Beyerdynamic DT880 vs AKG Q701?
May 24, 2015 at 12:14 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 21

Draulius

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I'm in the market again for a good pair of headphones. I've done a lot of research and for my needs it seems to be a toss-up between the Beyerdynamic DT880's and the AKG Q701's. I've seen a few comparisons between these two but it's never decisive, which is to be expected when comparing two very good headphones. That's why I'm making this thread, so that a new comparison can be made based on my own tastes and usage. This way I can finally decide which one would be best for me.
 
Briefly, let's talk about why I'm getting new headphones in the first place. I've been using AD700's for a long time and it's time to upgrade as they are getting worn-out and out-of-date. I've also wanted to upgrade to higher-end headphones for a while to get even better sound quality. I was interested in the AD900x's, but my only issue with them is that they're too sensitive to comfortably be used with most Amp/DAC combinations. I COULD get the AD900x's and use on-board sound, but I can't help but feel like a dedicated external DAC would provide better sound quality. Maybe I'm wrong to think that, so feel free to correct me.
 
Now back to the comparison. I have no way of listening to these headphones before I buy them, so let me explain my tastes and how I plan to use them so I can make the right choice. I use my headphones for video games and music, but far more for gaming. This means that a good sound stage is important, and being able to pinpoint which direction each sound is coming from. I prefer open and airy sound rather than direct or closed for this reason too, and I believe it makes long-term listening more comfortable for me. When it comes to headphones my tastes can be in short described as balanced or neutral. This means I prefer neutral sounding headphones that aren't weak or too powerful in one area, and that I don't care for too warm or overly bright sounding ones, in fact I might even avoid some reputed as such. As for bass I can live without it and don't mind some, but if there is a lot I would likely find it fatiguing or distracting at times, and the same applies for treble if there is too much. I'm sensitive to things like that. And last but not least, comfort is also a VERY important factor for me as I would be wearing these very often.
 
The source I plan to be using would be a JDS Labs O2+ODAC Combo, although I don't own one yet.
 
Thanks in advance for any information you can provide. 
smily_headphones1.gif
 
 
May 24, 2015 at 2:06 AM Post #2 of 21

PurpleAngel

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I plugged my ATH-A900X into my O2 headphone amplifier and it worked great.
 
A USB DAC will bypass the computer's sound card features.
 
May 24, 2015 at 10:04 AM Post #3 of 21

Draulius

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  I plugged my ATH-A900X into my O2 headphone amplifier and it worked great.
 
A USB DAC will bypass the computer's sound card features.

The A(D)900X seem to be sensitive headphones. This makes me think I would have very little room for volume control, and that I could only turn the volume knob a very short way before it gets too loud. This happened to me when I used my AD700 on an Amp/DAC.
 
May 25, 2015 at 8:46 AM Post #4 of 21

Draulius

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Alright, let's simplify things. Out of AKG Q701, Beyerdynamic DT880, and Audio-Technica AD900X which would be the best for gaming?
 
Thanks.
 
May 25, 2015 at 12:26 PM Post #5 of 21

cel4145

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Alright, let's simplify things. Out of AKG Q701, Beyerdynamic DT880, and Audio-Technica AD900X which would be the best for gaming?


This might help: http://www.head-fi.org/t/534479/mad-lust-envys-headphone-gaming-guide-4-8-2015-full-x2-review-update
 
May 25, 2015 at 2:57 PM Post #6 of 21

PurpleAngel

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  Alright, let's simplify things. Out of AKG Q701, Beyerdynamic DT880, and Audio-Technica AD900X which would be the best for gaming?
 
Thanks.

 
I would say the AKG K7XX would be a little better over the Q701.
Any of the headphones listed would be good for FPS gaming.
 
May 25, 2015 at 9:16 PM Post #8 of 21

lynx121

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Based on the comparisons I've read, K7XX is really close to K702 Annies which is also close to a bassport-modded Q701. These three are really like triplets with little to almost no differences on the low-mid frequencies.
 
May 25, 2015 at 9:35 PM Post #9 of 21

cel4145

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Yes. K7XX has a warmer, bassier sound. When I demoed the Q701, I thought the bass extension and emphasis was a bit weak, which made it a bit overly bright for me. K7XX corrects that for me.
 
May 26, 2015 at 2:31 AM Post #10 of 21

PurpleAngel

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  I thought Q701 and AKG K7XX sounded the same, and were only different looks-wise?

The K7XX is considered to have a better headband and more bass, then the Q701.
 
May 26, 2015 at 11:37 AM Post #11 of 21

Draulius

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I was about to pull the trigger on the Q701's before I read about their "famous" 2K frequency spike. This seems to be generally regarded as a bad thing that negatively effects the sound of the headphones. Does anybody have experience with this 2K spike and can maybe shed some light on it?
 
Thanks.
 
May 26, 2015 at 12:00 PM Post #12 of 21

cel4145

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I was about to pull the trigger on the Q701's before I read about their "famous" 2K frequency spike. This seems to be generally regarded as a bad thing that negatively effects the sound of the headphones. Does anybody have experience with this 2K spike and can maybe shed some light on it?


Sorry. Don't know anything about this "famous" 2K frequency spike. Q701s are popular headphones for $200. So are DT880s. And both also have characteristics that some people don't like. You won't find a headphone in this price range that doesn't.
 
May 26, 2015 at 12:42 PM Post #13 of 21

Draulius

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Sorry. Don't know anything about this "famous" 2K frequency spike. Q701s are popular headphones for $200. So are DT880s. And both also have characteristics that some people don't like. You won't find a headphone in this price range that doesn't.


 

Here is what I am referring to.
 
May 26, 2015 at 1:58 PM Post #14 of 21

cel4145

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Here is what I am referring to.


I think you missed the main point. They all have flaws. The DT880 is often criticized for it's treble spike, and note how it has a bit of a hump near 3.5K. You won't find a headphone in this price range that some people don't think is flawed.



And don't forget about the big treble peak "flaw" of the AD700s and its absolute lack of sub bass response:



My guess is that if you are drawn to the DT880 and Q701, you'll just have to try them both to really find out which you will like better.
 
May 26, 2015 at 2:18 PM Post #15 of 21

K_19

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  I was about to pull the trigger on the Q701's before I read about their "famous" 2K frequency spike. This seems to be generally regarded as a bad thing that negatively effects the sound of the headphones. Does anybody have experience with this 2K spike and can maybe shed some light on it?
 
Thanks.

 
It's definitely neither generally or universally a "bad" thing. However, admittingly it IS a characteristic that lot of people don't find agreeable... it is the reason why the reactions to K701/2's have always been the most polarizing of the traditional big three (HD600/650, DT880, K701/2). The 1~2K bump gives it a more forward upper midrange which makes the female vocals and certain instruments more forward (guitars etc). Lot of people find this characteristic very unique, intimate and enjoyable, but lot of people also find it a bit too artificial, shouty, "plasticky" etc for their tastes. It really depends on what your preferences are and what genres you listen to. I for one love the AKG's and find the DT880's a little unengaging in comparison.
 
With the earlier K701/2's the problem was that they didn't have enough bass for most people and many ended up boosting the volume to compensate, which in turn also boosted this 2K bump a bit too much. The Q's meanwhile are generally accepted by most to have more bass than those early K7** models and don't suffer from this problem as much IMO (and the newer K712s/K7XX's have even more bass, thus suffer from this problem even less so).
 

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