Do I need an AMP for akg k702?
Jun 11, 2015 at 9:22 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 18

Inamayo

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Hello there,
 
Thanks in advance for helping out :) I'm new here, and also I'm not an expert with audiophile/stuff, etc...
 
The short story is, I got this pair of AKG K702, that I use monstly with my computer using a soundblaster Z soundcard, my main purpose is for listening music
Now the point is, I thought that the ohm amplifier built-in for the headphones in the sound card was enough, but after some research in this forum, seems like I got all wrong (If you got the time for a good explanation is appreciate.)
 
So, I'm trying to figure out first if I need a good AMP (it would be nice if the budget wouldn't go over 200 eur) and also if i can connect that to the soundcard without troubles.
 
Thanks again for your time, and sorry for my poor english :)
 
Jun 11, 2015 at 10:34 AM Post #2 of 18

cel4145

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The Soundblaster Z's low output impedance is 22 ohms. For a 62 ohm headphone like the K702, optimal would be around 8 ohms or lower. So there could be some benefit of going with a headphone amp in improving accuracy of the sound.

The other reason to buy a headphone amp is if the Soundblaster Z does not have enough power to drive them well to the volumes you listen to them at. When you have them turned up to your listening volume, can the Soundblaster Z still get a good bit louder in perceived volume? If not, then likely you are losing some dynamics.
 
Jun 11, 2015 at 11:02 AM Post #3 of 18

Inamayo

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can the Soundblaster Z still get a good bit louder in perceived volume?

well, I had to lower the volume of windows because the sound was way too high, but I'm pretty sure that's because he's got built-in amplified?
Is that what you mean right?
 
From specs: 600 Ohm Amplified Headphone Output:Maxim MAX97220A
 
But as I read a topic here (unfortuntely i don't have the link I wasn't on my computer), They said that wasn't the actual output impendance, so that's why I asked if an AMP was a good choice for getting that little extra rich sound.
 
Jun 11, 2015 at 11:11 AM Post #4 of 18

cel4145

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The Soundblaster Z low output impedance was measured here: http://en.goldenears.net/17542

If you have to turn the volume way down, then yes. Likely the Soundblaster Z is producing enough power for your listening levels.
 
Jun 11, 2015 at 12:24 PM Post #5 of 18

Me x3

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The Soundblaster Z's low output impedance is 22 ohms. For a 62 ohm headphone like the K702, optimal would be around 8 ohms or lower. So there could be some benefit of going with a headphone amp in improving accuracy of the sound.

Spot on.
 
Something like Schiit Magni 2, Schiit Magni 2 Uber, Schiit Asgard 2 should work very well. Same applies to the Matrix M-Stage headphone amplifier.
 
Happy Listening!
k701smile.gif

 
Jun 11, 2015 at 1:02 PM Post #6 of 18

PurpleAngel

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  Well, I had to lower the volume of windows because the sound was way too high, but I'm pretty sure that's because he's got built-in amplified?
Is that what you mean right?
From specs: 600 Ohm Amplified Headphone Output:Maxim MAX97220A
But as I read a topic here (unfortunately i don't have the link I wasn't on my computer), They said that wasn't the actual output impedance, so that's why I asked if an AMP was a good choice for getting that little extra rich sound.

Hopefully you disabled the motherboard's on-board audio, in the BIOS, before you installed the SB-Z
 
The Creative claim of a "600-Ohm amplifier" in the SB-Z is Creative's way of say the SB-Z can drive headphones up to 600-Ohm, but it's not a "600-Ohm" amplifier.
 
The SB-Z's headphone jack has a 22-Ohm output impedance, which is not that greatest.
(for the price you pay for the SB-Z, your still getting a good bang for the buck)
Technically it would be best to use a headphone amplifier with an output impedance of around 7-Ohms or less, with 62-Ohm headphones (K702), but nothings perfect.
I've tried a 40-Ohm ATH-A900X headphones plugged into the SB-Z and it was still a decent sound.
As you more into music, you might consider getting an external headphone amplifier and plug it into the SB-Z's Front Speaker headphone jack.
The Front Speaker jack being a line-output, would do a little better job of feeding an analog audio signal, into an external amplifier, then the SB-Z's headphone jack.
The SB-Z can not send headphone surround sound, thru the Front Speaker jack, but as music is only 2-channel stereo audio, there is no need for surround sound.
Something like a Schiit Vali, might do a better job of driving the K702's, over the SB-Z's built in headphone amplifier.
There is also the Schiit Magni 2 or O2 headphone amplifiers and other brands,
 
Jun 11, 2015 at 1:17 PM Post #7 of 18

tx-sil

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agree, I just bought a Asgard I for my Q701. I would say K702 needs Asgard II at least. The issue is always the low for AKG K/Q 7 series. With enough driving power you can hear decent lows but with just computer sound card or DAC, most the time the low is weak and hard to hear
 
Jun 11, 2015 at 2:13 PM Post #8 of 18

Inamayo

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  Hopefully you disabled the motherboard's on-board audio, in the BIOS, before you installed the SB-Z
  The SB-Z's headphone jack has a 22-Ohm output impedance, which is not that greatest.
(for the price you pay for the SB-Z, your still getting a good bang for the buck)
Technically it would be best to use a headphone amplifier with an output impedance of around 7-Ohms or less, with 62-Ohm headphones (K702), but nothings perfect.
I've tried a 40-Ohm ATH-A900X headphones plugged into the SB-Z and it was still a decent sound.
As you more into music, you might consider getting an external headphone amplifier and plug it into the SB-Z's Front Speaker headphone jack.
The Front Speaker jack being a line-output, would do a little better job of feeding an analog audio signal, into an external amplifier, then the SB-Z's headphone jack.
The SB-Z can not send headphone surround sound, thru the Front Speaker jack, but as music is only 2-channel stereo audio, there is no need for surround sound.
Something like a Schiit Vali, might do a better job of driving the K702's, over the SB-Z's built in headphone amplifier.
There is also the Schiit Magni 2 or O2 headphone amplifiers and other brands,

Thanks for the answer, I was looking for something like this,
Also about the on-board audio, I disabled that AFTER installing the SB-Z, is that a problem?
 
I'll look foward into these models you suggested :D
Also thanks to everyone who tried to help.
 
Jun 11, 2015 at 3:16 PM Post #9 of 18

PurpleAngel

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  Thanks for the answer, I was looking for something like this,
Also about the on-board audio, I disabled that AFTER installing the SB-Z, is that a problem?
 
I'll look forward into these models you suggested :D
Also thanks to everyone who tried to help.

 
It's just a little better to disable the on-board audio, before installing the software, but not a big deal.
Might try reading up and asking here about any recommended headphone amplifiers, for use with the K702
http://www.head-fi.org/t/626971/akg-k702-65th-anniversary-edition
 
Jun 13, 2015 at 2:05 PM Post #10 of 18

elwappo99

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  Hello there,
 
Thanks in advance for helping out :) I'm new here, and also I'm not an expert with audiophile/stuff, etc...
 
The short story is, I got this pair of AKG K702, that I use monstly with my computer using a soundblaster Z soundcard, my main purpose is for listening music
Now the point is, I thought that the ohm amplifier built-in for the headphones in the sound card was enough, but after some research in this forum, seems like I got all wrong (If you got the time for a good explanation is appreciate.)
 
So, I'm trying to figure out first if I need a good AMP (it would be nice if the budget wouldn't go over 200 eur) and also if i can connect that to the soundcard without troubles.
 
Thanks again for your time, and sorry for my poor english :)

 
Hi! 
 
Is there a problem with your sound card? Why don't you think it doesn't have enough power? What don't you like about the sound?
 
 
I'm super familiar with the K701/K702/Q701/K7xx/K712 line so I can probably help you out with some amps.
 
Jun 17, 2015 at 6:24 PM Post #11 of 18

Inamayo

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Hi! 
 
Is there a problem with your sound card? Why don't you think it doesn't have enough power? What don't you like about the sound?
 
 
I'm super familiar with the K701/K702/Q701/K7xx/K712 line so I can probably help you out with some amps.

Hi there, actually I'm fine, but I discovered that using a good AMP would improve the sound quality/richer sound, that's why I asked some suggestion and also if It was needed to add an AMP.
 
Jun 17, 2015 at 7:25 PM Post #13 of 18

elwappo99

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Hi! 
 
Is there a problem with your sound card? Why don't you think it doesn't have enough power? What don't you like about the sound?
 
 
I'm super familiar with the K701/K702/Q701/K7xx/K712 line so I can probably help you out with some amps.

Hi there, actually I'm fine, but I discovered that using a good AMP would improve the sound quality/richer sound, that's why I asked some suggestion and also if It was needed to add an AMP.

 
Hey! You're new! If no one has said it, welcome to head-fi! 
 
 
The reason I asked my questions is I've helped a lot of people with these headphones in similar situations. Sometimes they get an impression from reading head-fi that adding an amp will cause "drastic improvements" or make the headphones sound "totally different". Sometimes, people have even been expecting that an amplifier will suddenly add a ton of bass! 
 
So, I wanted to preface any recommendations by hopefully realistic expectations. I always have 3 different headphone amplifiers on hand, and I definitely appreciate the improvements, but they are on the side of "subtle" vs "drastic".
 
 
I also was interested in hearing if you didn't like anything about the headphones, because to some small degree, different amplifiers will add touches of "color" which may alleviate some of those things.
 
So here's what I have really enjoyed with the K7 headphone line:
 
Matrix M-stage - Super low noise floor, works with just about any headphone you throw at it. I like this amp because I had it hooked up and I could easily swap out any headphone in my collection and it would sound great. Adds a touch of warmth and bass notes.
 
Schiit Vali - Personal Favorite for the AKG K7 line. Really natural and clear sounding. Has some notable issues, and only works with less sensitive headphones (e.g. Sennheiser HD650, AKG K701).
 
Schiit Asgard - A lot of people like this amplifier as well. Lots of power, also slightly warm sounding, but not as warm as the M-stage
 
Objective2 - Crowd favorite. Gives the K701 plenty of power, and is very clear. Also, like the M-stage will work with any headphone. It's supposed to sound "clean" and some people find it "boring" when compared to the M-stage. 
 
Hope that helps! 
 
Jun 30, 2015 at 5:51 PM Post #14 of 18

Inamayo

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Thanks for your answer, I was looking for something like this, unfortunately I didn't answer cause I kinda forgot to reply and I was a bit busy in these days.
Also I can't really answer your question, cause I don't really have an idea about the difference without/with the AMP but, judging from your opinions, I'll give a try with the Matrix M-stage for adding a touch of bass and warmth :)
 
Jun 30, 2015 at 6:35 PM Post #15 of 18

Shaffer

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[...]

Matrix M-stage - Super low noise floor, works with just about any headphone you throw at it. I like this amp because I had it hooked up and I could easily swap out any headphone in my collection and it would sound great. Adds a touch of warmth and bass notes. [...]


That's my recommendation, as well.

FWIW, I own K702.
 

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