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AKG K701 Studio Headphones Reviews

Positive Reviews


Truly audiophile


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. 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...
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AKG701's the black sheep of classical headphones


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...
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A classic for classical/chamber


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,...
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Negative Reviews

Uncle Erik

The only headphone I regretted buying and was happy to sell.


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...
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The Monkey



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.

Expect and receive overpriced bathroom hardware


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...
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More Reviews


Fantastic - with proper break-in


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...
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AKG 701 very nice headphone


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. Cheers.

Another legendary headphone from AKG


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. 



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. 
Happy Camper

They have their place.


Pros: Wide but balanced presentation, details without loudness,

Cons: finicky to amp

When I first got the K701, I had been using the Ety 4s so the bass was actually better on the 701s. They did sound tinny and shallow. I read that they needed about 400 hours of play to settle into the final character they will provide so I left them on along with a new tube amp for three weeks non stop. If they were going to fail, I wanted them to do it early in the warranty.   They did indeed respond both to moderate volume material and a more powerful amp. As I became more knowledgeable of the nuances of the sound, I started tweaking the cables, tubes and power cords.   I can say that while other headphones in the $250 range may have looks or a "wow"sound initially, I have...
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inexplicably sabotaged by Akg


Pros: Akg k701 mod bass - definition, dynamics, timbre, bass, soundstage

Cons: Akg k 701 mod bass - still does not forgive the bad recordings

I bought these headphones love / hate with the taste of the challenge. I learned that in Germany have discovered a reversible change to free the low and I started the monkey. I got them used to not having to worry about the warranty and I removed the lock reflex back and added the balanced connector. In this configuration they are simply delicious, adding but not distorting the bottom. The midrange is high have not suffered in the least. Later, having noticed the ridiculous amount of copper used for wiring the I also rewired and K701 have taken flight! A capacity of resolution of detail that I remembered only by the Stax Lambda Pro, but with a low that you could not just ask. They have...
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Very nice phones, not for badly mixed metal


Pros: clear, flat, nice stereo imaging, sits well on the head

Cons: not sure

The best phones I've tried so far. I tried some well-burnt-in beyerdynamic and others in similar price range in a store, and I have owned the 601 before. I also own closed cans, e.g. the K271, and before that, several others further down the price range. The previously owned 601 was my first open system pair, it took some getting used to coming from cans - but I quicky noticed the advantages especially for certain types of music, e.g. the actually open sound vs. canned. Sits well on the head due to clever adjustment mechanism.   I use these mostly for classical music, jazz, blues, some rock - but only stuff done in good studios by people who know their stuff. Music with a...
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Very detailed professional headphones


Pros: Depth, clarity, wide stereo image

Cons: None that I can think of

I just thought I'd write up a review on these headphones. They did a bit getting used to, because the reproduction of sound is so clear and even. Like getting used to a pair of studio monitors after listening to hifi speakers. These are excellent for mixing, and mastering, and use these to check what I've done with my main Genelec monitors in my studio. I can virtually hear each, even slight turn of a knob, let's say an EQ, or changing the ratio and threshold of a compressor. AKG doesn't offer us hyped up sound, it's all up to the source. I plug these straight into my studio interface. I also don't get the lack of bass, for me, the bass response is flat as it is supposed to be. And I've...
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Mark K

Unbelievable thin


Pros: Comfort

Cons: Everything else especially the sound

This is stylish headphone ever made, elegant and comfort. Thousands of reviews are are out there and it could not be wrong but...every time I put them over my ears, I had to tolerate the sound. It is very comfortable to wear. The sound is terrible. There is this echo from everywhere which jammed not only the bass and middle band but also diminishes upper end. The only explanation will be my ears are too small for them.

Once upon a time they were sort of great, but never engaging enough. Outmatched by the current crop of cans.


Pros: Comfortable, detailed, cool-looking, superb imaging and sense of openess

Cons: Big bulky cord that does not detach. Limited bass response, oddly boring despite some good qualities.

The K701 causes mental conflict. On one hand, I want to rate it one-star for disappointing me so much. I've had two pairs of 701s for some time, and in the process they have survived many other headphones that I grew bored of—notably, a few Sennheiser and Grado models. The problem is that as of 2013, the competition is just too stiff. I'm genuinely interested in any headphone that can do a good job hooked directly to my phone, because in the end it's just frikkin' awesome to have amazing fidelity pumping through the noggin while standing in line at the bank. Here's the thing about the K701, a few days ago I wore them to a party. The plug was connected to pocket lint—the AKGs were just a...
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