Buying Guide

Best Headphone Setups for Audiophiles Under ₹50,000

In today's video, we're going to be looking at complete audiophile headphone setups for a budget of 50,000 rupees. In today's case, we're taking the budget and working backwards to fit all the components within the price bucket to give you the best-sounding setups for a budget of 50,000 rupees. In today's video, we have got 3 full-sized headphones and 3 IEMs that I think sound amazing and hopefully this video is going to help you pick the right one for you.


Hi guys this is Raghav here from headphone zone. So in today's video, we're looking at complete audiophile headphone setups for a budget of rupees 50,000. Very often on our videos, you'll find that when we're recommending a particular headphone or an IEM we also tell you to use it along with a DAC and Amp, a balanced cable, and all of these components add to the cost of the overall setup and you'll find that for a budget of 50,000 rupees. In today's video we're going to give you six different complete setups which includes headphones, IEMs, balanced cables, an amplifier, and the DAC - everything that you need for a complete setup and in these six setups you'll find that there are three which are centered around full-size headphones and three which includes IEMs - each of these setups sound very very good and we're going to tell you which is the right one for you.

Setup 1

All right guys so for my first setup this is the open-back HiFiMAN Edition XS it's a planar magnetic headphone. I'm imagining that you're going to be using this while sitting indoors, something that you could use for your desktop setup and as far as planar magnetic open-back headphones goes I don't think I can think of too many other headphones which in this segment can sound better than the HiFiMAN Edition XS. I truly believe that this is one of the best headphones that HiFiMAN has made and it's currently on promotion priced at rupees 33,999. Now even if I were to go to budget up to 50,000 rupees very often you'll find me coming back and recommending the Edition XS. It punches way above its price category which is why this had to feature in today's video. It's a phenomenal headphone. Now with the remaining budget, I'm gonna be going with the iFi Audio ZEN DAC V2 for my DAC and headphone amp of choice. It's priced at rupees 16,999 that brings the overall cost of the setup - the Edition XS and the ZEN DAC V2 to 50,999. I know it's slightly over the 50,000 rupee price point. I'm thinking that at this segment it's all right for me to take that liberty. Now the ZEN DAC V2 is a very very capable, very very powerful DAC and Amp. You find
that it has all the bells and whistles that you wanted to it. It sounds phenomenal and with the Edition XS. It's just got the right amount of power to bring out the best in these headphones. So it pairs really well the Edition XS and comes along with a standard 3.5mm and a quarter-inch adapter so you can use this into the unbalanced output of the ZEN DAC V2 and you're good to go. It's a simple plug-in-play operation. Now some of you will also notice that the ZEN DAC V2 that it comes along with the 4.4 mm balanced output and your HiFiMAN Edition XS can take advantage of that balanced output by simply swapping the standard cables that come along with it for a set of balanced cables. Now I'm not recommending that in this setup because one it goes over the budget of 50,000 rupees and two I think for the amount of money that you're spending you probably find that the difference is quite small in this particular headphone setup. I do think that this sounds perfectly nice on its own so I'm happy to recommend this pairing all by itself for a budget of 50,000 rupees.

Setup 2

All right my next setup for today is a little different. This is a full-sized closed-back headphone again featuring a HiFiMAN headphone. Now this is a very interesting setup so pay attention. My headphone of choice is the HiFiMAN Sundara close back. It's a full-size planar magnetic driver but unlike the previous setup this is a closed-back design so these are really meant for you to be used in noisy environments when you know you're maybe having people around you like in the office or even if you're someone who's commuting and want to be using these headphones on a plane or on a train, the Sundara closed back does the job and amongst the closed backs that we have, this is a really really nice one. I don't think I can think of any other closed-back that features planar magnetic drivers at this price segment so it's an easy recommendation. Now it's a little different from the HiFiMAN Sundaraʼs sound signature. Well, that's a very nice balanced, open, and airy sound signature. The closed back is a little bit warmer, a little bit more fun, it's really aimed at people who want to listen to music when they're on the go so I really really find this a fun offering but you'll find that because they're featuring planar magnetic drivers they sound very good as long as they get the right amount of power from the source so I'm going along with a very nice portable headphone amplifier and DAC. Something that can fit into the palm of your hand or at the back of your phone that you can carry with you everywhere because I'm imagining you taking these with you around or just sitting back in the sofa with an easy device in your hand that you can use to power it up. For rupees 7,999 the FiiO Q11 headphone amplifier and DAC. This is a superb device that FiiO just released a couple of weeks ago. You will find that it's quite compact but very very powerful it has its own inbuilt battery that you need to charge up and it gives you both an unbalanced as well as a balanced output with its 4.4 mm jack and I'm shocked the amount of power this device can give you for both. So we are going to completely take advantage of this 4.4mm balanced output that the Q11 gives you because I do believe that these planar magnetic drivers do benefit from that higher output power that this has and so we're going to use a balanced
cable that has a 4.4 mm connector. This one is one of our Headphone Zone balanced cables and it's priced at rupees 6,999. So it's a little bit pricey when you consider that this alone is for 6,999 but I do think that that additional investment is well worth it. The 4.4mm balanced output on the Q11 sounds amazing, we want to use that for the setup getting you up to a grand total of 51,997 for this complete setup - the headphone, the DAC and Amp, and the balance cable. Now for the price I do think it's a really nice portable setup that you can use indoors, that you can carry with you around and you find some very very capable setups almost rivaling any other full-sized open back headphone that you may have at home and for that reason, I think that this is a really nice setup to have at this point.

Setup 3

Now we've got another headphone with us, this is again a full-size closed-back headphone and features the Meze 99 Classics. Didn't we feature this headphone in our previous video at 40,000 rupees - yes we absolutely did but I've included again in my 50,000 rupees setup because we're gonna change the way that we're using the Meze 99 Classics. Now in all our videos until now where we've got a closed-back headphone that we're going to try and use on the go we're almost always pairing it along with some kind of a portable DAC and Amp that I'm asking you to plug into your mobile phone via USB or lightning and use your mobile phone to stream music or on the go and the DAC and Amp to drive these headphones but that's not how I use these Meze 99 Classics. What I don't like about using your mobile phone as your primary source is that for the rare opportunities that I get to sit back relax and listen to music just the way I like them, I don't want to be disturbed with email notifications, with Instagram notifications, with Facebook notifications all the time on my phone it just irritates the hell out of me so what I like to do is I like to use a device like this - this is a Hi-Res audio player from Sony the NW-A306 it's a fabulous device for 25,000 rupees and you'll find that it has all the Android functionality of any Hi-Res audio player and it allows you to stream music from Spotify and from Apple music in Hi-Res Lossless, you can use youtube, you can use whatever source you want and it's a dedicated device to store all your files and your streaming apps for you to listen to music and it has a very simple 3.5 mm output that I simply plugged my Meze 99 Classics into and now you will find that this is a complete portable setup as it gets no mobile phone, no laptop involved. The NW-A306 from Sony is my source it's inbuilt DAC is superb the inbuilt amplifier is powerful enough to drive the Meze 99 Classics it has all the features that you could possibly want we've made an in-depth video also talking about this that I recommend that you go and watch and now this setup is in my opinion one of the best portable setups somebody can get for 50,000 rupees especially if they want to cut out the mobile phone and you'll find both of them put together for just over 51,000 rupees a great portable setup.

Setup 4

Now for the next setup the IEM of choice and this was a very easy one is the
new Moondrop Blessing 3. This is brand new it's just been released which is one of the reasons why we've been holding up to shoot this video. The Moondrop Blessing 3 for 29,990 easily the best in-ear monitor in its class. You'll find that its predecessor the Moondrop Blessing 2 was also a very very popular IEM but the Blessing 3 is just better in every way. The build quality is better, it's got an additional dynamic driver, it's tuned to be a little bit more bassy, which was one of the things that people didn't like about the Blessing 2 it felt like the bass was a little lacking, The Blessing 3 is just the most complete IEM that you can get in this price segment. Now my DAC and Amp of choice is the very very popular Cayin RU6. This is priced at rupees 18,990 so you'll find that this is easily one of the best pairings for the Moondrop Blessing 3. The Cayin RU6 uses an R2R DAC which is a very very old-school DAC technology that you'd find people using in full-size speaker setups and headphone setups. R2R DACs are all the rage these days and Cayin uses that same technology and shrinks it down to an impossibly small size in the RU6. Now I do think that this combination of both the Blessing 3 and the RU6 works really really well because the balanced armature drivers that the Blessing 3 are using can sometimes sound a little sharp, can sound a little harsh and the sound of the RU6 complements that really well by cooling it off so. Itʼs just this combination works beautifully well the RU6 plugs into your mobile phone or your laptop via the USB cable you can even plug in a lightning adapter to use along with iOS devices, and the Moondrop Blessing 3 goes into the 3.5 mm output, and while now you're good to go bring you to a grand total of 48,980. Now you've got a little bit of money left what can you do with that money? Maybe get yourself a Tripowin as a balanced cable but honestly, you don't need it. The setup just sounds fabulous on its own.

Setup 5

All right for the next setup we have a different sounding IEM. This is the new Oriveti OH 500. Oriveti is another really really nice brand from China and the entire Chi-Fi scene making some superb high-quality IEMs. The OH 500 is I think one of the best Orivetiʼs from that entire lineup and therefore I wanted to use it in today's setup. It's got a very different sound from the Blessing 3. The Blessing 3 can sound really really sharp, accurate, very very detailed but the OH 500 is more laid back, more fun, more engaging, more energetic. So if you're the kind of person who doesn't want to sit up and take notice but prefer to lay back and enjoy the OH 500 would probably be my IEM of choice. It's priced at rupees 34,999 so you find that a good portion of the budget is going towards these IEMs and I think that they're really really well worth it. The driver configuration on this is a five-driver hybrid setup so you've got four balanced armature drivers and one dynamic driver. Now I'm going to be using this along with another portable DAC and Amp which is a really really nice tiny portable DAC and Amp from FiiO - this is the brand new FiiO KA5. It's one of the newest DACs from their lineup and it sounds really really nice. It's even got a really tiny display screen which I really like on this DAC and for the price I don't think that there are too many other DACs out there which sound better than this. It's
priced at only rupees 10,999. Now like a lot of the other DACs in the same segment, this also features a 4.4 mm balanced output and we're going to use that. Qe're going to take advantage of that it's just adds a lot for me to power and makes these IEMs sound good so for rupees 3690 you'll find that the Tripowin Petrichor is a really really nice hybrid cable that I'm going to recommend that you use along with this. It comes with the 4.4 mm termination that you can plug straight away into your FiiO KA5 and you've got MMCX connectors that sound really really nice along with the Oriveti OH 500 and you'll find that instantly you've got a super portable setup that you can use on the go getting you to a grand total of just under 50,000 rupees. I think for the price this is a very different-sounding setup but one that's equally fine.

Setup 6

Okay, my next portable setup of choice features a Bluetooth DAC and Amp something that can really free you from the wires needed to connect to a source device or a mobile phone. My favorite Bluetooth DAC & Amp is the FiO BTR7 so I thought we'd make this an all FiiO family party. One of the best IEMs from the entire FiiO lineup is the FiiO FH7S. It's a hybrid IEM again featuring five drivers - four balanced armatures and one Dynamic driver. One of the things I absolutely love about FiiO is just the attention to detail to put into all the accessories and the packaging of the products and the FH7S is one of the best from FiiOs the lineup and just gets so many accessories straight out of the box, but the one that I care about most is the 4.4mm balanced cable that comes with the box and that goes into my FiiO BTR7. Now you'll find that using the 4.4 mm balanced output on the BTR7 is an absolutely worthwhile effort especially if the balance cable is coming for free with your IEMs. Now the complete setup is just over 50,000 rupees but I truly believe that if you're someone who likes what FiiO offers - the synergy between both these products is incredible and it's portable, it's Bluetooth you don't have to have wires to connect it to your mobile phone and it gives you phenomenal value for money.


All right guys that's six different setups - three featuring headphones, three featuring IEMs - all with slight pros and cons and slightly different sound signatures. Hopefully, if you watch this video you can use the thumb rules that I've used to maybe put together your own setups or you can go with some of these which I really think sound excellent and work very very well together for a budget of rupees 50,000 rupees. So the next series of videos that we're going to be putting out are going to be featuring slightly higher price points and so the headphones and IEMs I'm gonna be picking are going to be a lot more nicer, a lot more premium and you'll find that they're going to also need corresponding DACs and Amps which are a lot more capable and so you'll find that these are going to be a lot more high-end and I hopefully think you will like watching those videos as well and if you'd like to try any of these setups, I'd welcome you to come down to our experience studio in Mumbai where we have all of these products to try out you can mix and match with different DACs,
Amps and Cables to really understand what difference they all make and if you're not around in the suburbs of Mumbai, you can catch us at any of the Headphone Connect events which are happening all across the country. Come and spend a day along with us where you'll have the chance to experience all of these products and with the right headphone Amp and DAC setups that are also available to pair along with them. I look forward to seeing you at any of them. Alright, guys see you next time.