Best Headphone Setups for Audiophiles Under ₹10,000
Now you'll find that in a lot of our videos, we talk about headphones and IEMs, and quite often, we tell you that this sounds nice when paired along with such and such headphone amplifier and DAC and a balanced cable, but all of these add to the components and the costs of your complete audiophile-grade headphone setup. So we're going to pick a budget and work backwards from there and see if we can recommend a complete setup with all the components within that budget, and in today's video, we're talking about the best complete audiophile-grade headphone setups for under rupees 10,000. So that's a pretty tight budget, but we've got five incredible sounding setups - DAC, Amps, headphones or IEMs included for under 10,000 rupees.
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So in today's video we're going to be talking about complete headphone setups for a given budget. Now you'll find that a lot of our videos, we talk about those amazing headphones and IEMs and very often we tell you that this sounds really really nice when paired along with such and such headphone amplifier and DAC and a balanced cable but all of these add to the components and the costs of your complete audiophile grade headphone setup. So we're going to pick a budget and work backwards from there and see if we can make a recommendation of a complete setup with all the components within that budget and in today's video we're talking about the best complete audiophile grade headphone setups for under rupees 10,000. So that's a pretty tight budget but we've got five incredible sounding setups - DAC, Amps, headphones or your IEMs included for under 10,000 rupees that I want to share with you.
All right guys our first setup today is an IEM and a dongle DAC from FiiO. FiiO for those of you are familiar is a highly respected brand from China in the audiophile community. They make some incredible DACs, Amps, Hi-Res Audio Players and has a great range of In-Ear Monitors across all price buckets and categories. What I have with me is a relatively inexpensive IEM - the FD1 from FiiO. This is a single dynamic driver IEM and it costs just under 5,000 rupees - 4,999 to be precise. So I've taken about half my budget and I've put it on a great sounding IEM like this. Now to pair along with it I'm taking the other half of my budget and going for a FiiO dongle DAC which is for 4,799. This is the KA1 - it has a simple 3.5 mm output that I can plug my FD1 to and you'll find that this comes in two variants one for Android with USB-C and a very similar variant but with a lightning cable specifically for iOS devices and for grand total of 9,798 rupees we have a complete IEM system which is an IEM plus a dongle DAC and Amp that you can use along with Android and iOS and it sounds wonderful. Some of you may say hey Raghav the FiiO FD1 is a little warm and a little laid back for me and I want something a little bit more exciting and you'll find for an additional 500 rupees which is for 5499 rupees FiiO also has the FiiO FH1 which is a hybrid IEM it's got a dynamic driver for the base and a balanced armature for the treble so it sounds a lot more fun and engaging but because it goes just slightly over the 10,000 rupee budget I'm sticking to the FD1 and the KA1 as my go-to headphone setup for under 10,000 rupees from FiiO.
All right the second setup is also an IEM with a dongle DAC but this is very very different and quite frankly this is one of my favourite setups. So I really want to explain to you why I like this one so much. The IEM that I'm going for is for 5,999 so a little over 60% of my budget is going towards this and it's because it's one of those IEMs that I really really like. This is the final VR 3000. Final Audio is a brand from Japan known for making some incredible IEMs and the VR 3000 is a relatively inexpensive IEM from their lineup made keeping in mind specifically the need of Gamers and people who are Virtual Reality enthusiasts. This is the VR 3000, now it's an incredible sounding IEM so you'll really find that there's really no secrets to making a gaming IEM or a Virtual Reality IEM but the reason that the VR 3000 really appeals to Gamers and to people who are into virtual reality is because it's got an incredibly wide Sound Stage. Now what they don't know is that us audiophiles also really really like a wide Sound Stage, it helps you separate out the instruments and hear a lot of different layers in the music and it helps you visualise the instruments in front of you very very clearly and that's why I really like the VR 3000. It also happens to be in my opinion one of the most comfortable and best fitting IEMs for my years at least, it virtually fits like a glove so I really like it for that reason and all things considered I would take 60% of my budget and spend it on this IEM without blinking an eye. So now I'm left with about 4000 rupees out of this build and I'm gonna take that and I'm gonna use it for getting the Shanling UA1S dongle DAC. This is a very simple dongle DAC, you'll find that it comes with a detachable cable it's got a 3.5 mm output that I'm plugging my VR 3000 into and the detachable cable allows you to use a USB-C cable which comes in the box along with any Android phone that you may have or your laptop and if you want you can get yourself a USB-C to Lightning cable as well to plug this into your iOS device and for just over 10,000, we're talking 10,298 rupees I have a complete IEM setup. IEM + dongle DAC and Amp which I think sounds incredible. It's a simple plug-and-play to your phone and you'll find that the Sound Stage alone on this makes it one of my favourite setups at this price bucket.
All right guys my third setup today is a little interesting. I'm going with a Tripowin Zonnie, which is a beautiful balanced cable. It comes in two variants - the copper as well as the Silver. I have with me the copper one right now. It looks really nice, sounds really nice and full bodied and warm and it's a 2.5 mm termination on this balance cable which goes not in the 3.5 mm output but the 2.5 mm output on the Astell&Kern XB10. This allows me to use the DACs balanced output on the Astell&Kern XB10 and that's giving this output by the 2.5 mm port and the balance cable takes advantage of that. So we've got 2,999 that we've set aside for the Astell&Kern XB10. 1,799 that we've set aside for the Tripowin Zonnie and now with the remaining amount I'm trying to figure out what's the best IEM to go along with this pairing. I pick the CCA PLA 13. It costs rupees 3,999 and that's 40 of my budget which I think is a reasonable amount you'll also find that it's a planar magnetic IEM so it really benefits from the balanced output, the balance cable and it sounds so much nicer with a nice DAC and Amp. I would highly recommend it to complete the setup for 8,788.
All right my fourth setup and this one's getting a little bit more interesting now the question is what if you take 75% off your budget - so on a 10,000 rupee complete setup that's 7,500 rupees and what if we take that on just getting a really really nice sounding IEM. Well the IEM that I would go for is this the Moondrop Aria for 7,400. This is a phenomenal IEM, it sounds absolutely fantastic but you're left with a relatively tight budget for the DAC and Amp. So we're going to go along with the Astell&Kern XB10 again only because this is the most budget-friendly DAC and Amp you're gonna get for 2,999. So for a grand total of 10,398 you now have a complete audiophile IEM setup - the Moondrop Aria as well as the Astell&Kern XB10 as your source. Now here's the problem I genuinely think that while you could do this and it's quite close to the 10,000 rupee budget I think the Moondrop Aria deserves a much better DAC and Amp. Will it work, will it sound nice with the Astell&Kern XB10, of course the Moondrop Aria is a phenomenal IEM but getting the Moondrop Aria also means that you want to be able to make the most out of it so I would say maybe getting yourself a better DAC and Amp should be on the cards at some point of time in your journey.
Alright guys my first setup for the day is a full-sized headphone along with a DAC and Amp for under 10,000 rupees. This one's incredible and therefore I thought I have to include it as my fifth and in my opinion one of the most special setups for under 10,000 rupees. Now this is the Venture Electronics Supernova - it's a full-size professional grade headphone and it's for only 4,199 and this is the Venture Electronics Megatron DAC and Headphone Amp - it's for 5,999 and it's a super powerful portable DAC that has a 4.4 mm, 2.5 mm and a 3.5 mm unbalanced output and it's capable of driving most full-size headphones effortlessly put together both of these from Venture electronics are a phenomenal combination that sound really really nice the Megatron was specifically made for hard to drive headphones and IEMs. This is not meant to be used along with an easy to drive sensitive IEM it doesn't sound nice but with hard to drive full sized headphones like the Supernova this pairing is one that's been made in heaven. The Megatron doesn't have an inbuilt battery so you'll find it works pretty much like a dongle DAC. You plug it into your phone or your laptop via USB-C or lightning and it works right off the bat. You plug in your headphones to the front so I'm using a 3.5 mm cable with the Supernova and it's able to power It up effortlessly and for a grand total of 10,198 which is just a little bit over the budget of 10,000 rupees you have in my opinion a phenomenal sounding complete audiophile grade headphone setup with headphone DAC and Amp included that just has to be plugged into your smartphone and you are good to go. Have to recommend this setup - it sounds phenomenal for the price to my ears. I think this is the first entry level headphone setup that I have to say sounds very very good and I'm happy to recommend to anyone who's looking for an audiophile grade setup.
All right guys here were five setups - four IEM based setups and one headphone based setup all of which are for under 10,000 rupees. These are complete audiophile grade headphone system with DAC, Amps and headphone or IEM included in the case of one we've even included a balanced cable to go along with it. And the entire setup put together sounds very very nice now needless to say you'll find at this price bucket the IEMs are going to give you great value for money you won't find too many headphone setups at this price point giving you great value for money. The only exception being this Venture Electronics combination but I don't think you can go wrong with all five setups. There are only some pairings which I think are a little bit more logical than others from a budget point of view but all five setups sound great and I think as long as you use this as a rule of thumb you'll be able to build your own setups for a budget of 10,000 rupees as a starting point and I hope you found this video useful thank you very much.