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AKG Q701 vs Hifiman he-400 - Page 2

post #16 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by basslova View Post


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.
 


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.

 

He loves to bash the Q701! That's OK. I do that with the HD-600 sometimes despite using it a lot. Even the HD-598 sometimes.

 

Q701 is quite an impressive headphone. I had a love/hate thing with the K702 and I do believe many people who hated the K702 might like the Q701. Maybe some Q701s have "special" drivers and sound different than other Q701s. One would need to try out a dozen pairs to know for sure. AKG does claim the K702 is open and the Q701 is "semi-open".  I'm using a Q701 with a very neutral amp/dac and it's still warm and full sounding. The mids on my old K702 were thin and almost recessed sounding (except for upper mids). Had this weird peak in the treble that drove my ears bonkers.

 

Vocals only sound distant if it's that way in the recording. The Q701 is very accurate to how things are recorded. I will say that some vocals are more forward sounding on my DJ100 and HD-580 though. The Q701 can sound thin or warm and full sounding depending on the recording. It's quite interesting. Unlike say the HD-650, it won't make very warm recordings into a muffled and congested mess. You know, with the wrong recording I can get the Q701 to sound like the AD700 biggrin.gif Yeah..there are some recordings in my collection that are that bad. Ugh. Sometimes I think people blame the headphone when it's the recordings fault!

 

Right now i'm using the Q701 with a Canare DIY cable and it sounds pretty similar to the HD-598/K601, but much clearer and a larger soundstage. Right now I think if the Q701 was any warmer it's sound would be ruined!

 

I highly doubt anyone has claimed the Q701 is fatiguing. It's treble for me has always been really smooth. It's only bad with maybe a few of my garbage tracks. When underamped the Q701 can be a bit harsh and thin.

post #17 of 55
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.

 

I'm one who kind of disliked the K702. It sounded amazing about 75% of the time, but if you read any of my old posts I had a list a mile long about some complaints I had about the K701.

 

Such as..thin and slightly recessed sounding mids. Fatiguing treble peaks and an artificially huge soundstage.

 

The Q701 fixed this for me. I didn't HATE the K701, but I would say I couldn't live with it due to preferences. I've owned the Q701 since Oct. 2011 and haven't had a single complaint.

 

It's not the most musical headphone in the world, but I have more colored headphones for when I want more bass or more forward mids. NOTE: I do find it musical, but very accurate.

 

BTW I can see how some would prefer the K702 over the Q701. K702 seems a bit more analytical with more treble and a little less warm. I did find the K702 to have a larger soundstage too. My Q701's soundstage never ever felt massive.

post #18 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by machoboy View Post

 

(HE400 sound sig)

 

exactly describes the DT 880

 

They are quite different actually, DT880 has a mid-treble emphasis and (relative to mid-treble) less upper treble sparkle, while HE400 is the other way around.

 

In fact the vast majority of headphones have mid-treble emphasis and not the upper extremes.

post #19 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by basslova View Post

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.

 

I don't have a "beef" with the Q701 (or the K701). Does it sound like I hate them because I actually give a detailed reasons for why I think they're not a safe choice for potential buyers? There's an objective side of music that a lot of people on this forum seems to ignore, and this is what I'm highlighting. I could simply say, "I didn't like the Q701, I think HE-400 is a safer buy". But what a useless comment! Likewise, comments like "headphone x sounds very organic/ great for their price" are useless. Why not say stuff like "headphone x gave me listening fatigue or headphone x sounded thin"? Great comments originate from intuitive experiences or objective analysis. It's also ideal to make a comparison, but I stopped doing that a long time ago because it almost made me sound like I was promoting a certain brand of headphones. In this case, I would compare the Q701 with the HD598 but I won't go there. TC wants to know Q701 vs HE-400 after all. 

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.

Why not EQ? Every headphone needs some kind of proper EQ, especially in the upper midrange. It's all about getting closer to the way the artist intended. The problem with boosting a certain part of the frequency is the tendency for the sound to distort. I wish I had more time with the d2000 in particular. That headphone has great potential with proper EQ, mainly because the design allows the subbass to rumble. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iamthem View Post

"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.

Once again, you'll hear many people say quite the opposite about the K/Q 701 when it comes to being a great all arounder. I have seen at least thirty different people online say the opposite, and it's not hard to find them. For me, the Q701 seems to take over the music and give it its own sound signature... every song sounds similar to one another. And please elaborate on the "analytical tilt". These headphones are far from being neutral, and most of its "detail" comes from accentuated treble and upper midrange regions. The word analytical, as it is used in this forum, just  means brightness or treble-emphasized. Analytical should technically mean detailed, and closer to how the music actually is, in which case, why would that be a characteristic of its own? It's just becoming closer to hi-fi (aka high fidelity to source). 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by machoboy View Post

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).

 

 

The boost around 800+ hertz region renders the AKG messes with the overtones and renders a plastic-like timbre to some of the music I listen to. Yes I agree the bass is clear but it's relatively thin to begin with, and overshadowed by the upper mids/ treble. Once again, the midrange on the Q701 is decent (I like it much better than the D2000/ DT880) but this all depends on how much upper mid/ treble presence is in a song, which can easily overshadow the midrange at times. 

 

And I'd like to make this clear that I don't hate the AKG Q701, or any other inanimate object for that matter. My goal here is to help the TC out with various problems that me and others have encountered with the Q/K701 series, and helping him pick the safer choice. If you look at the "headphones you regret the most buying" thread, you'll easily see the AKG series top the list. 

post #20 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Voldemort View Post

 

I don't have a "beef" with the Q701 (or the K701). Does it sound like I hate them because I actually give a detailed reasons for why I think they're not a safe choice for potential buyers? There's an objective side of music that a lot of people on this forum seems to ignore, and this is what I'm highlighting. I could simply say, "I didn't like the Q701, I think HE-400 is a safer buy". But what a useless comment! Likewise, comments like "headphone x sounds very organic/ great for their price" are useless. Why not say stuff like "headphone x gave me listening fatigue or headphone x sounded thin"? Great comments originate from intuitive experiences or objective analysis. It's also ideal to make a comparison, but I stopped doing that a long time ago because it almost made me sound like I was promoting a certain brand of headphones. In this case, I would compare the Q701 with the HD598 but I won't go there. TC wants to know Q701 vs HE-400 after all. 

Why not EQ? Every headphone needs some kind of proper EQ, especially in the upper midrange. It's all about getting closer to the way the artist intended. The problem with boosting a certain part of the frequency is the tendency for the sound to distort. I wish I had more time with the d2000 in particular. That headphone has great potential with proper EQ, mainly because the design allows the subbass to rumble. 

I am all for the objective side. But your comments are subjective in nature, no matter how much experience you have.

post #21 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by basslova View Post

I am all for the objective side. But your comments are subjective in nature, no matter how much experience you have.

I should elaborate. Objective comments include referring to scientific measurements or a short summary of those measurements (treble peaks in the 10khz region with the Q701).

 

But sometimes it's hard to be objective all the time. For instance, it's hard to describe soundstage scientifically, and it's far more convenient to describe it subjectively as "small" or "large" or better yet, a comparison between multiple headphones. We are talking about how audio equipment achieves fidelity to the source. Consequently, a subjective comment can have a degree of truth to it   I'm one of the many people who believe the soundstage on the Q701 isn't anything close to what music actually sounds like. It's subjective of me to not like it. But it's not subjective of me to say that it sounds unnatural. My references would be a set of speakers and live concert experiences. Good subjective comments have a closer basis in reality, even if isn't purely backed up by concrete facts. 

 

I suppose if you really want to get picky, you could make a pros/ cons table. 

 

Pro: soundstage is large, and can give you a better illusion of space close to real life. Separation (instruments and directions) is good, though the spacing of them tends to be slightly exaggerated. 

Cons: interferes with vocals, no center focus (left channel and right channel seems to swap over... very confusing and unnatural),  

 

Once again, with all these details I provided, it would be immature for anyone to lay me off simply as a "hater". People hate on the Beats all the time. What makes the AKGs immune to such criticisms? It's not as if a group of headphones pass a certain point, where everything becomes a matter of subjective preference. Anyone could make a criticism of expensive headphones such as the HD800 or the Beyer T1. 


Edited by Lord Voldemort - 11/8/12 at 1:02pm
post #22 of 55

Agreed!

 

The bass might not be emphasized, but it is extended and very textured. I use a +2 bass boost with my E17 and it makes the bass quite enjoyable. It's still not anywhere near approaching basshead status, but it is deep, punchy, and textured. The Q701 has just a touch of warmth which is nice too. Some say the soundstage is too wide, but so far I dont agree that it is too wide, it's wide, bit not overly wide. 

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.

post #23 of 55
Thread Starter 

Let me ask you guys this, if someone for the first time listened to the akg q701, then listened to the hifiman he-400. Do you think they will like the hifiman he-400 more? Im trying to figure out what headphones to get my cousin. Would you say hifiman he-400 a much safer choice than the akg's

post #24 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post

 

He loves to bash the Q701! That's OK. I do that with the HD-600 sometimes despite using it a lot. Even the HD-598 sometimes.

 

Q701 is quite an impressive headphone. I had a love/hate thing with the K702 and I do believe many people who hated the K702 might like the Q701. Maybe some Q701s have "special" drivers and sound different than other Q701s. One would need to try out a dozen pairs to know for sure. AKG does claim the K702 is open and the Q701 is "semi-open".  I'm using a Q701 with a very neutral amp/dac and it's still warm and full sounding. The mids on my old K702 were thin and almost recessed sounding (except for upper mids). Had this weird peak in the treble that drove my ears bonkers.

 

Vocals only sound distant if it's that way in the recording. The Q701 is very accurate to how things are recorded. I will say that some vocals are more forward sounding on my DJ100 and HD-580 though. The Q701 can sound thin or warm and full sounding depending on the recording. It's quite interesting. Unlike say the HD-650, it won't make very warm recordings into a muffled and congested mess. You know, with the wrong recording I can get the Q701 to sound like the AD700 biggrin.gif Yeah..there are some recordings in my collection that are that bad. Ugh. Sometimes I think people blame the headphone when it's the recordings fault!

 

Right now i'm using the Q701 with a Canare DIY cable and it sounds pretty similar to the HD-598/K601, but much clearer and a larger soundstage. Right now I think if the Q701 was any warmer it's sound would be ruined!

 

I highly doubt anyone has claimed the Q701 is fatiguing. It's treble for me has always been really smooth. It's only bad with maybe a few of my garbage tracks. When underamped the Q701 can be a bit harsh and thin.

 The akgq701 gets fatguing to me if i listen to rock music sometimes. But that's about it, and i barely ever listen to rock. hiphop rnb, jazz

post #25 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poetic View Post

Let me ask you guys this, if someone for the first time listened to the akg q701, then listened to the hifiman he-400. Do you think they will like the hifiman he-400 more? Im trying to figure out what headphones to get my cousin. Would you say hifiman he-400 a much safer choice than the akg's

A first impression of the 400 ESPECIALLY coming from another headphone is going to turn out terrible. The 400 planars/sound sig is way too different to casually a-b, I know i've tried. The first time I heard the 701 was out of a Woo Audio WA3 amp though and it was pretty amazing, it is the embodiment of air. the low-end isn't even in the same world as the 400's though.

post #26 of 55

From what brief auditions I've had of the Q701s (which according to everyone is a slightly warmer AKG relative to the K70X series) at a meet some time ago, it had a slightly smoother treble compared to HE400, but it also sounded very thin and anemic (relatively speaking). My ears are way too infatuated with the planar bass and mids, the lushness and fullness of it.

post #27 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

From what brief auditions I've had of the Q701s (which according to everyone is a slightly warmer AKG relative to the K70X series) at a meet some time ago, it had a slightly smoother treble compared to HE400, but it also sounded very thin and anemic (relatively speaking). My ears are way too infatuated with the planar bass and mids, the lushness and fullness of it.

Even my D5000's don't sound right anymore, those planar drivers will spoil you rotten.

post #28 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poetic View Post

 The akgq701 gets fatguing to me if i listen to rock music sometimes. But that's about it, and i barely ever listen to rock. hiphop rnb, jazz

Do you have an idea of what sort of music your cousin will be listening to most of the time? Similar to your own music preferences?

This might help give you impressions better suited to your specific situation.

 

As far as what was mentioned in the past couple posts, it is hard not to sing praises of such a well-priced planar magnetic solution.

post #29 of 55
He400 is much better than k702 which I used love
The planar sound is killer especially on jazz
post #30 of 55

Deleted.


Edited by iamthem - 11/9/12 at 4:52pm
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