You can dig back a few pages and find my original statements on this. Overall I think the K701 is better. More explanation is probably warranted though:
- The SA5000 might be a tad-bit faster (it's hard to say)
- The K701 has better midbass/bass (I would not use the words "bass monster" - the SA5000 has a respectable output in the lower registers)
- The K701 has much better 3D imaging (I found the SA5000 could not do "front to back" with movies or videogames, everything was two-dimensional, while the K701 can render space)
- Comfort and fit is a toss-up; the the K701's headband is a point of contention for a lot of people (I actually like it, I have basically accepted that I have a mis-shapen head), the SA5000 (once you figure out how to put them on right and the headband is a non-issue) have leather pads which can get hot and sticky.
- The K701 is more "all around" while the SA5000 is more "on and off" - what I mean here is that when the SA5000 is "on" it's absolutely amazing, but when it's "off" it's a disappointment; the K701 is more consistently "good" but doesn't quite hit that magic groove
I liked the bass (when it was there) on the SA5000 better than most any headphone I've heard, I like everything else on the K701 more. I would say both are "good" but if you have both to compare, it gets more wishy-washy. If you just randomly bought one without any sort of research or learning process, you'd probably be happy either way. Otherwise, if you're torn between them, get both of them and keep the one you like better. Or both. I found that another Sony headphone, the MDR-F1, has enough of the SA5000's flavor (But with that 3D soundstage) to woo me. The F1 has its own faults though (less bass, no isolation whatsoever, very low impedance and high sensitivity, hard to find outside of Japan, and it can do weird things to vocals with some material (the SA5000 can as well, but not *as* weird; the SA5000 feels very much like a second-generation part in comparison). I totally disagree with the "faster than stats" or other such comparisons though. They are good enough to sit at the table though (just like the K701 and HD6x).
If I had to rank them (assuming you only get one), I would put the K701 in first, the SA5000 in second, and the F1 in third. This is simply based on the "good all-rounder" nature of the K701.
If you want to put "pride of ownership" details into the mix (in other words "which one makes your rear feel most kissed"), the SA5000 is probably among the best in the world. The packaging and presentation is top-notch, the build-quality is unequaled (even compared to the F1, another all-mag Sony 'phone), the accessories are great, etc. K701 would score second place here, and the F1 again third.
If you can have multiples, get both, or all three, or whatever you want.
Oh, and keep in mind, the SA5000's cord is bloody long and only terminates into 1/4" (it's not a nice twist-off Unimatch like the F1 has, and it doesn't include an adapter like the AKG does, so plan accordingly).
Originally Posted by Dubstep Girl
how do the sa5000 compare to the k701?
Edited by obobskivich - 1/26/12 at 10:25pm