You can play the Q701s at average volume if you're using a better than average motherboard. However you will lose half the soundstage , slight warmth, bass, speed and clarity compared to proper amplification. Of course I'm exaggerating but that's just how I feel amping does to the Q701s. I forgot to mention that a good DAC sensitive to detail retrieval helps quite a bit too.
A motherboard should be sufficient until you plan to upgrade though.
Edited by Nec3 - 6/16/14 at 1:01pm