At Rs.10000 we still haven't reached the high end of earphones but at this budget, you can get yourself a great pair of earphones. There are a lot of options to choose from each bringing something unique to the table.
Our search for the best earphones started by looking at suggestions by reputed audio and technology websites. We also got our researcher to join a dedicated audio forum "The Indian Audiophile Forum". The forum is home to India's top audiophiles and we mined the forum for insights. With all our shortlisted earphones we paid a visit to our long-time audio expert, Mr. Jacob Abraham who is also the CEO of Rontek which is famous for its audio and power-electronics manufacturing.
Best earphone under Rs.10,000
Fiio F9 Pro
The Fiio F9 Pro harnesses as much as it can from its triple drivers to produce great audio at even super-human frequencies (Hi-Res). They have a ton of accessories, detachable cables and even a balanced audio connector making them a superb pick for the price.
V-Moda Forza Metallo
The Forza Metallo, on the other hand, is a more stylish and premium earphone but with a robust build quality and water resistance. The sound too is traditional V-Moda with a warm but clear sound signature that works really well.
This is a really long post! Use the links below to jump around.
Why Trust Us?
Our search for the best earphones under Rs.10000 started with suggestions from top technology and audio websites, following which our researcher obtained many options from an Indian Audiophile forum to find out what India's top audiophiles listen too.
Armed with the list of earphones and their specifications like impedance, frequency response, sensitivity and their frequency curves we consulted with Mr.Jacob Abraham, CEO of Rontek who helped us pick the best earphones from the whole list.
How we selected?
To find the best earphone under Rs.10000 we used the help of our audio expert and CEO of Rontek, Mr.Jacob Abraham. With his vast knowledge of the field and our research, we were able to pick the best sounding earphone in the Rs.10000 price range.
Finding the best earphones under Rs.10,000 took a lot more work than before, as most earphones in this price are great sounding. We dug a lot more to really find which earphones truly stood out. We visited reputed websites like TechRadar, Sound guys and WhatHi-Fi? along with more niche but audio focused websites like Headphonics, ThePhonograph, and Head-Fi. We added to this list a few more picks that our researcher found on The Indian Audiophile Forum, a forum dedicated to audio loving people.
We even gathered as many specifications as we could for the shortlisted earphones using data from websites like rtings, phonograph, and head-fi.
Balanced sound with a wide soundstage
Great build quality
3.5mm and Balanced 2.5mm support
Mic with inline remote support
A ton of accessories in the box (12 pairs of ear tips, 2x carrying cases)
Not for Bass-heads
Remote can be a little wonky
Only 1-year warranty
Fiio is a reputed Chinese audio equipment manufacturer famed for their quality amplifiers, earphones, digital audio converter, and digital audio players. Fiio products are known for their great audio quality, superb build quality, and affordable price.
The Fiio F9 Pro is their high-end product with a triple driver solution and a Hi-Res certification. The earphones have a biomimicry like design with a clear inspiration from seashells. The earphone housing is made of aluminum which not only gives it a great finish but also durability. You also get detachable MMXC connector cables which make replacings and fitting aftermarket ones a breeze. Present in the box are two cables: the 3.5mm cable which is made of TPE material and a balanced 2.5mm cable made of a braided material. The earphone cable is tangle free and also passes over your ear giving it a much better fit.
There is an inline remote also but the workings of it are a little wonky. Headfonics reported the volume control did not work for iOS, while it worked well on Android except in a few music apps like Hiby. The mic, however, is reported to work flawlessly.
For what you pay you do get pampered with accessories in the box. Starting with the case you get two of them - a fully waterproof hard case along with a water-resistant neoprene pouch. You get a whopping 12 pairs of ear tips but they aren't just different sizes. There are 4 main types of balanced, bass, vocal and isolating ear tips with 3 sizes in each type. The fully black ones are the balanced sounding ones, the black and red are the bass ear tips, the transparent and red are the vocal ones and the all black foam tips are the noise isolating ones.
Coming to the reason why the Fiio F9 Pro was selected, it's superb audio quality. Unlike its competitors from Shure, Noble and V-Moda's single driver approach the F9 Pro uses a triple driver system. It consists of one dynamic driver for reproducing the lows and two balanced armature drivers for producing the upper mids and highs. This arrangement lets the earphone produce frequencies from as low as 15 Hz all the way up to 40000 Hz. This frequency range earns it's Hi-Res certification. They also have a low impedance of 28 Ohms and hence can be driven from all smartphones as well as dedicated audio players.
The F9 Pro has a very balanced sound as you may expect at this price. There definitely is sufficient sub-bass and bass but they don't bleed into the mids and highs. Headfonics found the instrumental timbre of this earphone to be superb. Mr.Jacob pointed that the graph showed flatness in the bass and mid region and also the smooth nature of the curve which gives the F9 Pro its balanced sound. The vocals too come out great with Headfonics reporting a 3D like immersive experience. They even talked about how improved it felt over the previous F9 especially in the sparkle in the trebles.
With its superb balanced sound, great accessories, strong build quality and the price the Fiio F9 Pro makes for a great pick at this price.
Great bass without muddying other frequencies
Extremely premium looking with a rugged build
Water and Sweat resistance
Mic with inline remote support
Lots of accessories in box (8 pairs of ear tips, a Luxury case, ear hook, and fins)
No repair service in India
The Forza Metallo comes from the house of V-Moda a brand highly supported by Sound Producers and DJ's. But do not dismiss them as wannabe Beats competitors. V-Moda focuses a lot on sound and quality, often offering them at a much better price than the overpriced Beats. Audiophiles all over the world actually love the sound of V-Moda even going as far as putting them in the same league as Sennheiser and Shure, in terms of the quality of audio.
The Forza Metallo as the name suggests is the metal edition of the regular Forza series. They are beautifully made with nods to the higher end V-Moda products like the hexagonal shape of the driver housing similar to the Crossfade headphones. The earphones themselves are designed for people with an active lifestyle hence they are sweat and water resistant. V-Moda treats the Forza Metallo as a part of jewelry, going as far as making custom 3D printed caps to enhance their design (Sold on V-Mods website). The 3D printed parts are created in Italy opposite the Castle Sforza which was Leonardo Da Vinci's workshop for 20 years.
The Forza uses a unique 45-degree headphone jack which is claimed to withstand 60,000 bends (10 times more than the industry standard) and the cable is their custom Diamondback cable which is completely tangle proof with a design that looks like snakeskin. You also get an inline remote with volume and play/pause buttons. Make sure you pick the appropriate iOS or Android version as they have different remotes.
The accessories you get with the Forza Metallo is no less than the Fiio F9 Pro. You get what V-Moda calls as their Luxury "V" Pouch. Then there are 8 pairs of ear tips, 1 pair of sports hooks (to grab onto your ear), 3 pairs of sports fins, remix rings and a cable clip. That is a lot of kit for your money.
Talking about their comfort Digital Trends commented, "In terms of outright comfort, the V-MODA Forza is about as good as it gets." Combine that with the hooks and fins to grab onto your ears and you can basically jog, walk and skip without any fear of the earphones falling out of your ear.
Coming to sound, the sound is interesting, as Headphonezone put it, they have the bass that is tuned for the Indian ear while still retaining the details. But they do not muffle any frequencies like most bass heavy earphones. The mids are forward which gives you great vocals and the treble has its own shimmer. V-Moda has added sugar, spice, and everything nice but all in equal proportions. There is no dominating frequency it’s just right. Our expert, Mr.Jacob did confess that he has loved the sound of V-Moda products despite his personal headphone being a much more balanced and flatter sounding Sennheiser HD598.
If you want a pair of rugged but stylish, bassy yet balanced, premium but affordable earphones than the V-Moda Forza Metallo is unbeatable especially given their recent price cut.
Fiio has 1-year replacement warranty on all their products. They have one service center in Mumbai. So you can drop by or mail your product for repair/ replacements. Fiio will bear the cost of sending the repaired/ replaced products back to you.
V-Moda has a slightly better 2-year warranty and is sold exclusively with Headphonezone in India. What this means is within the warranty period you can only get your product replaced and not repaired. There are the issues covered under warranty.
One side not working
Both sides not working
Mic/Remote not working
Any other manufacturing defect
However, any wear tear damage, cosmetic flaws are not covered. They have no service centre in India so if you have physically damaged your earphones it wont even work as an expensive paperweight.
Who our best picks are for
The Fiio F9 pro with its balanced audio is more suited for people who love music that is true to the source. In terms of genres this earphones does justice to most of them from instrumental to Rock. They are very well built as well and can take the pressures of everyday travel.
But if you want a bass boosted sound with equally great vocals and treble then the V-Moda Forza Metallo will suit you better. It is also a much more sporty earphone designed to be used while jogs and workouts with its sweat and water-resistant design.
The ones that didn't make it
Our line up this time was filled with some amazing earphones, each performing superbly in terms of sound quality. We picked the Fiio F9 Pro and the V-Moda Forza Metallo as they had a little extra magic. But in no ways are the others any bad.
RHA MA750i: Are a great sounding pair of earphones and are very well built as well. They are similar in sound to the V-Moda but are priced much higher than it.
SHURE - SE215M+: Shure is one of the oldest audio companies in the world and they are equally relevant now. Unlike most of their reference audio products, the SE215M+ is known for its boosted bass, pretty blasphemous for someone like Shure to do. The SE215M+ do sound great, although the highs are muddied out by the excessive bass. For what they are priced this may not go down well with audiophiles.
RHA T20: The RHA T20 is also a good earphone that has quite a lot of innovative touches from the shape of the housing to the drivers themselves. It also has a rather unique design where you can change the tuning filters to get the sound signature you want from bass, a reference to treble. While sounding good they are priced at quite the premium for what they offer.
Noble EDC Velvet: The Noble Velvets have a decent sound and are built very well. But our best picks trump it in design, quality, and price.
1more quad driver: This has been considered a good earphone for its technology and sound but the Fiio F9 Pro gives you the same experience at a lower price.
1more triple driver: One driver short of becoming the 1more quad driver, this earphone is actually preferred over the 1more quad as it represents better value. But if you want even better sound make sure to pick our best pick.
If a pure and balanced sound is what you desire then the Fiio F9 Pro with this triple drivers is the solution to your needs. It is also very well built and has a ton of accessories that make it great for your comfort as well. They are priced very well too at around Rs.10999.
But if you are someone with an active lifestyle that requires a little more active (read bass boosted) sound than the V-Moda Forza Metallo will wow you with its build, ruggedness, and sound. Priced at Rs.7990 they also make for great value.