- 234 Posts. Joined 5/2014
- Location: Knoxville, TN, United States
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It happens. It sounds like you should return them. I am surprised you were caught off guard by the bumps because they must be the single-most discussed issue, in nearly every review I've read, about these headphones, often appearing in reviews of the AKG K712 pro as well (because they latter don't have the bumps). I was very prepared, then, for discomfort before I picked these up, but I was surprised they weren't that bad for me. A couple of posts ago I linked a 10 dollar wool headband on ebay that completely solved any issues for me. But it sounds like you don't really enjoy the sound either, and if that's the case, I would return them for something else. Why did you go with the AKG in the first place, I wonder?
Best of luck to you
Looking at the headband, I couldn't see why it would be particularly uncomfortable. And when I first started using the headphones I was thinking, "ah, this is fine, I don't feel anything; some people must just be really sensitive." I don't know why it causes me headaches; I sense that it's constricting bloodflow. You can see from my avatar I don't have a lot of hair between my scalp and the headphones, so I'm sure that doesn't help. It just kind of bugs me because it's like, they could have made the design not "ribbed"
It's hard to say exactly why I went with the AKG. They were sitting in my shopping cart for over a week while I tried to make sure they were what I wanted.
I originally wanted the Fidelio X2, but their availability in the US has been pretty sketchy. Amazon previously said they would ship in "1 to 2 months" but now they're just sold out completely somehow.
I was looking for a good all-around headphone to use for both (non-competitive) gaming and music. I had tried three different wireless gaming headsets and, again, using my MDR-V6 as my reference point, they were all crappy for music. So I gave up on the idea of a wireless setup.
I did a lot of research on a lot of different sets and almost pulled the trigger on a lot of them, most notably the Sennheiser Momentum. I ultimately went with the Q701. Not only were the Q701 rated very highly for gaming in Mad Lust Envy's thread, the reviews here and elsewhere indicated that they were a great set for music. So I figured they'd be the best of both worlds.
Any particular suggestions? I admit it could be the case that my ears are attuned to the MDR-V6. I've been using them exclusively for at least five years now.
I think I also just underestimated how much I like bass. Even though my tastes are pretty varied and not truly bass-centric.
Usually when the Q701 sounds like it has really harsh or aggressive treble it's due to an amp it doesn't seem to like. For example, i'm not a fan of the Magni or O2 with the Q701. It's not that the Q701 requires a warm amp at all, but is rather picky.
When it has a weaker amp it does sound much thinner and more sparkly/fatiguing.
Even the harshest music should never sound painful on the right amp Iwith the Q701 IMO.
I actually have the E17 as a backup amp for my bedroom and it seemed OK for the Q701. I do remember one day though thinking that it made the Q701 sound like it had less bass than usual, but probably my imagination. I actually prefer the E17 to the E10 and E7, but not the E9.
I've found that on the wrong amp it's easy to not like the Q701. I only really like it on a few amps. My favorites are the Headroom Micro Amp, Ifi Ican, E9 and Vali.
Before returning the Q701 I'd try the Q701 with other sources and see if you get better results. You could even try "double amping" maybe a portable source to the E17 and see if it sounds better.
I know this sounds silly, but sometimes double amping isn't as bad as they say! I don't magically hear all this extra distortion or whatever.
I actually once used a K701 with an Ipod to Total Airhead for years. Sounded good to me. I actually like the Q701 with the Airhead more than with the O2(!!)
Maybe you can return the E17 for an E9 Fiio E9 is actually pretty nice for the Q701 as a budget amp. More people should use that with the Q701 instead of the Magni or O2. It's not perfect though, but sounds pretty good with the Q701.
Oh and don't believe the nonsense about the 10 ohm output impedance bothering the Q701. It doesn't change it a bit.
Another idea is to see if you can find an older receiver at a thrift store for testing. Most of them let you return them if you don't like them.
Of course there is a chance you'll dislike the Q701 no matter what. I just think it's worth testing the Q701 on other equipment first.
On the K701 I actually went from the Total Airhead to Asgard1, then to the E9 and later the Headroom Micro Amp.
Strangely enough the E9 was a better match for the Q701 than the Asgard 1!
So far the best amps i've heard for it are the Micro and Ifi Ican. Haven't heard the M-Stage, but I bet they offer a similar sound. Same op-amps too.
I might continue to float the Q701 and order a different amp and set of headphones for various headphone/amp combination comparisons; return what doesn't work and keep what does. I was eying the E9 for a while, I went with the E17 for the portability in addition to the DAC, but I also was hoping to get the E9 in addition at some point, so I may end up with both.
I have previously owned the V6, but it's sibilance and treble peak bothered me. On the other hand I loved how drums sounded on them. I sold them when I started upgrading cans. Try the bass mod if you want.
I would recommend:
Fidelio X2 or X1
HD600 or 650
NAD Viso HP50