Mad Lust Envy's Headphone Gaming Guide: (1/10/2022: Koss KPH40 Utility Review Added)
May 9, 2012 at 2:43 PM Post #5,401 of 47,948

chicolom

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Quote:
Alright, I'm trying to clean up the format on the first post, but this forum really likes screwing with it and adds unnecessary java... I'm not too well versed in such things, and it's being quite a pain in the ass. That's why the first post looks so messed up. I didn't add all those spaces between things. Sigh... in any case, I've separated the sections quite a bit better, so it SHOULD look a bit less cluttered now. Please lemme know what you guys think.
 

 
That looks a lot better!  There were some massive spaces in there before.
 
I think the HTML has some bugs in it from being edited so many times.  There are hidden spaces in the HTML you can't see.
 
You should PM me the source code for the post.  Just click "edit post"  then click "source" on the top left, and copy and paste it all in a PM @ me.  I can clean up the HTML and get rid of the old invisible line breaks.
 
May 9, 2012 at 6:06 PM Post #5,402 of 47,948

Indread

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Can anyone take the time to list, to their knowledge, the receivers with built in Dolby Headphone or CMSS 3D processing? I can't find all the models online, since the Harman Kardon's that did have Dolby Headphone are older models.
 
May 9, 2012 at 7:02 PM Post #5,403 of 47,948

AxelCloris

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May 9, 2012 at 7:14 PM Post #5,404 of 47,948

Heretic817

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Quote:
Nice job MLE!!! A soon as I logged on I was like "wow that looks a lot cleaner". and thanks for the Q701 include as well.
I just got my Q701's delivered to work so I have yet to try them. It sounds like my Astro Mixamp should do fine to drive them but now I am likely going to have to do something to use them with my PC. I take it I will need some amplification over my X-fi Extreme Gamer card which has no dedicated headphone amp.
 
Well, I guess I will try them out on Booth the PS3 and PC tonight and see how it goes. Thanks again MLE and Chicolom for all your help.


Um. OK. I just got home with my new AKG Q701's and I just want to throw this out there.
 
Based on everything I read I expected to be able to use them with my Mixamp but to be a SOL with my MP3 player or my PC sound card. Now it may be true that these can benefit from an amp and I may do that down the line but...... I have literally listened to like 5 songs and here is what I think.
 
1. They sound great, can't wait to really run in all situations. Games, Movies,  Music
 
2. For all the hype about needing  $1000 amp or whatever. maybe I will never know what I am missing but....
 
3. Even my Sony MP3 player drives them to an acceptable listening level though it could be louder it is by no means quiet.
 
4. The Headphone jack on my PC speaker maxed out is a touch too much. I have it at maybe 85% - 90% and I do not want it any louder lest I damage my hearing.
 
So, if you are out there and you are looking at these headphones thinking. "Sounds like something I would like to try these but sheesh $250 for the headphone and $260 for M-stage just to try them at a decent volume....good lord that's a lot of money" Let me just say: I have no idea how loud others need the sound and I am so far in no hurry to part with more money to find out what I am missing.
 
Look at my posts and you will quickly see that I have no idea what I am doing in the realm of Hi-Fi yet, Maybe someone will tell you if you run these with a $300+ amp they will give you multiple eargasms and without one it's a snore, I dunno.
 
As for me, listening to these on my computer, typing this and not even running them with my Mixamp yet..... I think if the positioning and sound stage with Dolby Headphone tickles my fancy for games then I have a new best friend.
 
May 9, 2012 at 8:07 PM Post #5,405 of 47,948

He11fire217

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Um. OK. I just got home with my new AKG Q701's and I just want to throw this out there.

Based on everything I read I expected to be able to use them with my Mixamp but to be a SOL with my MP3 player or my PC sound card. Now it may be true that these can benefit from an amp and I may do that down the line but...... I have literally listened to like 5 songs and here is what I think.

1. They sound great, can't wait to really run in all situations. Games, Movies,  Music

2. For all the hype about needing  $1000 amp or whatever. maybe I will never know what I am missing but....

3. Even my Sony MP3 player drives them to an acceptable listening level though it could be louder it is by no means quiet.

4. The Headphone jack on my PC speaker maxed out is a touch too much. I have it at maybe 85% - 90% and I do not want it any louder lest I damage my hearing.

So, if you are out there and you are looking at these headphones thinking. "Sounds like something I would like to try these but sheesh $250 for the headphone and $260 for M-stage just to try them at a decent volume....good lord that's a lot of money" Let me just say: I have no idea how loud others need the sound and I am so far in no hurry to part with more money to find out what I am missing.

Look at my posts and you will quickly see that I have no idea what I am doing in the realm of Hi-Fi yet, Maybe someone will tell you if you run these with a $300+ amp they will give you multiple eargasms and without one it's a snore, I dunno.

As for me, listening to these on my computer, typing this and not even running them with my Mixamp yet..... I think if the positioning and sound stage with Dolby Headphone tickles my fancy for games then I have a new best friend.


I just want to throw out there that "needing an amp" isn't just about the volume level. Sometimes even though the volume is loud enough there are more dynamics to be had by upgrading to an amp with more power (and therefore more headroom) and possibly a different output impedance.

Driving any amp hard will cause it to clip or distort and some of the built-in amps in PMPs are underpowered to begin with. I'm not saying any of this applies to you, but there are more reasons to buy an amp than just more volume.
 
May 9, 2012 at 8:49 PM Post #5,407 of 47,948
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Yeah, volume does not equate to being driven.

Like I mentioned on my HE-4 listing, the E9 drives the HE-4 to ear exploding levels, but it sounds very VERY weak, thin, and lifeless. It was only when I used the Lyr that the HE-4 came to life. I've never heard a headphone change THAT dramatically.

Chico, I'll see if I can pm you the script. I tried to remove most the spaces, but gave up halfway, lol. I'd fix it up some more, but laziness set in.
 
May 9, 2012 at 9:06 PM Post #5,408 of 47,948

Heretic817

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Regarding: Q701's
 
Noted: I just currently can't see any reason that I NEED to throw another $100, $200, or $1000 at my setup. At the moment I think the volume and the sound are just great. If there are gains to be had I am hard pressed to imagine an improvement that would be worth the extra scratch. Of course a lot of people think I am out of my mind for paying $130 for the Mixamp and $250 for a headphone and I can see why. Now if I spent another $300 on an amp my friends, and my wife, would slap me and my momma.
 
Don't get me wrong I am certainly not knocking anyone for searching for audio Nirvana. It's worth every penny if you think it is.
 
I just wanted to say that I almost avoided getting this headphone all together because some people made it sound like they COULD NOT be driven to any kind of reasonable listening volume without an amp. You can find a trillion posts that could lead you to think that. This is certainly not what I think to be true. As stated, my crap little Sony MP3 player easily pushed these "loud enough" and sounded as well as I could expect given the source.
 
So, IMO if the only thing holding a person back from giving these a try is the fear that they MUST also buy an amp out of the gate; I say bull.
Give em' a shot and then if you want to, see what you can get out of an amp later if you do not already have one. If a well matched amp lets these truly spread their wings I would be really impressed as I already am without one.
 
That is all.
 
 
May 9, 2012 at 9:18 PM Post #5,409 of 47,948
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Well, I for one don't find the Q701 to need much amping to sound great, outside of personal mixamp issues when using a mic (I like my voice/game knob near 2 o clock to get the desired volume level for voice chat, which kills game volume).

The K701 I owned before it, I preferred out of my old very weak Fiio E5 (which is like $20) than out of anything else at the time.

However, I'd still invest on an amp (at least the Fiio E11) to get more dynamics out of it. They may not require as much as head-fi states, but they do require amping to get the most out of them.

They certainly do improve a bit going from the E9 to the NFB5, and the NFB5 is giving them around 1 1/2 watts. So it's not farfetched to say that they do require a LOT of power to get them to tip top shape.

So yes, enjoyable ampless, but will improve with some proper amping.

edit: Cleaned up the format further and added underlines to the different headphones. The clean up SHOULD be complete. I removed pretty much all the unnecessary spacing (again not my own fault, lol). I have also adjusted the HD201's score from fives to sixes as I feel for the $20 you spend, they are decent performers, and sixes make more sense.
 
May 9, 2012 at 11:30 PM Post #5,410 of 47,948

Heretic817

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Well, I for one don't find the Q701 to need much amping to sound great, outside of personal mixamp issues when using a mic (I like my voice/game knob near 2 o clock to get the desired volume level for voice chat, which kills game volume).
The K701 I owned before it, I preferred out of my old very weak Fiio E5 (which is like $20) than out of anything else at the time.
However, I'd still invest on an amp (at least the Fiio E11) to get more dynamics out of it. They may not require as much as head-fi states, but they do require amping to get the most out of them.
They certainly do improve a bit going from the E9 to the NFB5, and the NFB5 is giving them around 1 1/2 watts. So it's not farfetched to say that they do require a LOT of power to get them to tip top shape.
So yes, enjoyable ampless, but will improve with some proper amping.
edit: Cleaned up the format further and added underlines to the different headphones. The clean up SHOULD be complete. I removed pretty much all the unnecessary spacing (again not my own fault, lol). I have also adjusted the HD201's score from fives to sixes as I feel for the $20 you spend, they are decent performers, and sixes make more sense.


And to be fair it is highly likely that I will end up getting an amp later. I think I may just have bitten by the bug.  I will just wait until I have some money burning a hole in my pocket which happens less often than I would like. For now, I am taking these babies for a test drive with my Mixamp,
atsmile.gif

 
May 10, 2012 at 12:09 AM Post #5,411 of 47,948

IronSnake

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Hey IronSnake,
Could you please post a pic of your Q701 looks with the modmic?
smily_headphones1.gif

I'm just wondering where did you attach the sticky magnet to and how does it look.
 
Thanks!

 
Here you go, Noisecr.  I say put it anywhere on the headphones where you feel it's best for you.  Just use a double sided tape and move it around before you commit.
 

 
The best place that works for me for mics is to be under my chin, so I route it behind the cable.  I figured it shouldn't affect anything since there's a cable there blocking that section already.  Besides, the way I play fps games, I'm always moving, so if someone can sneak up beside me from behind my left buttcheek and whack me, I say kudos and turn my other buttcheek.
 
 
 
Regarding: Q701's
 
Noted: I just currently can't see any reason that I NEED to throw another $100, $200, or $1000 at my setup. At the moment I think the volume and the sound are just great. If there are gains to be had I am hard pressed to imagine an improvement that would be worth the extra scratch. Of course a lot of people think I am out of my mind for paying $130 for the Mixamp and $250 for a headphone and I can see why. Now if I spent another $300 on an amp my friends, and my wife, would slap me and my momma.
 
Don't get me wrong I am certainly not knocking anyone for searching for audio Nirvana. It's worth every penny if you think it is.
 
I just wanted to say that I almost avoided getting this headphone all together because some people made it sound like they COULD NOT be driven to any kind of reasonable listening volume without an amp. You can find a trillion posts that could lead you to think that. This is certainly not what I think to be true. As stated, my crap little Sony MP3 player easily pushed these "loud enough" and sounded as well as I could expect given the source.
 
So, IMO if the only thing holding a person back from giving these a try is the fear that they MUST also buy an amp out of the gate; I say bull.
Give em' a shot and then if you want to, see what you can get out of an amp later if you do not already have one. If a well matched amp lets these truly spread their wings I would be really impressed as I already am without one.
 
That is all.
 

 
Heretic817, save your money and go for a D7000. 
darthsmile.gif
 
 
The Q701 is actually quite easy to drive, even though me as a head-fi newb, read everywhere like you that the AKGs are tough to drive.  However, I trusted all the good information from MLE and chicolom and just bought the rig AND I got a FiiO E11 just in case.  I was thinking to get a Matrix M-Stage instead and I'm glad I didn't.  The E11 wasn't needed at all for sound+voice since the mixamp can drive both plenty.  Actually, using the Q701 with my iPod touch 2nd gen + LOD + E11, I barely crank the volume up to at most 3 on the E11 on high gain.  Heck, that's the same volume I use with the Koss Pro DJ100, just goes to show how easy the Q701 is to drive.
 
May 10, 2012 at 3:59 AM Post #5,412 of 47,948

chicolom

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Chico, I'll see if I can pm you the script. I tried to remove most the spaces, but gave up halfway, lol. I'd fix it up some more, but laziness set in.

 
 
It looks like you got the spaces fixed
wink.gif
 
 

Quote:
Regarding: Q701's
 
I just wanted to say that I almost avoided getting this headphone all together because some people made it sound like they COULD NOT be driven to any kind of reasonable listening volume without an amp. You can find a trillion posts that could lead you to think that. This is certainly not what I think to be true. As stated, my crap little Sony MP3 player easily pushed these "loud enough" and sounded as well as I could expect given the source.

 
 
I think part of why Head-fi started spreading around the "K70x NEEDZZ an Amp!!" is because some people just didn't like the sound of the K701/2, and when they threw enough money into an amp for AKGs they ended up "appreciating" them more.  Similar to the reason people say the need 500 hours burn in.  The sounds conveniently ends up changing to their liking ( > they end up adjusting to it, more likely).
 
 
With that said, just because you are getting volume out of the Q701s doesn't meant they're being fully driven.  Out of all my headphones, the Q701s change/improve the most when paired with a desktop amp and source (I don't even bother hooking up my KSC35 or CALs to the M-stage as they don't benefit enough).
 
 
I started with Q701 first, with no amps or DACs.  This is what I noticed as I got more gear:
  1. My soundcard at 75-80% drove them to listening levels.  I thought they sounded fine out of it.  
  2. Next I got the E10.  The sound became clearer/cleaner, and the soundstage was more open with better separation.  It was also much louder than my soundcard.  Definitely loud enough for the Q701.  I also had an E9 so I hooked that up to the E10.  I remember thinking, "That's more like it.  This is how they are supposed to sound."  They sounded more clear and open then they did before, and now I could understand why people praised their soundstage.
  3. Then I got the M-stage and HRT Music Streamer II. Again, even bigger soundstage, more defined details, and better dynamics. 
 
Moving backwards, starting from the M-stage, this is what I notice:
  1. Going from M-stage down to E10:  > The E10 sounds a bit compressed (dynamically) and muddy sounding.  The soundstage is smaller with more blurry separation.
  2. Moving down from either the M-stage or E10 back to the soundcard:  > The soundcard sounds a bit claustrophobic and "small.".  The soundstage depth is embarrassingly pathetic, as it basically doesn't have any depth when compared to the other gear.  It also sounds sort of and stuffy and thin.  (Keep in mind it's a laptop soundcard :p)
 
 
So again, the Q701s aren't hard to drive volume wise, and their need for an amp is greatly exaggerated by Head-fi.  That doesn't mean they don't benefit from better amps though.  The most noticeable improvements IMO, are better soundstage, better clarity, and better dynamics.  You do get diminishing returns after a while, but under $300 there are some nice pieces of gear. 
 
It may or may not be worth it to you to invest in it.  If you mainly use them for gaming and you are getting enough volume, I'm not sure I'd bother getting anything else.
 
If you love the Q701s for music (like I do), then I think they deserve a little nicer setup, preferably with a desktop amp.  Also, don't bother buying another amp if your only going to pair it with a crappy source.
 
May 10, 2012 at 5:10 AM Post #5,413 of 47,948
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Well put. Having now owned the NFB5, I wouldn't stomach the Q701 with the E9 as a main setup. I mean they sound great, but it sounds more natural with the NFB5.

Now with the D7000, I don't mind the E9 or the NFB5. The biggest difference there is just the amp's own sound signature, where the NFB5 sounds thicker and fills out the notes more, whereas the E9 is dry sounding but more energetic in comparison.
 
May 10, 2012 at 2:18 PM Post #5,415 of 47,948

IronSnake

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chicolom, I was pointing out no need for amp for volume for the Q701 when the modmic is added into the mixamp. I tested the iPod with the E11 to see what's the deal with all the hard to drive statements about the AKG.  I use the Q701 strictly for gaming and nothing else.  It's just way too bright for me listening music to it.  For music, I consider every opinion regarding how something sounds to be a very personal and subjective opinion because everyone's tastes are different.  I stay away from commenting how something sounds since people here tend to treat that topic with religious zealot. I wonder when the shift happened to this hobby that stopped being about the music first, i.e. just chill out and enjoy your hard earned money listening to music to relax.
 
As high quality source, I use the iPod classic and Sansa with my lossless collection.  But most often than not, I find myself using Spotify with the new extreme quality on my iPod touch to find new musicians around the world. It's the same in gaming with me, I will only keep a couple games as my high quality games to always go back to forget about the real world for a while.  The rest of the time, I rent and try out new stuff to find the next high quality game for me.
 

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