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AKG701's the black sheep of classical headphones

A Review On: AKG K701 Studio Headphones

AKG K701 Studio Headphones

Rated # 27 in Over-Ear
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Review Details:
Audio Quality
Purchased on:
Price paid: $262.00
Posted · 86680 Views · 3 Comments

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. 




They are Studio Reference Headphones.

Quote: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.

Can you clarify this? What changed when using these amps?
What changed was the bass. The soundstage deepened and the three-dimensional qualities of certain things like brushes, cymbals, embrochures of horns were detailed and compelling, like I was right next to the horn player's head. Piano sounded round, intense and clean in the right hand's 2nd octave range. The 701s have a lot of details concerning air and upper treble details in the tails of cymbals, air details of horn, and sticks on the cymbals as they break up after impact.
The piano remains solid, focused and and fully dimensional
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