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AKG gaming cans.

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hi there,


My name is Romeo and I'm just looking for some advice today.


So basically I'm looking for a pair of gaming cans, and recently my friend let me try his AKG K701 headphones. I thought they were excellent, but also a little harsh, if that makes sense. Now I know that they sound a little more natural as opposed to the widely acclaimed AD700 and AD700X phones, which at least from all the reviews I've read are a little more artificial in sound. The AD700x is also significantly cheaper than any of the headphones I will be asking about today as well, however I cannot comment on the their sound, as I don't know anybody that has a pair for me to trial.


The headphones I wish to ask about today are all AKG cans. The K601, K701 and the Q701, all of which I have found for much cheaper than the retail prices. I have read through the MLE gaming thread, at least when it came to the AKG phones and I know he's never reviewed the K601, but I did read some other threads on this forum. Now most people say they do sound a little warmer than the K701. I have absolutely no idea what that means, so I needed to ask a few of you guys for some advice.


I will be using these cans with consoles and pairing them with the Mixamp. I will be mixing chat with the mixamp as well.


Thanks, Romeo.

post #2 of 12

I'm afraid you need serious amplification in order to drive the K601 properly (and k701 for that matter).

The K601 is less sensitive than k701 and needs more power to achieve the same loudness.

Also they're notoriously punishing if not amplified properly, in the sense they don't sound as good as they can/should.


My advice would be to explore other options.

Sennheiser HD598 are a nice alternative, with smoother and warmer sound and also very good at soundstaging and positioning (which you'll need in gaming).

post #3 of 12

I'm not exactly sure but isn't there an amplifier built into the Astro Mixamp? If so I don't think you need to worry too much about driving the AKGs. Because sure they benefit from more power but you'll still achieve 90% of their potential even with a cheap budget amp, like the FiiO e10. And you can always upgrade to a more expensive amp later on, if you're not satisfied.


For gaming the K701/Q701 would be better than the K601. The K601 has more of an emphasis on the midrange. Vocals are more forward, almost right in front of you, whereas the K701 the vocals sound a bit distant. The K601 also has slightly more bass punch, but overall it is still a bass-shy headphone. But more importantly for gaming, the K701/Q701 have a much wider, stretched-out soundstage due to their angled earpads.


The differences between the K701/Q701 are minor. If you want to know more you can check out Chicolom's comparison review somewhere here on Head-Fi. Basically from what I understand the Q701 has a little more bass, and are a little easier to drive as well. Also, they're cheaper. So unless you're really enamored by the K701's white/brown color scheme, you should go for the Q701s.

Edited by viralcow - 3/10/14 at 12:57pm
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

I really appreciate the replies guys.


The HD598 headphones were on my radar before, but personally I really don't like the design of the phones. Yeah, I know stupid reason.


Once I used the AKG K701 I just fell in love with those headphones.


As far as amps go, will something like a E11 do? Or will I end something more powerful to drive these headphones, preferably I would just want the Mixamp, as more devices are only going to make the area more cluttered.

post #5 of 12

In the Mixamp spec sheet, the power output quoted is a 70mW in 32 ohms, which is a bit modest for these headphones.

post #6 of 12

Check out the K612. I heard it's a bit warmer than the K701, while still being relatively similar in general.

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

Ah I see. Then something like an E11 in addition should suffice? I don't really want to spending much more money than that right now.

post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

How easy are the K612's to drive? Will I still need an additional amp.

post #9 of 12

All the K6-701/2 and K6-712 models are at their best with an amplifier. Unfortunately that's something you cannot avoid.

Without a good amp the sound is leaner, with less bass presence and can become even harsh in some cases (as you experienced on your friend's K701's).


But if you're already committed to buying a K701 then you will see first hand how well they fare on your Mixamp.

In the odd chance they'll do well together, you won't need to worry about amplification anymore.

If they don't, you'll have a much better understanding about the issue after you spend some time with these headphones.

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

Again, thanks for the reply.


In terms of extra amplification, how would something like the FiiO E11 work in addition to the Astro Mixamp? 

post #11 of 12

To tell you the truth I have no idea. You'll need to do a bit of research around the forum to see what people have to say about some of the affordable amps driving their K701.

There are many choices around 100$ these days and probably some work better than others with K701.


My own experience with K701 amplification matching hasn't been very positive, and for that reason I no longer own these headphones. They gave me far more hassle than listening pleasure.

But your millage may vary

post #12 of 12
I like the K701 and AKG headphones in general, I've owned K series headphones for 15 or so years now. You might try the K550/551 for gaming. The fidelity isn't as high as the 701 but they are easy to drive and surprisingly open sounding for closed headphones. The K550 model is also really attractive.
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