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AKG K702s Lack Bass..? What? (Explaination)

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Ok, ok...  Sound is personal, yes correct. 

This post is coming from a guy with 2 floorstands with 6.5" woofers Xover @ 40Hz and 3 10" subs Xover @ 80Hz and no there is not a bump at the freq they overlap, actually they cancel out, perfect because there was a bump =D

Now, lets get down to business!  AKG K702s characteristics in the low-end.


Starting with the actual frequency response, irrespective of SPL.  This produces a biased view as almost every speaker goes down to 1Hz but you just can't hear it, or more realisticly, every speaker goes down to 30Hz but you can't hear it as it isn't loud enough; this isn't actually the case with the AKGs.  The K702s can go down to 20Hz easily.  I played some test tones and to not complicate matters lets assume the headphones didn't bleed into 25 or 30Hz and skew results, I could hear the headphones quite well.  During this sweep from 1 - 100Hz I noticed many things, they are insanely flat, unlike my system that roars at the sub-40s and starts to shake the dry wall causing it to knock the support beams of the house at 100Hz (remember they start to cancel out around 40-80Hz) the headphones were flat and I respect that.  Other if not all cheap systems will have no low-end and start to tear sh*t up around the 60-100 mark.

If we take an SPL vs. Frequency approach to this, the AKGs still do not lack any bass, as they were flat during this sweep.  Of course, if we reveal the entire picture and not just a 1 - 100Hz sweep they are still flat...  During a 1 - 48000Hz sweep that is ;)

To some real world tests, keeping in mind the SPL vs. Freq.  Our ears are most sensetive to sound around 5,000Hz.  This means that flat headphones are not flat to our ears, no, not flat at all.  They will actually appear to "lack" mids and bass.  They can also be fatiguing.  Our ears also are not very sensetive to bass either, depending on the health of your ears you will not hear lows well and will require some extra power in that band.  Remember as far as basic survival goes, it doesn't matter what the whale sings or how the elephant stomps there feet, neither does the bird chirps seriously matter, it is the human voice we need to hear, that is what we are sensetive to, our mothers own voice actually.

Therefore, I pronouce that "machine" flat headphones are not flat to us but to mics and test equipment that is not weighted to our ears.

Do the AKGs lack bass, no, they are being honest about what they get.  What you feed them, they will put out.  Will you hear the recording how the engineer heard it, no.  I never understood that, if we get technical about it, each invdividual has different hearing and unless you are the engineer you will never hear it how he/ she heard it, so does honest reproduction really matter, well of course.

You still get to hear WHAT the engineer made correctly, mabye not how the engineer heard it.  So, if you are looking for headphones, **** hear them first, the K702s may "lack" bass for your taste or they may have too much bass for your whale hearing ;)

post #2 of 12

Are you happy with the Onkyo receiver headphone for the time being or are you still on the lookout for a dedicated

headphone amplifier?

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Definitely getting a headphone amp, the headphone scene is definitely something I haven't gotten far into, so this hobby will last me a while before I exhaust my options smily_headphones1.gif

The Onkyo amp does a respectable job, it can take these headphones to dangerously loud volumes. I noticed that sending sound through HDMI actually picked up the Plasma's buzzing sound, and that going through the headphones sucked, so I went to good ole Optical, still get my 24bit 192Khz signal just without the buzz biggrin.gif
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by K93George View Post


Therefore, I pronouce that "machine" flat headphones are not flat to us but to mics and test equipment that is not weighted to our ears.

Do the AKGs lack bass, no, they are being honest about what they get.  What you feed them, they will put out.  Will you hear the recording how the engineer heard it, no.  I never understood that, if we get technical about it, each invdividual has different hearing and unless you are the engineer you will never hear it how he/ she heard it, so does honest reproduction really matter, well of course.

You still get to hear WHAT the engineer made correctly, maybe not how the engineer heard it.  So, if you are looking for headphones, **** hear them first, the K702s may "lack" bass for your taste or they may have too much bass for your whale hearing ;)


Agree, I work as a mastering engineer and I use the K-702 to reflect my work with high precision... and for the peoples with the "lack" bass issues, I just hope that one day the headfi journey will bring them to enjoy this high precision to the music that the K-7xx series offer. 

 

 

post #5 of 12

 

http://www.headfonia.com/old-school-trio-akg-k701-beyer-dt880-sennheiser-hd650/

 

i read this review tryed K701 / DT880 and HD650

 

in my ranking K70X > DT 880 > HD 650

 

actually owning a K702 :p and it's my main battle tank ... using it for any kind of music , gaming , films etc . 

 

Metal is great with my K702 (even more than a DT 990 briefly tested , didn't like at all the V signature ...) 

some people will love K70X other no , it's fine just be happy with your cans , only listen your ears beyersmile.png

post #6 of 12

The "audiophile" headphone sound is naturally lean on bass compared to what people expect. When I bought my HD580 with some Grados I owned, I was expecting the Senn to be a basshead can in comparison due to driver size and Sennheiser having mass appeal and whatnot, nope, turns out they're neutral and don't have any slam that bassheads would like unless you have your cans EQ'ed that way or you're listening to natural music with natural bass in it.

 

The 601 and  701 are the same way, they have the bass if it's present and within a certain range, which musical instruments should be capable of producing.

 

I'm an Etymotic fan, so I 100% agree with this thread haha.

post #7 of 12

Mmm, I wanna try out some Ety's.

post #8 of 12
Interesting post, I agree with you on this. I've heard quite a few headphones and quite enjoy my K702s but to each his own. I do feel that a lot of classic rock however was recorded with a lack of bass and so I can understand why people would want more bass. I think that classic rock is one of the few categories that I don't really enjoy my K702s in. As long as you enjoy the music that's all that counts though.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

I think that Chris brings up a great point, you could always EQ the headphones.  When it comes to home audio, I have always thought of neutral speakers as being a clean slate, a canvas that you can work on without any bias, that meaning, you can EQ and know faithfully that any EQing you do will be a bias (excluding room characteristics) towards a particular band.

If you bought biased speakers you would need to get a mic of some insane fidelity to get it to neutral, I guess you wouldn't be buying speakers or headphones that are not what you want, because EQing can be a hassle. 

Fortunately with headphones I don't have to take into consideration room gain, relfection and such.  I still haven't and probably won't be EQing these headphones, and to bring up another point; I know in PA, mixers are used and some people use them in home audio to not only improve quality but to have some fun, what is your view on using a mixer for headphones (I don't think I have seen it anyway)?  Is it just another "thing" in the chain destroying audiophile fidelity or is it mabye a necessity for elite sound or more importantly for truely personal sound?

post #10 of 12

To begin, sound characteristics are almost completely subjective.  This can also be an argument of semantics; what does the phrase "lack bass" actually mean?  Just like the impressions of sound characteristics, that phrase is inherently subjective.  A headphone might lack bass to one person but be bass heavy to another, and even the meaning behind the phrase "lack bass" will be different for each person.

 

All that aside, the K701 do lack bass, but only for certain genres.  I found them incredible with rock, alternative, acoustic, and other softer genres.  For electronic dance music, however, its unquestionable that they lack  bass quantity.  I agree that they extend well, but they require much more presence in the lower end to be considered a great EDM headphone.  I think this whole argument is dependent on a person's preferred genres.  If this weren't the case, then I think headphones would be much more similar in sound signature, as all genres would require the same frequency response.  People like different things, and people hear differently.  

post #11 of 12

I find the K701/K702s ideal for chamber music. Nice separation coupled with great micro details and flat as a supermodel's chestline. Depending on your musical tastes and your approach to listening it can either be a dish rag or an audiophile's wet dream. Most days it's the former for me, so I turn to the Grados instead.

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

That is true Jibbie, and this is what I was trying to attack.  To sum up my entire post, while they are flat and technically do not "lack" bass in the sense of, 20 - 20,000Hz +/-3dB is not a lack of bass, actually that is quite close to perfect.  It comes down to, our ears do not have a flat response to different bands in the spectrum.

Depending on your age and quite generally just the health of your ears, a speaker that can achieve 20 - 20,000Hz completely linear (impossible) is definitely going to appear to lack many things, despite perfectly replicating what it is fed.

Now if the engineer has neutral equipment which they most likely will, they will sort out the levels and get it equal to our hearing, for example even if the drums are coming in at 80dB and the vocals at 80dB, I think we all now what will be louder, a voice at 80dB is seriously annoying, more so then a sub at the cinema at 115dB, it comes down to our sensitivity.  So, they work there magic and get it sounding good. 

You get neutral equipment and you get to hear what was intended.  You get biased equipment and you get to hear not what they intended but what your speakers add to the mix.  Maybe you like that, I for one don't care at all how biased my system is, I like the sound and that is all that matters, I got these headphones specifically as a baseline, I just want to get an understanding of close to neutral.

We haven't even considered SPL weighting, they have different standards and I don't know what AKG weighted their headphones with, what standard was used or anything.  Correct me if I am wrong at my understanding of this but with A - weighting it shows a graph of -40dB at 20Hz, does that mean that If we hear 20Hz with no weighting at 100dB it is actually 60dB to our hearing?  And 2Khz at 100dB is actually 101-102dB to our hearing according to the A weighting spec.  This is interesting as if a speaker is made with no weighting it is quite possible 20Hz will actually be -40dB according to the A weighting, A weighting is considered obsolete and not a fair representation of our hearing yet it is commonly used in the US.  In Europe and the likes it has been replaced with a more fair representation and A - weighting is used mainly for enviromental noise.

This doesn't even take into consideration invdividual hearing, so my original point holds true, what is flat according to no weighting or a standard such as A - weighting may well, most likely not be flat to our ears, therefore that is why you hear what you want first. 

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