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Hi All,

I'd like to get your opinion(s) before I invest in a pair of high quality headphones. My system is an Integra DTF 7.8 with B&W CM7, CMC, CM1 and Velodyne mini-vee sub, Oppo 981 source or Squeezebox/Internet radio (love it!).

For those times when competition for the man-cave is high, I'd like to be able to listen to my music when my teenager watches TV or plays his XBox. Therefore the headphones...

I am strongly leaning to the AKG K 701's. But I have recently been told that I would be wasting my money without a separate headphone amp, which I'm not inclined to do. Before I jump for the can's ---will my 7.8 drive them adequately? What's so special about the separate amp?

Thanks in advance!

Mark
 

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The 7.8 should be fine to start with. Maybe down the road you'll want some esoteric tube joint to go with you headphones, but I can't imagine the headphone section of the Integra lacking power or clean circuitry. My 2 cents.
 

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It depends on what headphones you buy?

what about inerear head set? that would work as well - there is so much to choose from.

The "better" head phones cover ones ear & as such will let noise in which might irritate you?

good luck
 

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Hi All,

I'd like to get your opinion(s) before I invest in a pair of high quality headphones. My system is an Integra DTF 7.8 with B&W CM7, CMC, CM1 and Velodyne mini-vee sub, Oppo 981 source or Squeezebox/Internet radio (love it!).

For those times when competition for the man-cave is high, I'd like to be able to listen to my music when my teenager watches TV or plays his XBox. Therefore the headphones...

I am strongly leaning to the AKG K 701's. But I have recently been told that I would be wasting my money without a separate headphone amp, which I'm not inclined to do. Before I jump for the can's ---will my 7.8 drive them adequately? What's so special about the separate amp?

Thanks in advance!

Mark
Well, there are quite a few of us on this forum that enjoy, high quality headphone listening. Like speakers, efficiency and impedance play a role in how your headphones will sound. However, where with speakers, you can match pretty favorably the proper amp to get the most out of your speakers, regardless of impedance, sensitivity, or efficiency, not so with the headphone amps in most receivers and a/v preamps and processors.

This is where a headphone amp comes in quite handy. And, you do not have to break your bank to get one. The AKG 701s are considered one of the best headphones out there. But, compared to some others, like the Grados, the require a little more umph, to get the best out of them. So, if you are going to spend the money, then do the right thing, and check out some headphone amps.

Where, www.headphone.com/ This is where Headroom resides. They eat and sleep headphones, build headphone amps of all sizes and prices.. And are good people, with a wealth of information.

Likewise, Grado headphones are one of the best headphones you can buy in my opinion, that sounds pretty good w/o a headphone amp. Check them out too. Hope this helps.
 

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The AKGs will do just fine. I use a pair for monitoring the mix at our church and they are very accurate and block out alot of the external noise. Unless your planning on cranking up the volume you would not need an extra headphone amp in my opinion.
 

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The AKGs will do just fine. I use a pair for monitoring the mix at our church and they are very accurate and block out alot of the external noise. Unless your planning on cranking up the volume you would not need an extra headphone amp in my opinion.
Interesting. I just purchased a pair of the Denon AH-D1001 for monitoring at my church. They work very well. Our budget can not handle AKG 701s at this time. However, the Denons are doing great. They are small, lightweight,, and comfortable.
 

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I think the AKG's will do just fine with your receiver.

One of the guys in my office uses a Marantz CD player at work, but bought a Darkvoice 336 headphone amp for home. He brought the amp in and I did a side by side comparison. Now, it's not scientific by any stretch, but I level matched the two as best I could and played a Jazz CD and Rock CD powering my 701's through the Marantz CD player itself and the headphone amp.

Me, I couldn't really tell a difference. I'm sure my ears aren't all that great (worked too many rock concerts during college), but I don't think I could ever tell you there is a night and day difference between the two. Now, my office mate said he thought they were close, but he thought the dynamics were a little faster with the Darkvoice. He of course has $250 invested in the thing.

OK, so my bottom line is as follows:
  1. I think the 701's are a great set of headphones -- but then I own them, so I MAY be prejudiced (you can see my comparison to the Senn 650's here).
  2. I don't think you'll get the full benefit of those cans straight out of a portable player like an iPod, but it will still sound good.
  3. I think, at least for most people, you'll be just fine listening to them out of a receiver.
  4. Even though I didn't really hear a difference, I'm sure someone with a trained ear will hear a SUBTLE difference with a quality headphone amp.
Good luck and happy hunting!
 

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I think the AK G's will do just fine with your receiver. yes jacen" i agree and the more you juice the receiver/per amps which ever one you used the better they'll sound.

i owned three sets of cans speaking of which..none of them is the AKG-K701' but it's a great choice anyway, my first can is the audio technica ATH-AD700, i audition the 701's a few times i almost bought it but i got "lucky" when i accompanied a friend of mine to an estate sale in north palm beach fl. and i found the sennheiser HD600 AND HD650 FOR A SONG. that been said i mentioned it because most people that used HQ HP especially the senn,akg,grado's,and others cant live with out a good headphone amp/dac to booth it up, and while that's a good way to go I'm OK with out one.. the SENNs are rated at 300 ohms however i never found the need for a hp. amp i use my receiver,pre-amp or cdp. so mleuba go ahead and swim with your AKG701 and later you can dive into an amplifier if needs be. post your impression's when your done!! good luck
 

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The real question is, how important is headphone listening to you. If it has any importance at all it behooves you to get some decent (relative to you) phones. The more important the better the phones.
 

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It's an old thread, but for the sake of reference, at the around $300 mark I would recommend either the AKG K701's or the Sennheiser HD 600's, with a decent headphone amp, one with a specified near-zero output impedance (under one ohm). Either of these phones will sound nice out of your existing amp, but you will find that they sound a lot better with a good headphone amp.
 

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The Integra DTR-7.8 or most receivers in general are like a first car, a good starting point but down the road you will want to get something better when you can afford it. I have a pair of K-702 headphones they have a rateher low impedance and don't need much oomph to be driven loud. I can easily run them off my laptop at moderate volume levels. For better audio quality, separate headphone dac and amp will be a requirement but not necessary for usable operation like higher impedance headphones like Sennheisers HD-650, HD-600, HD800, or Beyerdyamic DT880, DT-990, and T1. Those headphones will never run directly off an iPOD like the K-701/702s can.

My personal opinion is skip the 701, go for the K-702 or Q-701 for its removable-replaceable-upgradeable headphone cable. Other that that and aesthetics, the three models are identical.

EDIT: DOH!
 
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