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AKG Q701 vs Beyerdynamic DT880 - Page 3

post #31 of 48

From my ears (and memory)  the DT880 and K701 are similar but they are definitively different.  The DT880 is the slightly more neutral, with the K701 seemingly more mid centric and with a bit more emphasis on the mid highs. The AKG has an unique and to me magic soundstage that is without peer (I haven't heard the HD800).  Apart from comparing them in regards to frequency emphasis, they do have different voicing to my ears.    The DT880 seems to be the slightly less love/hate of the two, and the K701 has its detractors describing them as not natural, even plastic sounding; (I don't agree).

The DT880 is the one I would go for if I was going to own only one "open" home headphone, and the K701 is the obvious choice for me for that specialist acoustic headphone.  In fact I am considering ordering a pair of Q701s to add to my headphopnes for that very reason, as I miss my K701 sound.


Edited by Kernmac - 11/27/13 at 2:04am
post #32 of 48

Let me preface this by saying I am a huge prog and prog-metal fan. Any decision about which cans to go for has to take into account the type of music you listen to. I think a lot of people presume that if their type of music doesn't quite work with a particular headphone, then the headphone is at fault. But I digress...

 

Most of my listening nowadays is via my laptop at work. My Sony MDR somethings have cracked and I figured it was time to upgrade. And so the search began...

 

I spent at least four weeks going around the interweb and have determined that there is no perfect headphone for prog AND metal. The Grados by all accounts are great for metal and straightforward rock, but lack a bit of depth and soundstage. Almost went there, but then I started going through the forums here. Some people rave about the AKG 701's (either K or Q series) and think they're the shiznit. Others however hate them. Bit of a risk for the price methinks (I live in New Zealand and can't demo any of these before I buy).

 

I kept coming back to the Beyer's. Either the 990s or the 880s. Then I saw that Suds listened to Shadow Gallery and I cannot argue with someone with such great taste. Plus I was able to buy a pair for NZ$270 - although they are the 600 ohm version. They arrived on Friday and I have been thoroughly enjoying them even without amplification. Very neutral soundstage and great clarity, just lacking depth that I gather will come when amped.

 

I then faced the daunting task of determining what amp to pair them with. I've gone for the O2 amp/dac combo and am eagerly awaiting their delivery.

 

Just wanted to say a huge thanks to everyone who has contributed to this thread and similar threads for making a very difficult decision a bit easier.

 

Would be interested in hearing about other combos for comparison.

 

Cheers,

post #33 of 48

Hello from Finland :)

I was looking for a thread from the web just to get some reference how ppl compare these two headphones - found it - and now that I hava compared AKD Q 701 (my precious) and my friends new Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro (250ohm) -headphones I must agree and disagree with certain comments presented here :)

First of all the DT 880's earpads are comfortable than AKG:s which feel a bit harsh after the DT's but AKG's pads are not uncomofortable but they are not silky either. If someone has auricles that are more apart - the beyers inner cushion might irritate auricles - i didn't have this problem. If you have extra sensitive skin, beyers would suit better for you. If you are just an "avarage person" you can easily listen to music several hours without any problems.

 

Someone said that DT 880 is neutral or the Q 701 is neutral - I dont think either is. DT880's problem is a round and bit soft sound - it also has a bit loundness-like problem with higher basses that akg really doesnt have.DT 880 is not actually very precise and it doesnt have enough texture. It makes the music homogenous: every drum stick's hit to the hi-hat sounds the same, you cannot here textures from vocals.

 

In the other hand Q 701 is much different. You here "everything". hits to the hi-hat differ, you can pick up the sounds of plektrum hitting the strings of guitar, but the sound is dry and it doesnt light up any emotions. AKG sounds like a reference headphone and that can get frustrating.

 

I listened to a variety of music from Chris Rea to electronic music - stuff from cd, turned to MP3 and also electronic (but good sounding) music ripped from vinyl (Rip: grado dj200i, sl-1200m3d, Xone:92, m-audio 2496).

The high's (escpecially hi-hat) is an interesting thing compared with these two. Yes, the hi-hat is stronger in DT880, but, it lacks the detail that Q701 has - that really is odd. I've been reading that DT 880 has a better highs, but i really disagree - they are more on the open but it doesnt give the same amount of data to the listener as Q 701 gives. It even (in some cases) is a bit disturbing, escpecially when the highs are in the surface (because of the mix).

 

The mids: I usually listen to the sound of vocals - Q 701 is way better. I really dont like when the mids are mixed up, but AKG really brings some clarity into the mids that DT 880 lacks. When listening to DT's there is always a feeling that the vocalist is standing behind a curtain - how thick of a curtain depends on the mix itself.

 

The Bass, ah, yes, the bass.. Q701 has a good bass even it lacks the power and mass. It goes deep and you can here it going deep because there is no disturbance at the upper bass section - tha bass doesnt "puff" all around and it totally lacks the upperbass sound (I dont know the word in English) but it sounds like you are in a barrel. DT880 has more mass and more powerfull lower section but again, it lacks details, nuances and textures (if one can say that about bass) and it has that barrelic sound sometimes.

How about the soundscape? DT880 is more like a headphone and Q701 is a bit more like listening to speakers. DT 880 didnt make me feel claustrofobic; you are not that inside the music - but in the other hand Q 701 isnt like you are listening to a stage concert either.


Put together:

AKG Q 701 has more detail, less things that disturb, but a much more dryer sound that doesnt wake up any emotions. It is more reference headphone than a hi-fi headphone.


DT 880 is softer and more round, more bass and more highs, but it lacks nuances and textures. You cannot touch the surface of vocals, you dont feel the angle of the drum stick hitting the hihats, etc.

With AKG I like to listen to more acoustic stuff with variety of details and textures - but when listening to electronic music, house, etc, the DT 880 works better. It lacks the textures and has its cons but you can still enjoy the sound better.

post #34 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post
 

You know, I have a gut feeling that the DT880 is somewhat like the HD650 in needing better equipment than it's usually paired with. The $250 price (for the pro) can easily lead you to think that any old amp will do fine when the phone will only begin to shine with better. I wonder what the best system anyone's used an 880 with is.

Hate me for bumping this old thread but I know  you from the DT880 thread. I put about $1000 into my amp, DAC, cables, and headphone recable. I would argue that my cans might sound slightly different from other users based on ohmage (250 ohm) vs(600 ohm) and driver variation and the headphone recable (yes I believe in cable voodoo), going from single entry to dual entry changes the way that the cable delivers electricity to the drivers and possibly any restriction within the stock cable itself.

 

I also paired the DT880s with a warm solid state amp (Asgard 2) which on 6moons they claimed sounded warmer than the Lyr and Valhalla tube amps.

 

I noticed that my DT880s became more enjoyable with upstream equipment upgrades. I noticed better bass impact more like a "whip" and less like a subtle bump even without EQing them. If you don't think these do well with hip-hop right now I am listening to A$AP Rocky - Long.Live.A$AP which has some of the most bass out of any recording I've ever heard. The DT880s pass the test with flying colors, while not giving the complete "subwoofer" effect of the closed DT770 I can still feel them slam deep.


Edited by wahsmoh - 1/26/14 at 8:33am
post #35 of 48

I got tired of reading posts in this from not agreeing with them or finding them exaggerated. I have tried the dt-880's and own the q701's. They are both very comfortable. The 880's are slightly more and a just very soft. The bass on the 880's has more impact from what I expected. If you like music with a bit more bass, i might get them over the akg's. Even the 880 32 ohm headphones need an amp to sound amazing. I used them with the e10, and even classical music sounded great. I loved the sound of all my music. Now, the akg's havent burned in fully, but most of the complaints aren't true. They need to burn in, and they need a good amp. The bass is good, not light or heavy. I would suggest only buying the akg's if you intend on buying a serious amp. If you are going simple, the 880's sound better on a cheap amp. I dont have a tube amp yet, so I cant say which is better over all. I want to emphasize, Plastic mids, metalic treble, no bass, sounds terrible un-amped... THIS IS ALL BULL. Any comment saying this, be Very Skeptical! There is a lot of exaggeration and quoting from people with little actual knowledge. This is as honest of a comment as it gets. :P  I would probably suggest the 880's over all, as much as it pains me. I might like mine more after they burn in and I get a new amp, idk. Im definitely hopeful though :P

post #36 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by trick View Post
 

I got tired of reading posts in this from not agreeing with them or finding them exaggerated. I have tried the dt-880's and own the q701's. They are both very comfortable. The 880's are slightly more and a just very soft. The bass on the 880's has more impact from what I expected. If you like music with a bit more bass, i might get them over the akg's. Even the 880 32 ohm headphones need an amp to sound amazing. I used them with the e10, and even classical music sounded great. I loved the sound of all my music. Now, the akg's havent burned in fully, but most of the complaints aren't true. They need to burn in, and they need a good amp. The bass is good, not light or heavy. I would suggest only buying the akg's if you intend on buying a serious amp. If you are going simple, the 880's sound better on a cheap amp. I dont have a tube amp yet, so I cant say which is better over all. I want to emphasize, Plastic mids, metalic treble, no bass, sounds terrible un-amped... THIS IS ALL BULL. Any comment saying this, be Very Skeptical! There is a lot of exaggeration and quoting from people with little actual knowledge. This is as honest of a comment as it gets. :P  I would probably suggest the 880's over all, as much as it pains me. I might like mine more after they burn in and I get a new amp, idk. Im definitely hopeful though :P

Like I said in my post above, upstream equipment scales very well with the DT880s. I recommend you upgrade your DAC/AMP combo a good suggestion I'd check out the ALO Island AMP/DAC it's very affordable and looks extremely well built.

post #37 of 48
The DT880s IMO do provide detailed and transparent reproduction of music. Perhaps not as much as some phones out there. But many recording engineers use them, according to SoundonSound. I first tried them on my iPad. Being 250 ohm, they sounded OK but flat. I have had cheaper phones sound more musical. I next tried them on my Yamaha A/V receiver. The mids were recessed, the bass fine, and the treble was emphasized some. But the detail was still there in the mid freqs. The amp provided a big improvement. Then I purchased a respectable DAC and amp combo. The mids became more forward, and the resonant peak these phones have in the treble became much more tame. They sound great now.

Bob Graham
Edited by r010159 - 1/28/14 at 11:29pm
post #38 of 48

I'm still pretty new to the game. I couldn't decide which one to get so I got both and keep the one I like better. To be honest, I can't really tell the audible difference between the two headphones. The Q701 sounded a slightly more 3D. The difference between the two was very subtle to my ears. It wasn't so dramatic as what I've read on here. Is there suppose to be a big difference between the two or are my ears just broken?

 

I'm running both through ODAC & O2 combo on low gains. Most my sources are classical in FLAC format. Currently, I'm leaning toward keeping the DT880/600 because it's more comfortable to my head.

post #39 of 48

Tbh, I've listened to so many headphones and while there are differences, what you read here on head-fi is highly exaggerated. I guess you have to have highly trained ears to here a lot of the stuff people mention here and unless your ears are highly trained I would just go for whichever is more comfortable and has a sound signature more to your liking.

 

I first noticed this when I got the Sony Ma900 which were my first ever open back headphones and people said they have one of the biggest soundstages in their price range and people would talk a lot about the soundstage. After listening to them for about a month now I can tell you that huge soundstage isn't that big of a difference from a claustrophobic soundstage. Don't get me wrong, there is an audible difference, but it is not some huge difference, at least not to my ears.

 

Going from ATH-M50 to Ma900 the only differences I can notice without heavily analyzing the sound for differences is that the ATH-M50 is a lot more bass-heavy and the vocals on the Ma900 sound a lot more natural. 

post #40 of 48

M50 is such an overrated headphone. just average and its very best. I wouldn't compare it with a such a musical headphone like ma900.  if you keep watching terrible youtube videos on ma900, of cause you wouldn't notice much difference.

post #41 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaroHolmberg View Post
 


AKG Q 701 has more detail, less things that disturb, but a much more dryer sound that doesnt wake up any emotions. It is more reference headphone than a hi-fi headphone.


DT 880 is softer and more round, more bass and more highs, but it lacks nuances and textures. You cannot touch the surface of vocals, you dont feel the angle of the drum stick hitting the hihats, etc.
 

This, I've never heard the AKG q701  

 

but I found that to be very true, I loved teh DT 880 and it was excellent all around. Still texture wise it wasn't as tactile as my w1000x, or my current HE 4. Through a tube while vocals had more body, the more nuanced textures where further smuthed by the tube.

 

My Balanced NFB 10ES2 did the best at conveying those textures, but the w1000x does even better with a lesser amp 

 

That said, the DT 880 is a wonderful All Around and is very enjoyable, I highly recommend it! And it is a beautiful headphone to listen to, while I felt the W1000x did a better job with textures and nuances it was very dry and very fickle with regards to what I paired it with, it's a very dry headphone and to be honest finding the right amp for it wasn't hard... but it was annoying. Finding the right bit of color to add into the W1000x to give it some emotion [Oh I modded mine ] almost made me sell it, so that said again I'd go with the DT 880, it's not a "forgiving" headphone but it is very pleasurable and simple to enjoy. There are nice expensive dacs and amps that can squeeze every bit of detail out of it, but even with in expensive gear it sounds wonderful! And that's my point, the DT 880 is simple, buy throw it on your head and enjoy it

 

if the q701 is like my Modded W1000x, it's going to be more fickle, now imo the w1000x is a great closed headphone and for all it's... trouble it's still worth keeping, but if I could only have ONE headphone, the DT 880 would be a first choice! 

post #42 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by appsmarsterx View Post
 

M50 is such an overrated headphone. just average and its very best. I wouldn't compare it with a such a musical headphone like ma900.  if you keep watching terrible youtube videos on ma900, of cause you wouldn't notice much difference.

I don't notice much difference listening to Flac files on Jriver.

post #43 of 48
flac vs mp3 ( lossy vs lossless) such a controversial topic. to me it doesn't matter high bitrate mp3 or flac, if its a terribly mastered album/song. while I found the high bit rate mp3s are just perfectly fine, you might need to properly do a seperare ABX testing on your own, so you might be able to get an idea.
anyway my earlier reply wasn't about lossy or lossless. its about ma900 vs m50. if you cant hear much difference between those 2 polor opposite headphones, I highly doubt you can distinguish any difference between mp3 and flac. everybody has different hearing capabilities most of the people need some time to adjust or train thier ears to distinguish the differences. if you are new this topic just give it some time put your m50 back for couple of weeks and keep listening with ma900 for sometime. stop doing AB testing with m50 and ma900 often, otherwise you ll endup frustrated. just remember to enjoy the music. thats all that matters in the end

ma900 is not the most detailed headphone in that price range, but to me it is amazingly musical and detailed with most of the sources. without proper amping I found ma900 is little bright. anyway it is amazingly musical with my xonar phoebus with dolby HTv4 far better than E17.

I agree, some of the things here in headfi is highly exaggerated. I wasted so much money because I thought, I wanna detailed monster like dt880,q701,k612pro, but since I got the 612pro I realized how wrong I was.. most of the us here because we enjoy the music. we dont want to analize our music, headphones like 612pro is perfectly fine for monitoring purposes. thats why they made these flat frequency response studio monitors. I know some of the people are used to that dull sound signatures. but the end of the day what matters is enjoying the music, not monitoring we dont want to hate our entire music colection because they sound boring and lifeless with these so called studio monitors.

I m giving you this advise, because you have a perfectly fine musical headphone, you dont want to doubt its musical capabilities.. sometimes reading too much nonsense here on headfi make you too overwhelming. just ignore the BS and enjoy your music.

Cheers.
Edited by appsmarsterx - 2/21/14 at 8:37pm
post #44 of 48

I just want to say that I do notice a difference between the two headphones, that part I definately do. I like both headphones and the Sony MA900 is definitely a very nice pair. I absolutely love the vocals on the MA900, nothing short of stunning to me. What I am trying to say is that it's not the gigantic difference that I first assumed it would be considering that Sony MA900 is double the price and open-backed.

 

I believe there is much exaggeration in describing headphones sometimes. I have noticed the larger, airier, more spatialness of the MA900 sound but they have never seemed like speakers to me, they have always seemed as they are, headphones. They also can fatigue my ears, as can the ATH-M50. I guess I have sensitive ears. I do prefer the MA900's sound to the ATH-M50, sometimes I just miss the bass presence of the M50's though. I have had solely the MA900 for about a week now as I let my sister borrow the M50s and at this point, the bass on the MA900 is perfectly satisfying.

 

I also can't hear a difference really when I listen to Flac files and MP3 files. I can hear a difference between something well recorded and poorly recorded somewhat though. I have some John Mayer, Hans Zimmer, and Micheal Buble. I can say that between Flac files of two different John Mayer albums, one album does strike me as sounding better then the other John Mayer album, and I assume that's because one is recorded or mastered better then the other.

 

I believe in that how well a song was recorded and mastered makes much more of a difference then lossy vs MP3 as long as it's not horribly compressed youtube which I agree, sounds like trash. 

 

I am not an experienced audiophile however and the MA900 are the most high-end headphones I have ever had. I had some beats which were more expensive back before I even knew about all these different headphone brands. At the time I literally thought Beats were the most expensive headphones and didn't know there was a whole world of other better, and many even more expensive headphones. I also most likely do not have trained ears as you say.

post #45 of 48

Is the OP still around?

 

Anyways, the differance in Flac vs mp3 is mostly in the Highs, it's something you can see with objective measurements and hear. But it's nothing so HUGE that only listening to mp3s is a crime. But it's... not a contreversy, Flac is better than 320k mp3. Is that improvement worth NEVER enjoying a song that isn't flac, I don't think so. I have a TON of DubStep that's 320k mp3 and I enjoy it

 

the real contreversy, is 16bit flac  vs 24 bit. and we won't get into that here

 

Non the less, if you need to save space, go with 320k mp3 if you can handle bigger files, go with Flac. At the end of the day both are more than good enough to use with super detailed headphones, just remember though that Flac is better, it's ALWAYS better . If you can't hear it then don't worry about

 

but with regards to the mastering comment, the differeance between flac and lossy is Compression.

 

To start with all Digitial music is only a percentage of the orignal Analog wave, it is at best 99.9999999% never 100, what mp3 and compresion does is further remove a percentage of the audio data from the recording. So if your orignal analog wave... is garbage, 99.9999% of garbage is still garbage, and 98.8888% of garbage is still... you guess it GARBAGE! So again, if you have hard drive space to spare [I've got a second 1TB external drive now my self, took me 6 months to fill my last one [and it's mostly videos] ] then go for flac. And truthfully, I've only got like 700 or so gbs of music. Maybe more... Not sure honesty but in the 2 years I've at head fi I've not even cracked a TeraByte of music yet [and 95% of EVERYTHING I own is Flac] so spend $100 get your self a nice TB Drive and enjoy the music. OR don't stick with mp3 320 and still enjoy the music :D

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