Amkette headphones: Music to your ears

Written by Pranay Parab | Updated: May 8 2014, 12:47pm hrs
EarphoneAmkette continues its push into the budget audio segment with two new headphones
Over the past year, Indian brand Amkette has introduced a lot of products in the audio segment. The company, which is well-known for its computer peripherals and the excellent EvoTV, now sells Bluetooth speakers, wired and wireless headphones. Amkette prides itself on being able to provide good sound quality without straining your wallet too much. We used two of its audio productsFreespirit Rasta and Atom X-12for a month to find out if the company achieved its goal.

Freespirit Rasta

The Freespirit Rasta is an over-the-ear headphone with quirky colours and design. Its colours (red, yellow and green) seem inspired by the Rastafari movement, whose most popular follower from a music standpoint was Bob Marley. Going for this colour scheme means that it will appeal only to young peoplemostly school and college students.

More than the colour scheme, the design is something you might want to consider before buying. You cant wear this pair of headphones over the head. Youll have to wear it so that the green plastic handle passes ear-to-ear behind your head. I gave these headphones to a few people, and around half of them found this design uncomfortable. However, if you dont mind the quirky design, you will be able to wear these headphones for long hours as they are quite comfortable. The build quality is average. The plastic used in these headphones feels low quality and easily breakable.

I listened to various genres of music on the Freespirit Rasta. My iPhone 5s was my primary music player. While the sound quality was satisfactory, the noise isolation was not. When I used them on a bus ride to office, I had to crank up the volume to uncomfortably loud levels. At high volume, this pair of headphones suffer from severe distortion. I wouldnt recommend this product if you want to use it in noisy areas. Another issue was the lack of bass, but that did not bother me too much because I prefer rock music and Indian classical, neither of which rely heavily on bass. At lower volumes, the headphones performed fairly well, with good instrument separation and moderately wide soundstage.

Estimated street price: R1,995

X-12 Atom

The X-12 Atom are a pair of in-ear headphones with a flat cable that doesnt get tangled. It has a button that lets you take calls and switch tracks. When I used it with the iPhone 5s, I was able to receive calls but the microphone wasnt able to pick up my voice unless I kept it in front of my mouth.

The X-12 Atom comes with nine different tips, so you can choose whichever one feels most comfortable. The biflange tips were the best fit for me but I couldnt use them non-stop for more than a couple of hours. These earphones are very light and place virtually no strain on your ears. It doesnt come with a shirt clip, which would have helped a lot. While I was walking, the cable kept rubbing against my clothes and the noise harms the music experience.

This pair of headphones has good sound quality for the price. These have more bass than the Freespirit Rasta and instrument separation is also quite good. Noise isolation is also better in this one than the Rasta, but it still leaves a lot of room for improvement. There was no distortion at any volume and I found this pair very good for listening todays popular music.

Estimated street price: Rs 1,199