Back to the first post, it is a fact. If you aren't prone to loud listening, you'll be fine running the 701s out of an iPhone. Headphones aren't magical beings that need pampering, they're simple electroacoustical devices and they will run on common electronics. Try them out without an amp.
Given your predisposition to the Q460, the 701s will be quite a change and may not be to your liking, regardless of how they're amped. So I suspect it's possible that you get these and don't initially like them, post on head-fi, and get a dozen responses that say either a. you need an amp or b. they need burn-in. While there's some truth to these suggestions, the 701 will still sound like a 701. If, on the other hand, you get it and wind up loving it, which is probable since there are some things the K701 nails (soundstage, clarity), but you would like more headroom than your portable device will provide, then check out the new O2 amp which should run around 120$ built by a DIYer.
I can't believe that thusfar no one has expressed their sorryness about your wallet
While I like your myth-busting approach in principle, this is badly misleading advice. I've never listened loudly, I'm not rich, not a masochist, I started out listening to AKG's on a portable, have now spent thousands of dollars upgrading my headphone amps, have always noticed a clear improvement with each step forward, and really wish I had been warned about how I'd end up wasting a lot of money in my pursuit of top-notch sound. But, yes, it does come down to how highly you value top-notch sound. For one who doesn't, why consider the Q701 in the first place? Why not go with $20 earbuds? If you want to get the most out of a Q701, however, it won't come cheap. Sad but true. (Yes, the basic sonic traits of a Q701 are there when they're poorly amped, but you get a bad caricature of their sound.)
Don't get me wrong: I don't doubt that you mean well. But your advice is misleading for anybody who considers investing in a Q701. Crappy sound can be had for much less.
Edited by Soundinista - 9/10/11 at 4:43am