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AKG K 702 Headphones

95% Positive Reviews
Rated #21 in Over-Ear

Posted

Pros: Spacious sound stage; realistic vocals; high level of detail; lightweight and comfortable for long sessions;

Cons: Can be a little on the cold side

I've owned these for the best part of a month now and have done some extensive listening with them both in extended listening sessions of several albums and of comparative listening sessions with with my HD650. I feel I am ready to comment on the qualities of these phones.

 

I had always intended to put these and the HD650 against each other and sell one, as I had thought it would be an indulgence to keep two expensive open circumaural home-listening phones. The problem I have found (and it's a good problem to have) is that the are fantastic companions. Any type of music the HD650 does not do so well with, the K702 shines with and where the K702 seems a bit too formal and cold, the HD650s warmth is a perfect tonic. I'm keeping both.

 

Formality is really the term I would use to describe these phones. They are polite, analytical and are certainly revealing of a track, with details not just presented but presented with a crispness and accuracy that is a joy to hear. Don't bother listening with anything but high quality encodings though, as it will show up the wrong kind of detail just as clearly.

 

The AKG K702 have less bass than most of my other phones, but still presents more low end than, say my Phonak PFE or MS2i with bowls rather than flats. The bass is of an exceptional quality, impact and speed. The mid range is beautiful and airy, especially where it comes to female vocals which sound sometimes unnervingly real and the treble is crisp, if a little cold.

 

The real star of the show when it comes to the K702 package is the sound stage. I was worried I would be put off by its size as many complain of it being unrealistic. Well, it's really not that big, but it does offer the space you need to really delve into a song, picking up on this and that instrument and then mentally stepping back to hear the whole track as one.

 

It's sound stage and level of detail really make these phones perfectly suited for my classical music and my jazz and my electronica and works very well with layered rock/alternative music such as Radiohead, Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band, Frank Zappa, the last two Joanna Newsom albums and that sort of thing. That isn't to say it doesn't do a great job of presenting rock, pop, reggea and simpler folk as well as it is certainly pleasant, but for these warmer and simpler types of music I find myself switching to the funner HD650 with its more intimate sound stage.

 

Comfort with the K702, for me, is a major plus. I understand a lot of people have big problems with the bumps on the bottom of the headband. Pressing them with my fingers I can feel they aren't comfortable, but I have plenty of hair and do not really feel them. The 3D form cut velour pads seem to have been designed for the shape of my skull and compared to the HD650 the lack of clamp is quite a relaxing experience. I can wear these for hours on end and often forget I am wearing them. 

 

If the AKG K702 were my only headphones, I might find their genre range a bit limiting, I might find myself wanting a bit more bass with my reggae and hiphop and a more intimate sound stage with my rock and folk. But as a part of a varied collection with the HD650 and MS2i as the other two main home phones I find I have a great set of options to cater for every mood and genre.

 

The AKG K702 has filled in some gaps for me; has given me a classical and jazz listening option that can seriously compete with speakers, a natural home for aphex twin and a sound stage that brings the best out of some of my more complex rock music as well. Add to this it's almost unnervingly realistic reproduction of female vocals and it really does justify its price.

Posted

Pros: Weight, Comfort, Soundstage

Cons: Tone, Fatiguing

I used this out of a USB Pico DAC -> Dynalo (Sheer Audio HA-006+) -> K702 using well ripped FLAC files

 

I really thought this was going to be better, but I really just do not like these headphones much at all. Probably my biggest complaint is the airyness and tone of the vocals. I also have a pair of Grado HF2 and the HF2 just absolutely completely super duper destroys the K702 in tonality, especially the vocals.

 

It's also very fatiguing for my ears for some reason, even at quiet-medium listening levels. I've read this is because it has a high frequency spike or something. Oh well. I learned a valuable lesson with these K702, the best and only way to know if a headphone sounds good to you, is to listen to it yourself.

 

addendum: I suppose this could've been good for me had I a different amp or source or whatever. A Pico DAC -> Dynalo setup is a pretty standard and good setup. To me, a standard dynamic headphone like the K702 is, that doesn't sound good on my setup, is not a headphone worth paying for.

Posted

Airy soundstage, sparkling detail, and a slightly cool presentation, with accurate and detailed bass response, lighter bass than others I've owned but not bass-light.  Paired with my WA6se, Sovtek rectifier (to fill out the bottom end) and Sylavania 6DE7, they sounded wonderful.

Posted

Pros: really clear, good soundstage, comfortable

Cons: hard to drive

I like the AKG k702, they are pleasant to listen to, do a good job of positioning, very airy and open.  Sound is very balanced for the most part, but could use a little more bass (might also be my amp, I don't think my littledot has enough power for these or the hd800s)

 

I like them 99.7% as much as my HD800s (out of this source) if that gives you any hint!

Posted

Pros: Dead neutral, detailed and revealing (though oddly enough, not on the same level as the much warmer HD-650s), extremely comfortable (for me anyhow)

Cons: Not "fun" to listen to. Cold, analytical and soulless poorly amped, hardly inviting even out of my best gear. Cheap plastic on band breaks easily.

And yet, of every headphone I've ever owned, heard, lived with, worked with...you name it at a sane price range, these are the ones that time and time and again I come back to when I'm testing out new gear.  That should basically say it all.  When I want to know what, on average, a new DAC or amp (especially a new amp) is worth, these are the first cans I run through them.  Because if it can do these justice, it's looking good for pretty much every other hard-to-drive can in my inventory (and there are a few).  I also use these pretty much exclusively for tracking and mobile editing. 

 

And as much as I want to malign their lack of apparent musicality, I nevertheless end up using them for my own personal listening pleasure more often then I'd like to admit (which may just have something to do with my being used to how they sound, but we'll leave that aside for the moment).  I'm the kind of person who likes neutrality, detail retrieval and subtlety.  Given that I lack a solid tube HPA at the moment, it may well be there that there is warmth and musicality lurking in these yet, but given that, on average, my choice for high-end listening is usually between these and HD-650s, I usually end up choosing these because at the end of the day I feel like I'm being hoodwinked, bamboozled by the Senns.  So many of the tracks I know and love I've heard as studio masters running through studio monitors.  I know what they were, for all intents and purposes "supposed" to sound like.  And, with that context, they never sound the way they "should" for me quite like they do with K702s.  For 200 bucks street, all other qualms aside, that's a mighty huge achievement. 

Posted

Pros: excellent value; wide soundstage; great rendering of acoustic instruments

Cons: lacks bass impact; shouty upper midrange; headband bumps are uncomfortable for some

Just trying to pull the average up.

can't believe someone would give reference headphones of this quality a 1.5 star rating overall.

but, that, i suppose is the love/hate nature of the k701/k702.

 

personally, i feel they are wonderful headphones.  and, at $260 street price at time of this posting, you'd be hard pressed to find a better sounding pair for the money.

 

they are a little light in bass impact, and a little strong in the upper mid (female vocal range).  harmony vocals can get a little shouty sometimes. 

 

but, what they do well is render acoustic instruments with startling realism, and produce a spacious sound that is perfect for listening to concert hall recordings. 

 

ideal headphones for unplugged recordings, or live jazz, or classical, etc.

 

not ideal for hard rock, electronica, etc.

Posted

Pros: Very detail oriented

Cons: headband not so comfy past 30 min.

I loved them while I had them, recabled them with DHC Nucleotide cable and liked them even more. There is a but, I was not able to pony up the cash to power them properly so I had to let them go. I thought I could make them work with the rig i had (uDAC->Indeed hyrbid) but it ended up just frustrating me. They were awesome with female vocals and any acoustic recordings! Every once and a while I get phantom memories of those mids and cry a bit inside because they are gone...  Someday I'll own them again!    

Posted

Pros: Detailed sound and huge soundstage

Cons: Bumps on headband kinda hurt, needs proper amping.

Beautiful detailed and analytical sound provide a well balanced and easy listening experience. This, coupled with a huge soundstage, put these headphones at the top of my list. 

Posted

Pros: Great soundstage, Clear and detailed sound,

Cons: 2d soundstage, long burn in time, No texture in bass, needs a amp for full potiental

About a little lower then half a pound in weight it is amazying how comfortable this thing is.  The ear cups are angled so its hits your ear in a more natural position.  The soundstage is wide and airy but not able to pin point anything like sennheiser hd 800.  I would reccomend people to buy the earlyier one with 7 bumps on the headband because it has more bass.  For the price its the best you can get. Sennheiser hd 600 or 650 are side grades for more money, just depends on taste.  Any of the world class head phones will be the perfect step up from this.  But it's a great way to get your foot in the hifi door.  Get a simple fiio e11 or e07k or e17 to drive them to the fullest.

Posted

Pros: fantastic sound stage, clear throughout the frequency range and very detailed

Cons: lacking in bass but not a bad thing especially for mixing

Having never heard open-back headphones before i was looking forward to being able to hear mixes as they should be with accurate stereo representation and i wasn't disappointed.

 

I can only compare the AKG K 702's to a pair of KRK 6400's and studio speakers such as KRK RP6 G2's. Compared to the KRK headphones, as expected the sound reproduction is much more detailed with greater separation between instruments and nothing getting lost in the mix.

 

For mixing on the move or when you don't have access to studio speakers the K 702's are possibly as close as you can get to being able to mix accurately with a nice flat frequency response.

 

For music the K 702's may be a little cold and analytical to some. The lower frequencies are not emphasised so while being clear and well defined, they sound lacking compared to more commercial headphones that i have listened to such as Dr Dre Beats but no more lacking than the KRK headphones. Compared to studio speakers as to be expected with headphones, being just as accurate but lacking in impact.

 

At the time of writing this review i have just been using the headphone output of my macbook pro 13" and my iPhone 4. The headphones are powered well and have enough volume, but i feel they would probably benefit from a good headphone amp, i tries using a Pod XT which gives out a lot more volume than needed but doesn't sound like it improves on overall sound quality.

 

Out of the macbook pro 13" and the iPhone 4 the SQ is slightly better with the iPhone which has led to me ordering an Apogee One, did consider a Fiio e17 but as a sound engineer i prefer the option of having a microphone and instrument input as well.

AKG K 702 Headphones
By:
Description:

The K 702 are the new reference for open-back dynamic AKG headphones. They combine an extremely accurate response with agility and spaciousness. This is achieved by using revolutionary flat-wire voice coils and a patented Varimotion? two-layer diaphragm. A totally open design and a high performance cable complete these reference headphones. Their comfortable, specially shaped ?3D-form? ear pads and a padded genuine-leather headband ensure a perfect fit. They are individually tested and numbered. K 702 ? experience pure perfection.

Details:
DetailValue
BindingElectronics
BrandAKG
EAN0410200151295
FeatureConnector gold plated stereo jack plug 6.3 mm (1/4"). Includes 1/4" to 1/8" adaptor.
Height5 inches
Length19 inches
Weight2 pounds
Width16 inches
LabelAKG
List Price$539.00
ManufacturerAKG
ModelK702
MPNK702
Package Quantity1
Product GroupCE
Product Type NameHEADPHONES
PublisherAKG
StudioAKG
TitleAKG K702 Open Back Headphones
UPC410200151295
Is Autographed0
Is Memorabilia0
Special FeaturesThe K 702 are the new reference for open-back dynamic AKG headphones. They combine an extremely accurate response with yet unseen agility and spaciousness. This is achieved by using revolutionary flat-wire voice coils and a patented Varimotion two-layer diaphragm. A totally open design and a high performance cable complete these reference headphones. Their comfortable, specially shaped '3D-form' ear pads and a padded genuine-leather headband ensure a perfect fit. They are individually tested and
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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