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Akg k702 vs hifiman he500

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone.

 

I was wondering which headphone is better for rock and jazz.  I might also be listening to country and classical and instrumentals.  This will be a home setup however it will be used with a portable dac/amp setup as it is cheaper.  Which has more detail? Which is more balanced? I know the he500s are significantly more so if they sound similar which headphone am I getting more value or bang for the buck?  Which is better for a portable setup? Which is more forgiving with low quality files? Not that I am going to use low quality files.  I will use ALAC.  That last question was just out of curiosity.

 

Thank you

post #2 of 14

The AKGs are nice for their price, very even and open sound, but they are not even close to the level of performance you can extract out of HE500.

post #3 of 14

Heya,

 

The HE500 is a different level of quality. It also requires more power to drive, and is not friendly to dinky portable setups unless you get specific portable equipment that can power it decently (currently the Fiio E12 is your best bet for price/performance ratio that can power an ortho on the go well). The HE500 has better extension, balance, way better extension and control into the sub-bass regions. The resolution and rendering is simply natural sounding, more realistic to me, than any of the AKG's.

 

Based on what you described, it sounds more to me like the AudioTechnica AD900X or Sony MA900 might be more up your ally for a portable open headphone.

 

Very best,

post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post
 

The AKGs are nice for their price, very even and open sound, but they are not even close to the level of performance you can extract out of HE500.

 

 

The extraction can be complex though. My HE-500 days are behind me, and unlike Lot's wife I won't be looking back.

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post
 

Heya,

 

The HE500 is a different level of quality. It also requires more power to drive, and is not friendly to dinky portable setups unless you get specific portable equipment that can power it decently (currently the Fiio E12 is your best bet for price/performance ratio that can power an ortho on the go well). The HE500 has better extension, balance, way better extension and control into the sub-bass regions. The resolution and rendering is simply natural sounding, more realistic to me, than any of the AKG's.

 

Based on what you described, it sounds more to me like the AudioTechnica AD900X or Sony MA900 might be more up your ally for a portable open headphone.

 

Very best,

 

Let me clarify: I said portability not because I needed the setup to be portable, but because I needed a cheaper amp/dac and I assumed that portable was cheaper.  Are there desktop amp/dacs that are cheap and go well with either of these cans?  By cheap I mean around 150 dollars.  Are the akg702s the same in sq as the akgq701 because I've heard they have less bass? If this is the case do you think they have enough bass for genres like jazz and rock? I am not a bass head I just don't want a lack.  I would like a natural sound.  I do not like so much more treble than mids.  

post #6 of 14

pp312 - could you clarify what you meant about the extraction being complex?  You mean the cans are hard to drive, or, finicky, or...?

 

SO74:

 

My 2 cents as a devoted K702 dude...

 

If you're looking for a cheap setup for the K702, skip the DAC and put whatever you can into a decent amp.  That's because the K702 is picky and hard to drive.  If you don't mind solid state, you could get a BSG CMoy amp (check eBay) for about $55, and you can tell Sanjay who makes them that you are driving a K702 with them, and he can design them specifically for your headphones.

 

You can also get an O2, which drives them well, or save up a tad bit more for a used Matrix M-Stage.  These are all good, cheap amps, for the K702.  Then there is my favorite, if you like the tube sound, the hybrid Millet Starving Student.  Great amp for those cans as well, at least, in the cheap zone.

 

The K702 is light on bass, but it is a far cry better than the K701.  I think you will find it satisfying, if you are not a "bass head" as you said.  The DT880 / 600 is better in the bass dept., as are the HD650.  But I feel the K702 does so many other things better than those cans, that it is the better choice.

 

The Q701 I have not heard, but it is supposed to offer an improvement over the K702 in the bass department, but at the cost of the midrange being a little less natural.  They will be my next headphones, and then I will compare them to the K702 and keep the one I like better.

 

Hope this helps.

post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kouzelna View Post
 

pp312 - could you clarify what you meant about the extraction being complex?  You mean the cans are hard to drive, or, finicky, or...?

 

 

 

I was referring to full performance being difficult to extract from the HE-500, specifically via the Jerg mod. It follows from the previous post. ('m not much into modding).

 

Incidentally, what do you mean about the K702 having more bass than the 701? As far as I know they're the same headphone. And what specifically do you feel the 701/2 does better than the 880 and 650?


Edited by pp312 - 10/13/13 at 4:55pm
post #8 of 14

Thanks for the update.

 

It's often assumed that the K701 and K702 are the same.  After all, AKG claims they use the same driver, along with the Q701.  However, to many listeners and pretty much all avid AKG fans, they are definitely different sounding headphones.

 

The K701, if you're a fan, is an awesome headphone.  But it lacks in several areas, which the K702 makes up for in most people's opinions, including my own.  The K701 really lacked in the bass department, and it's vocals could be recessed.  It was something you tried to live with, if you were a fan of the headphones, but they got me looking for something "improved."  I didn't want to give up the K70x sound, but I didn't want to live with those limitations if I didn't have to.

 

Happily, the K702 improves over the K701 in 4 distinct areas (IMO):  it offers deeper, more impactful bass.  Keep in mind, it's still a bass-light headphone!  That is, the bass goes very deep, but has little impact.  However, the K702's bass is enough that the headphone is no longer "lacking."  In addition, it brings the vocals more forward again to match up with the rest of the instruments, so again, it's no longer glaringly lacking in any department.

 

Personally, I also felt that the K702's pads were way more comfortable, (less fuzzy/scratchy, and more firm), and the pair I owned had a nicer headclamp setting, as opposed to my K701's looser clamp, which allowed them to slip off whenever I tried to lie down.  I think this again had to do with the firmness of the pads.

 

In comparison to the HD650:

 

The HD650 had definitely better bass, and in my case a perfect fit.  But I simply enjoyed the clearer, more airy and spacious sound of the K702 by far.  I owned both the HD600 and 650 for many years, and used them with many amps.  But I never could get beyond their laid back, 'veiled-like' sound.  Sure, they do everything perfect.  But over time, they simply made most of my music sound boring.  Whereas the clarity and articulation of the K701 + 2 sound alive, sparkly, and exciting, without being harsh.

 

In comparison to the DT880 / 600:

 

Again, the DT880 had much more impactful bass, though it did not extend as deep in my listening tests.  For a while I thought I would just keep it and sell my K702.  But where the DT880 fell short, IMO, to the K702 was in two places.  First, instruments sounded great on the DT880, but they simply sounded more clear and natural to me, and more separated, on the K702.  Second, of course, was soundstage.  Both the DT880 and the HD650 have great soundstage!  But the K701 + 2 have AWESOME soundstage.

 

This was a really tough choice for me.  (As opposed to the HD650, which I simply didn't like as much as either of these).  For a while I thought of keeping both the DT880 / 600 and the K702.  But that just sounded like a lot of inconvenience.  I'm really just a one woman, one headphone kind of guy.  So I sacrificed the bass impact I wanted, in exchange for the clarity and soundstage I love, and kept the K702.

 

It may help to keep in mind that I listen primarily to Vocal Trance when listening to headphones, and I use a tube amp.  (The Glow Audio Amp One).  So, things like instrument separation, speed (so the presentation doesn't get muddy, as it often can with Trance), clarity and especially soundstage are critically important to me.  Also, since Vocal Trance has enough bass on its own, missing a little of it doesn't bother me so much, as it would with for example classical music.

post #9 of 14

I own the K702 and K701 and man, they are so boring! I would go for the A900X or DT770 way better and add excitement to the music.

post #10 of 14
Wow, really? What style of music primarily, and what are amping them with? I had the A900x, and I didn't think it even remotely compared. (Though admittedly, besides the M50, I really don't get into the Audio Technica sound). Haven't heard the 770. But I've certainly never found a headphone I thoroughly, just simply enjoyed as much as a K702.
post #11 of 14

Classical

Indie

Acoustic

 

 

Are what I used them for, They had a dull tone although they are pretty detailed and airy! I find my Mad dog 3.2 a better all around headphone which competes in detail but also have a more exciting and enjoyable signature. The 702 are a good headphone though but for music listening they just don't cut it for me.

 

Headphones that bring that emotion and excitement to music while still being detailed are the best kind for me! and only a handful give me that experience

 

Denon D2000/D5000

Mrspeakers MD 3.0 and 3.2

Beyerdyamic DT770 PRO 

 

 

I don't know what the OP priorities are in a headphone but these are my recommendations always! I have never had this level of excitement from any headphone including the HD800.


Edited by Primetime86 - 10/14/13 at 4:21am
post #12 of 14

Wow, far out.  I felt exactly the same about the K702.  After all the headphones I compared against it, I just felt they were the ones that overall really "did it for me."  Made the music exciting, and listenable for hours and hours.  Keep in mind I was using a quality tube amp.  Running the K702 from a solid state amp was always a huge mistake for me.  It really accented the K702's already analytical nature, which made it really harsh and, as you said, "non-musical."

 

I also loved the Denon D2000.  I had Mark Lawton do his mod, and it vastly, tremendously improved the headphones.  Just night and day.  I totally recommend doing this, if you haven't already.

 

In fact, they were my favorite headphones.  The only single reason I sold them, was that I suffered a nasty ear injury that made my ears extremely sensitive to noise, bass frequencies in particular.  I needed a quality set of headphones which were lighter on bass.  Which led me eventually to the K702 which I settled on.

 

I still miss the Denons however, and would still be using them if it wasn't for the injury.  :(

post #13 of 14

If you enjoy instrumentals you will love the K702.  Fantastic soundstage and borderline no distortion.  For rock, jazz, etc the HE-500 will be much better, the "out of your head" sensation from the K702 makes it less involving for rock, jazz, etc and doesn't really pull you into your music.  You should also consider whether you like the idea of using a dynamic headphone or an ortho as they sound vastly different.  Either way though, you're going to need a lot of power for either although I think my HE-500 was a bit more power consuming than my K702.  Plan on buying an ortho amp (i.e. schiit lyr) ideally for the HE-500 if you opt for it now or down the road.

 

edit: Neither of these is very forgiving of low quality files, although I think the HE-500 is a little more forgiving than the K702 which makes poor sound awful


Edited by scott5526 - 10/16/13 at 2:39am
post #14 of 14

It's really a dream of mine to hear the HE500 with the Lyr.  Sounds like a perfect match!  And I'd love to hear the new K712 with a tube amp.

 

As it stands, cost alone has brought my dreams down low.  Given the vast difference in prices, I finally decided on sticking with the Q701 (I'm comparing it to the K702) and my Glow amp.  In the future, when things are better economically, I want to get an HE500 and Lyr (and maybe the Garage Amber) and then do a comparison of all these pieces interchangeably and see what happens.

 

:popcorn:

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