The AKG K7XX Massdrop First Edition Thread
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Oktyabr

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  Hey, if you're happy with it straight out of your phone, more power to you. Let's not push our new friend down the wrong path, though. The large majority of people with these and any of the K/Q7xx cans know they scale very well, with the signature changing when quality power is put through them. So I'll disagree with you. If you care about the sound and are going to drop money on this can, everyone needs additional amping.


Pushing down the wrong path?  I'm not the one telling him they are going to sound "terrible" if he doesn't drop a bunch of $$$$ on an amp, especially since I would assume he has not had the chance to see how they fair out of his existing equipment!  I have no problem with amps.  I bought my first one, believe it or not, just to have a physical volume control next to my mouse.  But telling someone *they* (not you or me) are not going to enjoy headphone "X" without buying amplifier "Z" is not the right path either...  especially when none of us have the faintest idea of his listening requirements or the capabilities of his current gear.  I googled for a "proper amp" and couldn't find a single model or manufacturer by that name. 

Try them with what you own now.  Not loud enough?  THEN buy an amp.
 
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People here are saying the k7xx need an an amp because of sound quality, not necessarily volume (though volume may be an issue). The sound quality of the k7xx simply cannot be heard without a suitably powerful amp. Just a reality of the k7xx.
 
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Oktyabr

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People here are saying the k7xx need an an amp because of sound quality, not necessarily volume (though volume may be an issue). The sound quality of the k7xx simply cannot be heard without a suitably powerful amp. Just a reality of the k7xx.


I disagree.  As others have said, the K/Q series "scale well".  That starts pretty low on the food chain.  A poor impedance match and potential clipping when pushed too hard can be two good reasons why a better amp *might* improve sound quality.  Channel crossfeed could be another, aka "sound stage", but basically as long as a given source is capable of playing the desired music at the desired volume without introducing clipping or vast amounts of other distortion, these headphones will sound great to most listener's ears. 
 
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bavinck

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I disagree.  As others have said, the K/Q series "scale well".  That starts pretty low on the food chain.  A poor impedance match and potential clipping when pushed too hard can be two good reasons why a better amp *might* improve sound quality.  Channel crossfeed could be another, aka "sound stage", but basically as long as a given source is capable of playing the desired music at the desired volume without introducing clipping or vast amounts of other distortion, these headphones will sound great to most listener's ears. 

Go try the k7xx with a mid level amp (tube hybrid would be great) and then tell me what you think. Do you have any experience with the k7xx hooked to a quality amp? If so, which one?
 
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Go try the k7xx with a mid level amp (tube hybrid would be great) and then tell me what you think. Do you have any experience with the k7xx hooked to a quality amp? If so, which one?
+1
Yeah, my k7xx sounds surprisingly good from my moto g, they also sound significantly better through my nfb15. It's not close
 
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Oktyabr

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Go try the k7xx with a mid level amp (tube hybrid would be great) and then tell me what you think. Do you have any experience with the k7xx hooked to a quality amp? If so, which one?


I got out of tubes almost a decade ago.  It's too much of a hobby, chasing rare glass, and takes away from my enjoyment of the music.  I owned a pair of the very first K701s for years before the headband bumps finally tortured me into selling them.  I currently own both the K7XX and the K712 and switch around between a modified Creek OBH-11 and a lightly modded Audio-GD NFB-12 (I have both running as I type this).  I've given/traded away a few Fiio products over the years, one tube hybrid (won't say which one because I don't want to insult anyone's taste), and all of my pro-audio equipment.
 
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lol at all the amp discussion.
 
the k7xx will work unamped. sounded fine straight out of my samsung galaxy s5.
 
may be improvements with additional power, but how much & how noticeable depends on the listener & their amp. i've tried volume matched comparisons and it's really hard for me to say how much improvement you will get with nicer amps.
 
its not super dramatic to the point where the k7xx is unlistenable without one, but yes, I would recommend trying at least one of the many high-quality entry level $99 amplifiers out there such as the o2 and magni.
 
:)
 
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I got out of tubes almost a decade ago.  It's too much of a hobby, chasing rare glass, and takes away from my enjoyment of the music.  I owned a pair of the very first K701s for years before the headband bumps finally tortured me into selling them.  I currently own both the K7XX and the K712 and switch around between a modified Creek OBH-11 and a lightly modded Audio-GD NFB-12 (I have both running as I type this).  I've given/traded away a few Fiio products over the years, one tube hybrid (won't say which one because I don't want to insult anyone's taste), and all of my pro-audio equipment.
How do you find the K712 and K7XX compare in terms of sonic signature and build quality? 
 
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hakushondaimao

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People here are saying the k7xx need an an amp because of sound quality, not necessarily volume (though volume may be an issue). The sound quality of the k7xx simply cannot be heard without a suitably powerful amp. Just a reality of the k7xx.

To use another headphone as an example, I bought a pair of HD598s in November last year. At the time I had no amps, but did have my X3. Was I happy with the 598s? Yes. Did I think they sounded good? Yes, and they sounded even better once I began re-ripping my CDs, replacing 128 kbps files with 320 kbps. Did I know any different about how they'd sound amped? No.
 
After extensive reading here on Head-Fi, I decided to pick up an E12A as I primarily use IEMs, and I figured it would be powerful enough to also drive the 598s. Did I notice a huge difference between un-amped and amped 598s? Hell yes! I wasn't listening to them any louder (well, not much), but everything was improved: bass, mids and treble sounded richer and more textured, instrument separation and soundstage were wider and clearer... rather than just hearing the music, I was IN the music.
 
This is what I expect will be the case with the K7XXs. I'm in the current drop, so don't have them yet but should in the next couple of weeks if all works out properly with shipping. Looking forward to their arrival, and will definitely be amping. Next purchase after this will probably be a desktop amp, and I expect to hear a further improvement once I get there.
 
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Oktyabr

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  How do you find the K712 and K7XX compare in terms of sonic signature and build quality? 


That's the main reason I'm currently switching back and forth a lot.  I really only intend in keeping one of them.  It's a very difficult call, but no point in keeping two headphones that sound so much like each other that I can't tell the difference.  I'm pretty sure if I were blind folded and someone just switched them randomly on me I wouldn't be able to tell the difference.  For $199 the K7XX is an EXTREMELY good value, in my opinion, so good I might end up selling my K712 which cost me twice as much.  Honestly I'll probably keep the K7XX *just because I think ninja black looks cool* :wink:

Build quality too is identical, at least they way they feel in my hands and on my head, and upon any sort of cursory visual inspection.  I thought I found a sign the K7XX was cheaper built but after taking a closer look at the K712 I found out I was wrong.

And just in case anyone is interested I stripped the hard case off my Galaxy S5 and broke out my Kindle HD Fire 8.9 as well.  I put the same track on both of them, Elton John's "Madman Across the Water" from the album of the same name.  It's one of a handful that I own that is actually higher quality than the CDs ripped to FLAC that I usually use.  24/96 from studio master, purchased at HDTracks.  The Kindle was slightly more "laid back" with a bit of a roll off on the upper treble, than the S5.  Both go about the same volume (barely loud enough to make me happy), both sound excellent.  I plug back into either of the amps on my desk and listen to the same track via Foobar2000 at the same bitrate.  Volume matching to the portable devices I would be hard pressed to pick up much of a difference besides what I believe is a subtle improvement in frequency response, particularly the higher registers...  Louder DOES matter.  Hasn't anyone ever heard of the loudness wars?
 
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got my pair of K7xx a few days ago. since I only have a Fiio X1 and no amp, it sound pretty nice for me. I also tried it on my laptop which has the Conexant 20672. both can drive the cans to a high volume that could do harm to my heardings. Just wondering, with a good amp, how much better it gets? right now, the music I listen to, the soundstage seems still a bit small. so it would be wider with an amp?
 
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Oktyabr

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There is a reason it's called an "amplifier" and not a "betterfier".  If an amp is doing it's job perfectly for the task at hand there should be ZERO coloration of the sound.  If amps sound different (even the one in your cell phone vs the one on your computer motherboard or whatever), it's because they are both FAILING at doing that job, maybe just a little bit, and not necessarily in the same way, but that's what it is.  Perfect amplification is only 100%, every device gets somewhere close to that number, some a bit closer than others.
 
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Oktyabr

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  got my pair of K7xx a few days ago. since I only have a Fiio X1 and no amp, it sound pretty nice for me. I also tried it on my laptop which has the Conexant 20672. both can drive the cans to a high volume that could do harm to my heardings. Just wondering, with a good amp, how much better it gets? right now, the music I listen to, the soundstage seems still a bit small. so it would be wider with an amp?
If an device has a fairly high amount of channel crossfeed (the blending of right and left channels) it may sound more closed in than one with less, but it really comes down to how the recording was recorded and mastered.

My sound card in my PC (which I rarely use anymore) is a Creative Sound Blaster Recon3D.  It has a software feature called "THX TruStudio Pro" with a "surround" option.  Engaging that can make the sound stage sound MUCH wider.  If that's what you are after you might want to think about a software solution.  I've also noticed my music playback software can make a noticeable difference.  I much prefer Foobar2000 over AIMP3 and others, from a sound quality stand point.
 
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That's the main reason I'm currently switching back and forth a lot.  I really only intend in keeping one of them.  It's a very difficult call, but no point in keeping two headphones that sound so much like each other that I can't tell the difference.  I'm pretty sure if I were blind folded and someone just switched them randomly on me I wouldn't be able to tell the difference.  For $199 the K7XX is an EXTREMELY good value, in my opinion, so good I might end up selling my K712 which cost me twice as much.  Honestly I'll probably keep the K7XX *just because I think ninja black looks cool* :wink:

Build quality too is identical, at least they way they feel in my hands and on my head, and upon any sort of cursory visual inspection.  I thought I found a sign the K7XX was cheaper built but after taking a closer look at the K712 I found out I was wrong.

And just in case anyone is interested I stripped the hard case off my Galaxy S5 and broke out my Kindle HD Fire 8.9 as well.  I put the same track on both of them, Elton John's "Madman Across the Water" from the album of the same name.  It's one of a handful that I own that is actually higher quality than the CDs ripped to FLAC that I usually use.  24/96 from studio master, purchased at HDTracks.  The Kindle was slightly more "laid back" with a bit of a roll off on the upper treble, than the S5.  Both go about the same volume (barely loud enough to make me happy), both sound excellent.  I plug back into either of the amps on my desk and listen to the same track via Foobar2000 at the same bitrate.  Volume matching to the portable devices I would be hard pressed to pick up much of a difference besides what I believe is a subtle improvement in frequency response, particularly the higher registers...  Louder DOES matter.  Hasn't anyone ever heard of the loudness wars?
Ah I see. I've gathered there is likely some sonic difference, but it is probably very subtle. I personally already have the K712, I've had it for almost a year now, it's becoming my favorite headphone again pushing the HD 650 to second place. 
 
That's good to hear, I was worried about the build quality after recently auditioning a chinese made K702 which felt so cheap compared to the Austrian made pairs.
 
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