buying audiophile headphones in India

Good sound depends on both the input source (MP3 Player) and the output source (Headphones or earbuds). Most audiophile sites will advise you to allocate a part of your budget to buy a good pair of earphones to replace the stock earbuds that come bundled free with an MP3 player. They even advise combinations that work depending on your input source.

I have found that this is true. Spending even a minimum amount on good earphones can truly deliver more listening pleasure. Unfortunately, we do not have too many options in India, even in a city like Mumbai, for buying audiophile quality headphones. Those who travel to Singapore, should visit Jaben Network at the Adelphi. This fascinating shop is tucked away in a corner of a mall devoted to music products and is worth a visit for the sheer joy of experiencing the best headphones and earphones in the world; you can try anything before you buy and the owners are happy to spend time helping you find what you want. I'm sure Jaben will also ship to India; they are a little too busy to respond to mails but you can make a phone call to place an order and transfer money through paypal to get your chosen headphones Fed-exed to your location.

So what are the options in India? I was pleasantly surprised to find a decent range of headphones at The IT Depot. They have a full range of Logitech Ultimate Ears headphones (I own the UE TripleFi 10, which are two years old but still the favorite of many audiophiles). Of course, not everyone would want to spend Rs. 20,000 + for earphones!

To get back to IT Depot, they also have a decent range of Beyerdynamic, Sennheiser and Audio Technica phones. I do hope that they are getting a good enough response and will continue to stock them.

Shure makes some fantastic earphones, especially the flagship SE530, which continues to get selective rave reviews, but it's hard to locate a seller. You can contact The Sun Goup, based in Delhi, who are listed on the Shure site as sole distributors in India, but they do not appear to sell online.

I will update this post as I find more stores, meanwhile, if anyone knows a few, please share!

Comments

  1. I am indeed shocked to learn that ear phones cost a bundle more than the players. It will be a tough decision to invest 20K on headphones; of course I concede that the choosy buyer is the best judge. I did experience a few minutes of thrill while listening with the headphone similar to yours and the experience is quite different.

    Will you please write about 'buyable' quality speakers as well?

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  2. Thanks for your comment. Next post on speakers is already up :)
    Yes, audiophile quality headphones do cost as much or more than players. But hey, some people buy the IPhone at Rs. 30000 and I hate to spend more than Rs. 10,000 on any cellphone! I do like to spend on good earphones though and you are right, it is a different experience.

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  3. Hi nisha..i ve been tryin to narrow down my search for a good set of iems to one of these..the klipsch image s4, senheiser cx400 precisionII, ue metrofi 220, head direct RE0...my budget at the moment is round about 4.5k...i do know that one day il own a set of the custom UEs..but thats not gonna happen anytime soon :) so have to do with wat i can afford. i was just wondering if u could gimme some insight into the aboe mentioned choices...i generally listen to rock, instrumental and a bit of trance. any help wud be greatly appreciated. thank you.

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  4. Hi Divyank, thanks for reading and commenting. First off, I do not own and have not tried any of the 'phones you're asking about, so this recco is based on my Head-fi readings :) and if you've shortlisted these IEMs, chances are you read it too! Out of the four, the Klipsch Image and the Head Direct are the best options IMO.
    Head Direct - They are dynamic driver phones (older technology compared to balanced armature) but the rave reviews at Head-Fi seem to indicate they are a safe bet.Check if the bass is enough for your rock music.
    Klipsch image S4 also gets good reviews for sound imaging but X5/X10 are what I would go for if I could stretch my budget.
    Good luck with your choice!

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  5. hey..thank you for the prompt reply..well stretchin the budget wud mean shelling out 8.5k for x5 or 10.5k for x10...if i really could spend so much i wud probably end up buyin tripplefi's for 14k...lol...but i guess its time for me to snapout of my dreamy state and hit reality..i guess ill have to settle for the re0's.

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  6. Btw...you're correct about the head-fi readings :)

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  7. That's a good choice. I am also pretty curious about the RE0. Incidentally, the Trips would have set you back by 18k :) I'm curious where you are buying the RE/ Klipsch image from?

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  8. http://www.lynx-india.com/index.php?categoryID=4151
    check the link....this guy has one of the largest collections around...at very competitive prices

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  9. Hey...i ve finally ordered the reo's and have ordered a fiio e5 amp to go alongwith it..will keep u posted on how it performs..thanks again.

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  10. thanks for the link and good luck with the 'phones and the Fiio! look forward to hearing your feedback!
    Nisha

    ReplyDelete

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