signature
Extremely well built
Superb value for money
Mic and Remote present
No volume control on remote
1more is a brand that not many might have heard about, so before you dismiss them as an entry level Chinese brand, hold on. 1more is a headphone company based in California and are also the OEM's for most of Xiaomi's earphones. 1more earphones have pioneered multi-driver solutions and their products have won numerous awards from the prestigious iF and Red-Dot design awards to CES innovation awards and have been picked as the best in class products by top websites like Consumer Reports, PCMAG, Cnet, and Head-Fi.
The Piston Fit earphone is, despite its low price, a very premium earphone. 1more has not skimped on build quality here, the driver housing is made of aircraft grade aluminum with textured grooves so they are easy to grab onto. The cables are covered with Kevlar for added durability. If your wondering, Kevlar is used to make bulletproof jackets. The ear tips have a 45-degree angle to them making them easier to slide into your ear canal. Overall, compared to the competition like the Sennheiser's CX180 the 1more Piston Fit is miles ahead in terms of build quality. Differentiating themselves from the competition further, they are available in four fun colors, Deep Space Grey, Clear Lake Blue, Galaxy Silver and Rose Pink. NDTV Gadgets liked the overall built quality of the earphones, even finding them very comfortable to wear after long periods of use. We feel you just have to use them once to know how well built they really are, especially considering their sub Rs.1000 price.
1more is famous for its multi-driver implementation but the single driver of the Piston Fit is still quite capable. 1more claims the earphones were tuned by Grammy award-winning sound engineer Luca Bignardi. The Piston Fit's manage a frequency range from 20Hz all the way up to 20000Hz. Unlike most earphones in this price, the Piston Fits have a very balanced sound with a slightly warm tinge to the sound. The bass and sub-bass are very good without any excessive boost to them, while the mids and highs are very crisp sounding, unlike the Sennheiser CX 180 which does get a little too boomy. NDTV Gadgets found the ear tips seal to be a little insufficient but they were blown away with the sound quality. They were delighted with the way the earphone handled the bass and sub-bass without muddying out the details in the mid region. Headphonezone too was impressed by the sound quality which they referred to as warm but full-bodied. Although they did feel the soundstage was a little narrow, but better than other earphones in its price.
To understand audio terms better read our under Rs.500 article here. It talks about audio technicalities and even explains how to read a frequency graph.
Note: 1more has a really helpful app "1more Assistant" to be used with their products. The app does the tedious task of headphone burn-in on its own without your interference. Burn-in is considered to help your audio device reach a level of maturity thus improving sound. Think of it like the run-in of a new bike or car engine.
The earphone comes with a decently long 1.25m cable which doesn't tangle easily with many verified customers on Amazon claiming the Piston Fit's cable to be of the best quality they have ever used. The L-shaped audio jack was also found to be more durable than the straight jacks of other earphones. The remote has a single button which functions as a play/pause button and forward/ rewind track option. Long pressing the button can pull up Google Assistant or Siri as well which is pretty nifty. We, however, feel a volume control button would have been very handy. Verified Amazon users also found the microphone to be loud and clear and they felt this was one of the reasons why most of them picked this earphone over the Sennheiser CX 180.
To sum up about the 1more Piston Fit, for the great price you get comfortable earphones that are very well built, have a mic, produce a superbly balanced sound and come in some cool colors.
If you don't mind spending a little more check out our post on the best earphones under 2,000.
Bass head friendly sound
2 years warranty
Mids and Treble get muddy because of heavy bass
No mic support
The Sennheiser CX 180 is probably one of the cheapest Sennheiser branded product you can buy. The CX 180 is priced low because it isn't the highest quality product from the German manufacturer. The CX 180 with its lightweight plastic build and rubbery cable cannot hold a candle next to our the 1more Piston fit's aluminum and kevlar build quality. What they lose in quality, the CX 180's make up for in comfort. The light plastics allow you to listen to your favourite song for hours together without any strain. Their driver housing too has a very ergonomic design that lets you insert and remove them from your ears easily.
Unlike most Sennheisers we have reviewed before which are always balanced in their sounds, the CX 180 is all about the bass - there is a lot of it and then some. If your preference is EDM, Hip-Hop and stuff that today's teens listen to, then get this. NDTVGadgets found the bass to be aggressive with them even able to feel the vibrations in the bass notes. They, however, did complain about the vocals not having much power and the lack of sparkle in the highs. But the sound that you get on these is what is preferred by a lot of listeners and the CX 180 does full justice to their playlists.
The earphones lack a mic or remote support which is a bummer.
Overall if you are in the market for bass boosted audio earphones and you do not want to shell out a lot of money then get the Sennheiser CX 180.
After sales service
1more products come with a 1-year repair/replacement warranty. Any physical damage is not covered under warranty. If you find any issue with the product you have to get in touch with 1more India and you have to mail the defective product to their only service center in Pune. Many users online reported great service from 1more despite the single service center. 1more has a list of authorized sellers you can claim warranty only if you buy from these sellers. Click here to check the list of authorized sellers.
Sennheisers have fours service centers across India in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Gurgaon and Kolkata. They also have a 2 year warranty replacement on their products. Sennheiser has some of the best ratings for their service where people have claimed to have got a replacement product in under 2 minutes of them having visited the service center.
Who are our best picks for?
The 1more Piston Fit fits the requirements of a listener who doesn't want a lot of sounds boosting to his or her audio. The Piston Fits relatively flat sound means all frequencies are played out equally. Their high-quality build and mic support mean they are great for people on the move as well.
But if you prefer your tunes with a lot of bass boost then the Sennheiser CX 180 will be your best companion. Their bass-heavy sound is great for EDM and Hip-Hop listeners. However, their lack of a mic may upset some users.
But if you need a cheap earphone, that has an open soundstage and a balanced sound and you don't mind their earbud style than the VE Monk Plus will suit you very well.
The ones that didn't make it
Audio Technica ATHCLR100: While they have a very balanced sound just like our best pick, their poor cable quality, and overall build quality make them a no-no for the price.
House of Marley EM JE041: They are warm sounding and the presence of wood gives them a unique build quality but it's not as good as our best pick. Furthermore they leak out a significant amount of sound and are not the best at noise isolation.
Knowledge Zenith ATE: These are considered to be a great pair of earphones but they do not have a very good build quality and are priced at quite a premium over our best pick. You can still pick them up if you are a little adventurous and don't mind the relatively unknown brand.
Sound magic es18s: These earphones had a lot of quality issues according to users. Many claimed them to be much inferior to the Sennheiser CX 180. Then there were the complaints about the service of the earphones. So we suggest you stay away from these.
Mi Earphones: While the Mi earphones sound great for their price there were many complains about their comfort. They are also relatively new and only time will tell how they stand up against the more established models.
The earphone market has matured so much that shelling out even as low as Rs.1000 can get you a well-built earphone with great audio quality. Our best pick fits this perfectly. With its aluminum build and balanced audio the 1more Piston Fit is great for the price of around Rs.850.
But if your more into the bass-boosted sound you can try out the Sennheiser CX 180 that promises oodles and oodles of bass. But they sadly lack mic and remote support.
If you however want to try out something different have a look at the VE Monk Plus with its open back, ear bud style design and balanced sound all for around Rs.600.