Head-Fi.org › Head Gear › Headphones › Over-Ear › AKG K701 Studio Headphones

AKG K701 Studio Headphones

86% Positive Reviews
Rated #16 in Over-Ear

Posted

Pros: SQ!, build quality, design, comfort*

Cons: comfort* and sometimes bass

Lets start with:

 

Design, build quality & comfort:

 

They are white - thats what people notice on the first look. I must say I really like the design and the "feel" - The leather headband is a nice addition to the white and gray colors.

IMG_5510.JPG

Build quality is very very good - they are very sturdy and don't feel like breaking apart after a month. I dropped them incidentally few times, rolled with my chair over the cable and they are still in prefect condition. 4 Stars

 

*Comfort - before I bought them I read alot about the comfort (haedband) issue and when I put them first time on my head I was sure that the rumors were true - the bumps were digging a hole in my skull.

BUT: I got them about 2-3 months now and the comfort is no longer a problem for me. About a month ago I tried to soften the bumps by squeezing and pressing them. I'm not sure if it helped, but now I think that they are one of the most comfy headphones I tried! The best are the pads - very thick and deep:) 4 Stars

The K701 leaks alot to the outside - they could be very annoying to other people. They also don't block much of the outside noises.

 

 

Audio quality:

 

When I put them first time on my head I was simply out of my breath - the amount of details I've never heard was amazing! Vocals also sounds great.

They shows their best when listening jazz, ambient, chillout and classical. Sadly they DO NOT rock. They sound very thin when listening SOAD, Korn or Sepultura:/

 

The BASS issue: the bass is tight, controlled, very deep, the only thing lacking in K701 is bass IMPACT in bass-heavy music and rock/metal.

They've got huuuge soundspace (some say: too big). This is a feature, which makes them great for movies (at least for me).

 

Amping - is another big thema with K701, but DON'T EXPECT NIGHT/DAY DIFFRENCE! - if You don't like them unamped, you'll probably won't like them with powerful amp. When properly amped their sound becomes more smooth and less fatiguing - the bass is also a bit better in all aspects.

 

Burning in - beat me, I'm not noticing any spectacular diffrence over the time.

Overall: 4 and half Stars

 

 

Conclusion:

 

If youre looking for high details, great with jazz, classical (!) and vocals headphones you can't do better at 250$!

Posted

Pros: Comfortable, attractive, priced reasonably.

Cons: Godawful mids that sound artificial and plastic.

This is the only pair of headphones I bought that I was never able to warm up to.  The reason for this is that the mids - especially vocals - take on an unnatural, artificial and plasticky sound.  They never sounded true to life and began to grate on me after short listening periods.  They were OK for instrumental music, but even then, the tonality was off in the mids.

 

What's disappointing is that AKG dropped the K-501 and K-1000, and gave us this.  The K-701/2 is nothing like AKG's previous efforts.  I have the K-1000, K-340 and K-240DF, and used to have the K-501.  All of those got the midrange right.  I was expecting to love the K-701 as well, but like I said, the artificial tonality in the mids completely ruined them for me.

 

Strangely, the K-601 sounds halfway decent the times I've listened to it and I remain hopeful that AKG will introduce a model that gets the mids right.  They used to have some of the best mids of any manufacturer.

Posted

Pros: Detail

Cons: Flat and boring with one exception

LISTENED AT MANY MEETS

 

I never did get it about these phones.  I think they sound tinny and boring.  The only time I have ever heard them sound somewhat decent has been out of the big HeadRoom amps.  There's something to that combo.  Otherwise a real snore.

Posted

Pros: Noticeable detail and placement definition

Cons: Midrange shy and bass shy when driving rock & metal

Out of contrarian rage, I ended up getting another  pair of 701s just to see why everyone is so intent on bashing these cans.  All my silver-haired classical mastering guys love these cans and go on about their ability to open the soundstage and layer it with subtle and rich detail .  Indeed, Vocal, jazz groups , piano solo, acoustic jazz, Guitar and plucked instruments, and ethnic music sounds exemplary through these cans.  They are noticeably cleaner and better defined when generously amped.

 

The build quality is above average for this pricepoint.  The design feels solid, well balanced and well thought-out. It's a relatively "big" assembly but never gets gets in the way once they're on your head.

The velour earcups are comfortable and fun to wear and the leather band an excellent stabilizer.  It  clamps less noticeably than the Sennies.  The Wires  connecting the headband and cups  give it a distinctive AKG design feel.

 

Sonically, These phones are "airy".  They provide details about the recording space and the high spectrum sonic tail coming from vocals, breathing, diction and vowels.  I hear  instrumental details concerning the string bindings, bowed strings and and tone color of upper partials of the trebles in certain recordings that are unusually revealing.  Instrumental placement and movement is as accurate as a Senn HD600, but perhaps lacks the "speed" and presence in some imaging mixes.

 

They don't work well with maisntream electric Rock n' Roll, metallica, or Pink Floyd. The richness in the middle is missing as is bass depth and speed  The only time I changed my mind about this is when I ran the 701 through a Audio Gd Fun, or C1 SE amp/NFB7.  Even so, I would probably reach for a different headphone if was going to head-bang through Primus' Sailing the Sea of Cheese.

 

This is a beautiful headphone at its current price. 

 

 

Posted

Pros: Detail, soundstage, looks

Cons: Comfort, extended break-in needed

I'll first say that when I initially got these headphones and plugged them in, I was pretty disappointed.  The sound was thin, plasticy and terribly rough on my ears.  BUT I had read enough about the K701's to know that people recommend an extended break-in period of at least 100-200 hours.

 

I made a temporary setup in the laundry room: old iPod plugged into old Onkyo receiver, K701's plugged into receiver's headphone output.  I put a varied playlist on repeat, and kept the volume quite low at first.  I let it run 24/7, each day raising the volume some until it was at a decently loud listening level.  After about 11-12 days I had a listen - WONDERFUL!  There was now a deep liquid bass where there was almost nothing before; tons of detail, crystalline highs, thick timbral textures on acoustic instruments, excellent vocals (especially female).

 

Be prepared to do something similar if you get these.  If you're not willing to delay gratification by a week or two, you might want to get something else, but stick with it and you'll be glad you did.  I suspect the people who hate K701/702 just didn't do their research.  It takes a few hundred hours to hear the baseline potential of these headphones - it's a night and day difference - but after that they seemed to gradually improve in more subtle ways, at least for a few months.

 

I would describe the sound of the K701 as very neutral - they really reflect what you put into them.  If you want heavy bass, you need to play music with heavy bass, etc.  They are revealing enough to reveal poor recordings, but make good recordings sound wondrous.  For this reason some people describe their sound as 'clinical' - I see why they say this, but these are also quite musical headphones in my opinion.  As I mentioned above, acoustic instruments sound very lifelike.  John Coltrane's saxophone is palpable.  I'm quite able to lose myself in my favorite recordings, which says to me the headphones are not overly 'clinical.'  I only deduct half a star from the Audio Quality rating because they are probably not quite as mind-blowing as something like the HD800 or other exotic boutique headphones.

 

Only big con to me is the headband.  The middle pad, after more than half an hour or so, sometimes begins to feel like a half-inch-thick bolt being slowly threaded through your skull.  I'm not sure why; it's thick and feels pretty soft to the fingers.  It must just hit some kind of pressure point on some people.  It doesn't always hurt but when it does I just stuff a wad of gauze under that spot - a minor nuisance that I accept.  Otherwise, the comfort is great - lightweight, and the earpads are luxurious, though after a few years mine have lost their velour-like feel and are kind of faded in spots.  Not everyone likes what could be described as the 'trendy ipod white' looks, but I think they're tasteful and pleasantly high-tech looking.

 

For a long time I listened with Emu 1212m -> Millett Hybrid Max.  Recently I replaced the Emu with the Gamma2, which is even better.

Posted

Pros: very detailed, good bass (not bassy ) very nice sound

Cons: a bit unconfortable the headband, problem with bigheads, need a Home/desktop amp not the best choice for portables amps

Greetings

 

well... how to describe this headphones?...  VERY NICE pair of headphones, very detailed, analitical, good response and bass enough. Very nice on classical and jazz music. Ideal for CDs or Vinyls of symphonic music.

 

Looks very well and need a good amp and DAC, but still unamped sound very nice.

DSC00513.JPG

Cheers.

Posted

Pros: Airiness, resolution, mids, musicality

Cons: can be a little uncomfortable on the crown

I have had these headphones for some time now and would like to write a simple review. They sound absolutely fantastic. I also have a Sennheiser HD 650 which I immensely like for all their virtues but after purchasing k701 I rarely reach for my Senns. k701 is a better allrounder and particularly fits the music styles I love the most, classical and jazz. That big and airy sound is simply magical. Every note and every small detail is so clearly reproduced and presented. The tone is very balanced and quite natural. 

Posted

Pros: True flat response.

Cons: I don't have a mellon head.

Some have said that these are more suited to classical. I understand why. Personally, I knew I had a keeper after my first session with my Lo Fi blues collection. Hard to admit, but better than my cherished k280. 

Posted

Pros: Maybe the best phone for classical, lean, clear sound

Cons: Not ideal for rock

Although I also own a HD800, I'm keeping my AKG K701 for its combination of comfort and performance with classical music - in which it excels. Aside from the Beyer DT-880, the most comfortable headphone currently made, the K701 has plush velour pads (though users with bigger heads may prefer a larger phone). And the illusion of head space is equal to that of the DT880 and Senn HD800, making this phone easy to wear for extended periods of time. 

 

The bass (or rather, the relative absence) is the sticking point for many. I believe that the sound is nicely balanced, but there's no question that it struggles to manage music with a more assertive bass presence. The phones have a ribbed top, and automatically adjusts to one's head size; however, many users will need to change their orientation so the phones fit perfectly all the time. Not a problem for me, but others have even tried to fix matter themselves.

 

However, I believe that this has been my best stereo investment. And if you look at the sell lists, you'll always find discounted phones for as little as $210 - a steal, in my opinion - and sometimes even less.

Posted

Pros: Detail, clarity, soundstage width

Cons: Unnatural soundstage, unnatural lack of bass, supremely uncomfortable, looks like bathroom hardware

Audio Quality:

This is a very detailed and fast headphone.  Soundstage is very wide, but unnatural sounding.  Lack of bass makes the overall sound very plasticky and artificial.  My BOSE triports sound better overall.

 

Comfort:

The pads are about as comfortable as the Beyerdynamics', however, the bumps on the underside of the headband dig into your skull.  I couldn't wear them for more than 20 minutes without having to reposition them.

 

Design:

Other than looking like bathroom hardware strapped to your head, there are elastic bands which help adjust the earcups which will inevitably degrade over time.

 

Value:

I've heard better headphones for this price, namely the DT880, D2000, and HD600/650. 

 

Overall:

Largest soundstage I've heard from headphones. Very fast and detailed headphones. However uncomfortable with artificial sound.

AKG K701 Studio Headphones
By:
Description:

Whether you prefer the holistic approach or like to listen analytically, the K 701 will turn perception into pure enjoyment. AKG is the first manufacturer in the world to use revolutionary flat-wire technology in headphones, namely, the K 701. The result is a truly dramatic sound that places every musician at their correct location with pinpoint accuracy. This kind of agility, spaciousness, brilliant highs, and velvety, punchy bass is simply miraculous. These superlative open-back dynamic headphones provide an outstandingly accurate sound and excellent imaging.

Details:
DetailValue
BrandAKG
ColorGray
EAN0000888880930
FeatureComfortable, specially shaped "3D-Form" ear pads
Weight3 pounds
LabelAKG
List Price$539.99
ManufacturerAKG
ModelK701
MPNK701
Package Quantity1
Product GroupMusical Instruments
Product Type NameSOUND_AND_RECORDING_EQUIPMENT
PublisherAKG
StudioAKG
TitleAKG K701 Studio Headphones
UPC000888880930
Is Autographed0
Is Memorabilia0
Special FeaturesWhether you prefer the holistic approach or like to listen analytically, the K 701 will turn perception into pure enjoyment. AKG is the first manufacturer in the world to use revolutionary flat-wire technology in headphones, namely, the K 701. The result is a truly dramatic sound that places every musician at their correct location with pinpoint accuracy. This kind of agility, spaciousness, brilliant highs, and velvety, punchy bass is simply miraculous. These superlative open-back dynamic headph
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC

AKG K701 Studio Headphones Manufacturer Description

  • Revolutionary flat-wire voice coil technology
  • Patented AKG Varimotion ultra-precision two-layer diaphragm
  • Bi-wiring, high-performance cable with 1/4" jack plug
  • Comfortable, specially shaped "3D-Form" ear pads
  • Complete with stylish storage cradle
  • Individually tested and numbered

 

Experience pure perfection!  
Whether you prefer the holistic approach or like to listen analytically, the K 701 will turn perception into pure enjoyment.  
  
AKG is the first manufacturer in the world to use revolutionary flat-wire technology in headphones, namely, the K 701. The result is a truly dramatic sound that places every musician at their correct location with pinpoint accuracy. This kind of agility, spaciousness, brilliant highs, and velvety, punchy bass is simply miraculous.  
  
These superlative open-back dynamic headphones provide an outstandingly accurate sound and excellent imaging. Try the K 701 and find out what ingenious headphone engineering can do for you.

 

 

Related Media/Links:

 

AKG Headphones K701 new 2008 at NAMM w/ AVGIANT

 

 

 

Troubleshooting/Known Issues:

Had an issue other users should know about? Put it here.

 

 

How To:

Advice on installation, customization, and anything else.

 

 

Related Items and Accessories:

Not necessarily items within the community, just any other recommendations.

 

 

 

Head-Fi.org › Head Gear › Headphones › Over-Ear › AKG K701 Studio Headphones