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NEW! AKG K812 - Page 16  

post #226 of 985
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorspeaker View Post
 

how does this compare to the superlux 681

oh well... MA-900 Philips X1s

:D

^ FTFY!!!

 

Was HiFiDood trolling us with his unpacking vid/ special pic comments??? :blink:

 

Didn't know the guy had it in him tbh. :tongue: 

post #227 of 985

AKG K812 Pro

 

What a great privilege to hear AKG’s newly formed Flagship, the AKG k812 pro! I had around an hour with this headphone, in a very quiet and relaxed environment. I had my own music CD’s and my beyer T1’s and Ultrasone Signature Pro’s.

 

I spent the last 15 minutes of my session trying to search for a flaw in the AKG’s sound presentation. I couldn’t find one. Seriously, I could not find a single one.

 

It is the best sound I have heard from a headphone to date.

 

Philipp, the AKG engineer taking me through the design and background, was helpful throughout and his passion, enthusiasm and resolve at creating a headphone of world class quality has to be admired. This isn’t a botch job by people only seeking to make money – this is the effort over many years to bring back AKG into the days of the K1000. I talked to him in depth and found it very interesting and revealing, helped especially by his ‘non-salesy,’modest outlook.

 

Here’s quite a detailed review based on what I heard and saw. I thought I may as well go into detail as there is going to be few impressions I believe between now and the end of next month when they are released. Plus in here I try to reduce the amount of questions you can ask me as hopefully the answer should be already given!

 

Note: Forgot to take my camera. Pictures are from pocket-lint. They won’t mind I’m sure!

 

 

1) Build and Presentation

 

- Construction & Looks

 

 

Overall it feels solid. The construction looks like a careful effort with plenty of metal and premium-feeling materials used. Spring steel has been used as it copes best with resonances and doesn’t distract the sound.

 

Interestingly enough parts of the outer construction can be replaced in say after 15 years if they need to be as AKG stock them. Clearly this is for the use in the long run. It’s here and here to stay.

 

Looks? Well guys, it looks good. It looks expensive. If put on the same table as other similarly priced flagships from Beyer and Sennheiser, a headphone foreigner probably won’t be able to pick out the most expensive one.

 

 

- Pads

These are interesting.

 

Firstly the material. They are made of high quality protein leather, chosen ahead of standard leather as it’s easier to care for. Real leather would need more care and doesn’t respond well to various hair-type products that users (more-so studio users than audiophiles) wear. The stuffing is lovely – not too soft/collapsible or too ridging and this along with the headband make this an excessively comfortable headphone. More than the th900, hd800, T1’s and on a level with the d7k (I’ve got a big head by the way – so the d7k fits not too loosely).

 

 

Secondly the shape. That picture isn’t the best – I really should have taken my own picture, sorry for that. What you see is actually a lip where the earpads would usually sit on or around ones earlobes. This lip is designed to enhance the seal at that location preventing a weaker bass reproduction and I have to say it works awesomely. I just finished work and a long session with my ultrasone signature pro’s, wishing they had something like this. Great design that aids comfort as well (provides a greater surface area hence less pressure per square inch)

 

 

- Headband

This is also interesting especially as I haven’t seen anything like it before. Apparently no one else has a design like this. The headband itself is a perfectly comfortable (no stupid bumps) mesh foam/fabric type of material, like the seat padding on my chair. It’s of course flexible but instead of being suspended on springs it is held by a clicking/locking mechanism.

 

 

I reckon a few may find this fiddly and might think of it as a problem. Time will tell – I couldn’t get used to it in the time I had though I have to say that it does aid comfort. Philipp and the other AKG engineer (sorry mate – forgot your name!) told me that this was the reason behind it where just moving it down/up (by pressing on the side AKG button) once the headphone is seated on the head is the method to get the perfect seal. I personally think they’ve learnt from the k550’s ever present seal problems.

 

 

- Comfort

For short term listening I feel them to be more comfortable than the th900, hd800, T1’s. The reason why I haven’t got the th900 is that I didn’t find them comfortable enough – bad pressure point. Sucks as I love this headphone. I find the d7k more comfortable than all of these, with the k812’s coming a close second. Long term comfort I can’t discuss as I haven’t of course had a long time with them.

In terms of clamp they are more than the d7k and I think similar to the d7k with Jmoney/Lawton pads. Not sure entirely. 

 

 

- Cable

I’ve never been one to stress too much on the cables. It’s not great but it’s fine. I should stress that this can be used straight from a portable device. Actually this is on purpose where the designers felt there actually is a market for audio professionals mixing/listening on their ipads using these headphones. Boy, do they sound good out of a portable device. Frighteningly good this heapdhone is out of my smartphone.

 

Is it removable – Yes

Is it single entry – Yes

Is it light or heavy –Very light. I like this as I liked the Momentum’s cable a lot. Less weight the better

Might it become finkly (like the d7k) – Doubt it.

 

 

 

2) Drive-ability

Very easy to drive. Yesterday I would have said the best sound out of my Samsung galaxy I9000 (voodoo) was via a seasoned Ultrasone Sig Pro. Side by side with the k812 today -  the AKG was so dominant over the sig pro, it just made me feel bad. I expect an open, home listening, headphone of £1000 to be better than the sig pro by the very nature of it’s design….but not from a portable device.

 

This is much better than other flagships out of a portable and I am so sure of it I can talk from memory even. HD800 sound bad. T1’s…meh. Fostex th900’s….still not there. The K812 is something else.

 

Volume wise it’s very convenient and easy to achieve a high volume out of a portable, not just a high quality sound. Okay, not much is going to be as sensitive as the sig pro’s – not even my phonak 232’s - but the k812 requires probably just a bit less turn of the volume dial than the d7k.

 

At the session they had a proper amp and source present. With the Lehmann amp and harmon kardon CDP I could definitely tell the difference in sound. They scale very well, have no doubt about it. The soundstage increases in depth by a large and definitely noticeable amount as does instrument tone improve along with for example detailing, attack/decay and midrange clarity.

 

 

 

3) Sound

I have heard this for just under an hour. This is not a full on review but as I heard it in very good conditions with my own music and compared to familiar headphones, it stands. Heck, literally 6 hours after I last heard the k812, I can still hear it virtually. It’s left that much of an imprint on my mind making it pretty easy I feel to review. Just so memorable.

 

 -Bass

This is the real deal. It’s not on the light side (hd800) or on the heavy side (th900). More in quantity than the T1’s. It’s crystal clean and clear. Impact is terrific and hauntingly natural. Drums sound so natural with their hits, with all the HD800 like micro-detailing present yet with the right amount of energy, emotion and weight.

 

- Highs

Wow. Not fatiguing at all. AKG have really cleaned things up here, especially different to the k702. These are a definitively less sharper than the T1’s which are themselves a level less than the hd800’s. Extension is good of course (maybe not as good as the hd800’s) though the integration with the midrange is excellent. Vocals have a w3000anv feel to them. I’ve only auditioned this ATH headphone once, unlike around 10 times for the hd800, so I won’t say too much more as comparisons won’t be very accurate. Vocals can come up so close and personal it’s pretty stunning on both headphones.

 

- Midrange

With these open flagships from ultrasone, beyer and sennheiser the talking points are usually on the bass being too light and the highs too bright. Mids I guess are normally good. No hint’s at all of peaks or artificial resonances/edges, even when the volume is turned up. Midrange is where most of music lies and to talk more we look at the overall presentation:

 

 

- Presentation

The layering is very impressive indeed. This is an area I felt the HD800’s didn’t perform on, where everything was out there, but remained out there. The T1’s are IMO superior in this regard but not to the k812’s.

 

The soundstage is expansive though I suspect not as large as the HD800’s. It’s very close I reckon. I can’t say for sure as I didn’t have both on hand, but it seems like the hd800’s may win on soundstage height more so than depth. The T1’s are beaten across the board, comfortably here, but they don’t have a particularly large soundstage anyway.

 

Clarity, instrument separation and air are permanent features of this headphone (unlike the th900’s). Detailing is at the level you should expect – probably at or past the level of the hd800. Past the T1’s/Sig Pro’s from my listening.

 

The tone is perfect. This is what I’ve been looking for. There’s no hint of any artificial edge and like I said to Philipp, after I hear a performance/orchestra/band play live in a well-treated hall I go back to my headphones and long for the most natural mirroring of what I’ve just heard. If I had the k812’s I am sure they’d be the best.

 

The ‘colour’ seems right. It’s not warm or cold. I’d say it’s more to the warm side. When you get a new TV and try to calibrate the display, changing it from movie mode to warm can introduce too much orange and yellowy colours. Changing it to ‘natural’ is probably the better bet. Well the k812 would be natural rather than warm.

 

As for the frequency response, with the seal in place it’s pretty flat. The engineers said the wanted to achieve a flat monitor like response but with an involving and dynamic sound. That’s what they’ve done in my opinion.

 

 

4) Conclusion

I repeat what I said in the first lines. This is the best sound emanating from any headphone I’ve come across.

 

Usually I’m mostly negative about headphones the first time I hear them and very rarely get wowed right at the off. I eagerly await the release of this headphone as well as the reviews and listening impressions of other headfiers.

 

To conclude, AKG have finally delivered. Their flagship is here, a £1000 headphone which will establish a concrete place in the listening pleasures of plenty. 


Edited by CantScareMe - 10/11/13 at 2:55pm
post #228 of 985

The best part about this HP is it gets rid of that 'must be matched with amp/dac running thousands of dollars' that seems to be the HD800 requirement for entry. Now people like me, who might not have entered the high end are thinking again. One simple O2/ODac combo and I'm in. 

 

Thank you AKG. Thank you so much.

post #229 of 985
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbarrentine View Post

The best part about this HP is it gets rid of that 'must be matched with amp/dac running thousands of dollars' that seems to be the HD800 requirement for entry. Now people like me, who might not have entered the high end are thinking again. One simple O2/ODac combo and I'm in. 

Thank you AKG. Thank you so much.

So what you're saying is you want a $1000+ headphone that isn't transparent of what you're feeding it and doesn't scale well? wink.gif
post #230 of 985
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbarrentine View Post

The best part about this HP is it gets rid of that 'must be matched with amp/dac running thousands of dollars' that seems to be the HD800 requirement for entry. Now people like me, who might not have entered the high end are thinking again. One simple O2/ODac combo and I'm in. 

Thank you AKG. Thank you so much.

So what you're saying is you want a $1000+ headphone that isn't transparent of what you're feeding it and doesn't scale well? wink.gif

I agree. I'd be concerned if a headphone wasn't revealing of the DAC and amplifier that it's plugged into.

post #231 of 985

@CantScareMe

 

Thanks for your impression, sounds very interesting. You wrote that they had Luxman amp, but I thought it was Lehmann, can you confirm this please.

 

I don't want to bitch about cable, but all stock cables in K and Q series are pretty ****y. Yes, they are light and not annoying in use, agree, but, do they need learn ones and the last time that cables do matter. Decent cable doesn't have to cost a lot, but I guess we still be dreaming for such improvements for a long time.

 

Well, I don't know for sure how most studio guys work, but don't they use monitors for their work and not headphones? The whole marketing around that these are for PRO folk only is not true and they shouldn't play that childish game, imo.

 

I guess I am lucky that I can use speakers to, which does make a difference when you like to compare and hear the difference, but for many out there its not possible and this is pity, because the price of flagships got sky high and already at the level of very good speaker set up.

 

There is one thing to be mentioned, as I didn't see it yet, AKG known for pretty long burn in time, before they open up fully, how about these you auditioned, were they fully burned in?

 

THX

post #232 of 985

This is true, but you can do with decent priced amp to, you just have to be more open to differ options than just jumping on very first, so called high endish, amp. There are examples, but you need open your eyes and go for it, as HD800 are not that difficult to drive at all, there are tons of nonsense around here about it.

 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by jbarrentine View Post
 

The best part about this HP is it gets rid of that 'must be matched with amp/dac running thousands of dollars' that seems to be the HD800 requirement for entry. Now people like me, who might not have entered the high end are thinking again. One simple O2/ODac combo and I'm in.

 

Thank you AKG. Thank you so much.

post #233 of 985

I think people confuse efficiency with scalability all too often.  There are only a select few headphones that are hard to drive.

post #234 of 985
Quote:
Originally Posted by CantScareMe View Post
 

AKG K812 Pro

 

 

 

Interestingly enough parts of the outer construction can be replaced in say after 15 years if they need to be as AKG stock them. Clearly this is for the use in the long run. It’s here and here to stay.

 

 

 

Thanks for the review, I hope they are winners.

 

Asd for replacing parts AKG are terrible, I am still waiting for their response to my parts request.

And that was a couple of years ago so I gave up.

post #235 of 985
Excellent build quality + excellent comfort + excellent sound + easy to drive! does not require an amp + look good (to me at least).. What else ?! I am most probably buying it IF [only IF] I can afford it xD
post #236 of 985
Quote:
Originally Posted by CantScareMe View Post
 

[...]

 

 -Bass

This is the real deal. It’s not on the light side (hd800) or on the heavy side (th900). More in quantity than the T1’s. It’s crystal clean and clear. Impact is terrific and hauntingly natural. Drums sound so natural with their hits, with all the HD800 like micro-detailing present yet with the right amount of energy, emotion and weight.

 

[...]

 

You are comparing K812 to HD800 2013 or HD800 made before 2013 (~ with serial number below 20k)?

 

In the past I read that T1 are in opposition to HD800. And it is nice to have both of them. Could be that K812 is taking place of T1? K812 for bass, warm and musical sound and HD800 for brightness?

post #237 of 985
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackmore View Post

 

I don't want to bitch about cable, but all stock cables in K and Q series are pretty ****y. Yes, they are light and not annoying in use, agree, but, do they need learn ones and the last time that cables do matter. Decent cable doesn't have to cost a lot, but I guess we still be dreaming for such improvements for a long time.


I don't agree with you here at all. I liked the cable of my old AKG K701 much more than the nice-looking Sennheiser Hd800 cable. It was so light, flexible and soft, so using it was much more comfortable.Maybe in terms of comfort it was the best cable i've ever used. I dont want to pay additional money for slightly improvement sound of much more expensive cables. Some people do and they always can buy the cable they want.

post #238 of 985
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post


So what you're saying is you want a $1000+ headphone that isn't transparent of what you're feeding it and doesn't scale well? wink.gif

I think what he means is not everyone has a $3k-$4K or more full system budget.  So if your budget is $2k, it could be wise to spend the $1500 (hopefully less though) on the easy to drive flagship and the other $500 on an affordable, yet transparent setup vs a $1500 setup driving an HD650, for instance.

post #239 of 985
Will AKG be promoting this new flagship product at the London Head-Fi meet on 19th October?

I'm sure most people attending would want to check them out, and a few folks even buy a pair if possible!
post #240 of 985
Let me correct what I said.

I was referring to series with detachable cables. Agree, K701 cable placement is what I am hoping to see in any AKG, especially K812, but talking about improvements will not help this thread, so, I am not going to. If you reread what I said, I do like their light and flexible finish and they are not bother me at all, but that’s something different than quality of it. Also, I don’t think that every single headphones need to be recabled.



Quote:
Originally Posted by qazxsw80 View Post


I don't agree with you here at all. I liked the cable of my old AKG K701 much more than the nice-looking Sennheiser Hd800 cable. It was so light, flexible and soft, so using it was much more comfortable.Maybe in terms of comfort it was the best cable i've ever used. I dont want to pay additional money for slightly improvement sound of much more expensive cables. Some people do and they always can buy the cable they want.
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