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Recommended amp for AKG Q701s?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, I'm new here and joined because I was thinking about some things.

Recently I ordered a pair of AKG Q701s and I've heard numerous reports that you need an amp to "drive" them properly. I decided I'd get the headphones and decide from there. I mainly listen to rap music but I love the clean and crisp sound that these headphones give everything. It's just that some genres (like rap and dance) could use a bit more "oomph" on the bass end of things.

 

I mainly listen to music on my 160GB iPod. I usually listen to lossless music so I don't think I'm doing these headphones injustice or anything. My question is, what amps would you guys recommend to give the AKG Q701s a more pronounced bass without making the bass muddled and distorted? Keep in mind that I usually listen to music on an iPod.

 

Thanks guys!

post #2 of 14

A couple of things...

 

1)  Welcome to Head-Fi

2) EQing via amps doesn't really work and is generally a bad idea.   You should start with a headphone that you like the overall presentation of, then only consider buying an amp if you feel like the performance of the phones are suffering due to the limits of your current amp solution, which is understandable when amping full-sizes cans with a portable DAP.

 

I hate to throw a wet-blanket on your first post here and I'd like to end this on a positive note.  The AKG 701/702 are in my experience great, but only within a fairly narrow range of music types, that being acoustic folk or classical and female vocal performance.  Given your genre preferences I cannot think you'll be happy with these phones.   But keep them and enjoy them, and consider maybe adding another set of headphones that are more suited to your preferences.   Also, for portable listening, I cannot recommend IEMs highly enough. The performance of IEMs relative to similarly priced FS cans is usually on-par or higher in every way except soundstage, they are very light-weight and unobtrusive, and provide far-and-away superior isolation (both ways) so that your music isn't competing with outside noise allowing you to listen at lower volumes for better long-term hearing health.

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the reply!

 

I was wondering though, you said using an amp as an EQ is generally a bad idea. Why is that?

Also, there are some songs that I just think could benefit from being louder...could an amp work well for that? And if so, what would you recommend?


EDIT: Also, do you think these headphones are good for trip-hop music?


Edited by kjrain12 - 12/14/13 at 7:33pm
post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjrain12 View Post
 

Thank you for the reply!

 

I was wondering though, you said using an amp as an EQ is generally a bad idea. Why is that?

 

 It's a bad idea because of the underlying reasons for it:  You don't like something about a headphones presentation and you want to change it.   But that is not an amplifiers job.  There are audio devices that are specifically engineered to allow you to change the tonal balance of different areas of the audio spectrum. They're called graphic equalizers.  But with today's digital media you don't even have to buy a hardware component for this, because graphic equalization can be done in software and with less negative side-effects than an old-school hardware GEQ.  And raising the volume so you can hear more bass will only lead to frustration I'm afraid, because your music is still not going to be presented in a way that you want it to and it's only going to be louder and more fatiguing.

  

 

I recommend holding off on any amp purchases until you can take your headphones somewhere and listen to them with an amp connected to your DAP,  ideally without a salesman there to try to squeeze some money from you.  The best place to do that is a Head-Fi meet. This way you can find out, first hand if adding an amp will give you what you are looking for and you'll get exposure to all kinds of gear that would take years of trial-and-error buying to get on your own.

post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjrain12 View Post
 

Hey guys, I'm new here and joined because I was thinking about some things.

Recently I ordered a pair of AKG Q701s and I've heard numerous reports that you need an amp to "drive" them properly. I decided I'd get the headphones and decide from there. I mainly listen to rap music but I love the clean and crisp sound that these headphones give everything. It's just that some genres (like rap and dance) could use a bit more "oomph" on the bass end of things.

 

I mainly listen to music on my 160GB iPod. I usually listen to lossless music so I don't think I'm doing these headphones injustice or anything. My question is, what amps would you guys recommend to give the AKG Q701s a more pronounced bass without making the bass muddled and distorted? Keep in mind that I usually listen to music on an iPod.

Guess you could try the FiiO E11 portable headphone amplifier, $63.

Get the FiiO L cable, connects the iPod's LOD port to the line-input jack on the E11.

The E11 does come with a bass boost switch.

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

Guess you could try the FiiO E11 portable headphone amplifier, $63.

Get the FiiO L cable, connects the iPod's LOD port to the line-input jack on the E11.

The E11 does come with a bass boost switch.

Okay that sounds great! Have you tried these ones out yourself before? I have a friend who's probably going to be buying a FiiO E17 soon, do you think there's any real reason I should go with that one or should I stick with this one?


@cswann1: I'm not talking about loudness for the sake of the bass, I was just listening to the Manic Street Preachers and one of their particular albums just comes through sorta quietly through these headphones (never had the problem with my Sony XB500s) so I was wondering if an amp would be ideal to boost the volume?

post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjrain12 View Post
 

Okay that sounds great! Have you tried these ones out yourself before? I have a friend who's probably going to be buying a FiiO E17 soon, do you think there's any real reason I should go with that one or should I stick with this one?


@cswann1: I'm not talking about loudness for the sake of the bass, I was just listening to the Manic Street Preachers and one of their particular albums just comes through sorta quietly through these headphones (never had the problem with my Sony XB500s) so I was wondering if an amp would be ideal to boost the volume?

With the E17 you could only use it's amplifier feature with the iPod, not the DAC feature.

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

^and why is that? Does that make it useless for me to get an E17 over an E11?

post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjrain12 View Post
 

^and why is that? Does that make it useless for me to get an E17 over an E11?

Apple portable devices usually can not be hook up to most external DACs (or DAC interfaces).

(LOD and lightning ports are only used on Apple products)

Apple keeps tight control of their digital output, they want a royalty check.

And I'm guessing a companies like FiiO do not want to pay Apple a royalty check.

 

Apple desktop and laptop computers come with USB ports, which Apple has no control over.

 

Also the amplifier in the E11 is a little more powerful then the E17's.

post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

^Really? The amp is more powerful in the E11? So does that mean it would be able to pump out the bass better than the E17 as well?

 

I've heard from some people that the E17 has more options in terms of amplification and EQing than the E11 does.

Also, if the DAC doesn't work (from the E17) on my iPod, would I still be able to use the amplifier?

post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjrain12 View Post
 

^Really? The amp is more powerful in the E11? So does that mean it would be able to pump out the bass better than the E17 as well?

 

I've heard from some people that the E17 has more options in terms of amplification and EQing than the E11 does.

Also, if the DAC doesn't work (from the E17) on my iPod, would I still be able to use the amplifier?

In general, the E17 is far more useful then the E11.

And you can use the E17 just as a headphone amplifier (separate line-input).

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

Okay, so I got a chance to try out my friends E17s today and they work real good. They can be nice and loud and they pump the bass up just enough to give it that "thump". With that said, do you guys think it's worth the investment long-term to pay the extra $60 for the E17 over the E11?

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 

Also, what is the difference between the E17 and the E07K? I looked briefly at the specs and didn't see any glaring differences

post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjrain12 View Post
 

Also, what is the difference between the E17 and the E07K? I looked briefly at the specs and didn't see any glaring differences

The E17 comes with USB and S/PDIF (optical & coaxial) digital inputs.

The E07K's digital input is USB only.

There other features the E17 has over the E07K, but my brain can not remember them right now.

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