There aren’t as many earphones in the 3,000 range as there are in the 2,000, but we’ve still managed to find a great one.
We started our quest for the best earphone under 3000 by going through a lot of reputed technology websites and dedicated audio websites. To see what India's top audiophiles suggest, we had our researcher join the Indian Audiophile Forum, a dedicated online forum for audio aficionados created by Headphone Zone.
Based on the insights from our groundwork, we took help from Mr. Jacob Abraham, CEO of Rontek. Rontek has been in the audio and power-electronics manufacturing for nearly two decades.
Best earphone under 3000
With their famed aluminum build quality, the RHA S500U feels premium for the price. They have a very clear sound as well as natural bass and a sparkle in the treble. You also get a ton of accessories in the box, so you can adjust and fit the earphone according to your liking.
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Best Budget earphone under 3000
The Beyerdynamic Byron was priced at Rs.3000 earlier and were considered to be as good as the RHA. But with their price being reduced to Rs.2000 we felt it makes for a great budget pick. The Byron’s have a more balanced sound signature and carry a premium design. To read more about the Byron check out our earphones under 2000 article.
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This is a really long post! Use these links to jump around.
Why Trust Us?
We started our search for earphones by going through reputed technology and audio websites. We took some of their highly recommended earphones. Next, to add some more variety we had our researcher join The Indian Audiophile Forum, home to the top audiophiles in the country. This step proved helpful as we came across many earphones brands that are usually not talked about in your average tech circles.
For this list of earphones, we found as many specifications as we could, like impedance, frequency response, and sensitivity. We even surfed the web in search of frequency response curves. Armed with all this information we consulted with Mr.Jacob Abraham, CEO of Rontek who helped us pick the best earphones from the whole list.
How we selected?
Given the technicality of the earphones, we needed advice from someone who not only had a good ear for music, but also knew the workings of audio devices. We looked no further than the CEO of Rontek, Mr.Jacob Abraham for consultation. With his vast knowledge of the field and our research, we were able to pick the best sounding earphone in the Rs.3000 price range.
We had a shortlist of earphones that we obtained from some of the most reputed tech websites and audio websites like Sound guys, Trusted Reviews, WhatHi-Fi? etc. 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.
For all the shortlisted earphones we searched for their key specifications like impedance, sensitivity and frequency response. We even gathered frequency response curves from review websites like rtings, phonograph, and head-fi.
Best Pick in Detail
- Enjoyable audio with natural bass
- Premium design and build quality
- A ton of accessories in the box
- A surprising 3 year warranty
- Treble can be a little sharp
- No volume control button on the remote
- Narrow soundstage
- No repair service
Coming from a land known for their wide range of inventions and discoveries, Reid Heath Acoustics or RHA is proud of their Scottish heritage. Their products have a traditional feel to them and the RHA S500U is not very different. Every solid housing, like the driver housing or the headphone jack housing, features aircraft grade aluminum, this not only oozes style and quality but is also great for durability. A little quirk is RHA actually inscribes the headphone jack housing with the word “ALUMINIUM”, in case you thought it was steel or some other metal. TechRadar was bowled over with the S500U’s built quality, especially given their price.
So what do you get when you pay Rs.3000 to RHA, apart from the earphones of course? You actually get a lot. Included in the box are six pairs of dual density ear tips (Soft material on the outside, hard material on the inside to aid noise isolation), one pair of double flange ear tip (Helps in better sealing which helps improve the bass), RHA’s patented ear tip holder, a shirt clip and a carry pouch.
Irrespective of the eartip used, users reported very good noise isolation on the S500U. This is helpful as some people love to be detached from the world while listening and it also helps with the bass response.
The cables are made of two materials, the main headphone cable (Cable from remote to headphone jack) is made of braided nylon which is tangle resistant and durable as well. The Y-cable doesn't have any nylon but HeadphoneZone reported it to survive hard tugs pretty well. The remote is conveniently placed, but has only a single answer/hold button. We would have preferred volume buttons which would definitely improve functionality.
Sound quality is one of the key reasons why we picked this earphone. Our expert, Mr Jacob pointed that the frequency curve shows a balanced sound from the lows till the mids with a slight drop in the midrange along with a slight peak in the highs. What he liked was the flatness in the bass and sub-bass region which allows their natural bass sound, unlike the many boosted sounding bass earphones. Websites like Techradar and HeadphoneZone also acknowledged that this earphone did not possess the rumbling bass, but the natural sounding bass which was a delight to hear.
One of the issues we said with the RHA MA 390 was the bass often bleeds into the mids, but that is not the case here. TechRadar found the rise in the mid-bass area pleasing, but what they really liked was how it did not bleed into the mids. Overall the RHA S500U has decent bass, but one that is not muddy or bleeds into the mids. The mids on it although a little recessed, are clear. The highs however although have a sparkle to them, are a little sharp at times for some users, as noted by TechRadar.
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.
One little detail that was mentioned by TechRadar was how the RHA S500U has a much narrower soundstage (feel of instruments coming from around you) than, say, a 1more triple driver earphones. But nitpicking aside, they went on to comment how good the RHA sounds given that they were comparing it to the 1more triple driver earphone which cost more than twice its price.
To sum up, the RHA has great build quality, enjoyable sound quality and a lot of accessories all for a value for money asking price.
Also Read : Best Earphones under Rs.2000 in India
RHA audio products are sold in India officially by Headphone Zone. Their products carry an industry leading 3-year warranty which is great but their products have no repair service. Only replacement within the warranty is allowed.
The defects/issues that are eligible for a replacement are:
- One side not working
- Both sides not working
- Channel imbalance
- Crackling Sound
- Mic/Remote not working
- Any other manufacturing defect
However issues like physical damage, cable tears and other accidental damage are not covered for replacement. So if you do manage to tear a cable or two you will be left with an aircraft grade aluminum paperweight. So, make sure you use them carefully.
For more details on RHA service click here.
Who is our best pick for?
RHA S500U with its natural bass, slightly recessed mids, and peaked highs mean a natural and clear sound which is more suited for softer music and not the heavy sound of bass in the EDM and Hip-Hop songs.
The ones that didn't get selected
1more dual driver
The 1more dual driver has a clear sound that has good bass to it, while also managing crisp treble. But as NDTV Gadgets put, they have a very shallow soundstage and the mids are more recessed than the S500U. Add to that the Rs.3799 sticker price and only 1 year of warranty and the RHA S500U simply feel more value for money.
The XB-75AP are marketed as a “for EDM” earphone, which should tell you what to expect from them. And they do deliver but they are not that great. HeadphoneZone themselves commented how they falter when various types of bass sounds are there in a track. But they falter the most in the mids which isn't as detailed and refined as the S500U.
BoAt Nirvana Tres
Despite its triple driver solution, a 20-40000 Hz frequency range and a Kryptonian-like design the Nirvana Tres don't have anything outstanding about their sound. SO if they don’t sound that great for the price they should be well built consider they cost the same as the RHA S500U. Nope, they are made of cheap plastic with fragile cables. Take our suggestion and pick the RHA S500U.
For a budget of Rs.3000 you expect great quality and sound from a earphone and the RHA S500U delivers on both these counts. They are extremely well built, come with a lot of accessories and sound very good for their price and before we forget, they even have a 3-year replacement warranty.