Headroom Airhead with AKG 501's
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Shane492

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I was just wondering if the airhead can dirve the 501's..I am new to this and reading other post's I find very few good things said about this amp..I own Sennheiser HD 497's and I just wanted to go to the AKG 501's and I was just wondering if I will be wasting my money trying the drive them with the airhead..Any help or info would be appreciated... Thank's
 
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Quote:

I was just wondering if I will be wasting my money trying the drive them with the airhead


Yes. The AKG's require far more than the Airhead has to give, especially on battery power. The 501's are excellent, but not portable, cans and require a much better amp than an Airhead. However there is much debated discussion here as to just how much better.
 
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I have the 401's and have used them extensively with the Total Airhead and find that combination acceptable. I have listened to the 401's and 501's on Headroom's Little and Cosmic as well. They defiantly benefit from a better amp. They seem to open up as the amp improves. Better highs and lows were my initial impressions. It has been awhile since I did any A/B testing with them and this is from memory.
 
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Number9

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More power usually results in a tighter, fuller bass.

Some people have complained that the 501s lack bass. Give them juice, and they have bass to spare - that's been my experience.

I would not recommend the 501s for portable use. The earcups are absolutely huge.
 
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I should comment too that my Total Airhead experiences with the 401's were almost entirely using a walwart power supply. As others have stated they are not well suited for portable use.
 
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Alex Altorfer

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Hello Number9!


Quote:

Some people have complained that the 501s lack bass. Give them juice, and they have bass to spare - that's been my experience.


Just with what kind of equipment did you give the K 501s 'juice' with? What headphone amp, and source in particular?

Cheers,
Alex Altorfer
 
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Number9

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Alex,
I used to use a Wheatfield HA-2 (beautiful juice). Unfortunately, had to part with it.

I now listen via a McIntosh MA-6200 integrated amp which has 2 headphone jacks (there is a headamp cicuit in the amp which is hgihly unusual), as well as through my NAD 7020 receiver (my office system).

The Mac and NAD are not as good as the Wheatfield, but still provide a nice tight bottom to the K501s. No complaints.

If I try to listen to the 501s from my McIntosh CD Player headphone jack, yes they can get loud, but the 501s sound flacid, limp and anemic. Lacking in bass and weight.

I wholeheartedly agree with others comments that to get the most from a good phone (dynamics, pace, bass) a headamp really helps, or at least an amp that was designed to drive headphones rather than as an afterthought.
 
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Shane492

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What is the best cans for around 200.00 that will work well with the airhead and the I-river 350..Please do not include the grado sr 60's.. I have heard them and they are way to bright for me..I am using the Sennheiser HD 497's and I find that they suit my taste far better then the grado's..I like to listen to all my music flat.. I just wanted to say thank's for all your help and any thought's or opions {even making fun of me for spending 119.00 for the airhead} LOL Thank's guy's
 
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Number9

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Good (but technical) article on power requirements of headphones:

http://www.audiokits.com/pics/EB_602_210-complete.pdf

Net, net - for mobile use, low impedance is are better suited for battery operated, portable amps like the Airhead.

Grado's (not to everyone's tastes).

The "NEW" AKG 240 Studio - only 55 Ohms - easy to drive $99.

The Sony's don't start to get good till you go past $200.




 
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Alex Altorfer

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Hello again Number9!


Hmmmm, you've got some impressively good (and expensive) equipment there yourself! Some 'juice'! I wonder how the K 501s bass extension sounds with more affordable amplification like the Creek OBH-11 SE or X-Cans. Probably still weak wouldn't you say?

I also wonder whether, in case the K 501s are really bass deficient without spectacular 'juice', some company like Cardas or Equinox hasn't perchance come up with an upgrade cable that addresses such a widely perceived bass deficiency.

Really, there is a near consensus that the K 501s lack bass. Very few people disagree. I understand that, were it not for lack of bass, the K 501s might as well be labeled the best dynamic headphones in the world.

Cheers,
Alex Altorfer
 
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DeanA

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Quote:

Originally posted by Shane492
I was just wondering if the airhead can dirve the 501's..


I have both the TAH and AKG501 and while it will power the AKG501, it will not "drive" them to the sonic level you would expect for the headphone’s price. When I want to make the headphone "portable', I find my Cosmic does the trick. And when I say portable I'm referring to being disconnected from my home unit and relocated to another stationary spot such as the patio or office. I would not place the AKG501 headphones in the mobile headphone category.
 
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Number9

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Alex, Unfortunately, I've never had a Creek to compare to.

I also guess that what I find as fine, others may not agree. While I very much like the K501, I think it still has a way to go before it being the best headphone out there, and not only in the bass.

The 501 needs an amp to drive them to reach their potential. Something like the new 240 Studio - with only a 55 ohm load - will and does sound better from a low power amp IMHO. It also has more bass, a kind of "caramel" colour to it, which perhaps was built-in to add warmth to compensate for the low power likely to be driving it.

 
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Shane492

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I own a TDK MOJO 620 and a IRIVER 350 And I am using Sennheiser HD 497's with a Headroom Airhead 4.5 Volt... I wanted a little better sounding cans and after all your input I went out and bought the grado SR 225's with a grado 1/4 to mini abapter and I think they sound great with this combo (Little to bright for me but I knew this going into it) The Airhead seems to have more than enough power to drive these cans and using the Airhead DOES make the the 225's sound better then just using the players amp to run them....Any thought's are welcome....Thank's
 
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