Yea, I don't agree. I will agree that maybe the Q701 is picky, but so is the HD650 supposedly. I don't have an HD650 anymore, I sold it because I had lost my job and knew that I could make a about a grand selling it and the amp/DAC I had for it. Since then, I have had a few other headphones, and my tastes have changed a bit. Anyway, I had the big $850 HeadRoom desktop amp/DAC for my HD650. Now for my Q701 I use only an E17. I really do feel that the E17 is enough for these, and not just in terms of getting them louder than I'd ever need. The Q701 with the E17 on +2 bass boost is the exact sound I was after for progressive rock/metal. Detailed, but still a little bit fun. Amazing clarity, separation, and texture. I have actually never heard bass texture like this before with any headphone. I don't remember bass clarity like this with my old HD650, yes it had tons of bass, but sometimes it seemed bloated to me. I have also never heard electric guitar sound so clear and layered either. I paid over $1100 for my HD650 and amp, I paid $380 for my Q701 and amp, for a third of the price, I am more than satisfied. Seems like a real bargain when you compare the two. Did the HD650 and HeadRoom amp/DAC sound 3 times better, nope, I actually prefer the Q701 and the E17.
A lot of people seem to say that with a bigger/better amp I would get a bigger sound-stage. This current sound-stage is big enough. When I listen to ambient I forget I am even wearing headphones.
Anyway, my point is that I don't think the Q701 is all that hard to drive. Maybe I listen at a lower volume than some people on here. I usually listen at about 75-80db (c-weighted) average measured with a Radio Shack meter. The music I listen to is almost always recorded/mastered well and usually fairly dynamic. I cant tolerate bad and brick walled recordings.
Yes, based on my experience with them. Not everyone will agree. My HD-650 actually sounds very good straight from my old Ipod 3G from 2004! The Q701..not so much.
The K400, K501 and K601 are much harder to drive than the Q701 though. I think there's a few that thought the K601 wasn't as hard to drive as people say.
I just know that the K601 needs nearly half volume on high gain with my Micro Amp. Q701 and HD-650 are both always on low gain. HD-650 at about 35% volume.
I guess another part of the problem is that they're also a bit picky with amps. My Dj100 is like that too. Not sure why this is exactly.
Of course i'm not one of those people who claims the Q701 needs a $500+ amp like some on here. Even the E9 is good enough.
I remember trying it with the E10 and felt it was OK, but didn't try it for very long.
Edited by jasonb - 12/7/12 at 6:01pm