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Akg701 + what

Discussion in 'Sound City' started by BigChief, 1 Oct 2017.

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  1. BigChief

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 3 Jan 2012

    Posts: 1,447

    Location: Lancs

    So looking at a set of akg701's for mostly fps and utilising dolby atmos for headphones. I've only got an on board sound card atm (ALC889). I've read tonnes of posts on them needing an amp to bring out the best in them etc and it's only served to confuse me.

    So the question is what do you recommend I get at a fairly budget level? Will the fiio e10k do the trick or a xonar u7? Is a xonar dgx enough or a soundblaster z? Etc.
     
  2. NoNameNoNumber

    Soldato

    Joined: 25 Nov 2009

    Posts: 5,119

    I have K7XX with a ModMic for gaming and it works perfect, driven through a E10k and I can't really fault the quality. Doesn't go all that loud though if you want to turn the Slipknot up.
     
    Last edited: 1 Oct 2017
  3. Marsman

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2009

    Posts: 11,167

    Although the K701/2 have a low Ohm impedance, they are insensitive and require more power to get them going well.

    FiiO E10K is the best of the bunch for driving the K701/2. Neither the Xonar U7 or DGX has a headphone amp that's good enough for those headphones. The SB Z would fare better, but it's not ideal and not as good as the E10K's amp.

    The caveat is that the E10K has no surround sound processing for headphones. It's just a stereo DAC/amp, unlike the others which are sound cards and have effect processing.

    For a budget set up, there are 2 or 3 options to go for:-

    1. Used Xonar STX for around maybe £70
    2. FiiO E10K and use Razer's free headphone surround sound software
    3. SB Z, which may be OK until you can afford something better

    Interesting to note what nonamenonumber said about the E10K not driving the K7XX as loud as he'd like. E10K has a more powerful amp than the SB Z, so going by that, the SB Z would be rather inadequate.

    That does make some sense though, because I remember someone on a different site saying the SB Z didn't drive his K612 all that well. He described the sound as being like 'flat cola'. IIRC, the K612 are half as demanding as the K701/2/xx, despite having twice the impedance at 120 Ohm. Impedance doesn't tell the whole story. ;)

    Not to say that the E10K isn't a good choice though or won't drive the K701/2/xx that loud. What any one people considers to be loud differs from person to person. A friend of mine listens what seems to me to really loud volume with his headphones. Far too loud for me and I'd end up with either a headache or knackered hearing. :p
     
  4. BigChief

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 3 Jan 2012

    Posts: 1,447

    Location: Lancs

    That's some great info thanks. NoName are you running win10? If so would you mind checking the spatial sound option with dolby atmos for headphones is available?
     
  5. NoNameNoNumber

    Soldato

    Joined: 25 Nov 2009

    Posts: 5,119

    It is available yes, didn't download it as it's a paid thing I'm not too interested in but the option is there.
    Volume wise it certainly goes loud enough to get the most out of the headphones, I think I expected 100 to be too loud though and it just isn't. Plenty though without a doubt :)
     
  6. BigChief

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 3 Jan 2012

    Posts: 1,447

    Location: Lancs

    Awesome thanks a bunch for double checking dude.
     
  7. hyperseven

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 1 May 2013

    Posts: 8,259

    Location: M28

    running my Q701's of an SMSL via optical, sound tip top.
     
  8. BigChief

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 3 Jan 2012

    Posts: 1,447

    Location: Lancs

    Went for the 701's + E10k, awesome sound. Love them together. Bought a Speedlink spes to go with, which I'm really disappointed with. It's super quiet with volume on 100 +10db. +20db creates a huge hiss.
     
  9. NoNameNoNumber

    Soldato

    Joined: 25 Nov 2009

    Posts: 5,119

    What do you think volume wise on the E10k? Would you have liked it to go a touch higher?