Originally Posted by Brizzl
I plan on getting a pair of these cans in the next couple of months. I know that they need an amp/DAC to perform well, and I just wanted to see my option. My first choice would be a Schiit Modi/Magni combo, but honestly that costs more than I would like. Would it even be worth it to just buy a $50 amp and a $50 DAC, or would the performance gained with Schiits be worth the cost? Also, are there any better options in this price range? Price range being $200 max.
Honestly, I wouldn't suggest the Q701 or K702 with any amp under $100 really. You might just be majorly disappointed.
Few budget portable amps i've tried work very well with it. I don't even suggest the O2 or Magni. O2 is ok with the Q701, but nothing special.
I actually felt the E9 sounded better with the Q701, but it's not technically as good.
You could temporarily use a docked source like an Ipod Touch until you can upgrade to a better source. Even get by with a full sized CD player.
If you HAD to spend $200 max then an O2/E9 or Modi/ODAC is what I might suggest. E9 is a little warmer and is a bit more musical than the O2 when paired up with the Q701.
I really don't suggest the Magni with the Q701 at all. Mine was a bit bright and tinny sounding.
I think the Q701 really does deserve a very good amp and those usually cost $200+
My favorites are the iFi iCan and Headroom Micro Amp (discontinued) for the Q701. Matrix M-Stage is also another that most suggest. All of them use the same op-amps too which is interesting..
I forgot..another option instead of the Magni is the Vali, but it's not a good all-rounder and sounds bad to me with some headphones. It's pretty impressive with the Q701 though for whatever reason.