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

A Review On: AKG K701 Studio Headphones

AKG K701 Studio Headphones

Rated # 27 in Over-Ear
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Price paid: $185.00
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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 fashion accessory. Well, I got four separate compliments, and thats four more compliments than I usually get on my attire, at any party. So, they've got that goin' for 'em. Back at home, on a good amp, the K701s can do their thing much more effectively. But, right next to them on my desk is a pair of Monster Inspire, and a pair of Denon AH-D600. Both sets of cans spank the poor K701s, I hate to say it but they are now relegated to the role of "fashion accessory."


I paid a very low price for my K701s, back in 2009. The current price for a used pair of 701 cans is higher than what I paid new. At the current price, I'd be a bit upset if I bought them, not knowing what to expect. If I was specifically looking for hyper-detailed open-air headphones with restrained bass response, then I'd probably buy the K701s again.


Update - I just had and "experience" while comparing the K701, the Monster Inspire and the Denon AH-D600. I put on the K701s and cued up some Com Truise. I forgot which headphones I was wearing rather quickly. Then a bass sequence came on, and I was taken aback. I wondered what was wrong. Oops, I forgot I was wearing the K701s, but not in a good sense. Basically, I thought I was listening to the D600s, until the bass came in. Pragmatically speaking, the K701 just got its butt kicked.

Update two - I picked up a pair of Pioneer SE-A1000 for $46. AKG should be ashamed of themselves, the K701 is really overpriced for what it offers.


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