or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Q701 impressions thread
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Q701 impressions thread - Page 326

post #4876 of 9479
Quote:
Originally Posted by shisnitty View Post
 

Hey guys complete headphone/amp newbie here.

 

I've only bought headphones in the past and never had the need for an amp and only have a laptop with onboard sound + iphone for music. However I'm hoping to get a q701 and amp, only problem is I have no idea what to do or how to start. Say I get the q701, do I need an amp with it? Is it possible to amp an iphone 5? Is there a beginners amp I can get that will satisfy use on both laptop and iphone 5?

 

You'll probably (definitely?) get more joy out of your Q701 with an amp.  Your iPhone probably has a decent DAC (Digital-to-Analog-Converter), though there are better ones, of course.  Your laptop almost assuredly does not have a good DAC.  Are either enough to amp your Q701 satisfactorily?  That's for your ears to judge, though I'd be surprised.

 

This is what I'd do:
Buy the Q701 and try it out.  If you're happy, be happy.

 

If you think you can get better sound, the JDS Labs C5D (C5 amp + DAC) might be a good choice for you.  It's small and portable.  If you have the right iOS, the DAC should work with your iPhone; the amp will work with any analog signal you feed it: e.g., the iPhone's headphone OUT jack (re: iPhone digital out-to-C5D, sorry, don't own either, but you can read all about it and ask questions in this thread; start with the last 10 pages or so; also read the documentation on the JDS Labs site).  The C5D will definitely work with your laptop, assuming it has a USB port, and I'd be willing to bet (with your money, of course :wink:) that you'll appreciate the better sound.

 

I'm sure you'll get more opinions, that's just mine.

 

FWIW, last night I was listening to my Q701 with the JDS Labs C5 (same amp as in the C5D, though the C5D's is technically better, having a lower output impedance; in reality, no one would be able to tell) and the HiFimeDIY U2 Sabre Asynchronous DAC.  Good stuff :-)  If I hadn't already bought the HiFimeDIY DAC and C5, I'd buy the C5D.  It's still really tempting, but I'd have to sell the other two.  JDS Labs makes great stuff and is a very reputable company.

 

FiiO amps+DACs will be cheaper... and less expensive, so you may want to start there.  Plenty of people in this thread and elsewhere use and like them.


Edited by ThurstonX - 12/6/13 at 7:51am
post #4877 of 9479
Right now, Amazon has the Q701 on sale for $175. It's only for like the next hour and a half or something.

Thurston, I didn't realize JDS labs made an all-in-one system like that, I'll have to check it out. However, it's probably over $200 now. Personally, I have an iPhone 5S and an iPod Video (which came before the Classic and the iPod Touch models), which is plenty good DAC, and I either use an amp plugged in via a cheap FiiO L11 Line-Out dock adapter (for the iPod) or just plug in directly to the iPhone's headphone jack. I do agree that the Q701 sounds good straight into a player BUT smoother, more effortlessly powerful, and more spacious sound. A better DAC probably makes more difference in increased resolution, but... I dunno, I haven't personally tested it because I'm not compelled, I hear so much detail already as general DAC quality has improved. An external DAC for a cheap laptop would probably be good though, I wouldn't know because Apple computers use good ones.

I liked the amps I had from FiiO, and I've read that the JDS labs ones are great too. I really like my tube amp best among my amps, and the very high-value new Schiit Vali tube hybrid $110 would definitely be worth researching on your short list.
Edited by Evshrug - 12/6/13 at 4:49pm
post #4878 of 9479

I got on the waitlist for the white ones and now it's in my cart. 13 minutes to pull the trigger, but I also got on the waitlist for the black ones. Decisions, decisions...

 

 

post #4879 of 9479
Quote:
Originally Posted by CBF- View Post
 

I got on the waitlist for the white ones and now it's in my cart. 13 minutes to pull the trigger, but I also got on the waitlist for the black ones. Decisions, decisions...

 

 

 

 

White is funky fresh.  Just look at my headbandana mod! :k701smile: <--- and look! an emo just for you :wink:

post #4880 of 9479
Quote:
Originally Posted by shisnitty View Post
 

Hey guys complete headphone/amp newbie here.

 

I've only bought headphones in the past and never had the need for an amp and only have a laptop with onboard sound + iphone for music. However I'm hoping to get a q701 and amp, only problem is I have no idea what to do or how to start. Say I get the q701, do I need an amp with it? Is it possible to amp an iphone 5? Is there a beginners amp I can get that will satisfy use on both laptop and iphone 5?

 

For what it's worth, I was away from home (so no DAC or amp) with my Q701s this week and plugged them into a laptop to listen to some Debussy (Pelléas et Mélisande). The result surprised me by its musicality and its quality. When I got home, I tried them (unamped) out of my Sony NWZ-Z1060 mp3 player - the result was quite acceptable. So you can buy the cans and get an amp later...

post #4881 of 9479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amictus View Post

 

For what it's worth, I was away from home (so no DAC or amp) with my Q701s this week and plugged them into a laptop to listen to some Debussy (Pelléas et Mélisande). The result surprised me by its musicality and its quality. When I got home, I tried them (unamped) out of my Sony NWZ-Z1060 mp3 player - the result was quite acceptable. So you can buy the cans and get an amp later...

 

This blasphemous statement I would also agree with. I belief Amictus' avatar is a representation of his face, being shocked when he heard them from a Sony mp3 player. 

 

I think the Q701 is still one of the best mid-fi headphones, and given the really low prices they've hit, I really think they're a great step to start with headphones. A big first step, but a good one. Keep in mind later on you can always buy a budget entry amplifier (like the Objective2, or the Schiit Vali), and then get a DAC later on. I know looking from $10 headphones to a $500 "first step" can be intimidating. 

post #4882 of 9479

I've already got a v-moda m80, but apparently it doesn't really get much use out of an amplifier. Will I be getting a noticeable upgrade if I get a q701? And can anyone give me a quick crash course or run down on what the amp actually does? People always tell me it brings out the oomph in music, but all I get from that statement is that it just makes it louder. And will the CD5 amp/dac combo let me get everything I want out of the q701? What does converting from digital to analogue actually do for the sound quality?

post #4883 of 9479
Thread Starter 

The problem for me with a portable player is that it makes the Q701 too thin and fatiguing! So much harsher and it takes quite a few tracks to really show this to you.

I guess it's only for specific frequencies.

 

Strangely the warmer K712 sounded better from portable players..don't ask me how.

 

BTW I used a K701 when I was new for 2 years from an Ipod Classic + Total Airhead. No Line Outs back in those days. Sounded great!

If it's not getting enough power it will flash it's red light and yell at you. With my K601 I got that almost non-stop at less than 60% volume.

 

The Ipod had a touch of warmth so that helps some things perhaps.

 

Double amping an Ipod to portable amp isn't as bad as everyone says IMO. Depends on the gear I guess.

 

The headphone out on the Sansa Fuze is better than the Line Out to my ears.

post #4884 of 9479
Quote:
Originally Posted by shisnitty View Post
 

I've already got a v-moda m80, but apparently it doesn't really get much use out of an amplifier. Will I be getting a noticeable upgrade if I get a q701? And can anyone give me a quick crash course or run down on what the amp actually does? People always tell me it brings out the oomph in music, but all I get from that statement is that it just makes it louder. And will the CD5 amp/dac combo let me get everything I want out of the q701? What does converting from digital to analogue actually do for the sound quality?

 

I can't compare it to the m80.

 

Others should have more to say on exactly what an amp will give you, but I dug this up:

 

An amp is about two things: power and signal quality. A headphone jack by definition has some power gain, but it may not be enough to drive a high-end headphone. So that's one reason you'd need a headphone amp. The signal quality is the other issue. My crappy Sony boombox imparts a noticeable hiss to the headphone jack. My Harman Kardon hi-fi receiver doesn't. Therefore the HK receiver has a higher quality headphone jack (it'd better, considering I spent a lot more for it than the boombox!).

A good headphone amp will give you adequate gain combined with a clean amplified signal. Headroom harps on the latter for their amps, because most AC-driven headphone amps will provide enough power to drive nearly any headphone. So power usually isn't an issue. Quality IS.

But it's not as big a deal as Headroom makes it out to be. Just remember that most cheap boomboxes will not have great signal quality on the headphone jack, despite plenty of amplified power.

Ritesh

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/40512-28-what-exacly-headphone-amplifiers#1848788

 

And there's this to read, too (hope it's OK to post links to that site; if not, edit away, oh Mods!)

 

 

Unless you're listening to a cassette deck or turntable, everything you hear is being converted from digital to analog.  There are different chips (DACs) available to perform the function.  The DAC in your laptop is inferior to a standalone DAC, since PC manufacturers (except maybe Apple) don't spend a lot of money on that component.  Then there's the implementation of the DAC as a unit (circuitry, isolation from noise, etc.).  Even with the $56 HiFimeDIY DAC I have, I noticed a huge jump in quality when compared to my laptop's DAC.  I also noticed a bump in quality when compared to my prosumer grade soundcards (M-Audio).  I added a $30 USB isolator to clean up the power before the signal hits the DAC, and cursory tests lead me to believe it was $30 well spent.  And that's a very low end DAC price-wise that happens to use a very nice chip.

 

If you read enough, you'll find people who say the DAC is the last thing you should upgrade, as it's the link in the chain that produces the least noticeable gain in quality.  OK, may cables should be last.  BUT that assumes a decent DAC to start with.  Laptop DAC != decent.  iPod/iPhone DAC... maybe.

 

Like I said, start with the Q701 and see what you think; and let them burn-in a while, if they don't sound good out of the box.  YMMV with that, but a lot of people say they notice a positive change after 20-50 hours or so.  If you're still not wowed, an amp, or amp+DAC may help.  There's also the possibility that the AKG sound signature isn't one you like.  If possible, try to demo them, or at least read a lot of opinions on the sound.

 

For me, they handle acoustic music and some rock/pop beautifully.  Other things have too piercing highs.  Poor recordings or low-bitrate files are exposed by the Q701's accuracy.  They are not forgiving cans, IMO.  In all cases, I get more out of them with my C5 + HiFimeDIY DAC.  The verdict is still out with them on the Lyr, but $450 for an amp is probably not germane to this discussion.

 

HTH.


Edited by ThurstonX - 12/6/13 at 10:10pm
post #4885 of 9479

Thanks for spending the time to write that stuff up, it makes a lot of stuff clearer. Guess I have to go and listen to an amp myself to kinda tell what's going on but Iyou explained it well enough :)

post #4886 of 9479
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThurstonX View Post
 

 

I can't compare it to the m80.

 

Others should have more to say on exactly what an amp will give you, but I dug this up:

 

An amp is about two things: power and signal quality. A headphone jack by definition has some power gain, but it may not be enough to drive a high-end headphone. So that's one reason you'd need a headphone amp. The signal quality is the other issue. My crappy Sony boombox imparts a noticeable hiss to the headphone jack. My Harman Kardon hi-fi receiver doesn't. Therefore the HK receiver has a higher quality headphone jack (it'd better, considering I spent a lot more for it than the boombox!).

A good headphone amp will give you adequate gain combined with a clean amplified signal. Headroom harps on the latter for their amps, because most AC-driven headphone amps will provide enough power to drive nearly any headphone. So power usually isn't an issue. Quality IS.

But it's not as big a deal as Headroom makes it out to be. Just remember that most cheap boomboxes will not have great signal quality on the headphone jack, despite plenty of amplified power.

Ritesh

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/40512-28-what-exacly-headphone-amplifiers#1848788

 

And there's this to read, too (hope it's OK to post links to that site; if not, edit away, oh Mods!)

 

 

Unless you're listening to a cassette deck or turntable, everything you hear is being converted from digital to analog.  There are different chips (DACs) available to perform the function.  The DAC in your laptop is inferior to a standalone DAC, since PC manufacturers (except maybe Apple) don't spend a lot of money on that component.  Then there's the implementation of the DAC as a unit (circuitry, isolation from noise, etc.).  Even with the $56 HiFimeDIY DAC I have, I noticed a huge jump in quality when compared to my laptop's DAC.  I also noticed a bump in quality when compared to my prosumer grade soundcards (M-Audio).  I added a $30 USB isolator to clean up the power before the signal hits the DAC, and cursory tests lead me to believe it was $30 well spent.  And that's a very low end DAC price-wise that happens to use a very nice chip.

 

If you read enough, you'll find people who say the DAC is the last thing you should upgrade, as it's the link in the chain that produces the least noticeable gain in quality.  OK, may cables should be last.  BUT that assumes a decent DAC to start with.  Laptop DAC != decent.  iPod/iPhone DAC... maybe.

 

Like I said, start with the Q701 and see what you think; and let them burn-in a while, if they don't sound good out of the box.  YMMV with that, but a lot of people say they notice a positive change after 20-50 hours or so.  If you're still not wowed, an amp, or amp+DAC may help.  There's also the possibility that the AKG sound signature isn't one you like.  If possible, try to demo them, or at least read a lot of opinions on the sound.

 

For me, they handle acoustic music and some rock/pop beautifully.  Other things have too piercing highs.  Poor recordings or low-bitrate files are exposed by the Q701's accuracy.  They are not forgiving cans, IMO.  In all cases, I get more out of them with my C5 + HiFimeDIY DAC.  The verdict is still out with them on the Lyr, but $450 for an amp is probably not germane to this discussion.

 

HTH.

 

Yeah pretty much. Although I have different views on cables but yeah we're about eye to eye on this.

post #4887 of 9479

I was in the market for a pair of portable closed back and ended up w/ the Q 701.  Amazon had them for sale $175.  I could not resist.  I enjoy vocal, acoustic music.  Thought I give them a try.  I love my Senn HD 600 so hopefully these will be a good compliment.

post #4888 of 9479

Well after that amazon deal my HD598 got a new partner.

 

Now i need to save for a amp/dac combo, got my eye on that O2 and Schiit Modi/Magni combo.

post #4889 of 9479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bajitopelu View Post
 

Well after that amazon deal my HD598 got a new partner.

 

Now i need to save for a amp/dac combo, got my eye on that O2 and Schiit Modi/Magni combo.

Lol.  I will be using it w/ my Theorem 720 as portable dac/amp.  For my main setup, I have SqueezeBox Touch -> Theta Va DAC -> Antique Lab Tube Headphone amp.

I am very curious which setup will sound better.  So far I am getting very good sound from my portable. 

post #4890 of 9479

I just wanted to share something that I mentioned in another AKG thread. Its about the amp matching and troublesome peak at 2 Khz. This is the only thing stopping this headphone being pretty much perfect. Perfect for what it is anyhow. Obviously there are better headphones out there these days but in all seriousness you do have to drop about 3 months wages to afford them. 

 

After many many experiments with equalizing/not equalizing/ equalizing/changing amps/sources blablah. Less is more. If any of you use foobar then great. It may save you a fortune. 

 

Access the equalizer and take 1.8khz one notch down. The 2.5khz two notches down. It's as simple as that. You haven't touched the very linear and brilliant treble that these hp's are capable of. You've only corrected the inherent mid peak that causes all the probs (nasal, plastic etc.) You can lower these settings even more if you wish, but I would advise against it after lots of experimenting myself. Other good headphones have a much lower dip in this area but I would try and keep the AKG's as flat as possible because this is where they excel in contrast to other more colored sound signatures.

Of course this pesky little peak can easily be forgotten about without EQ as you adjust to their sound. But as soon as you listen to another quality headphone it becomes apparent again. I use the HD800 as a reference to how good headphones can be in regards to transparency, realism, tone etc. I'm not an HD800 fanboy by any means (I'm not a fan of how they look for a start!) but whether I like it or not - they have set a standard in SQ. AKG fanboy yes I am! So it makes sense to try and perfect these amazing bargains. 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Q701 impressions thread