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What is a good AMP for my newly bought AKG Q701 ?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Dear Head-Fi Community,


A few days ago I bought an AKG Q701.

I am very very leek considering headphones, so I think it is the best idea to just tell you guys what I'm going to do with it.

I'm going to use the AKG Q701 (mainly) for electronic music producing.

The things I will produce will vary from classical to progressive house.


Now I have searched around on the internet a lot, and noticed that many people recommend an amp to go with it.

After buying a headphone like that, my budget is awfully low.


So basically my main question is :

In order for the AKG Q701 to fully function, do I really need an AMP, or would my computer (with an internal sound card on the motherboard) suffice ?


If the answer on this question is no, then I really wonder what kind of AMP I should buy.

Personally I really prefer a portable AMP because I also have a laptop. And I might be plugging my Q701 in my iPhone sometimes.


Basically when looking at an AMP the only thing I really want is for my Q701 to get all the power it needs to operate properly.

As long as it fulfills that function, I am happy with any AMP really.

My budget for an AMP would be 100 Euro's tops.


So for my second question:

What (portable) amp do you recommend for the AKG Q701 below 100 euro's while still maximizing the performance of the headphone ?


Thanks a lot in advance,

Kind regards,


Edited by Nexigen - 1/6/14 at 6:31am
post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 

Does anyone have a good suggestion ?

post #3 of 9

You will probably not do yourself or your Q701s any favors by plugging a below 100 euro amp into your source and then plugging your Q701s into that. Chances are that the extra cables and connections will make the sound worse than it would be if you just plug your headphones straight into the source. You will also have wasted around 100 euros and you will have a box and wires that are a waste of space.


For your purposes, just stick to the sound output of the computer. Some of them are actually quite good. If you want a real improvement in the sound you would need a dac/amp that costs many times 100 euros and it would not be portable so it would not be any good to you anyway.


The market is full of low price portable headphone amps. In my honest opinion many of these are complete junk and not worth wasting money on.


Here is an experience that might help to educate you:




"A question I have wanted to ask for a while but never got around to it. I am primarily an audio engineer so I don't really have an abundance of flagship headphones, but what I have noticed with the headphones that I do have, is that I cannot tell any difference between plugging right into my iphone vs plugging into my Apogee Duet (DAC/Amp). I have tried with my Etymotic and my AKG Q701s, and could tell any difference between my iphone and my Apogee/computer, even though I was expecting to. I wouldn't blame my ears, I can easily tell the difference between my pair of Q701 and my friends K701. Any other possible explanations?"

Edited by Hooster - 1/6/14 at 3:47pm
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thank you for replying.


So basically it won't make a lot of difference whether I just put my Q701 into an audio jack in my computer or into a portable amp ?.

Does this mean that both my laptop (Macbook pro retina mid 2013) and my computer (with a X79A-GD65 motherboard) can drive my Q701 properly ?.

If not, how will i recognize while listening that I need an amp for it ??.

Cause since I have never listened to it yet, I might not hear it when it is not fully driven.

post #5 of 9

Keep searching around through relevant threads here on head-fi and googling in general, lots of good information and anything that applies to K701 or K702 will also apply to your Q701.  I agree with the poster above, don't bother with anything until you know it is a solid step up from your direct soundcard or laptop or phone options.  If you are producing EM, do you have an audio interface like a PreSonus or Focusrite?  One of those types of USB/midi/MicPre mini combo units is not a bad place to start as they are often found on the used market quite for a low price and usually have a headphone out that is better than most soundcards or laptops though not as good as dedicated headphone DAC/amp combinations.


I had the Q701 for a few years and really enjoyed it.  I probably wouldn't have sold it if I had found a proper amp for it.  I would set your sights on this as one of the best solutions for Q701 fans:




You will find more about the matrix here on head-fi as well...


Be patient, plan some small steps as they make sense for you, and enjoy your nice headphones each step along the way.

post #6 of 9

Hey Nexigen,


I was in the same shoes as you. Been there done it....


I got the new matrix mstage hpa2 along with a mdac.


for me just get the audiolab mdac and you will be satisfied :D


no need to beat around the bush if you have the money :D


see my impression of it in another post of the recent matrix mstage.

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Sweet baby jesus 0.o, that M-DAC is well over twice the price as my Q701 Headphone!.

There is absolutely no chance in hell I'm paying that much, ever =P.

As you could read in my topic description, I'm short on money, so a max of 100 euro's would be it.

Something I did not note yet is that I recently bought a Fiio E17 for only 30 euro's. I've done this.


Thanks for replying though,

Edited by Nexigen - 1/8/14 at 7:33am
post #8 of 9
Originally Posted by Nexigen View Post

Thank you for replying.


Does this mean that both my laptop (Macbook pro retina mid 2013) and my computer (with a X79A-GD65 motherboard) can drive my Q701 properly ?.




post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Hooster View Post





Hmm, I did buy the Fiio E17.

People on this forum did recommend me buying an AMP for the Q701.

So basically it would have worked without an amp, but an amp sure improves the soundstage right ?

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