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AKG702 w/ Computer Roadblock

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hello all!


This is indeed my first post on this forum, but I have been a lurker ph34r.gif for a while. I am finally breaking into the world of high-end audio (or mid-end audio, or whatever) and after doing as much research as I could, I finally decided I needed to make a post. I definitely apologize if this question or concern has been answered in the past, I tried finding it and couldn't, or at least not one particularly relevant.


Equipment in question:

Headphones: AKG702 (Or possibly Sennheiser HD650)

Soundcard: Asus Xonar Essence STX

Amp (Possibly): Schiit Valhalla


Predicament: I purchased the Asus Xonar Essence STX in hopes of being able to purchase soon after a pair of AKG702s or Sennheiser HD650s. As much as I wanted the Sennheiser HD650s, I decided to go with the AKG702s because they were a little more affordable. However, after deciding on these, I read (on a forum, don't remember which one) that some people didn't like the AKG702s with the Asus Xonar Essence STX. A while back I remember reading that the AKG702s can be hard to drive, but I also remember reading that a lot of people liked their Asus Xonar Essence STX + Sennheiser HD650 setup.


Do I really need to get another dedicated amp for the AKG702s? If so, would the Schiit Valhalla be a good choice (which I remember reading a while back was recommended by some people for the AKGs)?. If not, great, because I would prefer to keep it down to just the soundcard and headphones.


Do the Sennheiser HD650s pair better with the soundcard? If so, I might return the AKGs (which isn't a problem) and get the Sennheisers.


Thanks all for your help!




AKG702 w/ Asus Xonar Essence STX (or does it not pair well enough to not require a dedicated amp?)




Sennheiser HD650 w/ Asus Xonar Essence STX (Does it pair easier with the soundcard than the AKG702s?)


Edit: I could totally be approaching this wrong with the soundcard in the first place. If so, I'm definitely open to suggestions!

Edited by TomRoark - 8/27/12 at 11:50am
post #2 of 4

I just finished a listen test with the ASUS Xonar Essence One and it is a pretty good sounding piece of equipment.  It is an external DAC with built in amp.  It can drive anything from a Denon AH-D2000 up to a LCD-3 just fine.  It sounded remarkably close to my Grace Design m903.  If you can I suggest the following setup.


1.)  AKG Q701 headphones ( they have a few more dB in the bass region making more pleasant to listen to

2.)  ASUS Xonar Essence One


No need for any more equipment.  It has a USB DAC so you can run USB straight from your PC into the Xonar.  It will have plenty of power for other headphones as well as sounding just fine with a pair of AKG K701 or AKG Q701

post #3 of 4

When I had a AKG 702 and a Xonar STX I did like it. But I enjoyed it more after I changed the op-amps from what the Xonar STX was using by default to LT1364.  Now I have no tried the AKG 702's with the NFB-12 because I didn't have this usb/opt/coaxial dac amp at the time. I sure it be a good combo for the AKG 702. Depending on which model you find used in the forums. As the different models of NFB-12 have the Digital filters as a jumper or buttons or non at all. The one that has it as a button is easy to tell the difference from.

Edited by genclaymore - 9/1/12 at 5:58am
post #4 of 4

Originally Posted by TomRoark View Post


Do the Sennheiser HD650s pair better with the soundcard? If so, I might return the AKGs (which isn't a problem) and get the Sennheisers.


Technically, the amplifier on your sound card is better suited to driving high impedance headphones like the HD650. However, it is a more important factor if you prefer the sound of the HD650 or the AKG K702.

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