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Q701 impressions thread

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by tdockweiler, Nov 27, 2011.
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  1. kchau

    what were you using to drive the q701?
  2. dL.


    I used the store's Nuforce Icon HDP and UDAC2 to drive them. The UDAC2 certainly seems lacking but the HDP made them a lot fuller.
  3. DarkAudit
    The Q701's are still on my wish list, but it's obvious I need a beefier amp than my little E6 to push them to their fullest. I'm running the X-Fi go as my DAC since the front headphone jack on my home PC is so noisy (and the headphone jack on the Logitech speakers is less than worthless).
    Since the PC holds all the music, that's where I'd be setting up shop for the Q701s. Suggestions for an amp that would play well with the desktop? No budget set yet, but I'm thinking max of $160, but could do $200 in a pinch.
  4. Chris J


    use both!
    as you can see, a lot of us guys use more than one or two 'phones for different reasons.......different recordings, different music.
    A good amp will improve the sound of your Shures too.
    Edit:   BTW, great to read your Q701 to SRH940 comparisons!
  5. chicolom

    Hmm.. I don't know how a mid-range desktop card would stack up.  It's good that is has line-out.  If it has coax/optical out you could pick up a FiiO D3 (only $30) and see if it does better or worse than the sound card...

    Most of the threads I came across seemed to prefer the m-stage to the little dots.  I don't know about the EF2A - I was looking more into the solid-state amps.  I think the Q701 is plenty smooth already, so I was steering away from tube amps  : \
    As far as DACs, there are a lot of options depending on your budget and what your looking for sound-wise...  I think the HRT Music Steamer II is great for it's price bracket...

    Interesting.  Thanks for the impressions.

    Sounds like you would like the HD800s [​IMG]  What did you listen to them from in the store (Was the Q701 hooked up to a DAC/Amp?)  I ask because they became a lot clearer and more open sounding upon "DAC-ing" - sort of de-warmed them.  But yes, they are mildly warm and smooth sounding to me as well.  I consider it to sound very natural though.  Some headphones with more emphasized treble present more details, but it's almost more emphasis then you hear in real life.  A good example for me is piano recordings.  A play piano so I know what they should sound like, and a lot of headphones will make them sound more trebley than actually are in real life.  Q701s reproduce their sound the best to me.
    That doesn't mean I don't want brighter, more detailed headphones.  I would like to try some way on down the line.  But soundstage gets priority for me, so that means I would need to jump up to the flagship headphones in order to actually better the AKGs in that department (like the HD800) [​IMG]
  6. dL.

    I have actually tried the HD800 as well. Yes they sound beautiful! However, to be very honest, I don't hear much difference compared to the SRH940. Certainly not 5x better given the price being 5x higher. But then now that I think about it, it's probably because I tried it with an inferior amp (udac2). I definitely hear the spaciousness and more detail than the SRH940. But at the end of the day, I don't have the money to afford a $1500 headphone.
    I tried the Q701 with both the Nuforce UDAC2 and Icon HDP. The Nuforce are known to make things a bit brighter, but I do not notice that as much as I should.
    Overall, I find that the Q701 with HDP sounds very similar to the SRH940 with UDAC2 in terms of FULLNESS, DYNAMIC and MUSICAL. That says a lot for the value and versatility you can have with the SRH940. Q701's with UDAC2? Forget it. I find it lacking. Q701 unamped? You may as well not buy it.
    One thing I find is that the Q701 seems to reproduce the sound the best. They are also VERY SMOOTH and relaxing yet not laid back. If I compare between the two, the SRH940 feels coloured and very treble-heavy, even though it presents more detail. It's hard to say: The Q701 makes every single song sound good, but the SRH940 makes some songs MUCH BETTER while some songs MUCH WORSE. Consistency vs inconsistency if that makes any sense.
    I could buy two but I can't justify why I need two. It's not like one does certain genre better as I find both of them do many genres quite well. It's just that one is consistently 9/10 (Q701) and the other is inconsistently producing some 8/10 and some 10/10 (SRH940) in terms of musical satisfaction (or orgasm, as I would like to say it).
    One thing I dislike from the Q701 is the bass. I find it lacking compared to the SRH940, and the 940 isn't even well known for its bass already. It is balanced and accurate, but it lacks the punch and dynamic low end that makes the music that much more engaging and exciting to listen to. Almost feels like my boring HD555 which I hate. Did I get that right or am I doing something wrong?
    To me, the Q701 feels like a headphone I would put on and forget that I am listening to it if I am busy writing a paper or surfing the net, while the SRH940 would alert me to listen to the song and take a moment back and just close your eyes. That's the feeling I have between the two. But I would like to emphasize, they both seriously sound phenomenally excellent, unlike the AKG K550 and the Beyers DT990 (which I briefly tested today as well, I think I'm not a fan of dark signature).
    There is one interesting note I would like to point out. I posted on Headfonia's Q&A and Mike mentions that the SRH940 has a more 3D soundstage than the K701 (similar to Q701) while the 701 is wider. Can anyone elaborate?
    I find that nobody really compared the Q701's and the SRH940 even though they're both in the same price range, despite one being open and closed. Hopefully my insight would help some here!
    So at the end, I'm still stuck. Anyone else have tried both the Q701 and SRH940 here as well?
  7. kchau
    I considered the 940 when i was looking for closed phones, My buying process actually went like this in terms of what I was looking at
    940, 840, M50, AD700, AD900, (valhalla came into the picture here) DT880, DT990, Q701
    While at the store, i tried the 940, 840, and M50. Went home with the m50, hated it when i got home (too fatiguing), took it back the next day.
    Then I had the AD700 and AD900, AD700 was ok, AD900 made me send it back. Then when i got a Valhalla, and the AD900 was no longer appealing to me. So I sent that back. Then i just did a choice between the DT880 and the Q701. And I'm currently very happy (listening to some miles davis right now)
  8. Apollo33
    A Q701 leaves Philadelphia at 12:30am, traveling west at 55mph. My house is located 100 miles west of Philadelphia. How long does it take the package to be delivered?
    Answer: 60 HOURS?! [​IMG]
    Solrighal likes this.
  9. chicolom
    Thanks for the detailed SRH940/Q701 comparison dL.  Maybe you should sell some of your cheaper headphones like the HD555.  Is it not redundant to own multiple Closed Shures of the same family??
    The Shures do sound like a closed phone I would like.  The CAL! is my current closed headphone, and I'm happy with it - although it is on the warm side.  I do most of my listening at home though, so I prefer open headphones in general.
  10. Austin Morrow
    Am I hearing this properly. ZX's silver cable sounds really good on the Q701. Wow.
  11. tdockweiler


    I have one from him with silver plated copper. Sounds pretty good, but it's now more analytical and not as warm (to my ears). That's not a complaint, but just how the wire is. I actually like this at times and really brings out the detail. A little bit more clear than the stock cable and better treble. Somehow the stock cable is actually brighter. Who would have imagined that?! I actually feel as if the Belden and SXC cables I have are more "neutral" than stock cable. That stock cable is actually quite good! SXC cable does seem to increase the soundstage size too.
    Unfortunately I haven't been one to have cables that all sound the same. It'd save me some trouble! I use the SXC for music and the stock for gaming. I guess I'm weird. One reason I use the stock cable for gaming is that it has a smaller soundstage [​IMG]
    The one I got from a place called "Best Tronics" is very nice and dirt cheap! Cost me about $35 shipped. Doesn't sound anything like the stock wire though. I made a few before, but I hate soldering those stupid mini-xlr plugs.
  12. Austin Morrow


    Yeah, I've A/Bd each cable and completely agree. In terms of brightness, I think they are about the same, but there's more detail, less grain, more resolution, and a more layered soundstage. Loving it!!
  13. Eisenhower

    Look at their service manuals:
    k702: http://www.akg.com/mediendatenbank2/psfile/datei/4/k70248b2a8664eaf0.pdf
    q701: http://www.akg.com/mediendatenbank2/psfile/datei/34/Q7014ccfcf894bb82.pdf
    They look sort of identical, do they not? It is well known that the Q701 are the same as the k702's save for the cable and color.

    Why is that so hard to believe that manufacturing differences would play a large role? There are also variations in the amount of burn-in etc..
    Obviously companies attempt to normalize the sound quality using driver matching, but it's within a TOLERANCE. I couldn't find AKG's tolerances, but Sennheiser has a +- 1 db tolerance for the hd650's for example. This is discussed here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/164854/same-headphone-same-sound
  14. chicolom


    Hmm....better soundstage you say?? Where does one get one of these silver mini-XLR cables? [​IMG]
  15. Chris J


    Not hard to believe at all.

    Beyer uses the same drivers for the 600 ohm DT770, DT880 and DT990.
    Same drivers for the other impedance variations too.
    The difference lies in how the drivers are mounted in the headphone shell.
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