Originally Posted by Patu
Yikes: Could you say briefly how burn-in affected the sound?
When new the 701’s come across as almost as sharp sounding (bright) as my MDR SA5000’s, Very similar to the 880’s. Even when new the midrange was glorious, the bass was tight and well controlled but lacked ultimate extension and power.
Then over the next 100 hours or so there was a gradual change. They no longer struck me as being bright at all. As far as high frequency energy I believe that they settled almost exactly between the 880’s and the 650’s. Please don’t think that because I view them to be warmer than the 880’s or my 5000’s that they lack resolution. The 701’s reveal more inner detail than my 5000’s, but they do so with less HF sheen or distortion. The midrange is both lush and tremendously transparent. Midrange is still AKG’s strong suit. The bottom end fleshed out nicely. It still lags behind the 650’s in sheer quantity of bass but it has good extension and good power with great speed and definition.
I believe that the 701’s once broken in are the best all around headphone in current production. They do everything at least very well. They are extremely even-handed, so even handed that I believe exceptional results can be had with any quality amplifier. Like any of the true contenders they cry out for quality amplification and sources, but unlike some they won’t sound terrible if driven from a modest amp.