While there was near universal hatred for the previous two headphones in our faceoff, the next few were a lot closer in ratings. None were objectionable, with personal preferences becoming the major determining factor. Most, however, still had some "flaw" that, when it came down to our final tally, kept them out of the top spot.
Take the Q 701s for example. I actually ranked these first, which isn't to say I "liked" them — it's more that I "disliked" them the least. They have a big open sound, with detailed highs that weren't harsh like the Soul's. On Radka Toneff's version of "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress," they were the only headphones in the test that came close to capturing the openness of the track.
On the other hand, the Q 701s lacked any semblance of bass. I normally like a bass-heavy headphone, so for me to say I liked these best of the bunch — I think — speaks pretty badly of the "bunch." I found them the most comfortable as well, their big cups having low pressure and seemingly no weight.
They're a huge old-school can, with hardly any isolation. This is the first factor Lauren didn't like, her time in radio leading her to prefer some reduction in her perception of the surrounding world. Also, the massive cups came down to her jawline, a disqualification for headphones in anyone's book. She found the low end to be almost nonexistent, but felt the mids and highs were good.
Will liked the design, but like Lauren felt they were too big. He liked the sound quality, though, finding the mids and highs very clean. He too noticed the lack of bass.
Brent found them as comfortable as I did, also ranking them first. Maybe we have similarly sized noggins. He felt the treble was very open, though slightly hard and unrefined. He too disliked the lack of bass, finding them "too light" for almost any material. Having set up the hardware for this faceoff, he ran into a more pressing issue: the Q 701s are so insensitive that it's nearly impossible to get a decent level running them directly off an iPod or computer. You need a headphone amp to get any sort of volume.
If you have gear that can run them, a head that can hold them, and don't mind a notable lack of bass, the Quincy Q 701s are a good, old-school headphone.
Copyright © 2013 Bonnier Corp. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.