amps for tone or volume?
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dwalker2020

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hey everyone. so, i am new to this forum, but have been an audio-head for a long time.
i have a set of akg q701 (special edition k701), and im less than thrilled with the low end.
the response is super flat, but the low end is sorta dull, and i'd like to change that.
my question is: are headphone amps worth having to add some tone, or should they be just for
amplification. i'd like to go louder, but im really looking to make the cans sound better.
i understand that amps should be pretty neutral, so would an amp make the cans sound
better at low volumes?
thanks for your time.
-devin
 
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pedxing

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Most sources can drive most headphones to deafening levels, but the quality is usually mediocre or bad. A good amp can supply the necessary power to drive the headphone towards their potential. This usually means better clarity and improved extensions in the treble and bass. The changes people experience are usually subtle, more of a refinement. AKG 701 benefits from amping, even if its impedance is lower than other competing headphones within its tier.

Base on your description of lifeless and dull, it sounds like you have no complaints about the treble. An amp might be able to tighten up and extend the bass.

However, if you don't like the AKG 701 overall signature, spending a ton of money on a good amp may not be the best choice. If you are looking for a lot of bass and a a lot of slam, you might be better off looking at a different pair of headphones. It might be best if you describe to us in detail what you are looking for and what type of music you enjoy listening to.

 
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wilyodysseus

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A run-of-the-mill amp adds volume. A great amp more completely reveals the qualities of a headphone. However, apart from features like bass-boost, an amp won't change the fundamental sound signature of a headphone.

If a pair of cans isn't to your taste, throwing money into an amp isn't likely to change your mind. If, on the other hand, you love your particular headphone and just want "more" of what it offers, an amp might get you there.
 
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dwalker2020

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i love the 701's. they're so comfy and sound amazing when listening to rock, jazz, and classical. it's like im in the studio.
you're right: i have no problems with the treble and mids. they are crystal clear.
the problem comes when i go to listen to bassier stuff, like hiphop or dance music. it's then that i feel like it needs a little more.
i was thinking about a hornet or a heed canamp, but im not sure if that's what im looking for. what do you think?
 
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labrat

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