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8 hot mid-range headphones you can buy

8 hot mid-range headphones you can buy
Do you consider yourself an audiophile? Have you always ripped your music at the highest bit rate possible? Do you prefer listening to lossless FLAC files over the lossy MP3 format? Are you the person that your friends turn to for new music?

Do you spend a lot of money on a music player, but settle for cheap earphones and headphones? If you answered "Yes" to even one of these questions, you need to consider an upgrade.

Luckily, for you, we have tested some of the newest and best mid-range models that money can buy…

1. Sennheiser HD 518

March 21,2015
Sennheiser HD 518
Specs: Circum-aural | 14Hz­26kHz | 50ohms 

The HD 518 are a good pair of headphones for movie watching, and are capable of a theatre-like sound. Given that these come with a longer cable, an impedance of 50 ohms and 6.3mm audio jack, you can also use them with your home audio systems for personalized audio listening. 

On the flip side, the higher impedance also means that these cans will not sound as loud when used with low-powered MP3 players and smartphones.

In the box: 3m detachable cable; 3.5mm converter.

Price: Rs 10,000

(Buy now @

2. Plantronics BackBeat Pro

March 21,2015
Plantronics BackBeat Pro
Specs: Circum-aural | Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) | Bluetooth | 20Hz­20kHz | 32ohms | li-ion battery

The BackBeat Pro’s ANC drowns out external sounds in crowded environs, so you can still hear your music at a low volume. What you also get is Bluetooth and Near Field Communication (NFC) for wireless pairing, a built-in mic for hands free calls, and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that powers it for up to 24 hours on a full charge.

On the right ear cup, the headset carries controls for volume and to answer calls when it’s paired with your phone. While on the left ear cup, it has a toggle to change tracks as well as a play/pause button.

Additionally, it automatically pauses your music when you take it off our ears. Wear it again, and playback resumes. Now while wire-free phone calls work well in silent environs, the sound quality transmitted from its microphone seems patchy. But use it with its included cable and call quality improves considerably.

Most importantly, it is capable of surprisingly good audio reproduction with thumping bass, clear mid-tones and highs, making it an all-round headset that looks as good as it sounds.

In the box: Detachable cable with mic; USB charging cable; carry pouch

Price: Rs 14,990

(Buy now @

3. Sennheiser HD 598

March 21,2015
Sennheiser HD 598
Specs: Circum-aural | 12Hz­38kHz | 50ohms

You would think the HD 518 sound great for movie watching, till you try out the HD 598.

These headphones -- ­arguably the best for home listening in this price range ­-- are capable of an even cleaner sound with a deep bass, crystal-clear mid-range, and good highs.

Also, since these headphones ­-- like its sibling the HD 518 -­- do not come with a foldable design or a carry case, they are not exactly travel friendly. That said, the HD 598 is a premium headset that come with velour ear cups that are comfortable to wear over long periods.

In the box: 3m detachable cable; 3.5mm converter.

Price: Rs 18,990

(Buy now @


March 21,2015
Specs: Circum-aural | 10Hz­27kHz | 32ohms

The K167 ­-- designed in collaboration with DJ Tiesto ­-- is an out-and-out ‘mix-master’ headphone that ­comes with an attached 1.2m coiled cable, stretchable up to 5.5m, and rotating cups for single-ear use. Its lower impendence than the Sennheisers mean that they can’t be used with as wide a range of audio equipment, but they will still work superbly to spin tables, and equally well with MP3 players and smartphones. 

What you also get is a sturdy metal headband, a glass fibre-polymer body, and a 3D-axis folding mechanism that makes them travel friendly. The soundscape may not be as nuanced as the HD 598, but it still packs in the right amount of bass and mid-level punch to qualify for audiophile grade.

In the box: 6.3mm converter

Price: Rs 16,813


March 21,2015
Specs: Supra-aural| 5Hz­30kHz | 28.5ohms

The V-Moda XS is a compact, foldable headset -­- complete with a metal headband and a Kevlar-reinforced detachable cable -­ that’s built to pass MIL-810G military-grade standards.

What you get are a durable pair of phones that can withstand more than a few drops, and a cable than can take more than its fair share of bends. But that’s not all. These deceptively-small earmuffs are capable of big sound, complete with rumbling lows, clear mid-tones and distinct highs. 

Additionally, an inline microphone also lets you take handsfree calls when connected to your handset. If you’re looking for an ultra-portable headphone that promises audio-fidelity , put your money on the V-Moda XS.

The V-Moda XS was sent to TOI by

In the box: Detachable single-button cable with mic; hard carry case with carabiner.

Price: Rs 14,990

(Buy now @

6. JBL Synchros S300A

March 21,2015
JBL Synchros S300A
Specs: Supra-aural | 10Hz­22kHz | 32ohms

The Synchros S300a is a good set that’s capable of warm, clear sound. Its only problem is that the V-Moda XS does it slightly better. Still, these are perfect if you’re looking for foldable audiophile headphones ­-- with a bendable metal headband ­-- that also allow for hands-free calls.

The mic on the S300a’s cable is closer to the mouth when worn and therefore allows for better voice calls. Also, the S300a, comes with volume control on its cable for when connected to your smartphone.

In the box: Detachable 3-button cable with mic; carry case

Price: Rs 12,990

(Buy now @

7. Audio Technica ATH-M50X

March 21,2015
Audio Technica ATH-M50X
Specs: Circum-aural | 15Hz­28kHz | 38ohms

Whatever the K167 Tiesto does, the ATH-M50x does better. The sound from these over-the-ear DJ cans is nuanced and boasts of a rumbling bass, sharp mids, and clearer highs. In fact, these headphones even work well for acoustic instrument sounds.

Like the K167, this sturdily-built model comes with a metal band, and swivelling ear cups. What you also get in the box is a 3m coiled and a 3m straight detachable cable for studio use; a shorter 1.2m line for portable playback, as well as a 6.3mm audio converter for consoles and hi-fi systems.

In the box: 3m coiled cable; 3m straight cable; 1.2m portable cable; 6.3mm converter; carry pouch 

Price: Rs 13,499

(Buy now @

8. Bose SoundTrue

March 21,2015
Bose SoundTrue
Specs: Choice between supra- or circum-aural | frequency response not disclosed | 32ohms 

Bose is finicky about disclosing the frequency response of its products, but what you get here is an extremely lightweight, durable pair that delivers audio-fidelity on a par with some of the best devices in this review. 

That is, only if you use it with media players and Apple iPhones. When we tried the SoundTrue with Android handsets, we either got extremely soft playback, or an accompanying echo that made it seem like our music was being played in a cavernous hall. But use it with an iPhone, and it ticks all the right boxes when it comes to audio-quality.

In the box: Detachable 3-button cable with mic; carry case

Price: Rs 13,388

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