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AKG Q701 disappointing? Help on deciding please - Page 2

post #16 of 32

I'm gonna chime off differently as opposed to popular opinion.

 

First off, the guy selling you the stuff was probably not a headphone lover and probably had no idea what needs to be done with a K70X series can.

Second, the K70X series does benefit from good amping, but much of that is severely exaggerated. To prove it, I am listening to my K701 right now straight out of my M11x's headphone out. It sounds awesome. And nobody here can tell me otherwise.

 

The real reason I am betting you are disappointed is, barring the MacBook Pro having a lousy HP out (which I am not discounting since Macs suck, har har! *peace), the K70X series has a severely drastically different sound from the Triport series. The Triport AE, which you had, is an awesome (if much maligned headphone here on HeadFi) can with a very thick and fun, groovy sound. Not quite as bass heavy as the Triport OE but it's not an analytical sound by far. The K70X series on the other hand is all about separation and soundstage, and it does sound a bit lean compared to the Triports. With the lesser sensitivity, it also doesn't sound as loud at the same settings, so that alone might already be causing you the impression of it sounding empty.

 

And lastly, the distortions -- not sure if you really are hearing distortions, or are just hearing imperfections in the recordings. The Triports are very forgiving of tracks and smooth over the ugliness of your music. The K70X series does no such thing and displays everything for you to see. I doubt you are getting distortions. I have never heard my K701 distort no matter what I drove them out of, even an iPod gave me good, clean sound.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thejoker69 View Post

Hey, thanks for your reply man

 

I was browsing the forum and yes, I realised I needed more equipment.

 

But what I expecting in terms of results was:

 

average headphones + macbook pro = decent results

great headphones + macbook pro = good results

great headphones + amp = incredible results

 

What I seem to be getting on the other hand is 

 

 

 

 

 

 

average headphones + macbook pro = decent results

great headphones + macbook pro = weird / bad results

great headphones + amp = hopefully incredible results???

 

 

Am I right or are my ears just not used to this kind of audio? :(



 

post #17 of 32

Either you take a gamble or you start with a cheaper yet quality set up to find your ultimate headphone. 

 

If you do dive straight into K70x-audio expect nothing. 

post #18 of 32

I am sitting here now, with the AKG Q701, paired with the newly received(like, half an hour ago) FiiO E9/E7 combo. I have been using the headphones plugged straight into the headphone out on my laptop for a good one and a half month now, waiting for the incredibly slow process that is the combined efforts of the Hong Kong post and the norwegian post actually trying to mail stuff to people.

 

Anyway, this is something completely different. It sounds almost like a different headphone. Now, even more of the details in the music pop out and I hear no more distortion. There is so much more power behind the sound now, and it sounds great. An absolutely recommended purchase!

post #19 of 32

average headphones + macbook pro = decent results

great headphones + macbook pro = good results

great headphones + amp = incredible results

 

I should point out that this ( the middle statement, at least) is totally untrue. Audio isn't math - well, nor is a lot of other things.

For example, if you give an inexperienced driver an F1 car, will they drive better than someone who has a licence in a road car? No, they'll probably crash.


 

post #20 of 32

Also...

 

The AKG K/Q 70x needs significant burn-in time before it'll sound anything like it's final self.  Out of the box, without an external amp I'm not at all surprised that you were disappointed.  I certainly would have been when I bought mine had I not known what to expect: They sound completely lifeless with no bass at all, a muddy midrange, and completely lacking in treble extension.  The soundtsage is flat and narrow.  After 150-200 hours of playing time, an unamped listening session will give you a clue as to what the cans might be capable of if feed with decent power, so you'll start to see the light.  Then when you add a good external amp and another 50-100 hours of burn-in: Alles klar!

post #21 of 32
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the answers guys, you really helped me out understanding the issue.

 

My only actual concern left is some "cracking" noise I hear while listening to a few FLAC tracks that I have. I don't hear those same noises on the same song every time so I am starting to fear these headphones might have issues unrelated to the model itself...

 

Or is this one also a known issue? Volume doesn't make a difference, even at low volume I sometimes hear this cracking/distortion kinda thing randomly

post #22 of 32

If it's just some cracking in certain parts of certain songs, then congratulations, you have come to the secret realization that 80% of all music mixing is done horribly. ;)

 

As for your experience with the Q701s, it was an honest mistake, but you only purchased probably the pickiest high-end headphone that you could. The K701 series are notorious for their fickle nature, and their absolute need for a quality amplifier and perhaps even in addition a good quality DAC before they can be heard as they are meant to be. The equation that you offered up is one that would hold for about 90% of the headphones as you scale, but it just so happens that unfortunately the K701s had to be the exception in that regard.

 

For me, listening to the K701s from a weak source like from an iPod versus listening it from my setup is a complete night and day difference. I switch back and forth again on occasion just to make sure I wasn't mistaken the first time, but it's always the same result. None of the other headphones I own have yet to display such disparity between different setups as these do.

 

In short, congrats on your purchase, but it's completely understandable that you are feeling underwhelmed by them, as that is how they were made to be.

post #23 of 32
Thread Starter 

It is in certain parts of the songs BUT it's not ALWAYS the same part. Meaning that if I play the same file over and over the same part won't necessarily have that cracking/distortion issue, which is why I was concerned about the headphones (or the cable?) being the problem.

 

But yes, I realise now that I will need a DAC + Amp and I am seriously considering the Lyr.

 

Being completely ignorant on that too - do I have to turn it on and off diligently to avoid consuming it earlier?

Also, how hot does this thing run? Can it peacefully sit on my desk next to the laptop?

 

 

Thanks so much folks!

post #24 of 32

Quote:

Originally Posted by DaBomb77766 View Post

I think you should get a relatively inexpensive dac/amp combo and see how you like it with that.  Not much point on spending tons of money on an amp for a pair of headphones you might not even like amped.  I tried the K701 with a nice amp once, and I honestly didn't like the way they sounded much at all.

 

I'd recommend the E7/E9 combo, it's ~$200 and comes with a portable amp too, so it's a pretty good deal.  You should contact the store and see if they accept returns though.  They really should, since I honestly think the salesperson was a bit deceptive with marketing...he shouldn't have sold you these headphones without an amp.

I have to agree with you. The E7/E9 combo is a great deal to me, but some negative results from people with different ranges of headphones caused me to steer more into the direction of the HUD-MX1. I love the fact that the E7 is portable but it's too bad joker69's Q701s are not :( They are indeed full sized audiophile headphones, sadly, not meant to be used portably. 

  

post #25 of 32

Don't expect to be wow'ed with any headphone purchases. Expect different sound signatures and improvements if upgrading but if you expect too much, you will be too disappointed to notice the difference of the sound quality. The AKG's are a love it or hate it kind of headphone. Especially if you are coming from a bose around ears you will notice a lack in bass. The AKG's are all about the detail and treble with accurate but admittedly low impact bass (unless you have a very powerful amp that exaggerates bass like I do).

post #26 of 32
Thread Starter 

So guys,

let me thank you all once again for all the useful info you passed,

it has really helped out clearing my thoughts a bit.

 

After thinking and browsing many threads here and elsewhere, I am still wondering if anyone could tell me how good or bad

the Apogee Duet 2 would really be with the Q701.

 

The reasons i insist is that I also want an audio interface to record music, and I am being told the Duet 2

is awesome at that. And that at the same time, for audio listening they the DAC is spectacular

 

So if I went for the Duet 2 I'd have to buy one piece of hardware for both headphones listening and audio recording,

which would mean less stuff on my desk and possibly more money in my wallet.

 

If I would still hear significant improvements for my Q701 headphones I think it would be wise to go for this one,

rather than go for the Lyr from Schitt and then look around for an audio interface.

 

What do you guys think? Is the Duet 2 really not powerful/good enough to drive the Q701?

 

Also, if that's the case they should really be ashamed of themselves, since on their website

they have an image of the duet with a pair of Q701!!!

 

site: http://www.apogeedigital.com/products/duet2.php

image: http://www.apogeedigital.com/images/duet2-gallery-5.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

post #27 of 32

Just over a month on from your last post, hoping that you've found something to compliment the headphones, and if so curious as to what you committed to... :)

I have the Q701s, and like yourself, was surprised as to how weak they were when I first plugged them into my laptop (was expecting soft, but not that bad!). I had ordered a headphone amp/dac combo at the same time as the q701 purchase, but for some reason it arrived a fortnight later than the headphones. In the interim I powered them through a relatively low end Pioneer surround sound receiver via headphone jack, the sound was acceptable. From first using them on the receiver to 25hours in I felt I could hear a discernible difference (whether that's burn-in or my brains perception, go bicker in another forum =P ). Overall the receiver put out ample volume, the highs were clear and the lows were satisfactory (they were present, but not impressive), but I knew they had much more to give.


Finally, my Nuforce Icon HD was good to go. I was blown away at the difference! The bass was suddenly stronger, deeper and sharper. The mids felt warmer and almost more uplifting (for lack of a better term?!) and the highs became clearer and far more impressive. I assume the improvement mainly came from the better DAC on the Icon HD than the sound-card on my laptop, but the Icon is never pushed past twelve o'clock, where as I had the receiver almost at max. So the setup involves wav files via Exact Audio Copy > Foobar2000 > Nuforce Impulse usb cable > Icon HD > Akg Q701's > my fat head! :) I'm sitting pretty at 50 hours and they sound awesome, we'll see what happens from here...

All the best in your pursuit to get the Q701s going, let us know how you go! :)

 

post #28 of 32

Quote:

Originally Posted by Falcao12 View Post

Just over a month on from your last post, hoping that you've found something to compliment the headphones, and if so curious as to what you committed to... :)

I have the Q701s, and like yourself, was surprised as to how weak they were when I first plugged them into my laptop (was expecting soft, but not that bad!). I had ordered a headphone amp/dac combo at the same time as the q701 purchase, but for some reason it arrived a fortnight later than the headphones. In the interim I powered them through a relatively low end Pioneer surround sound receiver via headphone jack, the sound was acceptable. From first using them on the receiver to 25hours in I felt I could hear a discernible difference (whether that's burn-in or my brains perception, go bicker in another forum =P ). Overall the receiver put out ample volume, the highs were clear and the lows were satisfactory (they were present, but not impressive), but I knew they had much more to give.


Finally, my Nuforce Icon HD was good to go. I was blown away at the difference! The bass was suddenly stronger, deeper and sharper. The mids felt warmer and almost more uplifting (for lack of a better term?!) and the highs became clearer and far more impressive. I assume the improvement mainly came from the better DAC on the Icon HD than the sound-card on my laptop, but the Icon is never pushed past twelve o'clock, where as I had the receiver almost at max. So the setup involves wav files via Exact Audio Copy > Foobar2000 > Nuforce Impulse usb cable > Icon HD > Akg Q701's > my fat head! :) I'm sitting pretty at 50 hours and they sound awesome, we'll see what happens from here...

All the best in your pursuit to get the Q701s going, let us know how you go! :)

 


Good for you!dt880smile.png

 

post #29 of 32
You will do GREAT with any headphones between 30 to 55a ohms as a limit using your Mac...Pro as a unique source. My brother and I use the Beyerdynamic dt770pro 32ohms version with those equipments. For NON-POPULAR MUSIC I have my old AKG 240 Studio Monitor (55 ohms) MADE IN AUSTRIA, please do not buy the ones made in China ($99 everywhere). The Bellari HA540 headphone Amp is great for the Q701 (I own Q701 and Bellari HA 540). If you want to save money buy only a Vintage good Stereo, testing only the headphone jack output and that's it, is very easy. Do not forget that YOU MUST DO THE BREAKING IN PROCESS WITH THE Q701 (200 to 300a hours) before buying any other device. The Q701 have Quincy Jones' expertise, in my experience the weakest area is the very deep bass and require a complete audio gear for enjoy them plenty, I named them "THE HEADPHONES WITH THE PERFECT TOUCH OF SALT".
post #30 of 32

Hey man,

I have a pair of Q701s too.

They sound rather dead and muddy when plugged directly into my HP notebook.

Strangely enough, they sound OK plugged directly into an iPad but sound bass heavy plugged into an iPod...........

To make a long story short, yes, the better the equipment, the better they sound.

I like the way they sound when I plug my CD player into one of my headphone amps.

 

BTW, I found that a lot of the recordings I used to like sound distorted thru the Q701s cause the recordings really are crap.  So I bought a pair of Sennheiser PX 100 ii so I could listen to my crappy recordings and MP3 files.

 

YMMV

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