I posted this in the Q701 review thread, and then I found this one. Seems more appropriate here.
I got the funky fresh white Q701s last Thursday. Did a quick check to see how they sounded, making sure they weren't unbalanced or anything. Only listened to a couple songs, once direct from an M-Audio Revo 5.1's HP Out, and again through a JDS Labs C5 amp. Highs were a bit much, low-end about what I expected. Then I started burning them in, rotating through a mixed playlist for 8-12 hours, then a couple three off, then back on. That's been going on until about noon today, so a bit over 100 hours.
For the moment I'm using the included 10' green cable. Never gonna trip over that in the dark The C5 set on low gain is plenty to drive them. Playback noted below is using AIMP3 (latest build) set to WASAPI Exclusive and FLACs.
My first real session with them is using a laptop (RealTek ALC269's HP Out; all Sound Effects off, of course) to the C5 via a 12' Media Bridge cable, playing the latest album by The Bevis Frond (2013's "White Numbers"; check it out at Bandcamp or wherever; good stuff). Being a guitar-driven band of psychedelic Brit pop, I figured it'd be a good test to see how the sound had shaped up, or out, if you prefer. The highs are still there, and while prominent, I'm not fatigued after 80+ minutes. It's low-end that got my attention, not to mention the sound stage. To my ears, the basslines are beautiful. I tried some minor EQing at various bands (87, 125, 175, 250, in various combinations), but it wasn't needed. Acoustic guitars are simply gorgeous, as are the few piano parts.
Then, to change it up, I put on track 1 from Hugh Laurie's Let Them Talk ("St. James Infirmary"). Wow. All the raw emotion pours straight through. Instrument separation is excellent. Subtleties like the guitarist getting ready to join in while Hugh's finishing up the piano intro accentuate the detail the Q701s can deliver. And the stand-up bass that kicks off the song proper after the dramatic intro... perfection. And finally, Hugh's vocals cut straight to the center of your skull, the band spread out around him. Even my wife noted all this. She was amazed, even if a total head-fi neophyte.
There's definitely an airy quality about them, but without sacrificing any impact. So glad I got these. Not sure I'll keep burning them in. I guess plenty of play time will accomplish that. I'm also interested to compare them to my AKG K550s, admittedly a different design, for various types of music. Lastly, I ordered a custom cable from Redco using Mogami W2893 mini-quad and Redco connectors (mini-TRS and 3.5mm). Wanted something shorter. Redco is pleasure to deal with.
Back to the tuneage
I'll search here and elsewhere, but would the Hippocase (L) work for the Q701s?