Advice on which AKG combo?
Mar 29, 2013 at 10:09 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 3


New Head-Fier
Apr 1, 2012
Gentlemen! I've been reading the forums for months regarding amps, dacs, k702/q701, and k550s. I have this illogical devotion to AKG, due to my previous AKG headphones, and have trouble deciding between two different type of headphones. I recently received a cash bonus from work so I have the green light to finally make the purchase.
Headphone Options
K550 Sealed
Q701 Open
I understand the headphones have a different sound signature regarding treble/mid/bass. The burn period with the Q/K 70Xs and the fact that they are relatively hard cans to power since they are low impedance.
In researching for Amps and Dacs....
I ended up identifying 3 good combinations at different price points.
Lyr + Bifrost for K/Q 70X primarily
Audio-GD NFB 12
E9+E7 Combo (Scratched off)
The prices do range and after reading a lot about the NFB and O2+ODAC... Their prices make them seem like great value as well as performance.
Sounds quality is one of those touchy subjects... I mean opinions on quality can be white/black for example regarding the quality of certain Beats or a low quality headphone that has distortion at low volume levels. But when you start getting into the higher quality products it becomes more subjective on the subject of sound quality.
I unfortunately do not have access to any amps/headphones to test. I have heard great setups before but I don't have access to what I want to buy.
This setup will be plugged to a PC, I play games and I listen to music ranging from studio quality to crappy old 128k internet radio. I listen to all types of music. My question is which combo would be more versatile or better overall for day to day use.
I've read the q701 has a great sound stage and the k550 have a warmer sound. But overall I'm not sure what would be better in general for the gaming/music listening I do on a daily basis. TBH I've exhausted the research... I'm just waiting for someone to push me in one direction to get this purchase over with.
I'm willing to take other advice as well. My budget is no more than 1200.
Mar 29, 2013 at 10:31 AM Post #2 of 3
I have a pair of K550s and a pair of K702s.
I think the K550s are move versatile and forgiving.
K550s have a smoother treble but it is not as accurate as the K702s I think.
If I had to have only one pair I would have the K702s. They are just better for listening to music (classical in my case).
I see that the Q701s are maybe a bit different from the K702s, but I have no idea about them.
I think I vote for you getting the Q701s :)
For wearing for longer periods of time I prefer my K702s, I prefer open headphones for this.
I haven't tried any of the amps you mention. My K702s are used with a Pro-Ject Headbox II amp which is a budget class A/B and they are used with a Sugden Headmaster which is an expensive amplifier. I think the K702s sound just fine with the budget Pro-Ject Headbox II.
If you decide to get a higher quality amplifier in the future then I think you will notice the benefits more readily with the Q701 (assuming it is similar in this regard as the K702) than the K550s. My K702s really sound fabulous with my Sugden Headmaster, they are very transparent headphones and fed with a transparent amplifier you will be amazed at what they will reveal in the recordings.
My main concern with your getting the Q701s is the "crappy old 128k internet radio" you listen to.
However... that 128k Internet radio may not be as bad as you think :)
I listen to BBC Radio 3 a lot which is 192K and actually, using my Mac, DAC and amps it is really very listenable.
Mar 29, 2013 at 11:56 AM Post #3 of 3
Thanks for the advice! I guess I'll be ordering the Q701 after work with the lyr + bifrost 115v with usb added. I'm actually excited, i've been trying to find flac versions of tracks I truly enjoy to see the difference once i get the setup.

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