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AKG K-812 First impressions in the studio.

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

For some time I was interested to check out the new K812 and I got my chance when Beniamin, a young headfier from Israel contact and ask me to test out his new K-812 for channel imbalance, and possibly some sound distortion in the right driver as well to check out the K-812 Phonitor combo.

 

I'll start directly with my first impression. Going from my K-702 to the K-812 what I noticed first was the sound separation with a very strong focus on details and sound resolution. The sound separation of the K-812 have enough space around the instruments to create a new headphones standards for me, and YES, I got this wOw factor right away! The effects in my music production behind the instruments were clear and well positioned, I was able to hear the reverb, chorus, and the subtle distortion from my feedback delay (more about this later).

 

The second I noticed was the boost in the lowmid/bass and treble. Now, on some recordings those boost can sounds very natural, easy going and undetected. But with EDM (electronic dance music) the boost in the lowmid/bass and treble will stand out compare to the K-702 that sounds more balanced all over the sound spectrum.

 

The boost in the lowmid/bass is not that bad at all, is very punchy, solid, fast and very accurate and don't give you the impression of some added octave to the midbass/bass like in the case of the T1 bass boost. I guess the K-812 will be perfect for the Beyer T1 owners and the Sennheiser HD-800 fans that needs a bit more cowbell in kick. (for more cowbell check Youtube for Christopher Walken on SNL Sketch).

 

The treble boost are also not that bad because they smooth out a large treble area and avoid any treble spikes focused in one area like the HD-800 have, this is a good achievement for the AKG K-812 as a flagship dynamic headphones Vs the HD-800.

 

 

The headphones graph of the new HD-800 (2013 Version) looks a bit better but they added a few unnecessary dbs over the K-812 treble boost.

 

On the down size, the K-812 boost of the large area of treble bring out any subtle distortions in the recorded materials. For a studio guy like me this can be a great plus because I can hear those subtle distortions in the treble and try to eliminate, or bring them down a bit in the mix/mastering process before the music get out as the finish product. For the listeners this is entire different story and probably ends with individual preferences.

 

As a mastering engineer and recording artist I can tell you those subtle distortions can happen in the early stage of the mix/studio work and will probably get emphasize during the mastering process. In most of the cases no one will go back to the studio to record the song again and fix those minimal subtle distortions that now is emphasized and notable by the K812 treble boost.
 
The funny thing is after you'll be aware of those subtle distortions in the treble you'll be able to hear them on speakers too (Adam A7 monitor speakers). As Beniamin point out after I looped a short piece of music that we tested out those subtle distortions for a few minutes. I'm not sure how those K-812 treble abilities will translate in/for the studio/audiophiles/headfiers market.

 

The other issue I had with the K812 was a bit of a claustrophobic sealed/closed feel (like some closed hps design). This bring me to the K812 new pads which are great in away, the sealed of the pads offer a good grip on the head. The pads are made PE material and do contribute some punch and fast snap to the sound. The downside of those pads after few minutes in the session I start to feel some comfort issue behind the ears around the mastoid bone of the skull. 

     

To be honest not every music artist will have/want to invest his $1500 in those headphones as a new studio standard. Most of the artist that I know will invest the $1500 on other musical equipment which they feel is need more, most of them will put the headphones as the last item on their list.


As for me, I do want to have a headphones with the sound separation of the new K812, but I'm not sure if I'm ready to get the whole K812 package deal boosted. I'll be happy to see a new K812 with a second pair of velvet pads that can bring down the treble with few dbs and maybe bring in some more sound balance in the lowmid as well and less pressure over the ear for the future AKG K-812 package deal.

 

 

A big thanks to Beniamin for bringing his new K812 to my studio. In the photo Beniamin holding in his hands the AKG past and future  flagship headphones.

 

post #2 of 18

Thanks for your impressions.

 

After good burn in, the changes are very obvious, but still not enough for me. They will become more comfy, but I found them to heavy for my liking, they should be like Sony Qualia, but...

 

Cheers

post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackmore View Post
 

Thanks for your impressions.

 

After good burn in, the changes are very obvious, but still not enough for me. They will become more comfy, but I found them to heavy for my liking, they should be like Sony Qualia, but...

 

Cheers

 

 

Thanks man, I appreciate it!

 

I'll need to ask Beniamin about the burn, what is your burn in hr recommendation? Maybe I'll have the chance to check them again in the near future and see the burn in effect /differences.   

post #4 of 18
Hey nice review on my hp. smily_headphones1.gif
I think when we tested them They was between 35-45 hours burned in.
Edited by Beniamin - 3/30/14 at 9:12am
post #5 of 18

This is the first burn in stage. Second will be around 150 and then 200. I finished around 280 and thought that I was not hearing much of a difference between 200-280, but I believe that they will benefit from longer use, think of 400-500 as total. I was using 50% Tara Labs soft and 50% of just music, low volume level, 24 hours a day.

 

 

 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beniamin View Post

Hey nice review on my hp. smily_headphones1.gif
I think when we tested them They was between 35-45 hours burned in.
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 

Maybe we should test the K812 again in the near future after 250-350 hr of burn in. I wish I had the HD-800 during the impression to compare if the instrument separation/ sound image to the HD-800 to see if still stand again the K812. I'm sure the Phonitor did his part here, but again the K812 was notable better in the instrument separation/ sound image department.


Edited by Acix - 4/1/14 at 7:49am
post #7 of 18

Review experience of new AKG is getting quite rounded, thanks.

 

Quote:
 To be honest not every music artist will have/want to invest his $1500 in those headphones as a new studio standard. Most of the artist that I know will invest the $1500 on other musical equipment which they feel is need more, most of them will put the headphones as the last item on their list.

 

This is the key thing when looking k812 trough the eyes of the studio usage.

 

For 1.5 big ones you can buy plenty of gear and this amount of money is a bit too much for a tool that can easily translate into two active boxes with great studio pedigree, like Adam A7X or Neumann KH 120 A. As a matter a fact with the rest of the cash you can treat the room with absorbers. If we also take bumps in freq response into account, there is a question left unanswered at least for me, what is the main target market of the AKG k812's pro.


Edited by loopfreak - 4/1/14 at 2:48pm
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by loopfreak View Post
 

Review experience of new AKG is getting quite rounded, thanks.

 

 

This is the key thing when looking k812 trough the eyes of the studio usage.

 

For 1.5 big ones you can buy plenty of gear and this amount of money is a bit too much for a tool that can easily translate into two active boxes with great studio pedigree, like Adam A7X or Neumann KH 120 A. As a matter a fact with the rest of the cash you can treat the room with absorbers. If we also take bumps in freq response into account, there is a question left unanswered at least for me, what is the main target market of the AKG k812's pro.

 

 

lol, I'm not sure if they know probably they are still testing out their options. They start the marketing with some dude listen to the K812 on ipod in front of his school and than on other commercial clip he was in the studio. Looks to me like they will shoot all over to increase the sales.

 

 

The Vienna dude pushing for studio and I'm quiet agree with him on the mixing/mastering. Maybe they're afraid to be rejected by the audiophile gentleman's

 


Edited by Acix - 4/1/14 at 4:37pm
post #9 of 18
there is a question left unanswered at least for me, what is the main target market of the AKG k812's pro.

Evidently, the unanswered query at AKG headquarters.
post #10 of 18

I think that is clear how AKG planned its flagship release, but I would not like to derail this thread with AKG's poor marketing plot.

 

Hopefully you'll get a chance to crossfire them with HD 800 and see how they compare strictly for mixing purpose.


Edited by loopfreak - 4/2/14 at 2:48pm
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 

Tomorrow Beniamin will bring his K812 again after intensive burn in, is there any particular things you guys want me to check out? 

post #12 of 18

Well, thats nice of you guys, thanks.

 

Have read that new AKG gets hot in the treble only when things get a little complex so sound gets compressed as a result, it would be nice to check it out.

 

AKG k702's do not have big punch or a hump in the bass section but it can convey texture of the lows incredibly good, so good that it completely disappears as reproduction tool. How much new drivers mid bass hump enables you effortless texture listening, have they made a compromise for sake of "not sounding anemic".

 

P.S. And another thing, it would be nice if you can get your hands on new(er) version of the HD 800, would like to hear your impressions, is there any difference or those graphs are only variations in measurements of the tricky angled drivers.


Edited by loopfreak - 4/3/14 at 3:27pm
post #13 of 18

Waiting for your report guys. I am sure, if you ask for HD800 demo at your local dealer/shop, they will provide you one. Maybe you can manage that next time you get together, what you think guys?

Also, if possible, try differ amp than SPL only, some tubes, SS or both.

 

 

 

THX

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acix View Post
 

Tomorrow Beniamin will bring his K812 again after intensive burn in, is there any particular things you guys want me to check out?


Edited by Blackmore - 4/4/14 at 2:58am
post #14 of 18

Thanks for those impressions Acix, very helpful. I'd also like to read any of your impressions against the HD800 from a studio perspective If you get your hands on any again. Looking at the those graphs they look more similar than different. Plus, the 2k spike has gone compared to the K701/2!! This has to be a good thing for recreational listening. It is the one thing that I would change about the K701 and I've always EQ'd it down 2-3db. It's such an important area for the tone of instruments and vocals as I'm sure you know. 

 

Anyways, nice thread :)

post #15 of 18

I really enjoyed reading your comments, Acix, and many of the following posts, too.

 

I finally kept my 3rd HD800, and with the Stratus 2A3 amp, it is the right headphone for classical and vocal music. 

 

When I received the new K812 one week ago, it had little bass and sounded fast and "digitized" in the highs. After 50 hrs of 12 on / 12 off music, the bass began to enter, the voice and spatial separation became very clear, and the music gained a little flow, but it still sounded grainy. Now, after ~100 hrs, it has improved in all areas, but it is still changing.

 

It needs 400-500 hrs? Yes, that's what the K712 needed, too. I guess I should set it up to run 24/7. Maybe with white noise?

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