Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › AKG K702's and Focusrite 2i4
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

AKG K702's and Focusrite 2i4

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

(Hopefully this is in the right forum.  Apologies if it's not.)

 

Hello all.  I've spent the past week deciding on a new set of headphones to use for mastering/mixing tracks from my laptop. Thanks mostly to all the in-depth information on this forum I've (almost) settled on the AKG K702.  Something that seems to come up fairly often is the fact that these headphones really need amplification to be used to their full potential.  I've already got a Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio interface/DAC http://us.focusrite.com/usb-audio-interfaces/scarlett-2i4 and I'm not sure it will be beefy enough to drive the K702's. I spent most of last night searching for an answer to that question but didn't come up with anything definitive.

 

So that's the first part of my question.

 

Secondly, I have already been searching for headphone amps to use in conjunction with the 2i4 in case it won't be enough.  I've looked at amps that range in price from the Fiio e9 to the Schiit Asgard- above those prices and I'm not sure I'd even be able to hear the difference in price. (though I'm sure some of you may disagree), but I'm already going to be well over $500 just to hear decent sounds from my laptop (this isn't even mentioning what I'm looking at for studio monitors but that's a whole other can of worms, and something I won't be worried about for a while). And I'd rather not invest in a whole new DAC since the 2i4 offers so many other inputs that are really handy like the midi and instrument/mic inputs.

 

Any light you could shed on this subject would be excellent. Thanks!

post #2 of 22
Thread Starter 

Well, I'm assuming the lack of response means that no one here has tried this combo.  How about if I just post the specs of the analogue output listed on the Focusrite page for the interface: 

 

Power Output into 32Ω = 24mW

Output Impedance  = < 12Ω

Frequencey Response = 20Hz - 20kHz +/- 0.2dB

post #3 of 22

From the looks of those power output specs, 24mW @ 32 Ohms is not very much.  Even the FiiO E07K, rated at 130mW or so, is considered underpowered for ortho headphones, but would be just about enough for something with dynamic drivers like your AKGs.  Have you considered the Schiit Magni, too?  Quite a nice little amp, with a good amount of power for $99.

post #4 of 22
The max power rating is 200 mw (constant) and should have another 200 mw for peaks IMO.
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wje View Post

Have you considered the Schiit Magni, too?  Quite a nice little amp, with a good amount of power for $99.

I hadn't actually. I completely overlooked it when I was on the schiit site. That would be an excellent choice.

In my searches I also came across the Objective2 amp and I was kind of leaning towards it. So now your recommendation has me debating over the O2 and the Magni. Any preference between the two?
post #6 of 22

An alternative perhaps might be to consider the AKG K550s. These are very easy to drive and you could maybe plug them into the Focusrite 2i4 and have a surprisingly good sound from that.


Edited by p a t r i c k - 1/18/13 at 11:28pm
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 

That was one of the sets on my short list, as was the Audio Technica ATH-M50 and a few others. Based on a whole lot of internet digging both here and other places, the K702 just seemed like a logical choice based on what I'm trying to accomplish and the reviews/descriptions of the 702's. I want as little flavor imparted to my music by the headphones as possible and these seemed to fit the bill.  I've already ordered a pair and they should be here on Tuesday happy_face1.gif.

 

And I'm just about ready to pull the trigger on the Objective2 amp. I really like the DIY aspect and the open source ideology it seems to convey. I have noticed that the maker has a bit of a... history here.  I hope that won't color any recommendations either for or against it. I'm still deciding though so any input on (reasonably priced, i.e. not $1000) amps would still be very appreciated.

 

Thanks again for the suggestions and information provided by everybody.

post #8 of 22

You are absolutely right that the AKG K702s are extremely neutral and transparent, the most transparent headphones available perhaps apart maybe from the Sennheiser HD 800s which I've never heard.

 

I have AKG K702s and I absolutely love them.

 

That O2 amplifier looks very neat indeed :)

 

The AKGs do need some amplification really.

 

The AKG K702s will also sound truly superb with the best sources and amplification, so if you wish to use them with even better amps and sources in the future you will be able to.

post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 

I opted for the Objective2. It should be here in a few days.  

 

Here's my last question. The 2i4 has line outputs on the back. Should I use those to feed into the Objective2 or just go from the headphone jack into the amp? My gut tells me to go from the line outs but I'm just not sure.

post #10 of 22

You gut is correct smile.gif

 

The "line out" will be a consistent level which is standard-ish. It is a similar level to the output of a CD player or a Tuner for example.

 

If you wish to be 100% sure you might like to email Focusrite 2i4 manufacturers.

 

 

post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by p a t r i c k View Post

You are absolutely right that the AKG K702s are extremely neutral and transparent, the most transparent headphones available perhaps apart maybe from the Sennheiser HD 800s which I've never heard.

 

I have AKG K702s and I absolutely love them.

 

That O2 amplifier looks very neat indeed :)

 

The AKGs do need some amplification really.

 

The AKG K702s will also sound truly superb with the best sources and amplification, so if you wish to use them with even better amps and sources in the future you will be able to.

 

+1 for AKG K702s

 

With a good amp they will shine. Just remember to burn them in for 200-300 hours before serious listening.  

I was surprised they scored B+ only in the Head-Fi's Battle of the Flagships

Thinking about HD800 as my next upgrade but their price is way too much for me now.

post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by p a t r i c k View Post

You gut is correct smile.gif

 

The "line out" will be a consistent level which is standard-ish. It is a similar level to the output of a CD player or a Tuner for example.

 

If you wish to be 100% sure you might like to email Focusrite 2i4 manufacturers.

 

 

 

Excellent!  I've absorbed a thing or two after all my reading and researching smile.gif  I'll be testing both outputs just out of curiosity but the good cables I have will be used with the line outs.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by PiNa.cz View Post

 

With a good amp they will shine. Just remember to burn them in for 200-300 hours before serious listening.  

I was surprised they scored B+ only in the Head-Fi's Battle of the Flagships

Thinking about HD800 as my next upgrade but their price is way too much for me now.

 

The burn in is already planned and I'll be chomping at the bit while that happens.  I can't say I won't be using them to mix songs in the meantime, but I'll be doing so with the understanding that the sound may not be "complete" for a while. And yeah, some of these headphones and peripherals get ridiculously pricey. Funny thing is that I would have considered what I just dropped on headphones and an amp as absolutely silly just a few years ago. 

 

I'm just hoping this doesn't lead to me wanting to buy more and more in search of some unattainable "perfect sound"

 

Thanks once again to everyone for the input, it's been really helpful.

post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kinetikx View Post

 

Excellent!  I've absorbed a thing or two after all my reading and researching smile.gif  I'll be testing both outputs just out of curiosity but the good cables I have will be used with the line outs.

 

 

 

The burn in is already planned and I'll be chomping at the bit while that happens.  I can't say I won't be using them to mix songs in the meantime, but I'll be doing so with the understanding that the sound may not be "complete" for a while. And yeah, some of these headphones and peripherals get ridiculously pricey. Funny thing is that I would have considered what I just dropped on headphones and an amp as absolutely silly just a few years ago. 

 

I'm just hoping this doesn't lead to me wanting to buy more and more in search of some unattainable "perfect sound"

 

Thanks once again to everyone for the input, it's been really helpful.

 

On the subject of burn in, this is something which people often disagree over, however my experience of my K702s has been that there is no noticeable change of sound over time. I have had them for over two years and it is possible that today the treble is very very slightly smoother than when they were new, but I would have to check them against a new pair in a double blind test before I would say that this change was in place. Personally I would say that my K702s have not exhibited any aspect of the "burn in" phenomenon. I do not wish to undermine anyone else's reported experience, I am merely reporting mine.

 

I would advise using good quality budget cables. The cable which comes with the AKG K702s is absolutely fine for its job. I would advise against purchasing any cables that are advertised with pseudo-science or magic. Good quality cables for hi fi systems need not be expensive at all.

 

There are people who claim all kinds of sonic experiences with these things, however until these are demonstrated in double blind listening tests we cannot know if these are observations of actual real changes in the audio signal or if it is the consequences of suggestion and autosuggestion.

 

I have written an article on suggestion and autosuggestion and you will see a link to it in my signature.

 

This comment you make:

 

I'm just hoping this doesn't lead to me wanting to buy more and more in search of some unattainable "perfect sound"

 

is a good one. Many people waste a great deal of money on Hi Fi components which bring no sonic benefits whatsoever. I created my first Hi Fi in the late 70s and unfortunately from the mid 80s to the current day I have seen Hi Fi change into an absurd consumerist exercise. It is very easy to get trapped into believing that you have to purchase this or that to get better sound. Hi Fi reviews are not conducted blind (as was a common practice in UK magazines of the early 80s) so we cannot know if the reviewers are reporting on suggestion or autosuggestion or on actual sonic changes.

 

 

post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 

Absolutely in sync with your comments.  I'm a pragmatist and skeptic by nature (to a fault depending on who you ask).  I'm not enticed by supposed huge gains by changing cables for ones that sell for multiple hundreds of dollars . My "good cable" is a set of good gold plated RCA jacks to an 1/8" stereo jack joined by Canare wire that I bought for less than $30 which will be joining the 2i4 and Objective2. I'm more concerned with reducing EM interference and avoiding awful pops and loss of sound when a connection is even looked a wrong. I will admit that I looked at some replacement cables for the 702's that were mentioned in a couple threads. Apparently they claim to make a marked improvement in the bass performance...  I took one look at the prices which ran upwards of $200 and guffawed pretty loudly and closed the page.  I'm sure some may find that a worthwhile investment.  The cost/benefit to something like that isn't for me.  

 

As far as burn in goes, I've already come to the conclusion that it can't hurt and leaving them running while I'm at work or sleeping costs nothing more than power consumption from my old MP3 player. I'll have to come up with a way to engage the strange switch that AKG used to turn these off when not on your head.  I'm fairly good at cobbling things together so I'm confident I'll sort something out. Probably something as simple as a rubber band would do the trick.


Edited by Kinetikx - 1/22/13 at 6:36pm
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kinetikx View Post

 

As far as burn in goes, I've already come to the conclusion that it can't hurt and leaving them running while I'm at work or sleeping costs nothing more than power consumption from my old MP3 player. I'll have to come up with a way to engage the strange switch that AKG used to turn these off when not on your head.  I'm fairly good at cobbling things together so I'm confident I'll sort something out. Probably something as simple as a rubber band would do the trick.

 

Yes, the burn in process will not hurt at all. I would not be one to say that burn in is not real, but I think that it is perhaps overplayed.

 

The biggest issue I have with buying new hi fi stuff is that in the initial period of ownership there is a often a period of adjustment. The very first encounter can be very negative in fact. However after a few weeks I find I adjust to the new stuff and then I am in a position to decide whether I like it or not.

 

Anyway, best of luck with the K702s :)

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Dedicated Source Components
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › AKG K702's and Focusrite 2i4