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How Does It Compare Against The Standard K702?

A Review On: AKG K702 65th Anniversary Edition

AKG K702 65th Anniversary Edition

Rated # 102 in Over-Ear
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Recent Pricing:
Review Details:
Audio Quality
Comfort
Design
Value
Purchased on:
Price paid: $350.00
roguegeek
Posted · 15030 Views · 4 Comments

Pros: signature, build, comfort, value

Cons: detail, soundstage, sparse packaging and extras considering it's a limited edition

Build Quality
These are built very much the same as the previous K701, K702, and Q701. Lots of rugged plastic, a leather headband, and velour pad. The removable cable seems to be slightly less thick than the previous iterations. Although I wouldn't be throwing these things around or using them outside, the combination of materials and assembly quality make for a very well built can. The only thing I have a problem with the elastic bands used to supply the tension and adjustability of the headband. As with all previous models, these will eventually become loose and frail and will need to be replaced down the line.
 
Comfort
These are the same comfortable headphones as any of the previous iterations were. They fit securely without having too much pressure on your head. The ear cups are large and fit completely around your ears.
 
There are really only two revisions on the Annies that affect the comfort. The first is the ear pads which now contain memory foam and have been made less deep. The memory foam is very soft and allows a much better seal over the standard K702 pads with tend to be a little stiff. The depth has been lessened as well and the angle has been removed for a pad that is now straight. I do find this particular change has my ears touching the drivers more now, but I don't find it to be uncomfortable.
 
The second revision that affects comfort is with the updated design of the headband. The previous iterations had headbands built with 7 or 8 bumps on the inside that were probably put there to act as cushioning. Although I never had a problem with this design on my standard K702, there are a large amount of people who considered these bumps the bane of their existence and created painful pressure points. The new headband removes these bumps and is completely flat which should address the major comfort issues many people had. For me, this revision is a lot more slight in terms of improvement.
 
Overall, the improvements on the Annie's design make for a great fitting headphone to be even more comfortable now.
 
Sound
The previous K701, K702, and Q701 are great sounding headphones that I would considering to be slightly bright with recessed lows. I would still considered them fairly balanced, but with maybe a slight emphasis on the highs. The entire signature of the K702 65th Anniversary has been pushed warmer and I would consider them to be even more balanced than the previous models.
 
The lows are the most affected frequency with the Annie. There is definitely a level of warmth and fullness you get in the bass that you don't get with the standard K702. It adds to a generally more laid back and slow sound. The mids on the Annies are also pushed forward a little compared to the K702. They're slightly smoother and slightly heavier. The highs are darker and the treble has been pulled back slightly. The standard K702 had a very large soundstage and large separation. The Annie is still nicely detailed and positional accuracy is still good, but the revised warmth appears to have lessened that depth and separation.
 
As with others who have reviewed the K702 65th Anniversary, I can confirm that the sound signature changes are purely due to the revised memory foam ear pads. If you take any of those previous pads and place them onto the Annie, you get the previous signature. The same can be said for the opposite in that you can take the Annie pads and place them onto older revisions and you'll get the Annie signature.
 
Overall, the revisions on the Annie's sound are slight, but have made it a warmer, more laid back, slightly slower headphone that is better for all around use and is going to be more forgiving with poorly recorded or encoded media.
 
Conclusion
When you consider the price, comfort, and quality of sound, the K702 65th Anniversary Edition is a tremendous victory and great value. Considering it is a limited run headphone, you don't get much in the way of extras to make this package feel special (all that's included is a tiny booklet and a 3.5mm adapter). I imagine a lot of people will prefer the sound of the Annie over its previous iterations. For me, as good as this revised headphone is, I can't help but miss and prefer the excitement, speed, and sparkliness of the older signature. Because of this, I will be selling my standard K702, but not before purchasing a second set of non-memory foam ear pads which will essentially give me two distinct and great signatures.

4 Comments:

Very interesting review, thanks!
I find my K701's comfortable enough, but I would welcome a warmer sound from them
Do you happen to know whether the revised memory foam ear pads you mention fit the K701's ?
(If yes, I hope I can buy the revised memory foam ear pads as spare parts)
Pads between the K701, K702, Q701, and K702 65th are all interchangeable. You could buy the Annie pads and place them on your K701 and get Annie sound.
Your analysis is very, very helpful. Thank you.
Do you have any idea what the part number for the Annie earpads is, or do you know how I can go about finding/buying a pair of them? Several years ago, AKG's website had links to full schematics and service manuals. All that stuff has now disappeared and been replaced by dumb, useless glamour-type photos. What a waste of serious listeners' time and energy!
 Good review. I have owned both the Q701 and K702 Annies, and the Annies are definitely a dark, slightly thick, intimate sounding headphone; whereas the Q701s are a lean, slightly bright-of-neutral, energetic, quick and airy headphone. Both are equally good. But for me, I prefer the K702 Annies for most genres, and especially jazz with saxophones, brass instruments and songs with powerful women singers as the upper mid range isn't aggressive and doesn't assault my ears like the Q701 and more airy headphones can do. The Q701s are better for pure soundstage, acoustic guitar and more airy listening moods. Both are good, it's just a matter of preference for lean, airiness (Quincies), or a thick, intimate sound (Annies).
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