AKG K 271 Studio - Reviews
Pros: Self-adjusting headband, mute switch when taken off, great comfort, removable cord and earpads, supurb mids and highs, great image, honest sound
Cons: Little thight on my head, some more bass would be wecome.
This AKG came into my possesion "accidently". During a rondom internet search I came across this headphone, that were to be sold for €75. I did an offer of €60 and the guy accepted. I went to his place and took it home were I did an immidiate comperisement with my Beyerdynamic DT770 pro in the same pricerange. This one gave the DT770 a run for his money !
Comfort: The AKG is second hand, I think it's originally sold around 2004 somewhere. By sitting in the box for years (according to the seller), the earpads were out of shape, so I 've put new velvet earpads on it. I like the feel of velvet more than the fake leather. Wear comfort is great, just put it on and that's it. Sits well, doesn't move. It's even the only headphones that doesn't sound different when you press the cups against your head, because the clamp-force is perfect.
Sound: I allready had a Beyerdynamic DT770 pro 80 ohm, so I could easily compare the both of them. The K271 studio sounded different, more direct. It has stunning mids and nice, clear highs. Image is nicely inside my head, as I want it. The bass in somewhat absent, but still everything is noticeable. Compared to the Beyerdynamic the AKG is even more honest. I listened to it on my laptop directly and through a simple headphone amp. The sound is always great !
Build: It's a well build headphone which can be twisted to use one earcup, the self-adjusting headband is a long-term-proven AKG feature that has no flaws. But a really fantastic feature is the mute-switch. Whenever you take off the headphones, the release of the headband presses a tiny switch that mutes all sound from the drivers, so there's no sound-pollution in the studio. I like that feature a lot ! Singers tend to take off the HP without realizing the technician has to clean the tracks afterwards.
Conclusion: In just one week this AKG K271 studio has pushed the BD DT770 from the top spot. Even more so, I'm going to sell the Beyerdynamic and keep this AKG. This AKG K271 studio serves my pupose perfectly and I see no need in keeping 4 headphones around when I can get some good money for them.
  • Like
Reactions: rocksteady65
Pros: Great for recording
Cons: Not my first choice for listening
My first serious pair of headphones …
Having grown out of my previous AKG K-55 I was recommended those. I liked their sound and comfort better than with the smaller K171 Studio, so I spent the extra cash on them. My decision back then wasn't really well informed as I did not test many different headphones from different brands, but six years later my decision still holds up well.
As all the other classic AKGs, the K271 fits my head perfectly. It was very comfortable with the stock leather pads, however, since I retrofitted it with the new velours pads it has gotten even better. There's simply less heat building under the velours.
Soundwise, I like the way they combine detailled reproduction with some sort of laid-back quality, especially the bass register is somewhat "lean". This is great for recording in the studio because it results in little ear fatigue - at least for me. Actually listening to music is not my favorite occupation for the K271. I miss the bass somewhat and, depending on the amplification, I sometimes find the sound a little lifeless. Nevertheless it brings out details nicely and the soundstage is pretty good.
At 55Ω it is easy to drive in theory, but it seems to me that they still need a lot of power to sound good. They do get loud, but the difference in sound quality is eminent. Also, the K271 tends to drive weak headphone amps into clipping, which is not exactly the headphones' fault but sounds terrible nonetheless. On my JVC CD player they sound pretty enjoyable though.
Isolation is ok, at least for the low to medium volumes of the jazz ensembles I'm working with. It is really nothing in comparison to some cheap Superlux I know, but those also have a clamping force that gives me a headache after some time - with the K271 I never had that problem. Obviously, the stock pleather pads do a little better in that respect, but I simply don't want to miss the extra comfort of the velours.
Also, AKG has paid attention to the details: The automatic mute switch is great for "forgotten" headphones and the detachable cable saves maintenance costs. Having the choice between a straight and a coiled cable is also a nice idea. Anyway, if you take a Neutrik 1/4" plug, a Rean Tiny XLR, some nice Sommer or Mogami cable and perhaps a little heatshrink for protection, it is easy to solder a replacement that is equal or better to the original AKG part at a fraction of the cost.
All in all, the K271 Studio is a great tool for long recording sessions, however, it is not my favorite for listening, although it works well in that respect, too. My K240 Monitor has taken that part, but I bring the K271 and a headphone extension cord to every studio session I play.
A big pro: It's an AKG. Once you've figured out how the basic design works, they are pretty easy to maintain and parts are generally pretty affordable, making repairs easy.