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Contemplating picking these up, although I've never had a 'higher end' pair of headphones. I primarily plan to use them for gaming, and of course music. For someone that's never really owned a more expensive pair of headphones, would these be recommended?
The sound stage on these are excellent, since they are open back and pretty large drivers. This is great for gaming as well as music, although some prefer the more intimate sound of closed-back headphones. You may feel like the bass is a little lacking, but that's very subjective. If you want extra bass, you'll need to EQ your playback device to compensate. These aren't really for travelling due to their size and relatively fragile build, so if you keep them around the house for gaming you shouldn't have to worry about them being broken. They are quite comfortable and light, so you shouldn't feel any clamping force on your head, which is another plus for long gaming sessions. They will be much larger than what you're used to if you haven't had large headphones before, so don't be surprised if you feel like Princess Leia wearing them.
Hey thanks man I appreciate that. For the likes of these would you recommend pairing them with an amp, something like a Schiit Magni 2?
The Magni 2 would be a good choice, or the Vali 2 if you are into tubes. I'm running mine off a Matrix M-Stage. It's a great match for AKG phones. The M-Stage sells for a bit more than the Magni or Vali, but you could finally fine one used for around the same price. I have owned a number of Schiit amps (Magni 2,Vali,Valhalla, and the Lyr 2) and they have all been great. The pairing of the M-Stage and the AKG's 7 series phones has an excellent synergy, better than the Schiit amps I have had.
These are low impedance if I remember correctly: No absolute need for an amp, but that doesn't mean they won't sound a little better if you decide you want to add one. I like options so I have a couple amps and enjoyed the K7xx with a cheap tube amp (xDuoo?) the best, but that's touching very much on personal taste.
I respectfully disagree, they absolutely do need an amp. They are a somewhat low impedance, but are current hungry. The headphones will not perform anywhere near their best without an amp. This has been true of all of AKG's 7 series headphones and has been well documented. A low power source (smart phone, many computer motherboards) may drive the k7xx to an acceptable volume, but their potential sound quality will be severely diminished . It's not necessary to spend a fortune on an amp, an amp with 50 to 200 mW at 62 ohms will power the 7xx to their fullest potential. Just look at the power output specs of the amp and make sure it is delivers an acceptable amount of power at around 62 ohms. The Magni for instance is rated at 1 Watt at 50 ohms, which is well above what is needed to power the 7xx. The Vali 2 is 650 mW at 50 ohms, still well above what is needed and will power them well. Those are just a couple of examples. There are likely many more lower cost options that would be worlds better than running the AKG's un-amped.
Thanks guys! Schiit Magni 2 was initially what I was interested in just because it was sub $150, from what I can see the Matrix M-Stage is $250ish and while it may be a bit better I'm not sure if it's worth the extra coin. Saying that, I absolutely could go to $250 if the overall performance is worth. What do you think?
I think it would be better but I'm not sure if it is $100 better if it will be a stretch financially.
From my memory, when I owned the Magni 2 and the Q701, the pairing was a bit on the lean side. The K7xx is a bit more relaxed sounding with a meatier midrange compared to the Q701,The Magni 2 may be a fine pairing with the K7xx and would be worlds better than running the 7xx without a dedicated headphone amp.
The M-Stage is a warmer sounding amp which I originally bought to complement my Q701's. THe M-Stage provides 400 mW at 60 ohms and plenty of current to drive the K 7 series headphones. It eliminates a lot of the leanness in the midrange/upper midrange and rounds out the Q701, which could be a bit fatiguing at times. The K7xx do not seem to have that problem, they have a much more full bodied sound, but are still complemented by the M-Stage's warmth.
I am quite pleased with how the 7xx perform on my M-Stage, it is a very listenable, non-fatiguing, and engaging system. I also have the class A biased op627 op amp mod on my M-Stage, which further warms the sound. It is a widely recommended upgrade for the M-Stage.
I would look into the used market for an M-Stage if you want to go that route. I'm sure they can be found for well below $200.
Also, If you do not have a decent external dac or sound card , that might be another consideration. It would be better to spend $250 for a Magni/Modi combo than the M-stage at $250. The dac in the M-stage is supposed to be just ok. The Modi is a very good dac for the money and the combo of the Magni/Modi may outperform the M-Stage with it's internal dac. My M-Stage does not have a built in dac, so I cannot comment on it's quality. I do have a Modi 2 uber as a dac in my system and I am very happy with it's performance.
Yeah I think I'll go ahead and grab the Schiit combo as I don't have an external dac and the sound card is not anything special either - between the Magni 2 and Magni 2 Uber which would you personally pick? Difference of $50, but that's irrelevant really.
The Magni 2 Uber has a bit more power and an aluminum chassis. At 50 ohms it has an extra 200 mW of power. The regular Magni 2 has more than enough power at 50 ohms (1 watt) to drive the K7xx with plenty of headroom. Unless you would like to have the nicer aluminum finish I would go with the regular Magni 2. Also if you go for the regular Modi 2 and the Magni 2 Uber they will have 2 different finishes. Honestly, I would go for the Uber upgrade on the Modi 2 before the Magni. Having the coax and optical options comes in handy.