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AKG Q701 Review

post #1 of 228
Thread Starter 

A remix of the classic and controversial K701/2 phone with perhaps a few sound differences. I got these phones as a surprise birthday present from my folks. I panicked because I knew I had no possible way of amping this thing. Thankfully the next day my girlfriend purchased a Fiio E7 for me which gave me a good excuse to pick up the E9 as well. Armed with Q701/E7/E9 combo connected via USB to my MBP to Fidelia playing a mixture of FLAC, ALAC and 256 kbps iTunes Plus music. 

 

Appearance

 

IMG_7046.JPG

IMG_7023.JPGIMG_7042.jpgIMG_7025.jpg

 

They are very similar to the K702. Black matte finish and its black all around. Green stitching up top with the Quincy branding. New Quincy badge on the driver housing. Overall: Stealthy Sexy. 

 

Comfort

 

Sometimes I forget I have them on. Light but not too light and super well built. The "cushions" on the headband can get a little tight and hurt but you get used to positioning them accordingly. The clamping force of these are minimal and just enough to remind you it is there if you are moving your head.  The cushions are made out of velour which is made out the guts of this guy:

 

snugglejj7.jpg

 

Its seriously soft and fluffy. 

 

 

 

SOUND QUALITY

 

Okay this is the main story here. 


I have listened to literally every genre imaginable to put these phones to the test. Results? Here:

 

1) Classical, Jazz, Big Band, Live, Organic Recordings (?)

2) Not for heavily mixed things. 

 

Let me go into detail about the organic recordings part. These are seriously detailed phones. They pick up every single nuance that you throw at them. If you listen to Ke$ha on these you will hear why people call these clinical. The Q701 chops up every type of music and serves it on a silver platter, even when the music is best when thrown in your face. Grado is known for being "in your face" type of rock headphones. These are true monitoring headphones to listen on what is happening in the studio. Music like The Black Keys is fantastic on these due to their recording and mixing style. Which leads into the obvious: source well or go home. These will not live up to the price or their potential if you just stick em into your iPhone.These need amp'd, DAC'd if possible and at least iTunes Plus quality to do anything special.The bass is not what I could call anemic as some people said it would be. I find it to be welcoming and non-fatiguing. Yes, there are times when I wish there was more, but I can EQ ever so slightly to get a little push. The everything besides the bass is fine: smooth mids and amazing treble. Female vocals and male opera vocals are amazing. Supposedly, Quincy tweaked the mids and treble to his personal style but I cannot find any concrete evidence of this. 

 

Black Keys - Brothers 

Fast and interesting drums that don't crowd out that nasty guitar. 

 

Nat "King" Cole - L.O.V.E

Listening to this in FLAC might be my favorite thing about these phones. It's like he is right in front of you crooning away. The band is further back and to the sides of him but so clear and distinct. It's perfect. 

 

O Brother, Where Art Thou? - Down in the River to Pray

Song you can just close your eyes to and drift away in the choir. 

 

Hunt for Red October - Hymn to Red October 

This song has been one of my favorites since I was a little kid. Such energy and poise. Fantastic. 

 

Tron Legacy - Soundtrack / Derezzed 

I know I said super mixed things and techno sound overly dissected, but there are some songs that are so well done the become the exception. This album is full of exceptions. 

 

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy - Minnie the Moocher

This song was passed over a lot before I got these phones. The soundstage in particular is fantastic. 

 

Tom Petty - You Don't Know How It Feels 

This is where the bass shows up quietly but accurately.

 

John Williams/ Star Wars Episode I - Duel of Fates

Epic and electrifying. Fast moving and the choir is perfect. 

 

Santana - Oye Como Va

I believe the word holographic can apply here. Simply amazing sound. 


Edited by Hawkinsman07 - 3/28/11 at 12:22pm
post #2 of 228

I thought it was the green version, lol

 

Interesting review. Any plans to buy a full size amp? 

post #3 of 228

Congratulations on your new toys! As I understand the Q701 is very similiar to the k701. I highly recommend giving Fanfarlo's album Reservoir a listen on those cans. I feel their style of music really brings out the best in the k/q701

 

post #4 of 228
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by classakg View Post

I thought it was the green version, lol

 

Interesting review. Any plans to buy a full size amp? 


I'm thinking of picking up some Schiit this summer. Perhaps the Valhalla or Lyr. I can't wait for tubes!

 

post #5 of 228



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkinsman07 View Post

A remix of the classic and controversial K701/2 phone with perhaps a few sound differences.

 

Have you heard the K701's before?  Differences to the Q701?  There is suggestion in a few other threads that the Q701's have more bass than the K701, which was my main problem with that model.

 

I have Q701's on the way so I'm curious ...

 

post #6 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Brown View Post



 

 

Have you heard the K701's before?  Differences to the Q701?  There is suggestion in a few other threads that the Q701's have more bass than the K701, which was my main problem with that model.

 

I have Q701's on the way so I'm curious ...

 

 

I would have been inclined to just put the money on something like the WA6 in an effort to get the best from the K701, but it will be interesting to hear your impressions when they arrive.
 

 

post #7 of 228

Imo, most versatile cans in the market.  Bass light?  Maybe.  But a little +6db in the 32hz Itunes EQ took care of that.  Filled up the wide but "thin" sound they're known to have.  I've gone from HD650 > Edition 8's > LCD-2's and back to the the k701/702/Q701's.

post #8 of 228

Hey I'd like to have parents/girlfriend like yours.  Seriously, that's a nice present.

post #9 of 228
Same, Then saving up for a Fiio E9 wouldnt take forever.
post #10 of 228
Are the cups metal or plastic?
post #11 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by genclaymore View Post

Same, Then saving up for a Fiio E9 wouldnt take forever.


Friend, you have just made me count my blessings. I guess its all relative - good luck with your savings strategy and keep the faith.

 

post #12 of 228
Thread Starter 

 

I have not heard the K701/2 sound. That's why im interested in getting my hands on a pair and getting some A/B going. If I get the chance I'll jump on it.

post #13 of 228


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkinsman07 View Post

 

I have not heard the K701/2 sound. That's why im interested in getting my hands on a pair and getting some A/B going. If I get the chance I'll jump on it.

 

OK, you sort of implied that you had:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkinsman07 View Post

A remix of the classic and controversial K701/2 phone with perhaps a few sound differences.

post #14 of 228

I'll have an opportunity to compare K701, K702 and Q701 at a meet this weekend, mind you differences between the three if subtle might be as easily found between three of any one model.

 

I've spoken to someone who has contacts at AKG who insist the foam in the pads and the internal damping have been tweaked with the Q, they also say there are differences in the internal damping between 1 and 2 of the Ks.

 

Other people say they have spoken to AKG who say there are no differences, so obviously there's some problem with communications at AKG.

 

Will be interesting to hear for myself.

 

Oh and also, regarding the "full sized amp" - the E9 is a full-powered amp, supplying more power than the average desktop amp out there. As an ex-702 owner I can confirm it drives them with ease. For all its niggles and faults in essential sound quality it remains as good as any (much more expensive) amp I've heard.

post #15 of 228

EddieE- Please post what you hear between them all.  I am also the impression that the K701 is identical to the K702, but that the Q701 is quite probably different.

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post

 

I would have been inclined to just put the money on something like the WA6 in an effort to get the best from the K701, but it will be interesting to hear your impressions when they arrive.
  


 

smile_phones.gif

 

Every time I post my complaint about the K701 (K702) and their lack of bass response, their "treble emphasis", I get slammed that I might not have enough amp power to drive them properly.  Not true.  The Audio-gd Sparrow was designed with K701 listening tests, and the Aune I have, is even more powerful than the Sparrow.  ...  And the CKKIII is even more powerful that both of those.

 

That's why if it's indeed true that the latest K701 and the Q701 have more bass than older K701's, it wouldn't surprise me in the least, because the older K701's are so bass deficient, IMO.


Heck, practically every other AKG I've heard has more low end than the K701: K240M, K240DF, K240S/Mk II, K240 Sextett, K601, K501.  I've had them all at one point or another, and the K701 had the leanest low end of them all.  Well, the DF was close.  smile_phones.gif

 


Edited by Kevin Brown - 3/30/11 at 10:31am
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