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AKG K271 MKII Headphones


Pros: neutral, comfortable, closed, cheaply replaceable cables and earpads

Cons: bulky, non-folding, slightly bass shy

When visiting recording studios in Europe or looking at the sales ranking of Germany's largest online store for musicians, the AKG 271 appears as the most popular studio headphone, well ahead of any competition. That isn't head-fi's major target group, but one should reconsider why and what for we use headphones. We want to listen to music in compromised environments, i.e. with neighbours behind thin walls or even with other people present in the same room, commuting or travelling with restricted luggage. Many of us spend more time listening to music under these conditions than at home in their designated listening room with multi-kilo-buck source gear and loudspeakers. 


Like most cans the AKG 271 benefits from a dedicated headphone amp, but also sounds decent straight from a laptop's or CD player's 3.5mm jack. My preferred source is the iPod Classic with Headstage Arrow amp. The Arrow's bass boost feature perfectly complements the 271's slightly bass shy sound signature which on the other hand allows many hours of listening without getting tired. There are recordings where I prefer to switch off the bass boost. 


It is not industrial grade hearing protection, but the 271 prevents leakage of noise and mutes environmental noise substantially better than open headphones and the nominally closed Denon AH-Ds. Light weight, large, circumaural earpads (choice of pleather and velvet), moderate clamping force and the automatically adjusting headband provide exceptional wearing comfort. The one and only downside from that is the 271's bulk, without folding or collapsing action. Commuters may want a less obtrusive, easier stowable headphone.


For peace of mind, to fit my entire CD collection on the iPod I listen to compressed AAC 256. Hence I happily waive that last bit of detail and sound quality lossless files and better, open headphones could deliver. Yes, I noticed a difference with serious ABing against highend Sennheisers, but tend to forget that after few minutes under the 271. Its exceptional wearing comfort and decent noise isolation help furthermore to accept this compromise,   


Mobile use and travelling means rough handling, sweat, risk of damage and loss. Nice to see then that exposed parts (earpads, cable) can be replaced cheaply, thanks to its pro-grade studio rather than "high-end" designation. 


Pros: Great clarity & sound stage (esp. for closed), great tone on guitar / electric keys, bass is very detailed and punchy

Cons: biggest issue is boxiness in the upper-mids, minor issue - bass is not BOOMing, its mostly the upper bass that you can hear (100+ Hz)

Read a number of reviews on this pair of headphones before buying, and was quite surprised that no one mentioned the boxy band ( maybe somewhere around 3.5 - 5k ?? ) of upper mids.  


some songs are pretty effected by it, others not so much.  It sounds like someone really pumped the EQ around a band of frequencies and phased the sh*t out of it.  


However, for songs that are not effected by this the overall clarity of sound - especially for a closed-ear set of headphones - is great.  I have a pair of sr60s & Sennheiser HD598s and these are definitely still in the same ballpark of quality as those two.  



For some songs though, the boxiness can really be in the forefront of whats going on and it seriously detracts from the overall sound quality.


Pros: Deep, tight fast bass, classic akg mids, clear highs, detailed, comfortable, great soundstage for a closed, retro design, plenty of accesories

Cons: Bass anemic, doesn't play well with bass boosters and/or loud volumes, not very exciting, needs an amp to even get bass at all

I wanted to love these, and I kinda did, but only for classical and jazz.  Everything else though was boring to listen to and can sometimes get a bit bright. Also still has that closed sound, but then again it's a closed can. I know I know, it's more for tracking rather than for entertainment. But there are still some stuff to love about the sound. If you only listen to jazz and classical and need isolation, these are pretty good and do deserve the praise some people give it. But if you want something more well rounded, then you should look elsewhere, like I have.

AKG K271 MKII Headphones

The newly designed AKG legend, K271MKII combines the benefits of AKG?s circumaural design for extreme comfort and a closed-back design for maximum isolation from ambient noise. Thanks to its XXL transducers, the K271MKII sounds clean, smooth and very rich. The K271MKII is the perfect choice for any application where sonic bleed could cause problems such as broadcast work. Another important feature of the K271MKII is the addition of a switch in the headband that mutes the audio just as soon as the headphones are taken off.

FeatureFor on-stage and studio use
Height43.31 inches
Length94.49 inches
Weight0.53 pounds
Width86.61 inches
List Price$299.00
ModelK271 MKII
Package Quantity1
Product GroupCE
Product Type NameHEADPHONES
TitleAKG K271 MKII Headphones
Batteries Included1
Is Autographed0
Is Memorabilia0
Special FeaturesAKG K 271 MK II dynamic, around-ear closed-back headphones provide incredible sound and comfort, and they're ideal for recording and live monitoring applications. These headphones feature both leatherette and velvet earpads for great fit and maximum comfort. The AKG K 271 MK II headphones include a detachable 10' straight cable and a 16' coiled cable. They offer a frequency range from 16Hz to 28kHz, giving you great live and studio monitoring with the added functionality of single-ear use. If yo
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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