replacement headphone advice
Feb 3, 2021 at 6:06 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

jgranto

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My AKG Q701 headphones are starting to have problems and need to be replaced. I liked the sound from this set, especially the large sound stage and neutral sound. That being said, I disliked several things about them:
  • The headband with the bumps got uncomfortable.
  • They are poorly designed. The clear plastic parts that connect from headband to the earcups break over time even with the most tender care.
So, I am in the market for a new set of headphones. I would like something relatively neutral that is more durable and more comfortable than the Q701's. I listen to a variety of music, but mostly rock and metal (with a lot of female voices). I also use the headphones for gaming, so being able to accurately hear location is important. I currently power the headphones with a SoundBlaster Zx, but I am open to buying an amp. My preference is no amp, but again, I am not opposed to an amp.

My price range for the headphones is $600 or less. My price range for an amp is $350 or less, and I would probably prefer a portable amp.

What are your recommendations? Thanks in advance!
 
Feb 3, 2021 at 6:53 PM Post #2 of 14

pbui44

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Feb 3, 2021 at 7:45 PM Post #3 of 14

silent-circuit

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I second the R70X recommendation; very comfortable, light, neutral. Maybe not the best build quality, but certainly more durable than the Q701s (I also have a pair, on their last legs like the OP's).
 
Feb 4, 2021 at 7:05 PM Post #4 of 14

jgranto

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For your uses, check out the Audio Technica ATH-R70x, Schiit Modius amplifier, and name-brand (you game a lot) XLR cable, which should all come out to be around $700:

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/de...th-r70x-open-back-dynamic-reference-headphone

https://www.schiit.com/products/magnius

https://www.surfcables.com/products/audio-technica-compatible-cables?variant=11806296515

If I dump my sound card and decide to go with the Magnius, which DAC should I pair with it?
 
Feb 12, 2021 at 1:21 PM Post #6 of 14

jgranto

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For your uses, check out the Audio Technica ATH-R70x, Schiit Modius amplifier, and name-brand (you game a lot) XLR cable, which should all come out to be around $700:

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/de...th-r70x-open-back-dynamic-reference-headphone

https://www.schiit.com/products/magnius

https://www.surfcables.com/products/audio-technica-compatible-cables?variant=11806296515

So, it is hard to find the ATH-R70x at MSRP right now (they said it was due to increased demand and supply chain issues). I got the Magnius, which will ship late this month.

If I look at alternatives to the ATH-R70x, what would be recommended? I see the Sennheiser 660S and the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro seem to be similarly neutral(ish). I also saw the HiFiMan Ananda, which is more than I initially budgeted, but may be doable due to saving money on the Magnius.
 
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Feb 12, 2021 at 2:08 PM Post #8 of 14

pbui44

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So, it is hard to find the ATH-R70x at MSRP right now (they said it was due to increased demand and supply chain issues). I got the Magnius, which will ship late this month.

If I look at alternatives to the ATH-R70x, what would be recommended? I see the Sennheiser 660S and the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro seem to be similarly neutral(ish). I also saw the HiFiMan Ananda, which is more than I initially budgeted, but may be doable due to saving money on the Magnius.

Keep checking highly-rated retails on google for the ath-r70x. Otherwise, the HD660S will do just fine, just a little more mids and a little less soundstage.
 
Feb 12, 2021 at 3:48 PM Post #10 of 14

silent-circuit

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Note that the NewFantasia cables are... hit or miss. Their quality control is questionable at best. I have several, and roughly 1/2 have showed up with shorts or failed within a week or two. The other half have held up fine. It seems you get good soldering or bad.
 
Feb 12, 2021 at 3:49 PM Post #11 of 14

CJG888

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I wouldn’t bother with the HD660- if you have a decent amp, why not consider the HD600?
 
Feb 14, 2021 at 11:22 AM Post #12 of 14

jgranto

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Looking at the magnius power output levels, you can get the Hifiman Ananda, but only with the XLR cable, which is luckily cheaper than with other headphones:

https://www.amazon.com/NewFantasia-...4616A89KR1W&psc=1&refRID=4GBPH36J74616A89KR1W

https://www.amazon.com/HIFIMAN-Ananda-Full-Size-Headphones-Comfortable/dp/B07DJ2ZBB3

You had me sold on the ATH-R70x, it is just availability that is the issue. Comparing the ATH-R70x to the Ananda, which do you recommend to best meet my requirements? If the ATH-R70x is superior, I can just wait things out.
 
Apr 10, 2021 at 1:43 PM Post #13 of 14

CJG888

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I suspect the HD600 will beat the pair of ‘em...
 
Apr 10, 2021 at 2:34 PM Post #14 of 14

pbui44

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I suspect the HD600 will beat the pair of ‘em...

The importance of female vocals stands out in the OPs post and the HD600 does very well with mids...but female vocals require that extra bit of extension that adds to the listener’s emotional feel. The Ananda has a larger soundstage than the ATH-R70x, but Audio Technica is well-known for female vocals, and the ATH-R70x is no exception. It all depends on your preferences, @jgranto, As the Ananda probably will be the better all-rounder with the Magnius and it’s XLR cable, the the ATH-R70x will be the vocal king with the Magnius and it’s xlr cable.
 

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