Are you tired of buying the same cheap earphones that give you a bass-heavy sound but none of those details? Well, that it looks like you need to upgrade to a more premium pair of earphones.
A premium earphone breaks away from the usual bass-heavy signatures of budget earphones and gives you a much fuller sound which gives importance to highs as well allowing for a more crystal clear sound. But don’t premium earphones need additional hardware like DAC and AMPS to run properly? Of course not.
The earphones we have for you today works very well with your smartphones, laptops and tablets. So they are actually not that much different from your usual earphones, just better sounding.
People today are not just on the lookout for the best budget earphones but are now looking into the best Bluetooth earbuds and into the best wireless Bluetooth earphones too. Thus it is important you know what type of earphone you want. A wireless one is obviously more convenient due to the lack of connecting wire, but you can only use them for a limited time due to the small battery. Read more about what to look for before buying an earphone in our buying guide section at the end.
To find just that we started by reading through a lot of reputed technology websites, including the Indian Audiophile Forum, a dedicated online forum for audio aficionados created by Headphone Zone over the past year. 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 in detail (Balanced/ V-shaped)
Driver Type: Dynamic (Neodymium)
Number of Drivers: Single
Driver Size: Not specified
Frequency Response: 10-23000 Hz
With their famed aluminium 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.
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 eartips 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 Headphone Zone 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.
Note: The RHA S500 has 3 variants: the S500A with a triple button remote for Android, the S500i with a triple button remote for iPhones and the S500U with a universal single-button remote.
Sound quality is one of the key reasons why we picked this earphone. Our expert, Mr Jacob pointed out 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 Headphone Zone also acknowledged that this earphone did not possess the rumbling bass, but the natural sounding bass which was a delight to hear.
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 best earphone 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.
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.
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.
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
No repair service in India
Where to buy it?
Best earphone under 3000 in detail (Bass)
Driver Type: Dynamic (Neodymium)
Number of Drivers: 3 (1x 10mm Bass Dynamic Driver and 2x Customized Dual Balanced Armature Drivers)
Driver Size: 10mm
Frequency Response: 10-40000 Hz
Another great product from the niche audiophile loved brand “Knowledge Zenith” comes the ZSR which has made its way onto many recommended lists due to its unique (and wacky design), removable cables, low price and amazing sound with a particular affinity towards bass. The last part is why we placed it lower than the RHA.
KZ has for long been a darling of die-hard audio fans and has always catered to their balanced audio needs. But the KZ ZSR is a little different, the sound is tuned more for mainstream audiences but still has enough clarity to please audiophiles. But the quality of sound comes later, the very first thing that catches your eye is the design and the bright green housing.
The colour and the transparency of the housing may mean many things to you from the Kryptonite in Superman to the design similarities of the vintage Nintendo Gameboys. This is an earphone that doesn’t try to look common and it certainly isn’t.
‘Little details about the housing that you might be interested in are the left and right channel names written in a cursive typeface which actually looks like some exotic name until you really look at them. The weird bit? The names appear upside down when you wear them.
Moving on to the cables, they are detachable (MMCX style) that allows you to replace them with any other cable that allows for a better fit, better durability and cables that even allows wireless connectivity. So it's really convenient as you can choose any third party cable to improve your experience.
The stock cable provided isn’t of the highest quality but comes with a good microphone and remote. The remote is a single button unit that allows you to play/ pause and skip tracks.
Talking about the build, the whole earphone is made of plastic but customers found them to be well built. The KZ ZSR comes with three pairs of eartips and the detachable cables. There is no carry case provided in the box.
The KZ ZSR is a triple driver earphone that uses a single 10mm dynamic driver for low frequencies and two balanced armature drivers for the mids and highs. This triple driver arrangement actually helps it reach extremely high frequencies of up to 40000 Hz.
Best earphone under 3000 in detail (WIreless and Bass)
Driver Type: Dynamic (Neodymium)
Number of Drivers: Single
Driver Size: Not specified
Frequency Response: 20-20000 Hz
The JAYS t-Four boasts of a beautifully minimalistic design from the frozen north, a sound signature that could make the majority of people happy (but it's still not as good as our first two picks) and features and battery life that make it hard to believe it's priced so low.
Very rarely do we come across good looking audio products that actually sound good. Mostly Good design is meant to draw people to their aesthetic prowess but rarely do they sound good. But there are always exceptions like the Marshall Kilburn, Grado SR80e and now the Jays t four wireless earphones.
From the house of the Swedish audio makers, Jays come the t-Four wireless the latest in their lineup of affordable wireless earphones. Designed with modern details in mind, the t-Four uses simple shapes and flatness to make the earphones feel visually light and comfortable.
The cables are short and flat, the remote is beautifully slim and the battery compartment is mirrored on the other side of the remote to keep visual balance. It even comes in three muted colours of black, grey and moss green.
User reviews suggested the earphones are easy to wear and given the 6 pairs of eartips (3x foam and 3x silicon) allow for a snug fit and the foam tips also allow noise isolation too. The only thing missing? A carry case for the earphones.
The three-button remote on the t-Four lets you control the volume, skip tracks and play/ pause. The microphone is good for phone calls to giving clear sounds on both sides.
The t Four is Bluetooth enabled and comes with older Bluetooth 4.1 standard (Bluetooth 5.0 is the latest). People found the range to be good without interferences. Sadly it lacks the aptX, AAC codec support (Not that big a deal for the price and driver limitations) and also Multi-point support (You can connect to only one source at a time).
The battery life too matches the claimed 10-hour mark and the earphone takes around 60-75 minutes to fully charge.
The sound from the t Four comes from the single 10mm driver and is tuned for bass but not at the cost of other frequencies. The mids are clear as well and overall people loved the clarity that they offered.
The Jays t-Four wireless is for people who want to ditch the cable and the headphone jack entirely. This makes it great for users of the OnePlus 6T who do not want to spend on the OnePlus Bullet wireless earphones. The Jays sound is bass-biased but clear, although they are not as bassy as the KZ which completely takes the cake when it comes to thumping bass.
Adding up the design, sound quality, long battery life and the recently reduced price, the Jays t Four wireless is the best wireless earphones with mic currently available in the market.
Balanced and Smooth sound
Great build quality
Remote and mic present
Flat cables are a boon
Long battery life
Doesn't support many Bluetooth codecs
Uses the older Bluetooth 4.1 standard
No Multi-point support
Not sweatproof/ waterproof
Where to buy it?
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.
Balanced and Smooth sound
Good build quality
Remote and mic present
Cables could have been thicker/ or flat
Where to buy it?
Who is the competition?
As we talked about it some time back, the Rs.3000 segment is slowly gaining more and more traction due to the customers increased demands when it comes to earphones. That is why after we were done shortlisting we found a ton of earphones that we felt weren’t all that great but these were still selling pretty well on Amazon and Flipkart despite the poor reviews.
Listed below are a few of such earphones that we felt we not as good as our best picks. However, some of them are very good in certain aspects and are let down by only a few little niggles.
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.
Sennheiser - CX 300-II
While a lot of our best picks below 10000 have had a Sennheiser product, their earphones do not possess the same balanced sound that the higher end earphones offer. The CX 300-II likewise, is a good earphone but with its main focus on the bass, it really doesn’t offer anything different. Plus the mids are too recessed and the highs a little to sibilant and it leaks quite a bit as well.
LSTN’s Bowery are designed for EDM lovers and are actually made of wood which gives them a unique design. They sadly have a poor soundstage, lack clarity and jut out of the ear
1MORE - iBFree Sport
These are wireless, sweatproof and waterproof but have average vocal reproduction and favour the low frequencies. However, these can be picked as a pair while exercising.
Urbanista - Berlin
Is a funky looking wireless earphone but has poor fit and sound quality and average battery life for the price.
Focal - Spark Wireless
Unlike their wired cousins, the Spark Wireless has poor connectivity, sharp sound and an awkward looking design.
Mivi Collar Wireless Neck Band, Mivi Thunder Beats and Mivi Conquer Wireless all offer average sound quality, decent battery life but have average connectivity, and poor build. It makes sense to pick any of our best picks if you need great sound, good build quality and the j-Four even offers that with wireless connectivity and long battery life.
Sony - WI-C400
Sony’s wireless offering gives good battery life but lacks in the sound department as they have too much treble. The even exhibit high latency making them hard to use for movies.
Sony - WI-C300
The older version of the WL- C300, is built poorly, have a poor microphone, sound average due to the bass lacking thump, have a poor soundstage and exhibit high latency.
Samsung U Flex and Samsung Level U
These two wireless earphones from Samsung offer good build quality, great battery life and are priced very well. In fact, they are the best sellers on Amazon and Flipkart. The only catch here? The sound quality isn’t the best in class. They lack in bass and have harsh treble.
These are earbud style wireless earphones that offer average sound and battery life. But many people complained about the poor noise isolation on these earphones so our suggestion is to go for the Jays t-Four as they even come with a foam eartip in the box for improved noise isolation.
JBL - Endurance SPRINT
These earphones by JBL look like nothing else on the market. They are IPX7 water rated, have a balanced sound (in fact they are almost flat, just like Audiophiles prefer) and are priced really well.
Inside fact, we were almost going to pick these over the Jays had it not been for their uncomfortable fit and appalling touch controls which are a pain to control when compared to the more conventional in-line remote. If however, you want balanced sound and can make do with the large earphones around your ears and the iffy control mechanism you can pick them up.
Chevron Wireless Bluetooth V4.2 Earphones
This is a fully wireless earbuds style earphone (like the Apple AirPods) with its own charging case and for under Rs.3000 may feel like the best Bluetooth earbuds in the market but they are far from it. The battery life is poor so is the sound.
In fact, there are many such wireless earbuds that have something lacking like the Boult Twin Pods which sound decent but lack good battery life and range. Then there are the Zakk D05 Twins which are sweat-proof, shockproof, and "sand-proof" but have a battery life of only 4 hours and poor sound.
Tagg Sports Plus are nicely designed, have decent battery life and sound decent too, the catch then? Its priced more than all of our best picks. Noise Shots Truly look cool are priced at 3000 but are build poorly, sound average and have low battery life.
Buying Guide to the best earphone under 3000
You can check out our best earphone under 500 articles to know more about earphones and specifications. But here are a few pointers if you are looking for something in the Rs.3000 segment.
In this budget, you will find a growing number of products in the market. This is because this is the start of the proper audiophile loving earphone market along with some products that offer unique features like wireless sound or active features or more.
Hence it is important you figure out what you need: a high quality, balanced sounding wired earphone? Or a more mass market sound with wireless connectivity.
Wireless Bluetooth earphones and headphones are slowly picking up momentum due to many brands ditching the ancient headphone jack. This has sparked a rise in Bluetooth products that do not need a cable. But there are limitations to it. Firstly, being wireless, you need to have a battery, which lasts anywhere from 3-12 hours depending on the product you pick.
The next issue that crops up with wireless earphones is the limited bandwidth of Bluetooth, this means you cannot truly enjoy high-quality FLAC based tunes. While this is being improved with AptX HD and other such formats, finding a phone and then a Bluetooth earphone that supports it can be really expensive.
So, if you do not want to get drawn into the confusing world of wireless we suggest you pick up a wired headphone and possibly a headphone adapter or even a standalone MP3 player to really get the pure aural experience.
- Does it work with Android/ iOS?
Yes, you can use the earphōnes with Android and iOS but some may have issues with the remote not working
- Is there a mic?
Yes, our best picks do have a mic support
- Is there a volume button/ remote present?
Yes, all our best picks have support for a remote. Do note, however, that the RHA has only a single button remote.
- How to charge the wireless earphone?
You can use a micro USB charger to charge a wireless earphone.
- Is there a product warranty?
Yes, all our best picks do come with a warranty.
- Do we need to use a DAC or AMP?
These earphones do not need a dedicated DAC or AMP and can work with most smartphones out there.
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.
KZ’s ZSR is a treat for bassheads and considering the low price really makes us wonder where KZ might have skimped? Its got triple drivers that give you a bassy sound but still are good with the mids and highs, you get detachable cables (rare at this price point),
The Jays t-Four is another worthy contender and boasts of a beautifully minimalistic Scandinavian design. They use simple shapes like a flat cable, rectangular remote and bold buttons that look unlike any other wireless earphones in the market.
They bring along an excellent sound with thumping bass, long battery life and excellent value which make it the wireless Bluetooth earphones in India.
Have any of the picks we suggested? Comment down below about your experience with the product or the brand service. Still, have a doubt regarding earphones? or about any feature related to them? Write down your question below so we can help you with the same.
Finally, do not forget to check out our other articles and share them with your families and friends.