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NEW! AKG K812 - Page 22  

post #316 of 985

When you see them, believe me, it's a thing of beauty. It's not too much of a point of praise really, as they are a grand and should look the part!

 

The best looking headphones In my opinion are the ATH W3000ANV and though the AKG isn't going to hit them levels, it does very well for a metal based design.

post #317 of 985
Quote:
Originally Posted by elvergun View Post
 


How many FOTM have you seen come and go?  :D

 

Too many to count  :D

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

 

I know what you mean. I don't think that the "wow" is any less valid than it was on the HD800s or LCD-2s or LCD-3s, but it did take more time and a wide variety of music and equipment to nail down the flaws. Many people weren't wowed by those headphones either.  I think it is that we get and notice the strong opinions and impressions more and human nature hoping for 1-stop miracles for everything.

 

 

True. I think the very nature of headphone fanaticism is that we become very enamoured of a "new" sound, one that immediately "fixes" the "flaws" of the previous flagship when, really, all that's happening is the same as when you move the furniture around in your house...it's a fresh look but it's still the same furniture. All I'm saying is that we really don't nail what's up with a new product until we have lived with it for at least a month or two.

 

Back on topic, I am wondering about the fit of this new K812. AKG always seem to have a problem with those big round pads....they don't always make a decent seal on the jaw/neck area and it can affect different people in different ways.

post #318 of 985

I find this AKG quite comfortable. The strips height are user adjustable - no more annoying rubber bands like in 701. The head-strap is made out of airy rucksack type material which keep the head cool. I forgot to check whether it is removable for cleaning or not. The 2 bars on the top are made out of spring steel and is encased in plastic to stop vibration.

 

As for the pad, they are not like 701's at all. The inner chamber of the new AKG looks more like T1/800 etc. The pad itself is 'D' shape and is made out of flux leather (protein leather). The reason for the 'D' shape is for sealing that neck/jaw gap which you described. No idea how effective this seal is for everyone or how it reacts to movement.


Edited by SleepyOne - 10/12/13 at 5:45am
post #319 of 985
Quote:
Originally Posted by CantScareMe View Post
 

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. 

 

 

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

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by elwappo99 View Post
 

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

 

 

Good to hear it doesn't suck. Espically considering the price. I might snatch one of these up when the time comes for me to get into END game Dynamic territory. The issue I have with them though is that low ohms rating... cmon AKG, I can't hook that bad boy into a Balanced tube with it being easy to drive now can I 

 

still I'm ALWAYS impressed buy just how good my Single End w1000x sounds out of my hm801/pb1 compared to my at home rig. Yea the at home sounds better, but there is still a magic in the Portable Rig that I enjoy, the sound stage and layering are very close SE portable to the Fully Balanced At home [most likely due to the Angled drivers of the w1000x]

 

Anyways the point being, there is potential for these, my NFB 10ES2 has a low gain mode, so we'll see how these play with high powered amps

 

also... where is Nomax to say "I told u so" 

post #320 of 985

Do note that K812's cabling isn't balanced.

post #321 of 985
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ra97oR View Post
 

I don't think it will be a show grabber at all. It simply doesn't have anything really outstanding quality on its own compared to other flagships out there, if you rip out each "quality" out on their own (e.g imaging, treble, bass impact) the K812 isn't really one of the utmost top performing headphone. But the way that it has everything above average, that is the great thing about it.

 

A hard to flaw sound signature isn't always a good thing in terms of attention grabbing, especially when in a noisy environment with very limited head time and music choice. The great efficiency and low impedance also mean pairing of the usual tube amps and other high power headphone amps a problem for people with such existing system. The same way that many Audio Technica sounds horrible out of some other highly praised amp for the more popular high impedance headphones.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedBull View Post

Hmm, sounds like jack of all trades kind.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ra97oR View Post
 


Yes, very much so IMO.

 

 

Eww reading over this... makes me wonder... I liked the K550 my first week with it, it was awesome with EVERYTHING literally, but the comfort got to me, so I fixed that then... it started sounding well dull/. Jack of all master of none, and I sold it :/

 

that said [sorry for the double post] this really sounds like the K550 Ideology taken to the extreme, and perfected. No more comfort issues, no more crappy seal issues, and no more sweaty ears,

 

SO, the future might hold one of these for me some day ;3. I enjoyed the K550, well enough to maybe take a shot at this in the future. Still Jack of all does worry me, because as I mentioned before, I found the K550 to be dull after about 3 weeks, that and the 

 

WOW at first and then AWW later effect is strong... I've found the cans I hated at first, ended up being really wonderful later! On that note, I hated the Dt 880 the first week I had it... the bass so so bleh [now I own a fully balanced Dt 880, heck I built my new at home rig FOR my Dt 880] same goes for my W1000x, HATED it for the comfort the first like 4 days, Finally modded it and got it paired nicely with a good source an amp which really made it WOW me, the flaws are still ever present but it fit's its intended role so very well! 

 

SO that said... I think I'll wait till some one hates these before I get serious about owning a pair. Besides pff, it's going to be like years before I think about getting into SUmmit Fi 

post #322 of 985
Quote:
Originally Posted by SleepyOne View Post
 

Do note that K812's cabling isn't balanced.

And what a shame, to have to pay gawd knows how much to get the thing balanced is kinda sucky imo but I think the T1 and HD 800 fall into that category as well 

post #323 of 985

Different, both T1 and HD800 cabling is already balanced and can be re-terminated to balanced usage. Whereas the AKG you can't. Unless you want to do major moding to the phone....

post #324 of 985

Being good at everything isn't bad. If perfect headphones (or speakers) would exist they would be good at everything (also know as "natural").

 

I think AKG created K812 to show how good headphones can be. So it means they should play well in every situation. If you want different sound because of some songs, it is ok. But then for another song you will need another pair of headphones. Another dac. Another amp. And so on. It is fine if you are collecting audio stuff. But for "normal" person (even one who can spend lot of money for audio equipment) having one pair of headphones is better than having 10.

post #325 of 985
Quote:
Originally Posted by SleepyOne View Post
 

Different, both T1 and HD800 cabling is already balanced and can be re-terminated to balanced usage. Whereas the AKG you can't. Unless you want to do major moding to the phone....

 

whoa, well that's good to know actually 

Quote:
Originally Posted by matthewpl View Post
 

Being good at everything isn't bad. If perfect headphones (or speakers) would exist they would be good at everything (also know as "natural").

 

I think AKG created K812 to show how good headphones can be. So it means they should play well in every situation. If you want different sound because of some songs, it is ok. But then for another song you will need another pair of headphones. Another dac. Another amp. And so on. It is fine if you are collecting audio stuff. But for "normal" person (even one who can spend lot of money for audio equipment) having one pair of headphones is better than having 10.

and I hear you there, I'm HOPING to stop at having only 2 amps 1 Dac 

 

Headphones... I've had up to 7 at the same time [Mid Fi cans at that] so you know I'm that guy with like a headphone for every occasion ;3

 

although I'm currently at 3 :3, one for Edm at home, one for NOT edm at home and one for EVERYTHING on the go! 

 

But still, as I mentioned before, this is shaping up to be the best iDevice Headphone money can buy! And by that I mean, it's the headphone for people who enjoy an All in One Solution, Apple seems to like that concept, 1 UI for everything, one program for everything Media Related ect... ect... so for that One for all and all within one mind set, the K812 should be golden! 

 

Still I did like my K550, and who knows, the mighty W1000x portable master piece might, oh wait the K812 is open. Nvm :3 

post #326 of 985
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beagle View Post
 

 

Too many to count  :D

 

 

True. I think the very nature of headphone fanaticism is that we become very enamoured of a "new" sound, one that immediately "fixes" the "flaws" of the previous flagship when, really, all that's happening is the same as when you move the furniture around in your house...it's a fresh look but it's still the same furniture. All I'm saying is that we really don't nail what's up with a new product until we have lived with it for at least a month or two.

 

Back on topic, I am wondering about the fit of this new K812. AKG always seem to have a problem with those big round pads....they don't always make a decent seal on the jaw/neck area and it can affect different people in different ways.

 

I spoke about it in my review somewhere - the've put a lot of effort into correcting this. The pads are shaped specially to counteract the problem of poor seal (lip to fit under ones earlobe). The headband design as well is tuned to enhance the seal. Actually when I was first putting it on the engineers were standing over me making sure I put it on right (!) - then they left me alone in the room The fit is very good, though I suspect that people could find the headband adjustment 'click and lock' mechanism problematic. Not sure.

 

I hate FOTM's as well and you're right about a new flagship/performance level headphone simply offering a sideways step in sound compared to a competitor.

I'm not sure it's fully applicable here though. I had my T1's there with me and switched between this and the AKG around 15 to 20 times, played the same songs at high volumes low volumes and the margin, the difference in sound quality between the two was worryingly large. 

The K812's were just so comfortably superior across the board it was striking to hear. That's the point. Okay, the T1's were not driven as I drive them at home, but the system was very good in showing the T1's capabilities.  

 

It didn't feel like a different sound presentation - just a superior one - and this ranges from characteristics such as sub bass extension, weight, soundstage depth, layering, detailing, tone, speed and quite a few more. I remember deciding to buy these T1's over the HD800's after comparing them side by side. Both compared well, one beating the other in the end, but both scored points. From my listen it felt like the k812 are in a different class. That's the truth.

post #327 of 985
Quote:
Originally Posted by CantScareMe View Post
 

 

I spoke about it in my review somewhere - the've put a lot of effort into correcting this. The pads are shaped specially to counteract the problem of poor seal (lip to fit under ones earlobe). The headband design as well is tuned to enhance the seal. Actually when I was first putting it on the engineers were standing over me making sure I put it on right (!) - then they left me alone in the room The fit is very good, though I suspect that people could find the headband adjustment 'click and lock' mechanism problematic. Not sure.

 

I hate FOTM's as well and you're right about a new flagship/performance level headphone simply offering a sideways step in sound compared to a competitor.

I'm not sure it's fully applicable here though. I had my T1's there with me and switched between this and the AKG around 15 to 20 times, played the same songs at high volumes low volumes and the margin, the difference in sound quality between the two was worryingly large. 

The K812's were just so comfortably superior across the board it was striking to hear. That's the point. Okay, the T1's were not driven as I drive them at home, but the system was very good in showing the T1's capabilities.  

 

It didn't feel like a different sound presentation - just a superior one - and this ranges from characteristics such as sub bass extension, weight, soundstage depth, layering, detailing, tone, speed and quite a few more. I remember deciding to buy these T1's over the HD800's after comparing them side by side. Both compared well, one beating the other in the end, but both scored points. From my listen it felt like the k812 are in a different class. That's the truth.

Nice, that is... good to hear. I wonder how a fully balanced T1 would sound. I noticed improvements with my DT 880 the moment I heard it balanced, the headphone opened up in a sense. Better Sub Bass Extension, more clear and robust mids, treble remaind much the same, with only a smidge more air

 

but hey you know what, I got no beef with AKG, so I might end up trying these my self one day :3 

post #328 of 985
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackmore View Post
 
You cant ask that from ghost:-)

 

I try my very best! will be great to check out the K-812 at my studio with the Phonitor, and Noman looks like he have a good connection with the guys at AKG. I looking forward for this experience, I did a loan program a few years back in the US, and was great! Here is more info: http://www.head-fi.org/t/438831/german-maestro-u-s-loan-program

post #329 of 985
They are to expensive for an loan

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acix View Post

I try my very best! will be great to check out the K-812 at my studio with the Phonitor, and Noman looks like he have a good connection with the guys at AKG. I looking forward for this experience, I did a loan program a few years back in the US, and was great! Here is more info: http://www.head-fi.org/t/438831/german-maestro-u-s-loan-program
post #330 of 985
Quote:
Originally Posted by CantScareMe View Post
 

 

'Okay, the T1's were not driven as I drive them at home, but the system was very good in showing the T1's capabilities.'

 

Really? Are you sure the set up at the demo really can drive T1 to its capacity? The K812 at the demo certainly didn't sound better than T1 in my home system. I am not even sure it drove K812 to its potential frankly.


Edited by SleepyOne - 10/12/13 at 11:25am
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