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AKG K271 MKII or Beyer Dynamic DT 770 Pro?

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 
I'm in the process of getting a new pair of headphones, and after some initial research and narrowing down I'm turning to you guys for guidance.

A friend of mine has the AKG K271 MKII headphones, which after some limited testing sounds and feels extremely good! They are actually the reason I started looking for new headphones in the first place. I've also been able to try the Beyer Dynamic DT 770 Pro (80 Ohm version) once at a local store, which initially caught my interest due to all the praise it got in reivews. I have little previous experience from cans of this quality, but I consider myself quite demanding and picky when it comes to sound.

I'll try to provide some background information here, just so you can get an idea of where I'm coming from sound-wise and what I demand from a pair of headphones.

My past experience with headphones is quite varied, but somewhat limited. My first interest in headphones was caught by the Koss Porta Pro's at a young age. Being the young and inexperienced teenager I was back then, I fell in love with the overamplified bassy feel of the Porta Pro's. But that was then, and as time went on, I got older and more serious about my listening experience and music in general.

As of now several years later, I'm a hobby producer as well as a DJ, using a pair of Technics RP-DJ1200 for DJ'ing and the Sennheiser HD 212 Pro for general use, which in my opinion sounds fairly good, but they lack the clarity, definition and high-end sound that more expensive cans has. For music production I don't really have any headphones as I'm using a pair of Alesis MK II studio monitors with a external M-Audio Audiophile USB card.

My primary use will be listening to music (obviously), and to some extent music production/mixing, using the Alesis MKII studio monitors for reference. Considering all this it's quite important that the sound is reproduced as honest and true to recording as possible, with little to no sound pollution from whatever is going in the room/area I'm in (TV and Computer noise are the usual suspects in my homemade living room studio). When doing mixes on my own tracks I need to be able to trust the headphones, but at the same time I don't want it to get boring or too flat while listening to my favorite music. (Drum and Bass, Dubstep, Trip-hop, Chillout, Minimal, Soul, Progressive House, Experimental - the list goes on and is somewhat varied.)

I have no need or want for ExtremeMegaBassBoost(tm), but I have to admit that I enjoy the physical sensation of bass, and the warmth it can bring to a mix or recording.

I realize this might be demanding alot from a pair of headphones, but I feel either the AKG 271 MKII and the Beyer Dynamic DT770 Pro's are as close to perfection I can get within the pricerange they're in. Only problem is, I can't decide between the two.

Any advice, help or tips on the subject will be highly appreciated, as this is my first venture into the world of high-quality headphones.
post #2 of 57
Quote:
I have no need or want for ExtremeMegaBassBoost(tm), but I have to admit that I enjoy the physical sensation of bass, and the warmth it can bring to a mix or recording.
DT770 should give you a bit more bass than the K271 (if you need/want more?) but you can take the K271 of your friend and go to the store and compare it for yourself.
post #3 of 57
Never tried the AKGs, but I've got a pair of DT770 PROs (250 ohm), and I LOVE them.

Based on your preferences and intended use, I'd say they're right up your alley.

There's some photos around here of Mark Knopfler in the studio, and his whole band is using DT 770s while recording.
post #4 of 57
post #5 of 57
I don't know. To be honest, I think the only genre the K271s will excel at is soul and even with velour pads you won't feel the bass on most songs unless the song is extremely bassy to begin with. I do listen to drum and bass and progressive with them more than the DT220s for some reason. I guess the DT770s are the way to go, but if you can, do what paaj said.
post #6 of 57
I like the DT770 for what it does. I dont own one but have been borrowing one from a friend.
A word of warning: if you listen to a large number of genres, and this is going to be your only can you will get bored pretty quickly. It's not a very dynamic sound. It will really limit what genres you listen to and you might find yourself looking to buy again very soon
post #7 of 57
Hi,
I am pretty happy with my 271mkII. The main thing about it is definitely not the bass (nice and tight but not that deep) but rather the mid. Personally, i think it is very comfy and fit my need very well on jazz, podcast, and funk, and isolation really well.
Cheers,
AP
post #8 of 57
Thread Starter 
Some really good feedback here, I really appreciate the input guys!

So far, from what you guys are telling me, it really seems as it all comes down to a matter of taste here, as these two headphones seem to be quite similar on several aspects. The DT 770 Pro seems to be a little more directed towards a studio setup, and the K271's a little more towards pure listening, if one can put it like that.

I think I'll have to take paaj's advice on this one and actually try them both side by side at the store listening to different genres of music.

It seems that both headphones are highly regarded nonetheless, which makes me that much more confident that I'm in for a treat no matter which set of phones I end up with.

Keep the feedback coming, especially if anyone out there has had the chance to compare these two or has experience from using both these sets of headphones!
post #9 of 57
I had both.
The DT770/80 was more comfortable for long listening.
The bass was way too much for my taste, to an annoying point. Also the treble was sometimes harsh and sibilant. I loved their dynamics, I never got bored with them, great PRaT.
The K271 is much smoother, with better mids and highs. I found the bass good as well, because it's tight and well defined. They lack imo in PRaT, they sounded dull and boring.
The DT770/80 kept my feet tapping, the K271 rarely did.
Because of my big ears, the earpads of the K271 were uncomfortable.

So to me they had their positives and negatives. It really depend on your taste which one you will like.
If I had to choose however, I would pick the K271.
post #10 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiemen View Post
Also the treble was sometimes harsh and sibilant.
I can remember when I tried the DT770's at the store, I was thinking that the high-mids and highs sounded a bit harsh, not really screeching or tinny, but maybe a bit fatigueing, if you know what I mean? It might've been the music selection they had me listen to though. (Rock/Pop)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiemen View Post
They lack imo in PRaT, they sounded dull and boring.
Would you go as far as to say that the K271's sound muddled in the lower frequencies in comparison with the DT770's? I've been using my friends K271's a bit more, and I really like the bass, but I have a feeling it could be a bit more defined/accurate/snappy.

I'm going back to the store which carry these models tomorrow to have a listen to them both and compare them. I'm hoping I'll be able to decide then...
post #11 of 57
If anything, the DT770/80 is the muddy one.

Here is my sophisticated and well-thought description of its sound:

THUMP THUMP THUMPsplashy splash THUMP THUMP THUMP

All mid-bass with some splashy somewhat-sibilant treble mixed in.
post #12 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bornslip View Post
I can remember when I tried the DT770's at the store, I was thinking that the high-mids and highs sounded a bit harsh, not really screeching or tinny, but maybe a bit fatigueing, if you know what I mean? It might've been the music selection they had me listen to though...
Yeah, mine were like that out of the box, too. Scared me a bit.

Completely went away with burn-in, however (about 40hrs or so).

Now, my DT770 PROs are pretty much my favourite possession, esp. paired with a sweet little tube amp - these cans are a total treasure that have brought me many hours of aural bliss and music enjoyment. I love 'em!
post #13 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bornslip View Post
Would you go as far as to say that the K271's sound muddled in the lower frequencies in comparison with the DT770's? I've been using my friends K271's a bit more, and I really like the bass, but I have a feeling it could be a bit more defined/accurate/snappy.
No, the K271 is not muddled at all. It's open and clean. To my ears, the bass has good definition and accuracy.
The dullness is caused by the fact that the overall sound is too polite, too refined.
post #14 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TubeStack View Post
Yeah, mine were like that out of the box, too. Scared me a bit.

Completely went away with burn-in, however (about 40hrs or so).

Now, my DT770 PROs are pretty much my favourite possession, esp. paired with a sweet little tube amp - these cans are a total treasure that have brought me many hours of aural bliss and music enjoyment. I love 'em!
Thanks for confirming that fact!

That's one of the things that could've kept me from getting the DT770's.
I can't stand it when it feels like the highs pierce my eardrums and makes my eyes twitch at high volumes...

The set of cans I tested at the store was a demo pair, so I would think that they were burned in already, but when think about it they did seem really mint/new in apperance, so who knows.

Only a few more hours of work now before I'm off to try both pairs side by side at the store and hopefully decide on one of them
post #15 of 57
Thread Starter 
I've finally had a chance to try both headphones side by side now, and I must admit that I'm really leaning towards the AKG K271 MKII.

The reason for this is that the bass in the DT 770 Pro's just sounded a bit overwhelming/dirty to me, while the 271's sounded a bit cleaner and more comfortable in the lower frequency range. On high volumes I could actually feel the bass physically pumping out on the 770's pads around my ears, and it felt a bit too much compared to the 271's...

I tried to listen to various genres of music, and the heavy bass feeling in the DT 770's repeated itself on most tracks. The guy at the store highly recommended the DT 770's, and seemed kind of flabergasted that I would pick the 271's over the 770's. What I'm afraid of with the 271's though, is that I might be missing out something, and that they might not be as revealing as the 770's due to the lower range in frequency (271's 16hz-28khz vs 770's 5hz-35khz).

To be honest I'm just getting more and more confused here, because on paper and in reviews, it seems like the 770's are blowing people out of their minds. I really wanted the 770's to sound better, I really did... In the end though, I decided it was a matter of taste and preference. I'm still not a 100% sure which set of cans I want to end up with, because I'm thinking the overwhelming bass on the 770's could also be a case of using the wrong system to test them on...

Sometimes I wish I could just not be such a perfectionist and just go for something!
I feel I'm going mildly insane here from just trying to pick a pair of headphones.
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