Wireless Headphones Now Affordable: What Are Indians Buying?
It supports atmospheric pressure optimisation
It supports atmospheric pressure optimisation(Photo: The Quint)

Wireless Headphones Now Affordable: What Are Indians Buying?

In 2018, buying wireless headphones or earphones is not a costly affair. Mind you, there’s still a stark difference in quality depending on how much you spend on these, but there are plenty of options out there.

Indians are mostly seen as picky and price-conscious buyers, even in the audio segment. Has that narrative changed over the years? What are Indian consumers buying and how much are they willing to pay for it?

We spoke to one of the leading headphone sellers in the country to find out if the Indian market is music to their ears.

Why Wireless?

Convenience has taken over our lives in this digital age. Almost everything that we do on a day-to-day basis, revolves around devices like smartphones or laptops. This, according to Raghav Somani, Founder and CEO of Headphonezone has catapulted the demand for wireless audio gear.

Today, most people are looking for a headphone to use on the go. They need something that can connect to all smart devices like laptops, smartphones, etc. Wireless headphones meet these needs by offering unmatched convenience.
Raghav Somani, Founder and CEO, Headphonezone
Also, don’t forget, phone makers (ever since the Apple iPhone 7) are now ditching the 3.5 mm headphone jack.
The Huawei P20 Pro does not come with a 3.5-mm audio jack. 
The Huawei P20 Pro does not come with a 3.5-mm audio jack. 
(Photo: The Quint)

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(Photo: Canva/The Quint)

So much so that some brands make it a point to mention that their phones still carry an audio jack.

Headphones and earphones under Rs. 2,000 are the top-selling segment. Young tech-friendly consumers prefer premium wireless audio devices. 
Skullcandy Hesh 2 Wireless headphone.
Skullcandy Hesh 2 Wireless headphone.
(Photo: The Quint)

Also Read : Earphones: Metro Commuters’ New Best Friend?

But does the demand carry its weight in quality. Are people buying the good stuff or still falling into the trap of buying whatever is affordable. Raghav feels that all kinds of buyers are there right now, but the majority of them still prefer the budget-friendly stuff, which offers acceptable audio quality.

Having said that, they have seen the audiophile community slowly making their presence felt. This is the bunch that prioritises sound quality and fidelity over everything else. Raghav expects this segment to grow further in the coming years, with many now open to spending over Rs 10,000 for audio accessories.

And finally, you have the main userbase, termed as casual listeners who are buying for the first-time, still playing safe by going for wired products in the Rs 2,000-3,000 bracket.

The In-Thing

You might have noticed various brands coming out with neckband wireless earphones with support for voice calling. As it turns out, they are the in-thing right now, with many consumers preferring it over the conventional over-the-ear headphones. But why?

Jaybird X2.
Jaybird X2.
(Photo: The Quint)
Neckband style In-ear Headphones offer a lightweight and portable device that can be carried everywhere. Along with portability, these wireless earphones offer great sound and decent battery life and work with all smartphones and gadgets quite well.
Raghav Somani, Founder and CEO, Headphonezone
Mivi Collar is an affordable, but reliable wireless earplug?
Mivi Collar is an affordable, but reliable wireless earplug?
(Photo: The Quint)

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You’ve got Sony, Bose, Sennheiser, JBL along with lesser-known brands like RHA, V-MODA in this segment
(Photo: Canva/The Quint)

And what’s caught the fancy of buyers with these kind of earphones?

They are especially popular with people who work out, are into sports or need something for their daily commute.
Raghav Somani, Founder and CEO, Headphonezone

Our experience with earphones of this kind has been a mixed bag. While the high-end (Rs 11,000 and above) managed to offer good audio quality with ruggedness, the affordable ones fall short of what’s expected.

But expect them to get better with time, which means more people will look at buying them.

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