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AKG Q701 vs Hifiman he-400

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 

Can someone do an accurate comparison between the two. Also which ones do you guys think is better, which one is more versatile. Please post your impressions as it will be very helpful in my matter :)

post #2 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poetic View Post

Can someone do an accurate comparison between the two. Also which ones do you guys think is better, which one is more versatile. Please post your impressions as it will be very helpful in my matter :)

 

Heya,

 

I consider them equivalents, merely different sonic preferences for personal tastes.

 

Q701:

 

Slightly warmer than neutral, focus is on the mids & treble; large but accurate sound stage. Slightly analytical sound.

 

HE400:

 

Very warm (bassy), with slightly dark treble (not bright), focus is on mids and bass; good sound stage. "Fun" sound.

 

Both are versatile. Both are excellent.

 

It comes down to preference of their properties. Both need a little amplification (nothing robust or over the top unlike what is constantly posted), so you need to factor that in. If you were a sound stage freak who wanted nothing but mids, the Q701 would be a good bet. If you just wanted a smooth sound with some oumph in the bass, the HE400 would likely satisfy.

 

Very best,

post #3 of 55

I have found that between these two headphones the HE-400 works well with a large array of different types of music, but while the K701 does  work well with certain types of music it does not do so across the board.

 

Keep in mind that I currently have the HE-400 and only borrowed the K701 for about a week to sample the sound (which I eventually found wasn't for me).

 

Edit -- I just realized that I made the assumption that the Q701 was merely a re-branded K701 with the same sound. If I am wrong here, please don't hesitate to step in and correct me there.


Edited by niten - 11/6/12 at 6:53pm
post #4 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poetic View Post

Can someone do an accurate comparison between the two. Also which ones do you guys think is better, which one is more versatile. Please post your impressions as it will be very helpful in my matter :)

Never heard the HE-400 but the Q701 is a definite no-no. The soundstage is large but very problematic, often dispersing energy in the music, making vocals sound more distant than it really is, having no center focus, etc. And people getting listening fatigue from the Q701 speaks for itself. Extension is surprisingly good with little harmonic distortion, and with EQ the treble doesn't become problematic. The soundstage however is something that is just impossible to fix, and something that i could only recommend for video games - pinpointing directions in FPS in particular. 

 

The HE-400 is a much safer choice. 

post #5 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by niten View Post

I have found that between these two headphones the HE-400 works well with a large array of different types of music, but while the K701 does  work well with certain types of music it does not do so across the board.

 

Keep in mind that I currently have the HE-400 and only borrowed the K701 for about a week to sample the sound (which I eventually found wasn't for me).

 

Edit -- I just realized that I made the assumption that the Q701 was merely a re-branded K701 with the same sound. If I am wrong here, please don't hesitate to step in and correct me there.

I fortunately were able to compare them not too long ago. The differences I heard could easily have been a variation of the  models, but I did notice them with the bass and treble in particular. But regardless of the differences, they are more identical than different. If one does not like the K701, there is just no way in hell one could like the Q701... unless expectation bias becomes a factor. 

post #6 of 55

Malv covered it well. I prefer the K 702 which is extremely similar to the Q 701 (but cooler because it doesn't have some guy's name on it).

The midrange emphasis combined with "airy" top end and mild, clear bass extension makes them extremely versatile across genres, very "honest".

 

I heard the Hifiman for all of 10 minutes so I can't claim to have an indepth knowledge of the sound but I feel you can get a similar dark sound signature for less $. That's just me. Voldemort is right, the Hifiman is a "safer choice", but that's because the sound is more common. A stellar execution of a common sound - is that good or bad? Personal taste.

 

The AKGs on the other hand, you can't really find anything with that particular mix of powerful, organic midrange/treble + subtle, clear bass + huge soundstage for less money. Very love it/hate it (Lord Voldemort hates it, but he's some evil demon wizard guy so what do you expect).

 

To be blunt... After I got my K 702s months ago I lost the desire to look for listening headphones any longer. They sound pretty much perfect to me.

I think I just kept the K 240s because my 702s needed a hot girlfriend to hang out next to. I don't really listen to them.

 

Now I'm sorting through closed-back headphones for tracking and waiting to find my "closed K 702".


Edited by machoboy - 11/7/12 at 12:34am
post #7 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by machoboy View Post

Malv covered it well. I prefer the K 702 which is extremely similar to the Q 701 (but cooler because it doesn't have some guy's name on it).

The midrange emphasis combined with "airy" top end and mild, clear bass extension makes them extremely versatile across genres, very "honest".

 

I heard the Hifiman for all of 10 minutes so I can't claim to have an indepth knowledge of the sound but I feel you can get a similar dark sound signature for less $. That's just me. Voldemort is right, the Hifiman is a "safer choice", but that's because the sound is more common. A stellar execution of a common sound - is that good or bad? Personal taste.

 

The AKGs on the other hand, you can't really find anything with that particular mix of powerful, organic midrange/treble + subtle, clear bass + huge soundstage for less money. Very love it/hate it (Lord Voldemort hates it, but he's some evil demon wizard guy so what do you expect).

 

To be blunt... After I got my K 702s months ago I lost the desire to look for listening headphones any longer. They sound pretty much perfect to me.

I think I just kept the K 240s because my 702s needed a hot girlfriend to hang out next to. I don't really listen to them.

 

Now I'm sorting through closed-back headphones for tracking and waiting to find my "closed K 702".

 

I'd beg to differ; find me another headphone with linear bass ~ mid midrange, a laid-back upper midrange/lower treble, and raised upper treble. There aren't any (except maybe STAX 007). It is a very unique sound / colouration.

post #8 of 55

Kind of disagree about Q701 similarity, however not vs. K702, but vs. K701, but again, man says K702 are simply K701 with differ color and detachable cable, so, if that's the true, I must say, extremely is to extreme in my book, cos Q701 have clearly added warmth in the sig that I can't really explain yet, while K701 are simply better in the sense of refinement, clarity and preciseness, they sound simply right and Q having some kind of mixture in sig, which make them bit fun or something like that. My Q pair have around 170 hours and they open up nicely, not really miles ahead from new, but still going good and if I have to believe that K7.. models need around 400-500 hours to perform at full potential, I guess my Q still have a long way to go.

 

I also expecting K702 shortly, would be interesting to find out how they compare to K701 and Q701. Will be getting some custom made cables for them as well.

 

THX

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by machoboy View Post

Malv covered it well. I prefer the K 702 which is extremely similar to the Q 701 (but cooler because it doesn't have some guy's name on it).

The midrange emphasis combined with "airy" top end and mild, clear bass extension makes them extremely versatile across genres, very "honest".

 

I heard the Hifiman for all of 10 minutes so I can't claim to have an indepth knowledge of the sound but I feel you can get a similar dark sound signature for less $. That's just me. Voldemort is right, the Hifiman is a "safer choice", but that's because the sound is more common. A stellar execution of a common sound - is that good or bad? Personal taste.

 

The AKGs on the other hand, you can't really find anything with that particular mix of powerful, organic midrange/treble + subtle, clear bass + huge soundstage for less money. Very love it/hate it (Lord Voldemort hates it, but he's some evil demon wizard guy so what do you expect).

 

To be blunt... After I got my K 702s months ago I lost the desire to look for listening headphones any longer. They sound pretty much perfect to me.

I think I just kept the K 240s because my 702s needed a hot girlfriend to hang out next to. I don't really listen to them.

 

Now I'm sorting through closed-back headphones for tracking and waiting to find my "closed K 702".

post #9 of 55

I didn't mean generic - just "safer choice". The HE-400 definitely has its own sound but I think it's a sound with more immediate appeal to someone coming straight from $50 headphones to the $300 ballbark these are in. Not in a bad way but in a familiarity with things like bass quantity.

 

For someone like me who has ears very sensitive to lower bass clarity but insensitive to upper treble and likes strong mids as an "anchor" to both, the K 702 fits like a glove. For many (most?) it seems to be the opposite and they feel the 702 needs more quantity on the top and bottom and less of that grainy, forward midrange.

 

If anything, I'm saying that even though I like the 702 more, the HE-400 would probably win a popularity contest. Perhaps "common" wasn't the ideal word to use the first time around.

 

But just to play devil's advocate,

 

 

Quote:
 linear bass ~ mid midrange, a laid-back upper midrange/lower treble, and raised upper treble

 

exactly describes the DT 880


Edited by machoboy - 11/7/12 at 2:26am
post #10 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackmore View Post

Kind of disagree about Q701 similarity, however not vs. K702, but vs. K701, but again, man says K702 are simply K701 with differ color and detachable cable, so, if that's the true, I must say, extremely is to extreme in my book, cos Q701 have clearly added warmth in the sig that I can't really explain yet, while K701 are simply better in the sense of refinement, clarity and preciseness, they sound simply right and Q having some kind of mixture in sig, which make them bit fun or something like that. My Q pair have around 170 hours and they open up nicely, not really miles ahead from new, but still going good and if I have to believe that K7.. models need around 400-500 hours to perform at full potential, I guess my Q still have a long way to go.

 

I also expecting K702 shortly, would be interesting to find out how they compare to K701 and Q701. Will be getting some custom made cables for them as well.

 

THX

 

 

 

 

You're right, there are some differences, and I prefer the K over the Q, but for the sake of advice to prospective buyers, it's hard to imagine anyone who likes one not liking the other.

post #11 of 55

 But of course.

 

THX

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by machoboy View Post

 

You're right, there are some differences, and I prefer the K over the Q, but for the sake of advice to prospective buyers, it's hard to imagine anyone who likes one not liking the other.

post #12 of 55

Regarding closed back K702. Not sure, but I have strong feeling about Fostex TH900, however never tried one.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by machoboy View Post

Malv covered it well. I prefer the K 702 which is extremely similar to the Q 701 (but cooler because it doesn't have some guy's name on it).

The midrange emphasis combined with "airy" top end and mild, clear bass extension makes them extremely versatile across genres, very "honest".

 

I heard the Hifiman for all of 10 minutes so I can't claim to have an indepth knowledge of the sound but I feel you can get a similar dark sound signature for less $. That's just me. Voldemort is right, the Hifiman is a "safer choice", but that's because the sound is more common. A stellar execution of a common sound - is that good or bad? Personal taste.

 

The AKGs on the other hand, you can't really find anything with that particular mix of powerful, organic midrange/treble + subtle, clear bass + huge soundstage for less money. Very love it/hate it (Lord Voldemort hates it, but he's some evil demon wizard guy so what do you expect).

 

To be blunt... After I got my K 702s months ago I lost the desire to look for listening headphones any longer. They sound pretty much perfect to me.

I think I just kept the K 240s because my 702s needed a hot girlfriend to hang out next to. I don't really listen to them.

 

Now I'm sorting through closed-back headphones for tracking and waiting to find my "closed K 702".

post #13 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Voldemort View Post

Never heard the HE-400 but the Q701 is a definite no-no. The soundstage is large but very problematic, often dispersing energy in the music, making vocals sound more distant than it really is, having no center focus, etc. And people getting listening fatigue from the Q701 speaks for itself. Extension is surprisingly good with little harmonic distortion, and with EQ the treble doesn't become problematic. The soundstage however is something that is just impossible to fix, and something that i could only recommend for video games - pinpointing directions in FPS in particular. 

 

The HE-400 is a much safer choice. 

"The Q701 is a terrible headphone that is only suitable for gaming."

I beg to differ.

 

The K701 is a great all rounder headphone with a slight analytical tilt and an expansive soundstage. The new (8 bump w. simple AKG logo) K701 is indistinguishable from the Q701 to me. Read my review for more info.

 

The HE400's have a warmer tilt and a smaller soundstage. It's not as clean as the K701. I can't make any detailed comments on the sound because I haven't owned them but I have heard them. Being orthos, bass is expectedly superb.

post #14 of 55

can't speak for the he-400, but what I like about the K|Q70X is the ability to boost bass to get a satisfying 'sub-woofer' like performance with little compromise to the other frequencies. This is because the AKG has more emphasis on the mids and highs to start. I can't achieve that effect with the HD650 without muddying up the mids. Does this make sense? I know many prefer not to mess too much with eq but this is one exception for me.

post #15 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by talisman42 View Post

can't speak for the he-400, but what I like about the K|Q70X is the ability to boost bass to get a satisfying 'sub-woofer' like performance with little compromise to the other frequencies. This is because the AKG has more emphasis on the mids and highs to start. I can't achieve that effect with the HD650 without muddying up the mids. Does this make sense? I know many prefer not to mess too much with eq but this is one exception for me.


Because the HD650 has a midbass hump, you need to do some serious EQ compensation for the HD650 to get clear results. The midbass can veil the sub-bass, mids and treble is what I have found. I have owned one for many years. The Q701 (I don't own these but my friend does) has higher quality sub-bass and picking out the individual notes is easier. I never got the "lack of bass" criticism of the Q701/K701. It's there and very audible. Personally they're too thin for my liking.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Voldemort View Post

Never heard the HE-400 but the Q701 is a definite no-no. The soundstage is large but very problematic, often dispersing energy in the music, making vocals sound more distant than it really is, having no center focus, etc. And people getting listening fatigue from the Q701 speaks for itself. Extension is surprisingly good with little harmonic distortion, and with EQ the treble doesn't become problematic. The soundstage however is something that is just impossible to fix, and something that i could only recommend for video games - pinpointing directions in FPS in particular. 

 

The HE-400 is a much safer choice. 


What's your beef with the AKG Q701? You don't like a headphone, you don't need to say that it's flawed in every thread.

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