Fidelio X1's vs AKG Q701's - primarily for gaming
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Orihalcon

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Hi everyone. 
 
Been enjoying these forums for a while and am slowly being sucked into the maelstrom of audio performance. It's been daunting - won't lie - lot's to learn and read and research, but always fun I have to admit.
 
I'll admit I was blinded by all the " Elite Gaming" propaganda branding when I first shopped for headphones. Until I had the chance to listen to a friends HD 650's ran through dedicated sound equipment - eye opening experience. As such I started looking for a similar experience in the games I play - was it even possible? Thankfully based on what I've read here it most certainly is.
 
I'd post this in The Nameless' thread, but as it's my first post I'll drop it here. These are my considerations and factors that I hope some of the more informed members can use to help me.
 
I'll primarily use my headphones for gaming. 99% They will not be portable and will remain at my desk. FPS games are a staple and I would like to enjoy positional audio of good quality. With that said I'm a sucker for RPG's and hack and slash games as well - so immersion is also a factor (heavier bass from what I've read is key here)
 
From the pages and pages...and some more pages of reading I've narrowed my choices  to the following;
 
Philips Fidelio X1's or the AKG Q701's (I've ruled out ATH AD700(x), AD900(x), Sennheiser 558 and 598's)
I will be getting a sound card for the positional audio - creative Z or ZxR (if the better dac and inline amp on the headphone jack will be sufficient)
Given that the ZxR won't cut the mustard and I settle on the Z - based on your feedback here - I will be looking at an external desk amp that can take optical input (or can the Z output DTS via RCA's for amps that only take RCA inputs such as the Schiit magni?)
 
With that mouthful out the way I ask for your opinions. I know the X1's are a bit more expensive than the Q701's - but the base response is better for immersion in RPG's I assume. The ear cups aren't replaceable though and while this is not a concern right now...I do intend to keep these a while and having the option to rip and repair is pretty good to have. Which desk amp would be a good choice for the above - Magni, Fiio E17, Vali etc?
 
I'd say my full budget would be around $240 for the headphones and $260 for the remaining combination of gear - whatever that might be.
 
Thank you for reading and hope to have some great feedback.
 
Ori
 
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kraken2109

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A good option sort of in between the two in terms of sound (and at a good price) is the AKG K612 pro.
 
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PurpleAngel

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I'll primarily use my headphones for gaming. 99% They will not be portable and will remain at my desk. FPS games are a staple and I would like to enjoy positional audio of good quality. With that said I'm a sucker for RPG's and hack and slash games as well - so immersion is also a factor (heavier bass from what I've read is key here) Philips Fidelio X1's or the AKG Q701's (I've ruled out ATH AD700(x), AD900(x), Sennheiser 558 and 598's)
I will be getting a sound card for the positional audio - creative Z or ZxR (if the better dac and inline amp on the headphone jack will be sufficient)
Given that the ZxR won't cut the mustard and I settle on the Z - based on your feedback here - I will be looking at an external desk amp that can take optical input (or can the Z output DTS via RCA's for amps that only take RCA inputs such as the Schiit magni?)
With that mouthful out the way I ask for your opinions. I know the X1's are a bit more expensive than the Q701's - but the base response is better for immersion in RPG's I assume. The ear cups aren't replaceable though and while this is not a concern right now...I do intend to keep these a while and having the option to rip and repair is pretty good to have. Which desk amp would be a good choice for the above - Magni, Fiio E17, Vali etc?
I'd say my full budget would be around $240 for the headphones and $260 for the remaining combination of gear - whatever that might be.
 
The Fidelio X1s are only 30-Ohms, so it would be preferred to use it with a headphone amplifier with an impedance of around 4-Ohms or less, and the SB-Z card head amp comes with a 22-Ohm output impedance.
So something like the Schiit Magni which has an output impedance of less then 1-Ohm, would be a good choice for driving the X1.
You could get a Xonar DX sound card, used $60, which comes with the same CS4398 DAC chip as the SB-Z.
Just plug the Magni straight into the Xonar DX.
So your DAC/amp/sound card is covered for around $180, leaving the rest of your budget for headphones.
 
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Orihalcon

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Excellent.

Did not consider the K612's...the reviews look really good on those. Nice.

And if I follow PurpleAngel's advice, it would leave me with a lot of my budget to push into a great amp.

Thanks for replies so far.

It seems that I'll definitely be going SC -> amp -> headphones then.

Everyone has a lot of love for the Magni, and for good reason it seems, but any other alternatives worth looking at?

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
 
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kraken2109

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Excellent.

Did not consider the K612's...the reviews look really good on those. Nice.

And if I follow PurpleAngel's advice, it would leave me with a lot of my budget to push into a great amp.

Thanks for replies so far.

It seems that I'll definitely be going SC -> amp -> headphones then.

Everyone has a lot of love for the Magni, and for good reason it seems, but any other alternatives worth looking at?

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

The O2 is generally compared with the Magni, but to be honest I'd expect them to sound identical and both be more than enough for the K612. I get more than enough volume into them from my Xonar DG (the few times I don't have my receiver with me).
 
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Orihalcon

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Brilliant. Thank you Kraken2109.

Just got a shocker when I saw Amazon does not ship amps to my country, South Africa, and shipping straight from Schiit will cost more than half the Magni's price...wonderful.



Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
 
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cel4145

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The Magni is still going to be good buy for you at $150--unless you can get the O2 for less. And you are unlikely to find a headphone amp in your country for $200 that would beat those two amps.

And I have the K612s. Excellent headphones :)
 
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Orihalcon

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The Magni is still going to be good buy for you at $150--unless you can get the O2 for less. And you are unlikely to find a headphone amp in your country for $200 that would beat those two amps.

And I have the K612s. Excellent headphones
I completely agree with you cel4145.
 
 
And yes. I fear you are correct on the observation regarding the amps. Even at that extra charge for shipping that amp will still be awesome.
 
Thank you for the feedback. Think I'm fairly sorted and comfortable with my choices now.
 
EDIT: Removed content rule violating content
 
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cel4145

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I understand that audio equipment in South Africa is typically pretty pricey. I think you will be doing well with that Magni at that price :)
 
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