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Is There A Portable Amp That Can Make The K701's Shine?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
I'm wondering as the only amp I've been able to use to drive my 701's is the Pico (with the DAC out of the macbook & out of an Ipod classic, all lossless).

Thanks for the feedback guys!
post #2 of 31
The K701 are not a portable headphone.

Why not try a desktop amp?
post #3 of 31
have no problems driving my k701 with my iqube!
Sound is well balanced and clear!
post #4 of 31
The Mini3 is excellent. I like this little amp as well as any SS amp I have tried .... even the much more expensive Headamp GS-1. This little portable has tons of power for my 32 ohm Grados. The Mini3 is around $125 from Rockhopper new .... and these pop up frequently used. I dont think you can go wrong with this amp. Oh also, I would choose a gain of 5 vs a gain of 2 with the low sensitivity 701's.
post #5 of 31
Is There A Portable Amp That Can Make The K701's Shine?
post #6 of 31
Originally Posted by QQQ View Post
I kind of instinctively feel the same way.
My RSA Hornet *can* power my K701s - I've tried it - but can it make them "shine"? Hell no!

Is my experience with the RSA definitive? Almost certainly not but the K701s are to my ear at least, a very amplifier dependent headphone.

It seems to me that a lot of amps can power it but it takes a decent one to get the best out of the K701.
post #7 of 31
Originally Posted by hatethatgiraffe View Post
have no problems driving my k701 with my iqube!
Sound is well balanced and clear!
x2 100%. I am listening to this right now, as I type. My K701's are not fully broken in, but hey this sounds great. (OK, I'm listening to junky pop, sorry).

I agree with this poster and disagree with those who say you can't use a portable amp for the 701's. iQube is THAT amp.

I use my Predator to drive 880/600 ohms!! You believe that? No. But at the NJ meet people heard it and were stunned.

YMMV, but try it!

I am happy to admit I am not the best judge of SQ, but I can hear clarity, separation, transient response, and soundstage fine (I will fall short in recognizing freq response in the highs).
post #8 of 31
I agree that the iQube can drive the K701's (particularly in the high gain setting); however, it is not as good as when the K701 is driven by a good tube amp.
post #9 of 31
may want to pm Romanee. I believe he uses the 701 with his Portaphile and has no problem. I tried a pair with the Predator and had no problem. "Shine", I suppose, depends on the listener's ears.

O just checked the Headroom site and they too say that while these headphones need amplification when using mp3 players, even their entry level amp should do it. At least according to their site
post #10 of 31
I'm wondering which home amps you folks have heard with the K701s (except Earl, whose amp stash I know) in order to make the claims you do about the sq of the K701s with the portables recommended.

I have heard all of the amps mentioned so far, though not all with the K701s, and I simply can't imagine that any would allow these headphones to "shine" as you say. That doesn't mean they won't sound good to you, but I've found the 701s to be quite demanding of even home amps, so even though you might find something that pleases you, which is fine, it's probably far from ideal. You need to decide what you're looking for. I would personally never match a portable amp with the K701s unless it were a meantime solution at best.
post #11 of 31
is truly dependant on taste I suppose but to say that only a tube amp can drive them is opening a new can of worms!
Different sound signature for a start!
Is being happy with what you like not part of this journey?
I M not happy with the 701 through my predator but it is listenable!
It Iqube adds so much more to the equation and any suggestion that because of solely it's size that it cannot drive the 701 is tantamount to snobbery!
Of course we are all entitled to our opinion but have you paired the two to enable you to make such a bold statement?
post #12 of 31
My Corda 2Move kicks K701 alright!!
It's an option to take..
post #13 of 31
OP, this is a question tha has been asked in the past. Invariably you get two very distinct and opposing camps. On one side will be those who will tell you that there is no way the K701 can be amped w/ a portable amp. On the other side will be those who will say yes you can drive a K701 well w/ a portable amp.

I happen to believe you can indeed drive the K701 well w/ a portable amp. But at the end of the day you must make that call by trying various amps.

Of the current available amps I would say that the Mini3, MiniBox-E+, or the Portaphile will do a very good job. There are others used amps like the SR71 or the LaRocco PRII MkII which will also work well.

Make sure that the gain is set at least at 5 maybe higher. Good luck.
post #14 of 31
I found my iBasso D2 amp/DAC was reasonable at driving my old K701.

However it is completely incapable of driving my HD650s (which I've just sold). Horrible muddy low end, and no treble at all. The HD650 really do need a decent amp, and I seriously doubt any portable could do them justice.
So while the K701 didn't sound *stunning* out of my portable rig, there wasn't the huge performance drop you get with a can like the HD650. I could live with the K701 driven by the Boa. I could not bear the HD650 driven by the Boa.

I didn't find a huge difference between the K701 with the portable Boa, and the desktop Little Dot MkV I used to own. YMMV as some people would say
post #15 of 31
Excuse me please, but using a portable amp for the 701 implies, uh, moving around with the headphones on, right? You plan to do that in, um, public? Think of the public humiliation, man! On the other hand, those big earcups are handy for storing your house, land, car, while you walk around with them.
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