AKG K271 MKII Headphones

Average User Rating:
4.25/5,
  1. Trickster5596
    4.0/5,
    "Good for Vocalist and Instrument Monitoring"
    Pros - Rugged, Two different pairs of earpads, Detachable cable, Two different cable lengths, Auto-mute feature, Good isolation
    Cons - Bass-shy, Small soundstage, Bulky
    I originally ordered a K240, but due to them being out of stock, I was shipped a K271 MkII instead. Needless to say, I saved a lot of money on this pair. These were my daily drivers for about four years. I used them for my computer as well as for monitoring my electric guitar. I was surprised at all the accessories that were included: One pair of velour pads, one pair of pleather pads, one 3m cable, one coiled 5m cable, and the customary 3.5mm to 6.3mm jack adapter. They also have a clever feature that auto-mutes the headphones when you take them off (this can be disabled easily if needed.) Now that I have a new pair of daily drivers, I just cannot go back to the K271's unusual sound signature. Due to the noticeable lack of bass quantity, I wouldn't recommend these headphones for anything other than monitoring instruments and other situations that demand noise isolation.
  2. 1nfiniti
    4.0/5,
    "Generally great sounding closed cans, with a couple of issues"
    Pros - Great clarity & sound stage (esp. for closed), great tone on guitar / electric keys, bass is very detailed and punchy
    Cons - biggest issue is boxiness in the upper-mids, minor issue - bass is not BOOMing, its mostly the upper bass that you can hear (100+ Hz)
    Read a number of reviews on this pair of headphones before buying, and was quite surprised that no one mentioned the boxy band ( maybe somewhere around 3.5 - 5k ?? ) of upper mids.  
     
    some songs are pretty effected by it, others not so much.  It sounds like someone really pumped the EQ around a band of frequencies and phased the sh*t out of it.  
     
    However, for songs that are not effected by this the overall clarity of sound - especially for a closed-ear set of headphones - is great.  I have a pair of sr60s & Sennheiser HD598s and these are definitely still in the same ballpark of quality as those two.  
     
     
    For some songs though, the boxiness can really be in the forefront of whats going on and it seriously detracts from the overall sound quality.
  3. cs098
    4.0/5,
    "A great niche headphone, just not for me."
    Pros - Deep, tight fast bass, classic akg mids, clear highs, detailed, comfortable, great soundstage for a closed, retro design, plenty of accesories
    Cons - Bass anemic, doesn't play well with bass boosters and/or loud volumes, not very exciting, needs an amp to even get bass at all
    I wanted to love these, and I kinda did, but only for classical and jazz.  Everything else though was boring to listen to and can sometimes get a bit bright. Also still has that closed sound, but then again it's a closed can. I know I know, it's more for tracking rather than for entertainment. But there are still some stuff to love about the sound. If you only listen to jazz and classical and need isolation, these are pretty good and do deserve the praise some people give it. But if you want something more well rounded, then you should look elsewhere, like I have.
  4. zappp
    5.0/5,
    "The Reasonable Choice"
    Pros - neutral, comfortable, closed, cheaply replaceable cables and earpads
    Cons - bulky, non-folding, slightly bass shy
    When visiting recording studios in Europe or looking at the sales ranking of Germany's largest online store for musicians, the AKG 271 appears as the most popular studio headphone, well ahead of any competition. That isn't head-fi's major target group, but one should reconsider why and what for we use headphones. We want to listen to music in compromised environments, i.e. with neighbours behind thin walls or even with other people present in the same room, commuting or travelling with restricted luggage. Many of us spend more time listening to music under these conditions than at home in their designated listening room with multi-kilo-buck source gear and loudspeakers. 
     
    Like most cans the AKG 271 benefits from a dedicated headphone amp, but also sounds decent straight from a laptop's or CD player's 3.5mm jack. My preferred source is the iPod Classic with Headstage Arrow amp. The Arrow's bass boost feature perfectly complements the 271's slightly bass shy sound signature which on the other hand allows many hours of listening without getting tired. There are recordings where I prefer to switch off the bass boost. 
     
    It is not industrial grade hearing protection, but the 271 prevents leakage of noise and mutes environmental noise substantially better than open headphones and the nominally closed Denon AH-Ds. Light weight, large, circumaural earpads (choice of pleather and velvet), moderate clamping force and the automatically adjusting headband provide exceptional wearing comfort. The one and only downside from that is the 271's bulk, without folding or collapsing action. Commuters may want a less obtrusive, easier stowable headphone.
     
    For peace of mind, to fit my entire CD collection on the iPod I listen to compressed AAC 256. Hence I happily waive that last bit of detail and sound quality lossless files and better, open headphones could deliver. Yes, I noticed a difference with serious ABing against highend Sennheisers, but tend to forget that after few minutes under the 271. Its exceptional wearing comfort and decent noise isolation help furthermore to accept this compromise,   
     
    Mobile use and travelling means rough handling, sweat, risk of damage and loss. Nice to see then that exposed parts (earpads, cable) can be replaced cheaply, thanks to its pro-grade studio rather than "high-end" designation.