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First Impressions: AKG K271 MkII

post #1 of 100
Thread Starter 
Just picked up these bad boys, and am thrilled with them so far. These are replacing my A700 that just weren't the sound I was looking for--I'll make several comparisons along the way.

Comfort: While I've heard complaints about the fit of the 271, I found them quite comfortable with either the velour or the leatherette earpads. My ears touch the padding that covers the drivers just a bit with the leatherettes (not at all with the velours), but I don't really mind that. There's certainly more clamping force than my A700, but it's still light enough that it's not an issue for me at all.

Build quality: They're mostly plastic, I can't tell for sure if the silver ring on the outside of the earcups are plastic or metal, but it's quite sturdy nonetheless. While I wouldn't use the K271 to fight off an attacker, I would feel much safer packing these in a bookbag than I would my A700 (the A700's wing system is comfy but feels really brittle).

Sound: DISCLAIMER- AS OF THIS POST, THESE HAVE ONLY BEEN BURNED IN FOR A FEW HOURS. Well, now that I've gotten that out of the way--these sound great even fresh out of the box. Bass is tight and exactly at the level I want it to be. Bassheads need not apply, but if you prefer neutral, balanced bass, the K271 are perfect. I would say the A700 have them beat so far in terms of bass extension, but bass from the K271 is tighter, and not at all boomy like the A700. Soundstage isn't very wide with the K271, but instrument placement is still precise. Overall this is probably strongest suit of the A700, and the one area I can say the A700 win without too much hesitation. Mids are silky smooth, neither forward or recessed--just were I want them to be and far better than the A700. Treble is very similar to the A700, but I'd say just a hair better. The A700 seemed to be just barely sibilant, the K271 still seem ever so slightly sibilant, but less so than the A700. They improve noticeably when amped through my Onkyo receiver instead of the iPod; I haven't had a chance to hear them through a nicer amp than that. The K271 are not thin-sounding to my ears, but they do seem to fill out a bit through my receiver. In terms of overall volume, they reach adequate volume straight through the iPod, but if you like your music loud, you may feel the need for an amp to bring them to the volume you'd like. I haven't gotten a chance to try them through my FiiO E1 yet (left it at my brother's place), but I have a feeling it'll be a good fit since the K271 don't need any amplification to sound geat, and only a little to sound really great.

To sum it up, the K271 are a nicely neutral headphone which improve a bit with an amp, and whose only stumbling point in my eyes is their relatively limited soundstage.

For reference, so far I've had experience with Ety ER-6i, Senn HD238, and the AT A700. The AKG K271 MkII are easily my favorite of the bunch already.
post #2 of 100
Actually K271 are hugely improved by amping. Read my recent thread, with a tube amplifier I felt like being in a music hall. I can hear the breathing of the players and sound of their chairs and the pages being turned over. Awsome!
post #3 of 100
Thread Starter 
Interesting. My receiver's definitely not the greatest amp in the world--now I'm really curious to hear these things through a really nice amp.

By the way, I'm not noticing any sibilance at all anymore.
post #4 of 100
I've been using the Headroom Micro, which is one of the best amps. But the ASL MG HEAD DT OTL MKII blew me away. It's a night and day difference.
post #5 of 100
Great impressions, only in my system I haven't ever heard them being sibilant or overly bright, they are rather slightly rolled of there (you don't listen low bitrate mp3 by any chance as those can add to the brightness?). And mids are quite pronounced comparing to other closed I've tried. The scale tremendously in better setups. At some point I was doing A/B test of Pico vs. GLite with those and the difference was quite pronounced. To day I couldn't find a better candidate for office cans.
post #6 of 100
Thread Starter 
No, all my music is -V0 or better. I'm pretty sure that sibilance was just because I had only had a few hours in them so far--there's no hint of it any more.
post #7 of 100
I have studio version, the sound improved big time after recable.
post #8 of 100
Nice write up - I use mine mostly as my sealed cans while listening in bed while the wife watches TV or reads. I run them mostly out of my iPod/iBasso d10 - each and every time I listen to them I constantly think to myself what an under-rated set of phones these are. I think the bass on these is surprisingly deep and strong - and amp'd with the d10 - the soundstage is stellar - esp. for closed cans. I love the k701s and think these rank not too far behind. One of my favorites!
post #9 of 100
Thanks for the impressions. Can you mention what kind of music you have been listening to thru them?
post #10 of 100
Nice write up. Interesting impressions!
post #11 of 100
Good review!
While I've heard complaints about the fit of the 271, I found them quite comfortable with either the velour or the leatherette earpads.
If you´re planning to listen for more than 1 or 2 hours - especially in summer - you NEED the velour pads.
The A700 seemed to be just barely sibilant, the K271 still seem ever so slightly sibilant, but less so than the A700.
A Heed Canamp can get rid of these sibilant highs on the K271, but as the bulgarian amp is on the warmer - slow side, it´ll certainly deliver more bass but the edge and attack of these freqs will be softened too.
By the way, this amp is a great match to these amazing closed cans.
post #12 of 100
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies. I got to try them out with my FiiO last night, and it seems to help out a bit with low end extension, bit the biggest gain was just in volume. Also, that bass extension has been improving with or without an amp as they've been burning in. They're now at least even with the A700 in that department.
post #13 of 100
the K271 are a mix of AKG and Grado sound. i have a hard time faulting these HPs and i can't imagine selling them. they push all the right buttons and don't suffer from a sterile "hi-fi" sound. yea, if you want an uber soundstage, air, blah blah, look elsewhere.
post #14 of 100
Interestingly enough, for music I like the SQ of the Pleathers better than the velours, although velours are bit more comfortable and is wearable for longer periods. I am not sure whether this is a seal problem, but I find the SQ with velours a bit loose and flabby in extreme regions (with pleathers it's tight the way I like it).

Since I use these mostly right now for monitoring, this isn't much of an issue at all so I am sticking with velours for now, but if I wanted to use these exclusively as music cans, pleathers seem more suited for me.

These sound great out of both my uDAC and Pico -> WA6 BTW. I love the dead-flat and clear mids on these, they get it just right IMO (more than K701).
post #15 of 100
Originally Posted by njackson View Post
the K271 still seem ever so slightly sibilant
Same with Andre_WOT, never heard any sibilance with the 271; either with the S or the mkII. Or with any combination of plether or velour pads, straight or coiled cables.
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