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[Amp Noob] Amp for AKG Q701 / Mobile Phone?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi guys,

 

I realise I am probably out of place compared with the rest of you audiophiles, but please, bear with me here. I got an incredible deal on the AKG Quincy Jones Q701's and I instantly liked what I read in reviews about it's super clean, amazingly accurate sound.

 

I have already updated my music collection to FLAC. These headphones will primarily be used with my HTC Sensation XL (eyeballing the iPhone 5 whenever it arrives), but also on my PC. PC isn't a problem as I have a semi-decent sound card with headphone amp built-in and it drives these headphones enough for me - the sound is fantastic, though it's not quite as good an experience as on my phone.

 

I have never used a portable amp so I have no idea what I'm after, but I do believe it's what I need to drive these headphones closer to what I know they are capable of - I hope you can help. I don't have a hard-set budget but I would be comfortable spending £50-70. I would like something small enough to fit in a pocket, preferably alongside my phone.

post #2 of 13
q701 is not a portable headphone, you're doing it wrong, get a philips fidelio l1 and no amp
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

I realise that, but it didn't stop me wanting them and loving them... Just want a bit more oomph from my portables :-)

 

edit: Plus, as is I'm getting so much more details from these compared to anything else I own. Whoops the pants off my Beats HD Solos (shudder) and can see me using my IEM's a bit less too. Love the sound from these, but as I said before, I believe I'll get more from an amp, though i'm now looking at the E7 DAC and considering teaming it up with a Galaxy SIII... Decisions, decisions...


Edited by kristoficus - 6/12/12 at 7:41am
post #4 of 13

I think we're seeing a shift in general now where the lines between home and portable are blurring.  I bet there are a ton of us that always have their smartphone and/or tablet sitting next to them (or in their hands) while at home or the office, and some of that time we could be enjoying music from them while not actually out and about.  It's just convenient because it's small, you can carry it around the house/office, etc.  Why not be able to enjoy music from them on "non-portable" headphones but using a decent "portable" set up?  I think it's a short-sighted blanked statement to say "you're doing it wrong" these days. 

 

That said, it might be helpful if you gave us more info about your musical tastes, budget, any other constraints (size, etc).

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks mutnat for understanding :-)

 

Constraints would be that it deffo. needs to be pocket friendly and under the £70 mark. Would feel more comfortable towards the £50 spot though. With my Q701 connected to my Sensation XL, I need the volume up at the max, whereas with my friends Beats Studios, the same volume can be found at about the 3/4 volume mark. I just feel there's not enough power hitting my cans. Again I know nothing about what an amp/dac does, just that from looking around these forums it seems I may benefit from having one.

 

edit: Sorry, wrong wording... I know only the basics of what an amp/dac does, but not enough to know exactly how I could benefit from it, what the pros/cons are etc

 

The biggest thing that hits me about the Q701 when listening to my FLAC tracks is that it is flawless. Even at high volume there is no distortion at all and there's no noise filling up silence... Am I ignorant in thinking that by having a DAP/DAC, I would get even more details coming out from the mids and highs so that I can hear *everything*? Of course I also feel it could benefit from more volume which I'm sure I would get by having one, but I'm a little fearful that the use of a DAP might end up getting rid of the beautiful silences there may be in a track... I really don't want these headphones to be ruined by a DAP causing hissing or anything.


Edited by kristoficus - 6/12/12 at 10:25am
post #6 of 13

Here is a great starting point for amps under $100 USD:  http://www.headfonia.com/music-on-a-budget-sub-100-portable-amps-shootout/

post #7 of 13

the S3 has a good DAC anyway, so you only really need an amp

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys :-)

 

The shootout is a fantastic read, seeing what the pros and cons are of each unit, several of which I was in the process or looking through user reviews for. And @WiR3D, cheers for the info on the SIII. I'll be honest in saying I've not read any in-depth reviews, but based on the specs and user satisfaction (and my sheer hatred for my Sensation XL) I have enough blind faith to know it's one of the few phones I would get anytime soon. Although the SIII has a good DAC built in, do you think the DAC functionality on the E7 is any better, or would you imagine the difference was minimal (if any)?
 

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutnat View Post

I think we're seeing a shift in general now where the lines between home and portable are blurring.  I bet there are a ton of us that always have their smartphone and/or tablet sitting next to them (or in their hands) while at home or the office, and some of that time we could be enjoying music from them while not actually out and about.  It's just convenient because it's small, you can carry it around the house/office, etc.  Why not be able to enjoy music from them on "non-portable" headphones but using a decent "portable" set up?  I think it's a short-sighted blanked statement to say "you're doing it wrong" these days. 

That said, it might be helpful if you gave us more info about your musical tastes, budget, any other constraints (size, etc).

What you're talking about is covered with products like the big Headroom Portable Desktop which happens to be a very good fit for the K701 overall IMO.

It's not covered by mobile phones and 100$ amps, not with the K701. You have a point in general, you just miss the mark completely in particular. smily_headphones1.gif
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by eugenius View Post


What you're talking about is covered with products like the big Headroom Portable Desktop which happens to be a very good fit for the K701 overall IMO.
It's not covered by mobile phones and 100$ amps, not with the K701. You have a point in general, you just miss the mark completely in particular. smily_headphones1.gif

 

You're more than welcome to have that opinion.  I think my scenario could still be well served with a good portable (not just transportable) amp, say if you want/need to wander from room to room in your house without interrupting your tunes, etc. And there are plenty of portable amps with the power and finesse to drive the K701's I'm sure, once you get up into the Ray Samuels amps, the ALO Rx MKII/III, etc. 

 

Finally, although a $100 amp and a smartphone source may not be the ideal pairing and take full advantage of the K701, doesn't mean someone can't use them that way for a while and get some good enjoyment out of them.  So, I don't think I was as far off the mark as you think  Maybe.

post #11 of 13

I dont think the E7 will be a noticeable step up, if any. To really notice it your going to haveto look in the 115dB SNR range. 

post #12 of 13
If you want you can use the AKG K1000 on the street ... doesn't mean you should. smily_headphones1.gif
post #13 of 13

As using a USB DAC on a Android phone is still wishful thinking at the moment, a DAC/AMP might not be the best choice for you right now, as you already said your computer is doing just fine, you don't really need the DAC (yet). So focus on the Amp.

 

I own the AKG K702, which is pretty closely related to the Q701. The K702 is quite a powerhungry beast and neither my Fiio E7 nor my iBasso D2+ have enough Ooomph to drive them properly. To me this doesn't matter much as I have no intention of using them on the go (I have my Westone UM3X and Audio Technica ATH-ES10 for that). But that didn't stop me from looking into the subject a while ago. I don't have any personal experience with this setup, but I have been reading some good things about the Fiio E11 as an entry level amp to use with the K701/K702/Q701. And it fits your budget quite nicely :)
 

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