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AKG K702's and Focusrite 2i4 - Page 2

post #16 of 29

Regarding burn-in. When I bought my brand new K702s three years ago I just out of curiosity used my notebook as a source/amp. Phones had harsh trebles and totally missing bass. When I used them with my DAC and C2C amp it was much better but still not as good as I expected. Playing a pink noise thru them for one week 24/7 at decent volume level to relax their drivers improved their sound a lot.  


Two weeks ago, just before ordering my new setup I used my notebook as a source/amp again and I was really surprised how good these phones sound now. It is not a magic, their drivers need to be relaxed first. 


I was also searching for better/perfect sound. I was hoping my previous setup will last forever. It was not cheap, spent 1100USD just for DAC and HeadAmp + some cables + K702 + HiFace. I loved the sound but felt more and more often that something is missing. My favorite PCM1704UK chips are already obsolete and their price went up - 90USD/ea. That was why I decided to make another step in my quest for perfect sound and I bought Reference 10.32 while it is still produced - what a huge step up in sound quality. Makes me curious how Master 7 + Master 8 (Audio GD top combo) sound.  


At the moment I am in love with its sound and except new phones (HD800) I don't see many possibilities what to buy next because at this level of sound quality you need to invest lots of money to get just slightly closer to the music or to perfect sound. The bad thing is the better gear you have the less music you can listen to as LoudnessWar and bad mastering ruined most of newer records. But it is another story.   


Enjoy your K702, I am sure you will love them as much as I love mine ;-)

Edited by PiNa.cz - 1/23/13 at 2:29pm
post #17 of 29
Thread Starter 

I think I just may smile.gif


I had a long day at work and they were waiting for me when I came home.  The first thing I did was plug them into my phone (Samsung Galaxy Nexus) and listen to my "reference track". It's a song that I have loved for well over 15 years. I know it like the back of my hand on every imaginable sound system- even huge club speakers.  It sounded about how I expected from the phone with no amplification (quite meh). Then into my laptop through the 2i4. Yep. That was more like it. And any improvement from here on out will just be gravy. 


I'm absolutely glad I ordered the Objective2. The 2i4 just can't push these headphones. The headphone volume dial is all the way up and while it's got an ok enough amount of volume, it's just not being driven very hard at all. I would call it a comfortable medium/high amount of volume at the moment.  As expected my fillings aren't being jostled loose from my teeth with bass. And I didn't want that at all anyway. Far from it. I can only hope the amp will be here tomorrow and I can start listening to more tracks to get a feel for how they present other songs I'm familiar with.


As a caveat, it must be stated that my previous headphones were a pair of Sennheiser HD500's that I bought nearly a decade ago and they are absolute crap for anything other than casual listening. I've known this for years but I dealt with it and all my productions showed it, and suffered from it.  I worked around it as much as I could, but I should have brought them back on day one.  But quite honestly I didn't know any better at the time.  I figured that spending $100 at a music shop should have been good enough and that the weak link must have been something else. Also I was broke for a very long time so upgrading wasn't a top priority. Putting a garbage can on my head and banging the side with a stick would have been an improvement over the HD500's 

Edited by Kinetikx - 1/23/13 at 6:04pm
post #18 of 29
Thread Starter 

Oh, and I must have confused myself by researching so many headphones. The K702's don't have a mute switch that kicks in when you remove them from your head. I know it was a feature on one of the pairs I was seriously considering but I can't for the life of me remember which ones. 


I'm actually kind of glad for this. It just seemed like something that could cause problems in the long run. 


So, burn in can commence with no rubber bands involved bigsmile_face.gif

post #19 of 29
Originally Posted by Kinetikx View Post

Oh, and I must have confused myself by researching so many headphones. The K702's don't have a mute switch that kicks in when you remove them from your head. I know it was a feature on one of the pairs I was seriously considering but I can't for the life of me remember which ones. 


I'm actually kind of glad for this. It just seemed like something that could cause problems in the long run. 


So, burn in can commence with no rubber bands involved bigsmile_face.gif


The K702s don't have this but the K271 Mark II headphones do.


I have a pair of K271 Mark IIs which I use for monitoring sound on my video camera.

post #20 of 29
Thread Starter 
After a few days usage I'm happy with the combo I've put together. I have to put the O2 on high gain otherwise it's just not loud enough. I'm keeping the Focusrite 2i4 line out level (controlled through the laptop windows volume control) at 70% and the monitor volume level on the focusrite at about 75%, same for the volume level on the O2. The O2 makes all the difference in the world. The weak bass response has improved and overall the sound is just fuller. I re-equalized a song I've been working on and the difference is astounding. I'll have to make adjustments for a while until I get fully acquainted with how everything translates but so far it's just what I was looking for.
post #21 of 29

Common practice has it that you open the pots all the way from the center out until your amplifier and make adjustments there (unless we're talking about preamps).  I'm not familiar with you DAC however...


Try it out and see what you think.  Put the laptop volume and line out volume at 100 percent and adjust the O2 accordingly.

post #22 of 29
Thread Starter 

Good to know, thanks.  I wasn't quite sure about turning everything up to 11 so just played it safe. I appreciate the advice.

post #23 of 29

I know this reply is about 2 years too late however in my opinion at least....


With the headphone output at the 7 o 'clock position (or 210 degrees if you want to be pedantic) with my Shure SE425 the output is loud enough for my ears and just a little from distorting.


Impedance: 22 Ohms

Sensitivity @ 1 kHz: 109 dB SPL/mW


The AKG K702 which are harder to drive due to their impedance and driver selection. I have to turn the volume control to about 3 o' clock (90 degrees) to get around the sound to the same level.


Impedance: 62 Ohms

Sensitivity: 105 dB SPL/V


So evidently there is a few factors at play here - headphone design, the drivers in use, the power required to move the headphone magnets. The K702 for me are great however they are not completely flat as you wish they were.




That's one company trying to improve the accuracy of using headphone mixes in place of loudspeakers in treated rooms.


As I said, I know this message is late on - although I am a fairly new member to the forum and I'm only starting to get familiar with how it all works. Hopefully somebody finds this information useful.

Edited by interpolate - 5/10/15 at 11:32am
post #24 of 29

Doubler...please remove.

Edited by interpolate - 5/10/15 at 11:33am
post #25 of 29
Thread Starter 
Late responses are still valuable. I've still got the setup described but I've discovered that no matter how well regarded the k702's are I get better results using... A gaming headset, a Sennheiser pc363d. A high end gaming headset, but one that would likely be looked down on for what I use it for. It has its own included DAC.

I found that using this headset what I heard translated much more accurately to other systems like home theater and car audio. I don't know if it's my ears or the hardware/software combo but the 702's just aren't even close. I'm keeping them in case I change setups in the future but it still leaves me confused.
Edited by Kinetikx - 5/11/15 at 1:55pm
post #26 of 29

The AKG K702 probably are aimed for more clinical monitoring than system to system transfer unfortunately. Are you amplifying your AKG K702 or going through the headphone amplifier on the Focusrite 2i4? Personally I use a Samson C-Que 8 amplifier which is surprisingly good for the money which is passive meaning I route it through my soundcard and monitors.


The K702 need quite a lot of amplification to add weight to the bass. So whilst the impedance is quite low, the 200mW drivers need quite a lot juice to produce a fully energetic sound. They're comparable to the HD650 at 300 ohms and 500mW in terms of total driver output if not more needed to arrive at the same value. The sensitivity for both are both expressed at 105dB SPL/V I believe.


Looking at the headphone graphs for the AKG headphones you will find a few bumps and dips in the frequency response. Hence why the software I mentioned has been created..also they do the same for loudspeakers too which I think is quite reasonable if you need a good reference point.


Anyway it all depends on how much accuracy you need.


For better monitoring, you really need good speakers in a treated room (which is acoustically dead in terms of reflections). Well I don't really want to get far into the subject however I hope that makes sense.

Edited by interpolate - 5/11/15 at 11:19am
post #27 of 29
Thread Starter 
It's quite possible that im not effectively amplifying. I use an Objective 2, or O2 amp. http://www.jdslabs.com/mobile/products/35/objective2-headphone-amplifier/

And its not just that the results don't translate well from system to system it's that the sound becomes so muddied that its nearly unlistenable. I end up overcompensating the bass so that it sounds good in the headphone mix that the end result sounds like I've eq'd out most of the mids/highs on anything but the K702's. Quite possibly this is due to the signal being too weak into the K702's and the O2 just isn't up to the task. Part of the reason for going with the setup I did was portability (and affordability).

Regarding monitors and properly setup room, yes that would have been ideal but I have roommates and my production time ends up being their bedtime so I had to make some concessions.
post #28 of 29
Thread Starter 
And now I'm doing some looking around and reading. I looked at the output between the amp you're using and mine. On paper the O2 seems like it has more. But I do remember that I was using the higher gain setting on the O2 (it has a 2.5x and 6.5x button). I used the higher setting to allow me more headroom to adjust volume. At the lower setting I had to set the O2 at nearly max. The higher setting allowed me to be at around 75% or less volume (quite often just above 50% seemed to do the job). It's always a struggle (for me anyway) to balance between decent volume while still preventing clipping in my DAW.

I'm wondering if that higher gain is the problem? Sadly testing that right now isn't possible because my laptop is screwed up.
Edited by Kinetikx - 5/11/15 at 2:28pm
post #29 of 29

Well perhaps...


Less is more; I would be inclined to try it at a nominal setting then increase if necessary. As boring as it seems, you might be better to use sine tones and white/pink noise to find the optimum level. Do you have something that will meter at 0dB and show 85dB SPL at the same time? 


Something with K-Meter for instance or any approved AES/EBU standard as this will help calibrate things better.


How I set up my headphones was turn up the input value until I started peaking on my DAW. Watching the meters on my headphone amp when it started hitting red, I used this a reference point. Switched back to monitor mode on my soundcard and turned down the monitor volume by the determined amount which happens to be -18dBFS on my setup. I'm not 100% sure if this is correct thing to do however generally speaking this gives me a good balance between my sources.


Also be aware, some DAW software uses a 3dB pad between the maximum volume and output to prevent any overloads in software.


Anyway I'm tired now and hope you find some workaround from this spiel.



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