Originally Posted by chicolom
The Anniversary and K712 pads DO have the same part number. HOWEVER, AKG did a silent rolling update on them sometime near the end of the Anniversaries "life" and the beginning of the K712. THIS is why there is confusion around them, and this is why it will be tricky to specifically acquire the latest version of the pad (the one that the latest Anniversaries and K712s are using.) AKG doesn't acknowledge that there is a change between them, and honestly I don't blame then as it's another one of those little anal things that only head-fiers would really notice. So since the pads both share the same part number and AKG employees aren't really aware of them differing, that obviously makes things difficult for someone trying to specifically get the newer iteration of the pad.
Both pads are memory foam, but K712 pads are shaped a little different. They have deeper depth on the inside whereas the Anniversaries are more shallow. They also have more of a vertical walled shape, whereas the anniversary padding is more like a shorter, fatter, rounded doughnut shape. It also seems like the the K712 pads might be slightly more densly stuffed with foam, as they seem slightly firmer and less quick to compress as the Anniversary pads.
Basically the Anniversary and K712 pads have the same effect on the SIGNATURE, but they have different effects on the SOUNDSTAGE/PRESENTATION (btw, I'm not using caps for "shouting" I'm just trying to be extra clear, as there is confusion around the pads). Both pads will make the sound warmer and fuller, but the Anniversary pads will also make the sound more intimate and forward while the K712 pads will give you the more open/distant presentation more similar to the Q701. This is 100% due to the deeper depth on the K712 pads. So the K712 pads basically give you the same signature but with free added soundstage.
Comfort wise, the K712s also have an advantage as your ears will have a bit more room inside and will touch the drivers less. I have big ears, so I appreciate this.
Wow, I totally agree with almost every single word you wrote. I think this is the very reason why the Annie pads are a complete fail for me and the K712 pads are pretty good.
It did sound like the Annie pads for ME did reduce the treble a little, but it was probably due to my ears being shoved against the drivers. My ears would touch something inside the pad after an hour or so. This impression of slightly reduced treble is perhaps why my Annie sounded more congested and less airy. Remember how I was that crazy person who said the sound seemed to vary a lot once the pads warmed up? It was probably due to the pads going flat! It almost made it sound like a closed headphone and the sound was much too forward for me. It was really sort of like a shouty sound. Maybe this is why my early impressions of the Annie were a bit all over the place.
Here is something i've also noticed...the Annie pads for me after hours of use are very warm and super soft. It feels like a regular piece of cheap foam and not even memory foam. Not hard at all, but harder when cold of course.
On the K712 pads they retain their shape after a long time and seemed to be a little harder. My guess is that AKG is now using better quality memory foam inside. I think the deeper pads also help out a lot and fool MY brain into thinking I got extra treble over flat Annie pads.
I also think that for the K712 pads, smaller ears = more treble and a less warm/bassy sound. Bigger ears and more clamp gives you perhaps a darker/warmer sound. I probably have smaller ears and it feels like the K712 has less clamp than my Q701, but probably impossible.
This is also why K601 pads decrease my impression of treble. Less air inside the pads just like with the flattened Annie pads.
BTW similar things happen on my DJ100. More open pad and less warmth and more treble. The M50 pads are perfect but with SRH-840 pads the bass for me goes out the window. I use velours and my ears have very little room inside the pads and the sound is way too warm/congested.
Edited by tdockweiler - 10/23/13 at 2:36pm