or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › So far, disappointed with AKG Q701.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

So far, disappointed with AKG Q701. - Page 2

post #16 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by lejaz View Post

From the OP:  "There even seems to be some distortion with highs for some bizarre reason, albeit very minor, even though they're supposed to have great range." 

The OP isn't the only one to notice that. There's a weird resonance in the upper mids/lower treble area that you only hear on some material, but I've noticed it as well, and another forum member commented on it extensively.  'Pure vocals' is a very subjective judgement unless you've heard the particular singer in question live. A vocalist will sound very different out of the k70X than they do out of the hd580. Which one is more 'pure' is anyone's guess.  Preference in this hobby is very subjective.

 

I don't think this plasticy resonance exists on the Q701. I certainly can't hear it. It was there on the K701 for me, but not the K702 or Q701.

 

BTW the Q701 to my ears with any amp is so different than the K701 that vocals sounds just as good as the HD-580, if not better. They're actually quite close. The 580 isn't quite as warm sounding as the HD-600 though and has less mid-bass and more forward upper mids IMO. The Q701 I have is much fuller and warmer sounding than the K702, so it's much closer to the Sennheiser sound in many ways. Not like it, but closer than before. The Q701 no longer has those lean mids and analytical sound to my ears. I can get that result out of any decent amp, including my Airhead. My old K702 almost felt like it had some recession in the mids somewhere. I never ever get that with the Q701. The Q701 never sounds thin or lacking in the mids. Sure, compared to an HD-650!

 

Most likely even for you, issues you had on the K702 are not going to be present on the Q701. The treble is much easier on the ears too.

For me they made the soundstage much more accurate. For those that find the Q701 bad for vocals (I don't and not even remotely), wait until you try the K701!

 

Previously I preferred the K601 for vocals over the K702, but the Q701 has it beat. Vocals should never sound distant unless it's the recording or it's bad amp/dac synergy.

post #17 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by lejaz View Post
There's a weird resonance in the upper mids/lower treble area that you only hear on some material, but I've noticed it as well, and another forum member commented on it extensively.  'Pure vocals' is a very subjective judgement unless you've heard the particular singer in question live. A vocalist will sound very different out of the k70X than they do out of the hd580. Which one is more 'pure' is anyone's guess.  Preference in this hobby is very subjective.

 


Are you referring particularly to the K701s or the Q701s? Or the 702s? It might be a weird idea but different numbered models have different variances. The OP has a Q701 it seems. Which may be a different experience from someone who has a K701 which actually even varies within itself depending on the level of the production number (high or low).

 

As for the 'Pure vocals" I had originally meant to insinuate clarity and transparency of vocals, but if you want to refer to consistency and accuracy, then sure, I have a couple of live recordings that I have also attended live and they sound every bit as great as the night I viewed them on the AKGs. :)

post #18 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by menchi View Post

 


Are you referring particularly to the K701s or the Q701s? Or the 702s? It might be a weird idea but different numbered models have different variances. The OP has a Q701 it seems. Which may be a different experience from someone who has a K701 which actually even varies within itself depending on the level of the production number (high or low).

 

As for the 'Pure vocals" I had originally meant to insinuate clarity and transparency of vocals, but if you want to refer to consistency and accuracy, then sure, I have a couple of live recordings that I have also attended live and they sound every bit as great as the night I viewed them on the AKGs. :)

I'm referring to the 'k' not the 'Q'...and the 702, not the 701.. Interesting comment about the live vocals. I suppose if you heard them with the hd580/600 they would sound not so 'pure' then....to your ears.. Using the sound of live acoustic instruments as my criteria for judging fidelity, I'd rank the hd580 above the k702. But we all hear differently. I did a head to head 'shoot out' with a female opera singer, I think it was Maria Callas, and the presentation of the two phones.....the 580 vs. the 702 was entirely different. I liked them both btw....but they were very different.....the 702 was clearly much more tilted towards the high end....and thinner. I happen to like the 702 a lot better with female vocalists than with males. I don't like the way they do the baritone range.....just subjective perhaps.

post #19 of 86

Do agree that female vocals are greatly more pleasing with the AKGs than male vocalists. The sample I mentioned just so happened was a band with a female vocalist.

 

For fidelity of instruments, that is a different matter, imo. There are some good things they bring to them, and some negatives as well.

post #20 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by menchi View Post

Do agree that female vocals are greatly more pleasing with the AKGs than male vocalists. The sample I mentioned just so happened was a band with a female vocalist.

 

For fidelity of instruments, that is a different matter, imo. There are some good things they bring to them, and some negatives as well.

If you ever get a chance to listen back to back to the 70X and the hd600 or 580, I highly recommend giving it a try. It's a fun exercise. Not trying to best one over the other, but just noting the differences is really quite interesting.....like comparing two good, but very different, wines or beers.....with female vocalists that is. It's a pretty interesting comparison with acoustic jazz as well. I was shocked how very different a female operatic  soprano sounded with the two phones. Will the 'real' Maria Callas please identify yourself! biggrin.gif

post #21 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post

 

I don't think this plasticy resonance exists on the Q701. I certainly can't hear it. It was there on the K701 for me, but not the K702 or Q701.

 

BTW the Q701 to my ears with any amp is so different than the K701 that vocals sounds just as good as the HD-580, if not better. They're actually quite close. The 580 isn't quite as warm sounding as the HD-600 though and has less mid-bass and more forward upper mids IMO. The Q701 I have is much fuller and warmer sounding than the K702, so it's much closer to the Sennheiser sound in many ways. Not like it, but closer than before. The Q701 no longer has those lean mids and analytical sound to my ears. I can get that result out of any decent amp, including my Airhead. My old K702 almost felt like it had some recession in the mids somewhere. I never ever get that with the Q701. The Q701 never sounds thin or lacking in the mids. Sure, compared to an HD-650!

 

Most likely even for you, issues you had on the K702 are not going to be present on the Q701. The treble is much easier on the ears too.

For me they made the soundstage much more accurate. For those that find the Q701 bad for vocals (I don't and not even remotely), wait until you try the K701!

 

Previously I preferred the K601 for vocals over the K702, but the Q701 has it beat. Vocals should never sound distant unless it's the recording or it's bad amp/dac synergy.

Really sorry I've not had the chance to hear the 'Q'. I'm a bit skeptical of some of the reported large differences, but I'd love to hear them and judge for myself one day. I can't see how, by any stretch of the imagination, they could sound close to the hd580, unless there's been a major production change going from the 'k' to the 'Q;.Not saying it's impossible though. 

post #22 of 86

I've heard bass being distant on the 70x but never mids... Maybe the Q701 isn't right for you. Just like you, I prefer one headphone over the other and in this case I prefer the Q701 over the HD598. Sonically speaking, they sound very alike, but the Q701s sounded much more alive to me. I was more into the music and that's why I would choose the Q701 over the HD598 anyday.

post #23 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by shinndigg View Post

Hooked up to my iMac using USB to my VDAC MK II and FiiO E9, I can't help but be upset with these cans. First of all, they sound a bit muffled. Vocals seem distant and recessed. Things don't pop like they do with the Sennheisers. There even seems to be some distortion with highs for some bizarre reason, albeit very minor, even though they're supposed to have great range. 
You basically described my exact experience of what my K702 sounded like when not amped adequately, i.e. straight out of my STX.
Volume was fine, but didn't sound right: harsh top end, gurgly and distant vocals, flat and lifeless. I think it is partly due to the K702 revealing the lower quality of STX amp (compared to my other amp) but also partly the K702 just not matching the amp because similar level headphones from other brands (Beyer, AT) don't sound like that. I'm not going to pretend to be able to explain why the K702 doesn't run well out of the STX given it's specs, I just go by my ears.
I generally run them out of my Einar amp and they sound much much better.

Still not like Senns though, so it's probably also your different expectations as others have said.
Edited by theeyealtering - 8/18/12 at 10:50pm
post #24 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by lejaz View Post

If you ever get a chance to listen back to back to the 70X and the hd600 or 580, I highly recommend giving it a try. It's a fun exercise. Not trying to best one over the other, but just noting the differences is really quite interesting.....like comparing two good, but very different, wines or beers.....with female vocalists that is. It's a pretty interesting comparison with acoustic jazz as well. I was shocked how very different a female operatic  soprano sounded with the two phones. Will the 'real' Maria Callas please identify yourself! biggrin.gif


Actually do have access to a HD595. Haven't listened to them for a while though, especially not critically with female vocals (was listening more for bass and instrumentals at the time, and the Senns had a nice sound that I appreciated).

 

But if I have the chance, it'll be interesting to try again and listen to the difference between vocals.

post #25 of 86
Thread Starter 

So I've been listening to them for an hour or so, and they sound fine on their own. The separation is great. I've never heard a headphone that allows you to hear each individual instrument so well. It's just when I compare them with the HD 598s that I notice the deficiencies. I guess I'm just a Sennheiser man. I wish I could afford the 650s. 

post #26 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by shinndigg View Post

I will, right off the bat, say that I have not given these the appropriate burn in period. They've been used for about 8 hours so far. I'm not a huge believer in significant burn in effects, but if someone thinks my issues will be solved by burn in, that would be great, because I am in love with the design of these cans.

 

OK, first of all, my primary headphones before these were the HD 598. I LOVED the sound of them, but I hated the looks. I'm 22 and in college. Sound is most important to me or I'd have Beats like everyone else at the school. But the first thing that happened when I took the 598s out of the box was my girlfriend saying "yuck." 

 

So, I decided to try to find a good looking pair of headphones that was on par with or exceeded the 598s, with a budget topping out at ~$250. Q701s fit the bill and arrived today.

 

Hooked up to my iMac using USB to my VDAC MK II and FiiO E9, I can't help but be upset with these cans. First of all, they sound a bit muffled. Vocals seem distant and recessed. Things don't pop like they do with the Sennheisers. There even seems to be some distortion with highs for some bizarre reason, albeit very minor, even though they're supposed to have great range. 

 

On the bright side, I think they're a little more detailed than the 598s, which I would normally love. 

 

The distant vocals are my biggest complaint. Is this something that will be resolved with burn in? Will they ever be as fun to listen to as the 598s? Or do these cans just have a different presentation than the Sennheisers? 

 

If these are problems that WONT be resolved by burn in, is there another set of phones you could recommend?

This is exactly kind of the response I got when I compared the two. The Q701 is not a bad can at all but compared to the 598s, it has some major flaws. Very wide soundstage but it's not even an accurate one: very 2D with poor imaging and depth to it. The 598s manage to have a deep soundstage without going overboard. I have other impressions as well but I'll stop here. 

 

Perhaps you should've dumped your girlfriend :) I do find the headphones to be bit tackier than I wanted to in real life but one person commented about how he wore these out in public, and people all came up to him with positive questions about where he got them (the 598). So maybe these didn't look as bad as you thought they were o.O 

 

Most of the burn-in will be psychological. Your mind will eventually adapt to the sound of the Q701 and you'll probably like it more. If returning these are too much of a problem, I'd say give it more of a chance. I have yet to hear a headphone beat the 598s in the midrange (vocal) performance though. 

post #27 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by shinndigg View Post

So I've been listening to them for an hour or so, and they sound fine on their own. The separation is great. I've never heard a headphone that allows you to hear each individual instrument so well. It's just when I compare them with the HD 598s that I notice the deficiencies. I guess I'm just a Sennheiser man. I wish I could afford the 650s. 

Instrumental separation on the Q701 is good. The problem lies with the placement of these instruments. IMO, it's one thing to suggest that an amp needs enough voltage/ current to drive the diaphragm efficiently. But it's another thing to suggest that without a certain synergy/ amp, a headphone will not sound great. If it comes down to that scenario, you're just better off getting another headphone. 

 

To defend the Q701 somewhat, with female vocals it didn't sound too distant. I'm not an expert but the Q701's impedance is not a good match for the Fiio E9 (nor is the HD598). The E9's output impedance (10 ohms) demands a headphone with a load impedance of at least 80 ohms for sufficient damping. Still, like I said, amps don't change the signature of a headphone significantly unless it's some kind of tube amp that greatly distorts the sound. 

 

The problem lies within its lower midrange and bass overall. The timbre in that range is unnatural, and I should know considering I'm a cellist and hearing the timbre of the bass guitars, cello, drumsticks, etc. I concluded the Q701 has a "flawed" presentation of these instruments. 

 

I've heard the HD650 and honestly, I greatly prefer the 598s for any music that involves a) vocals  b) necessary soundstage  c) punchy bass  d) treble energy. And considering your issues with vocals, I think you'll most likely prefer the 598s over the 650s. Well here are what some people think of the 598 vs 650:

 

FlySweep: I've heard the 600 & 650.. and as has been stated before those are certainly more technically proficient, but the 598 is most certainly my favorite Sennheiser cans of the bunch just for their sheer musicality.  In my brief experience with the 598 so far an old adage, "the whole is greater than the sum of the parts," rings true (pun intended).  Sennheiser nailed it with the 598 in terms of crafting a phone with a musical, immersive presentation that makes listening to a wide variety of music very enjoyable and exciting.  There's a smooth, refined touch to the sound of these phones I find irresistable.

 

roBernd: and, while they {hd 598} might sell for a lower price I regard them over the HD650 in comfort, enjoyment and detail, and over the HD600 in enjoyment.

 

^ this guy posted in your thread already btw 

 

some dude: iam really in love with erverything in HD650, but i really miss HD598 mid =(

 

so to my question, is there a headphones good as HD650 but with more forward mid ? like the HD598 ? 

 

 

post #28 of 86

Oh I found another one

 

 

David Banderbilt:

I have recently tried both and I personally enjoy the HD 598s ALOT more than the HD 650's. The HD 598's actually have a larger soundstage than the HD 650's - the soundstage of the HD 598's is incredible! It really brings my favorite music to life, and it sounds incredible in my opinion. In terms of sound signature - I didn't enjoy the veiled and dark sound of the HD 650's, but that's just my opinion.I listen to a variety of music including mostly rock and techno and they just didn't do it for me. Also, my amp (Ibasso D4 mamba) probably isn't enough to power the HD 650's correctly, but honestly i just didn't like the veiled sound (highs were rolled off too much). The sound signature of the HD 598's is great - sounds very warm and natural without being overly dark. The mids are a little more forward sounding on these than the HD  600's and HD 650's, which makes rock (and everything IMO) sound better.  Like i said, I am running these through my Ibasso D4 Mamba, and I'm very happy with them. Like I said though, I'm sure my amp wasn't enough to power the HD 650's correctly and I have been told on here that it isnt,  but I didn't want to shell out money for a new amp AND new headphones.  If you're curious you could always order the HD 650's from amazon and return them. They will even refund your original shipping charge. I think to ship my HD 650's back to amazon was about 14 dollars at the post office. 

 

 

 

Btw I still recommend you compare the two in real life though. These are just simply similar opinions that I've had comparing the two and depending on your preferences, opinions may vary. 

post #29 of 86
Thread Starter 
Sounding more and more like I just happened to get the perfect headphones for myself with my first try in the 598. Too bad, I'm not sure I've ever wanted to love something as much as I wanted to love the AKGs.
post #30 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by shinndigg View Post

Sounding more and more like I just happened to get the perfect headphones for myself with my first try in the 598. Too bad, I'm not sure I've ever wanted to love something as much as I wanted to love the AKGs.

The AKGs do look very sexy to me despite a lot of my friends not liking their looks. I personally don't think the 598 look all that bad either, a little too gaudy for some but I rarely see them because they're on my head 24/7. 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › So far, disappointed with AKG Q701.