I have got the pleasure to listen to AKG’s new flagship headphone K812 Pro, it is a professional aimed headphone and frankly comes with little bell and whistles.
The headphone is constructed very solidly in metal. Gone are the hidden squeaky cup swivel system that are on the K701, the K812 comes with a metal, 2 way swivel for the same movement without any noise. The removable cable is a 3 pin metal spring loaded connector on the headphone side but a cheap rubber thread 3.5mm plug on the other end. The cable is also less than spectacular, similar to the rubbery, springy type on the K701 but seems to be even thinner; the thinner flexible cable does offer superior comfort to other heavier and stiffer cable on other high-end headphone, but surely feels less premium.
The comfort is excellent with a well-designed ear pad system and the familiar suspended headband. Unlike the K7XX, the headband doesn’t suspend on a spring as such. It is just like any other headphones and have stepped adjustment system.
Headphone: AKG K812 Pro Impedance: 36 ohms Efficiency: 110dB/V
Amp: Lehmann Black Cube Linear
Smartphone: Sony Xperia Z1 with FLAC
Quick impression points:
Excellent frontal depth perception
Well separated but coherent sound
Texture is there but falls behind other flagship, especially the planar
Sounds surprising good out of a smartphone
Doesn’t sound piecing even on brighter tracks and a smartphone
With the same test track “Eagles – Hotel California (Live) from Hell Freeze Over” on both a smartphone and the full system, the differences are there but even out of a smartphone, it sounds excellent.
The noticeable differences are the poorer bass impact, decay and a narrower soundstage. The drums taken a hit on the presentation, but the vocal are still excellent with the guitar solos in the middle very well separated and textured nicely.
Listening with smartphone:
LiSA - Crossing Field - Brightness test
Utada Hikeru - Beautiful World - Vocals
supercell - ODDS & ENDS - Brightness and bass impact
Hearing the performance out of a smartphone on well recorded piece, I was sceptical that it will continue to perform well with less well recorded music.
I even choose some brighter pieces just to make sure it is going to stab my eardrums with unbearable treble.
Well, guess what? It didn’t happen, the brightness is very well tamed even on bright songs and female vocal extends beautifully. Deeper bass does suffers with the lack of power and authority and faster hits sometimes becomes blurred.
That is a marked achievement for a pair of high-end headphones, as most flagships sound downright terrible on such devices.
Bad smartphone pictures:
Nice slight blue tint going through the grill because of the colour of the coating on the driver unit.
Manual adjustment system, lots of small increments but note that "rail" is made of plastic.
The very solid 2 axis cup swivel, one joint on the black outer frame, and another in the silver inner frame.
Close up on the metal spring loaded 3 pin plug.
Very basic, if not cheap feeling rubber 3.5mm threaded plug on the other end.
A pair of easy to drive headphones, not picky with source or amp with a sound signature (or rather without a distinctive sound signature) that is hard to fault.
Thin flexable cable (good and bad), excellent comfort and very much a neutral sound out of even a smartphone.
Generic wood headphone stand that you will most likely seen it hundreds of times
Cheap rubber plug
The removable cable is only 3 pin and not balanced.
Of course, this is my personal impression, your thoughts might vary. And hope the efficiency figure could help out pairing for people that want to get their hands on it.
Edited by Ra97oR - 2/21/14 at 9:43am