Hi, first post here.
Been lurking for the past 2 months on this forum reading impressions and reviews of headphones trying to decide since I don't have any hifi shops in my area. I've read this entire thread and wanted to give my feedback.
Just received a set of K702.65s, which replaced a set of regular K702s that I had for a month. Also using a set of Audio-Technica ATH-M50s for about 3 years and a set of Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 80 Ohm.
I listen to pretty much all genre's of music, but mostly listen to ambient, new age, IDM, folk, classic rock, classical orchestral and chamber, solo classical and acoustic guitar. Some of my favorite artists are Hope Sandoval, Jim Campilongo, Enya, Steve Roach, Vangelis, John Williams, Brian Eno, Tangerine Dream, Autechre, Boards of Canada, BT, Alice in Chains, David Bowie, 80s pop music, etc. I also play the guitar, both acoustic (nylon and steel-strings) and electric (solidbody and semi-hollow).
I wanted to get a set of open headphones, with a clear, detailed sound, and with less bass than the ATH-M50s or DT 770s. By the way the DT 770 PRO 80 Ohm cans, in my opinion have way too much bass with recessed midrange and a harsh treble shelf above 7000Hz. Their soundstage was pretty wide though and stereo imaging was decent.
I found the regular K702s to have too little bass though and it's stereo imaging and wide soundstage a bit strange to my ears. Monophonic sounds, for example vocals and bass guitars, which are in the center of the stereo image, seemed to be dominated by sounds that were panned hard right or left. Also it seemed that each instrument in a rock recording was isolated from one another and they didn't gel together. Hard to explain but maybe they were too analytical for me. Also, I'm assuming that due to the lack of lower midrange and bass, vocalists had very little weight or body to their voice, and guitars sounded thin. They were very detailed sounding, but not very musical and a bit hard-sounding. I'm assuming that the hard sound was due to a harsh peak in the upper midrange and the lack of lower midrange and bass.
I had about 200 hours on the regular K702s before I sent them back.
These new K702.65s have only about 20 hours on them but they sound very different than the regular K702s. First thing I noticed was a big boost in the bass and lower midrange. It is noticeable and maybe a little too much bass for me, though it has significantly less bass than the DT 770 Pros and the ATH-M50s, but quite a bit more than the regular K702s. Also sounds in the center aren't dominated by sounds panned to the left or right like with the regular K702s. Instruments seem to gel together better in rock recordings and vocals have more body and are easier to hear compared with the regular K702s. But, again, I'm assuming that the higher levels of lower midrange and bass give extra weight to the vocals and instruments, but it doesn't make female vocals sound unnaturally deep. The bass doesn't interfere too much with the midrange. Also the harsh peak in the upper midrange that the regular K702s had seems to be tamed. There seems to be a very very slight boost to the treble above 5000Hz too. They might not be as analytical or detailed sounding as the regular K702s and are definitely warmer sounding and not hard-sounding. The headband doesn't have the bumps like the regular K702s so I can use them for more than an hour without having to readjust them.
Also when mic-ing my acoustic and classical guitars and recording them on the computer in Cakewalk Sonar, the K702.65 seem to most accurately portray the actual sound of my guitars versus the bass-heavy DT770s and ATH-M50s or the bass-light regular K702s.
I'm not an expert at headphones plus I couldn't directly compare the regular K702 with the K702.65, so maybe my brain/ears are playing tricks on me.
So do the Q701s have a bit less bass than the K702.65s? How would the K702.65 compare to the Hifiman HE-400 or Seinheisser HD650 or HD600? I would like more bass than the regular K702s but less than the K702.65s.
Thanks, great forum here.
Wow, that's the best post i've read in awhile. You've described every single tiny thing I didn't like about the K702. The K702 I do like, but had several nit-picks about it that kept me from loving it. When I got the Q701 it solved most every issue I had with the K702. I don't know what the chances of that are, but whatever AKG did, it works.
You've described the 65th as how my Q701 sounds sort of. My guess is that the 65th and Q701 sound quite similar.
If you can't return the 65th or don't want to sell it, you can get some $10 K702/Q701 pads for the 65th and it should very very similar to the Q701. Based on what i've read lately, the 65th is a slightly warmer and bassier Q701. When you put K702/Q701 pads on the 65th the bass is reduced. The memory foam 65th pads should be what causes the differences in sound. I think MLE said the 65th with Q701 pads was still a tad bassier, but probably not by much.
The Q701 isn't just a K702 with a new color.
I think the Q701 or the 65th wth Q701/K702 pads will have the perfect amount of bass for you.
If you want less bass than the 65th I wouldn't suggest the HD-650 or even HD-600.
Another option is the K601. It has more bass and warmth than the K702, but not the Q701 or 65th. I don't think they're worth $250 and the Q701 is much better.
Edited by tdockweiler - 3/7/13 at 1:54pm