Have to disagree about them being easy to drive, but you knew i'd say this Well, not that anyone really said that!
To me it's more than just volume. I tried them out of just an E5 and they got to ridiculously loud volume levels. I was shocked really.
The problem for me is that they're much less smooth with some portable amps. Just a bit thinner sounding and often much more harsh and fatiguing. At first they sound perfectly ok and then they just annoy you.
I tried to use them with an Ipod Touch 2G LOD cable to E11 and I though this combination was pretty awful to my ears. I don't know why, but maybe some of the fault is the Ipod Touch 2G itself. It measures flat, but to my ear it sounds like it sort of has edgy treble.
I only got them to sound good with the "double amping" method with an Ipod Touch + E11 or Airhead. You could say it's just adding a bunch of distortion and making them sound warmer, but I don't think this is true, since it's so similar to how it sounds with my other amps.
For test, someone should try this. I generally know "double amping" is a big no-no, but I think people blow it way out of proportion. Ugh, you know what...I double amped my K701 for over 3 years and loved every minute of it. This was back when I was VERY new and we never had fancy LOD cables. This was in 1967 or so.
I think I was using an Ipod Classic 3g (Monochrome) to Total Airhead.
Here's another weird thing about amping them...some simple music (such as just a guitar+vocals) sounds perfect, but other music that's more complex sounds noticeably worse. I think it just depends on a lot of things. My Airhead will blink the red light at specific frequencies if I crank the volume too loud when using the Q701. It's nearly impossible to get it to blink though. The K701 did ALL the time.
Despite what everyone says, I always found ALL the Beyerdynamic headphones fairly tough to drive. Even the 32ohm version was no good for me with portable devices. I know some may find that hard to believe.
I should do some more testing with the Q701 without an amp though. I'm sure there's some portable devices where it sounds amazing. Maybe the Clip+ or something.
I think maybe i'm nit-picking or something. I just haven't found a portable amp that does the Q701 justice without the double amping method. I haven't tried the E17 yet or any of these fancy pants $200+ portable amps. I also wouldn't consider the O2 portable enough.
I think maybe the new Fiio amp might drive it well enough? How about the Jdslabs C421?
I still remember the days of people laughing at me when I said I wanted to use the K701 as a portable
I know this is hard to believe, but the Q701 does seem to get louder than the old K701. Despite the same specs. I don't know how. I noticed such craziness when I modded my DJ100 to be open and suddenly it required much more volume than the closed version. Maybe the Q701 is slightly less open than the K702 and requires less volume. I know this makes no sense. Supposedly the HD-650 became easier to drive over the years. I don't know where people come up with this stuff!
BTW you should try the K601 with a portable amp. That's good for a laugh! That's one of the few headphones that my Airhead kind of struggles with. Yet my 600 ohm Sextett is OK, but has a severe lack of volume. I hardest headphone to drive that i've had was the K501. K400 supposedly has the same power requirements.
You should all take my comments with a grain of salt because I'm one of those nuts that still believes the DJ100 needs an external amp to sound good.
I do however think that the E9 is more than enough for the Q701. E9 sounds great with the Q701 for whatever reason. The Magni is also OK.
I don't know how, but the E10 seemed to be better for the Q701 than the E11. Not sure why this is..if the E10 is so good, i'm sure the E17 is even better. I can't say I really liked the E10, but it sounded OK with the Q701 at least, but this was just based on a half hour or so of testing.
BTW I listened to my Q701 until 3am last night. Didn't want to take it off. I have no clue how a silly new amp power supply could have improved it's sound so much. I must have really noisy power or something. The HD-650 didn't really benefit at all from the upgrade. Not night and day, but the Q701 is now so much more detailed and sounds even smoother. No clue how. I really think the Headroom Micro is one of the best amps for the AKG stuff i've heard yet. Not sure why I even got the Magni. I told myself I needed a 2nd amp for my spare room, but I was just lying to myself I think! Who the heck needs a dozen headphones and 3 desktop amps?!
I do sometimes wonder what the Lyr would do with the Q701. I know it's best for high impedance headphones, but I honestly don't think it would hurt the Q701's sound. I do think I prefer Headroom amps to anything from Schiit. Not sure why Headroom stuff isn't as popular as it once was.
Edited by tdockweiler - 1/25/13 at 11:07am