Best headphones to buy in India: Sony WF-1000XM4, Apple AirPods Pro and more

Each of the best headphones to buy in India have their own strengths, for which they can be lauded — and therefore make for a great overall purchase. Here’s our list.

Buying the right pair of headphones can be a complicated affair. With a large number of options and choices in the market, and coupled with the fact that you could be upgrading from an already decent pair of headphones that you are comfortable listening to, there could be a lot of things to consider before you make the right pick. Add to that, the best headphones to buy in India also cost a pretty penny, which makes it even more important for you to choose wisely.

Here, we break down the factors to consider before buying a pair of premium headphones and give you the list of the best headphones to buy in India right now.

Premium headphones vs budget headphones

With budget earphones and headphones offering competitive features such as noise cancellation and multi-driver audio, should you really be spending a premium to get one of the best headphones to buy in India? Here’s a breakdown.

Better audio drivers

The first and foremost reason for you to invest in one of the best headphones to buy in India is audio quality, and that is defined by the drivers in use. Look through the spec sheet of all the headphones to wish to consider, and compare the size and specifications of its audio driver. This gives you the first clue in terms of how big an upgrade could your new headphones be, over basic ones.

Adjustable noise cancellation

Premium headphones today offer noise cancellation that could be adjusted to your preference. You can choose to keep it light, in order to not feel claustrophobic. You can also choose to turn it up if you prefer more silence. All of this can be done through companion apps — something that basic headphones don’t offer.

Programmable sound signature

The companion apps also let you choose the right audio quality for your preference. This can be done through preset equalisers, and also manual adjustment of sound quality based on your personal ear profile. This can improve your listening quality by miles over basic earphones.

Longevity of product

One reason why the best headphones always cost more is their longevity. Most of the premium products, contrary to the basic ones, will last you for over five years at the very least — while budget ones are likely to develop audio, battery, fit and connectivity issues within about two years.

Comfort of usage

Finally, the premium headphones offer a fit and design that is more likely to fit you well, than budget earphones. The comfort of wearing the right pair of earphones, especially if you are a heavy user, could be a major factor in the long run. This makes it worth paying more for a product if you are to choose the right one for long-term usage.

On this note, here are the best headphones to buy in India right now.

Best headphones to buy in India

Sony WF-1000XM4Rs 19,990
Sony WH-1000XM4Rs 29,990
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700Rs 34,500
Shure Aonic 50Rs 23,500
Apple AirPods MaxRs 59,900
Bowers & Wilkins PI5Rs 26,000
Master & Dynamic MW07+Rs 24,999
Jabra Elite 85tRs 9,999
Apple AirPods ProRs 24,900
OnePlus Buds ProRs 9,990

Sony WF-1000XM4

The Sony WF-1000XM4 is pretty much the king of the hill among mainstream consumer headphones today. It charges a reasonable price for the flagship offering and comes with an incredibly well-packed offering. Its audio drivers have improved to offer 360 Reality spatial audio, as well as lossless digital upscaling. You also get advanced, adjustable noise cancellation, all of which comes in a far more compact body than its predecessor. The earbuds also look good and offer sufficiently good battery life to make it an all-round affair.

Buy: Amazon | Headphone Zone

-Excellent sound
-Great noise cancelling
-Superb feature set

-Can feel bulky

Sony WH-1000XM4

The Sony pair of flagship over-ear headphones has been at the top of the pile for a while and continues to be one of the best in India and across the world. While the key has to be all about audio performance, this one pretty much does it all. The audio quality and performance offer superb balance in terms of bass, mids and highs. The clarity is class-leading, and the headphones can stream lossless sound from the right sources, too. It looks suave and minimal and integrates touch control on one ear for better ease of usage. Its customisable noise cancellation is great, too, making it the near-perfect overall package for over-ear headphones.

Buy: Amazon | Headphone Zone

-Excellent sound quality
-Great feature set

-Not a lot of changes over the previous generation

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

The one big thing that really works in favour of the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 is its light build despite all the features on offer. While the audio quality has an added hint of bass, it’s the noise cancellation performance that you should buy this one for. You get 11 levels of noise cancellation, which in turn can be programmed through the app for you to customise. You also have its light build, which combines with the flexibility of noise cancellation to make it one of the easiest to use pair of flagship headphones in the market.

Buy: Amazon | Flipkart

-Superb noise cancellation
-Highly comfortable build

-Audio balance could have been better

Shure Aonic 50

The Shure Aonic 50 is hailed widely by audiophiles, offering a massive upgrade in terms of the drivers they offer, and the entire overall package. The 50mm drivers offer an excellent dynamic range of sound, producing impressive clarity, great depth of tone, and a very premium listening experience thanks to its build. The volume levels are amply loud, and you get all the necessary connectivity requirements for lossless, high-resolution playback. You also get reliable noise cancellation, making it one of the best pair of wireless headphones to use.

Buy: Amazon | Headphone Zone

-Great sound
-Excellent design
-Good battery life

-Control buttons are flimsy

Apple AirPods Max

The AirPods Max looks and feels every bit like the pair of headphones that Apple has taken tedious time to design. Thankfully, it sounds so too. It features Apple’s custom drivers, which deliver impressively clean sound with rich depth, and a warm tonality to it thanks to the added bass. It features the Apple H1 chip for seamless connectivity and has a host of sensors to offer features such as adaptive equaliser to suit playback quality depending on tracks, spatial audio with dynamic head tracking, and more. If you’re in the Apple ecosystem and need a new pair of headphones, this should be on your list.

Buy: Apple | Amazon

-Good sound
-Impressive spatial distribution

-Polarising design

Bowers & Wilkins PI5

Yet another one of the most premium ones, the Bowers & Wilkins PI5 is one of the most versatile true wireless earbuds in the market. Its drivers produce a very well-balanced sound signature through 9.2mm drivers, and you also get support for most connectivity standards to enable high resolution, lossless audio streaming. You also get a sophisticated noise cancellation control system and fast charging as well. There’s also wireless charging on offer and sensors that can detect when you take them off. The only factor – despite its premium offering, it lacks the novelty factor that many others in this segment bring.

Buy: Headphone Zone

-Good audio quality
-Great set of features

-Looks ordinary
-Too expensive

Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus

Master & Dynamic’s true wireless earbuds offer a super premium overall experience, going beyond just the sound. You get rich, detailed, clean and deep sound from its dynamic drivers, thereby making it highly recommendable. However, you also get it as a lifestyle purchase, complete with colours such as tortoise shell, and a rather uniquely shaped, stainless steel charging case that looks more like a miniature snuff box. What makes it worth owning is its novelty factor, which makes it feel like a premium lifestyle gadget – than just an audio product.

Buy: Amazon | The Audio Co

-Super premium design
-Great overall sound

-Audio performance comparable with lesser-priced alternatives

Jabra Elite 85t

The Jabra Elite 85t are one of the most versatile and underrated pairs of earphones in the market. With an excellent 12mm dynamic driver set that produces rich bass, clear mids and smooth highs, the Elite 85t are a perfect fit for a wide range of audio choices. Through the app, you also get access to a slider-based noise cancellation control, while both the fit and battery life are among the best in the industry, too. It has the advantage of offering one of the most value for money products in the premium category, giving users a flagship audio product without breaking the bank.

Buy: Amazon | Headphone Zone

-Great sound
-Good noise cancellation

-Works like any other in non-Apple devices

Apple AirPods Pro

One of the biggest strengths of the Apple AirPods Pro is its audio configuration, which uses an H1 ultra-wideband chip to power its connectivity. This gives it super seamless connectivity across all Apple devices. This means that if you use Apple products extensively, you can actively switch across multiple devices without a hassle. You also get a high dynamic range amplifier to increase the richness of sound, and one of the best noise cancellation performances in this market. Its range of charging options, including wireless charging through Apple’s MagSafe, is also a strong suit.

Buy: Apple | Amazon

-Seamless multi-device connectivity
-Great noise cancellation
-Versatile sound

-Others sound better
-Benefits limited to Apple users

OnePlus Buds Pro

The OnePlus Buds Pro are powered by 11mm dynamic drivers, and its key strength is rich clean bass. If you are a fan of powerful, clean bass lines, the Buds Pro are among the best earbuds in the industry that you can consider. It also has Audio ID – a software profile that lets the earbuds automatically customise their sound profile to your ears. The Warp Charge feature adds extra zing by providing 10-hours of playback in 10-minutes of charging time.

Buy: OnePlus | Amazon

-Excellent bass
-Custom audio profiles
-Super fast charging

-Sound balance could have been better