Got my AKG K702s just now. I'm listening to Norah Jones' Feels Like Home mp3s in FLAC. Difference between Bose on-ear headphones and K702's out of the box: night and day! They're SO much more open, with none of the blairing in midrange that the Bose has. Bass seems 'effortless' I guess is the best description. It pervades the soundscape instead of sounding right in the middle of my head. Where with the Bose instruments that only sound in one ear are
With E17: at 0db gain and 60 volume, base is subtle and strong, mids are clear and moderate, highs are bright but not screeching. At 6db gain and 48 volume to get the same intensity, base is a bit fuller, midrange seems a bit more effortless, highs are a bit more present. At 12db gain and 35 volume, base is strong, mid is clear, high is bright. But everything seems to be a bit more 'mixed together' than at 6db... I think this is described as less seperation. I put 12db and full volume on the E17 and cranked the volume of my laptop up. It was uncomfortably loud... WITH NO DISTORTION. Not any. Zip. The duet between Norah Jones and Dolly Parton was clear without buzz, the bass wasn't fuzzy, and I could hear the symbols clear and bright. I'm sitting in the trucking company's lounge (they're working on my truck right now) and a guy about 12 feet away could clearly hear every word of the song.
I listened to my Beatles '1' mp3s... I can listen to them without wincing with these headphones. (Bad quality rip of old-technology recording, vocals blared uncomfortably with no E17 and with the Bose On-Ear headphones.) I'm listening to other mp3s I've collected over many years, and I can now easily tell which were ripped well. The Norah Jones Feels Like Home mp3s sound very good in 320 format - the FLAC sounds no better. I suspect they took the 320 mp3s and up-converted them to FLAC. If not, then this confirms for me what other people in this thread have said: the rip quality is a lot more important than the bitrate. I'll have to get my CD collection out of storage and re-rip them in FLAC to see if I can tell the difference.
So now I'm gonna listen to the Star Wars Blu-rays. :) Bottom line: the E17 can drive the K702's very nicely.