There are headphones, then there are headphones. You can cup some cans around your little lobes and enjoy so-so sounds, or you can enter an engrossing sonic journey before you battle your way to catch the next train at Dadar.
If you know someone inclined towards the latter, this collection of impeccable ear-feeders is certified to bring them audio delight this Christmas.
Note: not actually certified. But they're really darn good.
Bose QC35 (₹29,363)
Yes, they're a bit pricey. But, yes, they're also arguably the best in-flight cans money can buy: the noise cancelling tech is top notch.
Comfortable and sweet-sounding to boot, the Bluetooth-enabled QC35s also pack a battery good for 20 hours - which should more than cover any long-haul hop - whilst the built-in mic is crystal clear, so you can call your mates to tell them just how good your new 'phones are.
AKG K92 (₹5,399)
Proof that you don’t have to fork out a fortune for a pair of classy cans, AKG’s K92s punch well above their weight.
There’s no fancy Bluetooth or noise cancelling here - instead, if good old-fashioned sound quality is top of your wishlist (and you still require a 3.5mm headphone jack at the end of the cable), these gold-tinged AKGs are well worth an audition.
Beyerdynamic T1 Generation 2 (₹49,253)
If you’ve absolutely, positively got to have the best pair of headphones in the room, then these are the ones for you.
Beyerdynamic's T1 Generation 2s just claimed What Hi-Fi's headphone of the year award, and for good reason: they’re incredibly comfortable, the shielded textile braided cable is detachable and, yes, they sound absolutely phenomenal.
Of course, you’re going to need a top quality source and an amplifier to help them really shine - but any self-respecting audiophile’s already got that sorted, right?
Sony MDR-1000X (₹30,990)
Usurping Bose as the king of noise-cancelling cans is no mean feat, but Sony has pulled it off with these wireless wonders.
The MDR-1000Xs look discreet and sharp in their black, unshowy finish – although they also come in beige if you want something that stands out a little more.
Soundmagic E10C (₹2,999)
You could buy your loved one a pair of earphones for a tenner, but, if you really love them, you should stretch the budget to this fine pair.
Not only do they sound stellar for the price, they're also attached to a decent quality cable and come with a range of tips - so they'll sound sweet to every ear. Oh, and there's a three-button remote, too, for volume and music control.