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DAC/Amp for AKG K702?

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by brizzl, May 31, 2014.
  1. 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.
  2. tdockweiler
    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.
  3. Brizzl
    So your opinion is either spend ~$200 for an amp or it's not even worth buying? Sheesh, I might just get the Beyer DT880 and a cheaper amp for that much. 
    Also, you were talking about the Q701, not the K702.
    Anyone else want to chime in?
  4. Mad Max
    It probably needs to be repeated more often, but with headphones like HD650, K70x/Q701, etc., their price tag is higher than you initially expect due to amping/source requirements.  They end up close to twice as expensive (or more) as they seem, otherwise they can easily end up sounding like crap.
    If you don't want to spend that much then there are plenty of great, lower-cost choices among headphones that are just a little bit lower-end.  Head on over here and ask for an efficient open-back headphone.  ATH-AD900X is one possibility, I think.
  5. tdockweiler
    In my experience, any amp that works well with the K702 also does just fine the the Q701. There's not a night and day difference between them.
    There might be some exceptions if the amp is way too colored or too dark, but this almost never happens.
    Even the DT-880 32ohm is harder to drive than most people claim [​IMG]
    Don't even think it's good just straight out of a portable player.
    BTW I actually think the HD-650 sounds good on most any desktop amp. It loves the O2 and Magni.
    My HD-650 rarely sounds bad out of neutral budget gear. Well, as long as it's not a weaker portable amp.
    One other option is the HD-598. I think it's probably down to $175 or less. That sounded fine even out of a Clip+!
  6. Brizzl
    I think I read somewhere that a Beyer DT880 with just a Fiio11 and an iPod sounds decent. But yeah, I'll definitely start a thread on that forum, and look into the HD 598. Thanks for the help guys!

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