I was also lucky enough to get some hands-on time with the new anniversaries last weekend (Hifiexpo 2012 Helsinki) and WOW was I impressed! Let me start by saying that I have tested K701's, Q701's and K702's and I found there to be only minor if any differences between these models (never side-by-side comparison though). I really like the big airy soundstage of these cans, but the actual sound has been a bit too cold for my taste. Also the somewhat hard earpads and the bumps in the headband have really decreased the comfortability of these cans for me.
I'm so happy to say that these issues are now gone with the anniversaries. The anniversaries are definitely warmer than the K702's (K702's and the anniversaries were hooked to the same amplifier so I was able to do some side by side comparison) but I didn't find them to be too warm and muddy as some sennheisers (I only got to listen some blues and light rock so I can't tell how these perform with more bass heavy material). They also removed the bumps from the headband and the earpads are also softer (more comfortable and I got better sealing). I think they have been listening users and wanted to please those consumers who did not like the bumps and found the lack of bass to be somewhat underwhelming. And I think they did a great job with the new edition.
For me these phones are very musical, super comfortable and man do they look good! The lightning blue finish is absolutely gorgeous and for me they are the best looking AKG's I've seen. I believe the anniversaries ship with extra cable and a pair of extra pads as well but I'm not sure about this. I was about to order X1's but these anniversaries really helped me to make up my mind and stick with the AKG brand (I have K550's but I really need open phones as well). I also got a pretty nice expo-deal (395 euros incl. shipping) and will order my pair tomorrow. I'll let you know how they perform with different music genres when I get them (I can also do some side-by-side comparison in my local hifi store if someone needs to get more detailed comparison between some specific phones).
Sorry about the hype, but I'm just truly happy since I finally found the near perfect phones for me at this price range. From the phones that I have listened, only the more expensive T1's HD800's and HE-500's are on par or outperform the anniversaries. And for blackmore, trust me the differences in low frequencies are noticeable and I feel that the crisp mids and highs are now nicely supported by the lows. I feel like these are the first 701-702 editions that truly add something new to the legendary phones.
Just to be sure that my impressions were not biased due to the overall exhibition excitement, I will post more thoughts after getting some more hands on time with the phones. The demo room was also very noisy since they demoed speakers in the same room. I'm also concerned if the lows are even too "in your face" with certain music and how will the sound settle after some burn in.
Edited by Salvatore - 11/6/12 at 4:30am