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Focusrite Scarlett 2i2: Is it enough for K701's?
Old 23rd September 2012
  #1
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Focusrite Scarlett 2i2: Is it enough for K701's?

Now, I haven't ordered any of these yet but I was just wondering if it will be fine.

Will the 2i2 be enough for the K701's or should I just buy a dedicated Dac/Amp like the ODAC/O2? Reason I want the 2i2 is because it will also serve for other purposes.
Old 24th September 2012
  #2
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Bytecry,

I used to have a Scarlett 8i6 which is of course very similar to the 2i2. It could power my AKG K 240s just enough. Those are rated at slightly lower impedance than the K 701s.

I am getting a pair of K 702s (same as k 701 + detachable cable) on Tuesday or Wednesday and I will test them out with my current Saffire Pro 24 (which should have a similar headphone output to the others). If you still haven't bought them yet by then, I will let you know if the power is adequate.
Old 24th September 2012
  #3
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Alright thank you. That would be really helpful.
Old 24th September 2012
  #4
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The h/p out on the 2i2 is unfortunately weaker than the saffire pro 24 (I have both units at the moment). My guess is the 2i2 being completely bus powered, it can't provide the same output as the externally powered pro 24. I run mine with AKG 240 MKII, and It's loud enough for me, usually I have the volume set at roughly 60-70%.... But I do wish the unit had a bit more headroom. The good thing is the output is clean even if you turn it way up.
Old 24th September 2012
  #5
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Hmm, I wasn't aware the 2i2 was bus powered. Neither my old 8i6 nor current Pro 24 are. He probably didn't want to wait until Wednesday anyway.

A dedicated headphone amplifier is an option. You can find deals on them such as this one (50% off sale) which some people on the Head-Fi forums find capable of driving the K 701s, but I have no first hand experience. Then again...

A $300 headphone being fed from a $130 interface or $50 amp seems like a slight mismatch to me either way. Usually headphones in that price range make the assumption that you're running them out of a headphone amplifier of equivalent cost.

My favorite easily driven studio headphones are the Shure SRH840s. They're the most heavily built I've owned, have lots of volume out of anything, and very clear, detailed sound.
Old 24th September 2012
  #6
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Thanks for answering my question.

I'll probably try find a Gilmore Lite for the AKG K701's. Heard there's good synergy between the two.
Old 26th September 2012
  #7
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They're here and they're easier to drive than I was led to believe. Not as demanding as my high-ohm Beyerdynamics and honestly not that much worse than the little K 240s. They even eek out listenable volumes straight out of my laptop (!). The Pro 24 adds to that.

You should probably give them a listen on their own before investing in a dedicated amp. We all have different ideas of "loud enough". More power seems to extend their bass somewhat as well, but nothing drastic.

By the way, the sound is absolutely brilliant. I've been listening to them for 8 hours straight... I still think the SRH840s are the greatest performance/price ratio out there, but if one has the money to spend, these add some luxury and style.
Old 26th September 2012 | Show parent
  #8
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by machoboy ➑️
They're here and they're easier to drive than I was led to believe. Not as demanding as my high-ohm Beyerdynamics and honestly not that much worse than the little K 240s. They even eek out listenable volumes straight out of my laptop (!). The Pro 24 adds to that.

You should probably give them a listen on their own before investing in a dedicated amp. We all have different ideas of "loud enough". More power seems to extend their bass somewhat as well, but nothing drastic.

By the way, the sound is absolutely brilliant. I've been listening to them for 8 hours straight... I still think the SRH840s are the greatest performance/price ratio out there, but if one has the money to spend, these add some luxury and style.
OP: Sorry for thread hi-jack.

machoboy: What kind of Beyers do you have and what ohm? How do they work with the Saffire Pro 24 alone? Do you use an amp for them?

How is the low end bass on the k702?

Thanks!
Old 27th September 2012
  #9
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I have:
DT 880 250 ohm
DT 880 600 ohm
DT 990 250 ohm
DT 770 250 ohm
All fairly recent purchases.

I don't need an amp for any of these with the Pro 24, but I'm generally not a loud listener (or maybe I am, and I'm just deaf).
That said, the volume knob is usually almost all the way up, so they're being fed just enough.

I don't really bother with mini headphone amps in between interfaces and such. If I want to listen for recreation, then I unplug them from my recording setup altogether. The Focusrites are just "all-in-one" solutions and not about audiophile playback quality. If you wanted to really push them loud from the Pro 24 then maybe an Objective2 would be a good choice since it is very transparent and wouldn't add much to the signal chain.

Unlike the K 240s, the K 702s have good sub-bass, very clear and realistic, however their overall sound centers around the mid-range (guitar especially). They have the mid-range power of my Grados without the horribly fake-sounding bass and treble.
I don't recommend them for heavy bass enthusiasts unless you're comfortable artificially equalizing ~50-80hz up a few db. The mid-bass is quite punchy and abrupt.

All of the Beyerdynamics listed have more bass than the K 7xx series, but less aggressive mid-range. The DT 880 is balanced and the DT 770 and DT 990 are "scooped" in frequency response, with heavier bass, distant vocals, and sharper highs.

The bass on the DT 770 and DT 990 models is a little bit boomy and artificial to me and both are a class below the above models. I probably won't keep the DT 990s. The DT 770s are good for closed headphones and a nice "smoother" companion to my Shure SRH840s and NVX XPT100s.

For extreme bass out of weak sources look at Ultrasone HFI-580 (bright treble) and M-Audio Q-40 (smooth treble).. Both of which I personally rarely listen to.

Hope this helps.
Old 27th September 2012
  #10
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After A/Bing them side by side, I'd like to say the 250 ohm DT models actually have slightly more volume out of the same source (generic PC sound card) than the K 702s do.

They just sound like they want more, if that makes any sense. It's probably as much due to their "scooped" sound signature as their impedance.

I wish I knew just how much weaker the 2i2 is compared to the other Focusrites so I could give the OP a straight answer, but alas.
Old 27th September 2012 | Show parent
  #11
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by machoboy ➑️
I have:
DT 880 250 ohm
DT 880 600 ohm
DT 990 250 ohm
DT 770 250 ohm
All fairly recent purchases.

I don't need an amp for any of these with the Pro 24, but I'm generally not a loud listener (or maybe I am, and I'm just deaf).
That said, the volume knob is usually almost all the way up, so they're being fed just enough.

I don't really bother with mini headphone amps in between interfaces and such. If I want to listen for recreation, then I unplug them from my recording setup altogether. The Focusrites are just "all-in-one" solutions and not about audiophile playback quality. If you wanted to really push them loud from the Pro 24 then maybe an Objective2 would be a good choice since it is very transparent and wouldn't add much to the signal chain.

Unlike the K 240s, the K 702s have good sub-bass, very clear and realistic, however their overall sound centers around the mid-range (guitar especially). They have the mid-range power of my Grados without the horribly fake-sounding bass and treble.
I don't recommend them for heavy bass enthusiasts unless you're comfortable artificially equalizing ~50-80hz up a few db. The mid-bass is quite punchy and abrupt.

All of the Beyerdynamics listed have more bass than the K 7xx series, but less aggressive mid-range. The DT 880 is balanced and the DT 770 and DT 990 are "scooped" in frequency response, with heavier bass, distant vocals, and sharper highs.

The bass on the DT 770 and DT 990 models is a little bit boomy and artificial to me and both are a class below the above models. I probably won't keep the DT 990s. The DT 770s are good for closed headphones and a nice "smoother" companion to my Shure SRH840s and NVX XPT100s.

For extreme bass out of weak sources look at Ultrasone HFI-580 (bright treble) and M-Audio Q-40 (smooth treble).. Both of which I personally rarely listen to.

Hope this helps.
Quote:
Originally Posted by machoboy ➑️
After A/Bing them side by side, I'd like to say the 250 ohm DT models actually have slightly more volume out of the same source (generic PC sound card) than the K 702s do.

They just sound like they want more, if that makes any sense. It's probably as much due to their "scooped" sound signature as their impedance.

I wish I knew just how much weaker the 2i2 is compared to the other Focusrites so I could give the OP a straight answer, but alas.
Thank you for the info. I guess that the Saffire Pro 24 will be sufficent alone then.

I make electronic music, where there is much bass involved. I had my eyes on the DT 990 Pro's since I've read that they make it easy to sort the bass and that the DT 880 Pro's are quite "thin" in that area - but good (great) enough for rock/acoustic music.
I know there's no such thing as genre specific monitors/headphones, but perhaps you'll get my point.

I guess I'll just have to test them out myself!
Old 27th September 2012
  #12
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I make electronica as well. I do recommend trying all of these before buying, but if you're using them for production and mixing, focus on how much detail you can hear rather than what sounds the "best".

The bass on the DT 880s extends low, but it doesn't relentlessly "thump", so some people accustomed to that sound call it thin.

Just keep in mind that mixing "perfect bass" on the DT 990s, Q-40s and similar headphones might result in anemic bass to your listeners, since you heard it through an exaggerated source. The 880s and 702s will give you tons of bass -- if it's actually there. They just don't manufacture it artificially for entertainment purposes.
Old 27th September 2012
  #13
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Arthur Stone's Avatar
 
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bytecry ➑️
Now, I haven't ordered any of these yet but I was just wondering if it will be fine.

Will the 2i2 be enough for the K701's or should I just buy a dedicated Dac/Amp like the ODAC/O2? Reason I want the 2i2 is because it will also serve for other purposes.
I use the K702's with a KRK Ergo or Sound Devices and they are great headphones; I also have a Focusrite Saffire Pro24DSP and use the headphone out (for the VRM system)...not sure if it's a different headphone amp from the Scarlett but I can hear the difference between the Saffire and Ergo headphone amps. IMO it's not just a question about power/impedance (which is fine on the Saffire) but more hearing the limitations of the headphone amp.

In essence, the K702's deserve a better quality headphone amp to get the best out of them...that said, ears will adjust to any reasonable set-up and I would be happy with just the Saffire if that's all I had available.
Old 27th September 2012
  #14
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🎧 5 years
You've probably seen this, but it's a good read if you have not:
Studio Headphones

I've either owned or heard everything on that page, and I think the 702s and 880s are the best.
Old 4th March 2015
  #15
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Time to resurrect this thread.
I recently got a pair of AKG K702's off a friend and plan on using them for mixing. My source is my Focusrite Scarlett 2i2.
How do i know if I need an amp? I just want to make sure they sound like they are supposed to, so i can get a good mixing experience.
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