AKG K 702 Headphones

  1. oggdude
    Initial impressions of AKG K 702
    Written by oggdude
    Published Jan 27, 2013
    Pros - fantastic sound stage, clear throughout the frequency range and very detailed
    Cons - lacking in bass but not a bad thing especially for mixing
    Having never heard open-back headphones before i was looking forward to being able to hear mixes as they should be with accurate stereo representation and i wasn't disappointed.
    I can only compare the AKG K 702's to a pair of KRK 6400's and studio speakers such as KRK RP6 G2's. Compared to the KRK headphones, as expected the sound reproduction is much more detailed with greater separation between instruments and nothing getting lost in the mix.
    For mixing on the move or when you don't have access to studio speakers the K 702's are possibly as close as you can get to being able to mix accurately with a nice flat frequency response.
    For music the K 702's may be a little cold and analytical to some. The lower frequencies are not emphasised so while being clear and well defined, they sound lacking compared to more commercial headphones that i have listened to such as Dr Dre Beats but no more lacking than the KRK headphones. Compared to studio speakers as to be expected with headphones, being just as accurate but lacking in impact.
    At the time of writing this review i have just been using the headphone output of my macbook pro 13" and my iPhone 4. The headphones are powered well and have enough volume, but i feel they would probably benefit from a good headphone amp, i tries using a Pod XT which gives out a lot more volume than needed but doesn't sound like it improves on overall sound quality.
    Out of the macbook pro 13" and the iPhone 4 the SQ is slightly better with the iPhone which has led to me ordering an Apogee One, did consider a Fiio e17 but as a sound engineer i prefer the option of having a microphone and instrument input as well.
    1. ayaflo
      you got them for $200 .. wow brilliant!
      ayaflo, Jan 27, 2013
    2. miceblue
      Nice review! I'm glad to hear they sound fine out of your iPhone 4 and that I wasn't crazy when I said the K 701 sounded pretty decent out of the 4S. :)
      miceblue, Jan 27, 2013
  2. Mike-mex
    AKG K702 in one word: SOUNDSTAGE!
    Written by Mike-mex
    Published Nov 5, 2012
    Pros - Well balance, airier soundstage, give every detail
    Cons - no deep bass, trebble highest frequency looses detail.
    In few words: cheap, great neutral sound, very well built headphones and Soundstage is really great. I love to hear classic music and these were made to be classy. Also love caribbean rythms and let me tell you AKG found a really good detail con percussions and guitars. I found a lack of deep shocking bass, but theres a really defined bass it doesn´t looses any detail. The highest frequencies get some distortion, but the midrange is what they do best.
    Great headphones, you need a lot of power to run them fine. I use a Schiit Audio Valhalla and a Cambridge Audio MagicDac100. I could say all together do a very descent job!.
    Miguel V.
  3. samwell7
    Written by samwell7
    Published Oct 30, 2012
    Pros - Awesome Soundstage, Great Sound Quality, Flat yet musical frequency response, Comfort, Perfect for Home-Studio
    Cons - Little Isolation
    If you're not sure whether these are worth the money or not, they are.
    I've had these for a month or so now and I absolutely love them, I bought these to reference with while producing/mixing tracks down and now I barely use my monitors, they translate really well!
    They're comfortable to wear and are really quite light, I think they look great and feel like they're really well made (The made in Austria sign is pleasing, and its nice to know that some parts of these are hand-made)
    I've not tried them straight out of an iPod but they were powered comfortably by my DAC (NI Komplete Audio 6), I've since purchased an objective 2 amp.
    With the amp they sound sublime (using FLAC files), the soundstage opened right up and they just sound so real, I use these to listen to everything from Boards of Canada to System of A Down and I couldn't be happier with them, I'm unsure why people say they have no bass because there is plenty of bass, to me it sounds exactly how bass should sound. it is present although not bloated and it is very crisp and quick.
    The mids are perfectly present although not quite in your face and the Hi-mids and treble are excellent, very open and pleasing.
    The instrument seperation is awesome, if the track is decent no frequencies are smeared although they aren't that forgiving and are still very useful tools for people like me who like to produce music and live in an apartment/with girlfriend.  If you're listening to a bad quality file or a poorly mixed track they will definitely let you know, yet they somehow really really compliment stuff that has been mixed well (Hence why I wrote 'Flat yet Still Musical' can't really put it any other way).
    The burn-in period is quite long, but they still sound great straight away but they just keep getting better and better, even now mine continue to sound better.
    I still run Pink, White and Brown Noise through them at a Mid-Hi level for a couple hours a week.
    Although they might be a bit pricey for somebody who isn't quite into headphones they are well worth the money, definitely recommend them to anybody who wants to hear music how it is supposed to sound, or somebody who wants to be able to trust the mixes they make on their headphones!
    1. Evshrug
      Good article, nicely phrased.
      I know what you mean by "flat yet musical," my Q701s have a cohesive balance of the whole frequency, so it sounds natural yet strikes a chord within emotionally. I bought mine lightly used (maybe a touch less than 50 hours to burn in?), yet haven't noticed too much change in burn-in over the three months near-daily use, which is kind of a surprise. I have a whole playlist for burning in that I haven't used, because I use them for a few hours almost every day and give them a break when I'm not around :D
      I feel that, with the Q701 and it's stablemates, I've reached near the peak of headphone ability (just signature preference from here on), and I'm only wanting in the areas of amp, DAC, and of course new music :D
      Evshrug, Oct 30, 2012
    2. samwell7
      Thanks a lot for reading the review and for the feedback! :)
      Yeah I'm the same as you with feeling that I've reached somewhere fairly close to the top (although I'm sure there are plenty of people here who will tell me I've got a lot to learn), I've upgraded my DAC since that review and purchased a number of different cans (HD600's included) yet the K702's are still my favourite, the air and sparkling highs combined with the ridiculously huge soundstage make these cans so easy to love (especially when listening to Boards of Canada in FLAC). Glad somebody else shares my opinions! thanks again for the feedback :)
      samwell7, Dec 13, 2012
  4. FatmanSize48
    Great Value
    Written by FatmanSize48
    Published Oct 15, 2012
    Pros - Cheap, great soundstage, superb bass extension
    Cons - Treble needs a bit of smoothing, bumps on headband not comfortable after a few hours
    See above, sorry for not adding more
  5. iim7V7IM7
    AKG K 702
    Written by iim7V7IM7
    Published Sep 4, 2012
    Pros - Flat from 100 Hz - 10,000 Hz, large soundstage
    Cons - Bass roll off < 40 Hz, power hungry (needs amp)
    Great headphones. Very neutral within important frequencies. Present a large airy soundstage.
  6. Griploc
    AKG kings
    Written by Griploc
    Published Aug 13, 2012
    Pros - Great imagery, detail, dynamics, and punch
    Cons - Thinner sounding than other AKG models
    I have been an AKG fan since I started recording back in 2002. The AKG K702 model is a great addition to the lineup and I highly reccomend themto any serious listener.
    1. Neosashi
      You purchased these for 450.00$??? I just ordered mine for 287$!
      Neosashi, Aug 13, 2012
    2. Neosashi
      Nvm. I just got an email from the manufacturer after posting that the phones were out of stock. GOT BACK ON EBAY AND FOUND A BRAND NEW PAIR FOR 239$!!! WOOT!!!!!
      Neosashi, Aug 13, 2012
  7. lramirez1959
    Best so far
    Written by lramirez1959
    Published Mar 22, 2012
    Pros - Great detail, super comfortable
    Cons - None so far
    I got the bug last year, and bought these after experimenting with grado sr 80i, senn hd600 and audiotechnica M50.
    Sorry for not being so technical, I have to say that listening to these is pure pleasure: good detail, very nice soundstage, second to none comfort and unbeatable price.
    I my opinion, the best choice for newcomers like me.
  8. Bubo
    Brutally Honest Headphones
    Written by Bubo
    Published Feb 9, 2012
    Pros - Brutally honest and comfortable
    Cons - Brutally honest; you may not like some of your favs anymore
    Great reference-quality open-back-headphones, big sound stage, accurate reproduction, detailed.
    If you have a great recording, you will hear detail you may not have heard before. My digitally recorded version of 4 Seasons, done in  a good sound room, it excellent, you are there.
    If you have a poor recording, you'll know it.
    As to the base issue, my pre-amps have built in equalizers and my equalizers have equalizers so its not a show stopper for me. If you crank up the bass, these will bump with the rest of them.
    1. Aanta
      Yes that's my impression also of the AKG 702, 701 and 601. All are little lean on the bass.
      Yes I mention all 3 up there, I hear very little difference between them with just a tiny bit less soundstage for the 601, and a small dip in the higher mid also for the 601 that is surprising to find in one otherwise excellent headphone, but its is undeniably there. If I have to find something negative to say then it would be that these headphones provide excellent reproduction, but are just a bit dry. In recordings where the room ambience is part, it is a bit muted with these cans.
      As seen in my small gallery I am also familiar with K272, which sound quite like the Beyer DT220 both a bit warmer with more solid bass.
      I hope to return here with one audition and personal view on the 550 in the future.
      Aanta, Feb 10, 2012
  9. Nerds Central
    Loving Them - But Needs A Good Amp
    Written by Nerds Central
    Published Dec 22, 2011
    Pros - Amazing Sound. Comfortable. Powerful.
    Cons - Big. Not Easy To Drive.
    I have had these for several weeks now. I find them amazing. 
    A bunch of people have mentioned the bumps on the head band. These drove me mad to the point of wrapping a cloth around the band! But, it is leather, they break in and then are very comfortable. I guess you are expected to own a pair of these for a long time. Now they are broken in, I can spend (and do spend) entire days listening to them whilst coding.
    Sound In General:
    The stage is amazing. They are reference, so the sound is clinical. I can see why some people would find them fatiguing; I drive mine from a little dot mkiii value amp. If I drive them from a solid state amp then the sound is not so easy to listen to. My guess is that these headphones make no effort to improve the sound supplied at all. That is exactly what you want with reference cans!
    Sound Stage:
    It is big, but not stupid. Sometimes you get the idea that you are listening it loudspeakers on your ears, which is slightly annoying. I suspect this is due to the big size of the drivers. Most of the time, it is very much like listening to infinitely accurate speakers in the room. Actually, I use a digital effects unit to add a tiny bit of reverb' quite often, this really makes the listening experience like sitting in a living room listening to top end speakers.
    This is completely accurate. If you want a _lot_ of bass you are going to have to add this yourself, the headphones will not do that. They are reference, boosting the bass would be stupid. I use a sound processor to add bass if I want a lot. They take a lot of bass, but that does need a lot of drive. The amazing thing is that even with stupid quantities of bass, the middle and top remain unaffected (if you use a really good amp).
    Yes - these do not have balanced input. Do I care - no! Balanced for the steps between processors are a good idea but for these I don't see the point.
    These are not beautiful. The are not shiny. If you want to take pictures of yourself holding them and looking cool - you will be disappointed. They are are quite sturdy. I would not take them on the road. If I compare them to the my Sony monitors - they Sony's are much much stronger. 
    Sound Isolation:
    Do not use these as monitors! The leak like nothing else ( apart from maybe K1000s but I don't have that sort of money).
    1. Chris J
      Nice review!
      I have a pair of Q701s myself, I find them very comfortable, but I have heard other folks say they can' t get past the fit.
      Chris J, Dec 22, 2011
    2. Sound Quest
      I personally think they look wonderful! :)
      Sound Quest, Feb 21, 2013
  10. jorzef
    Written by jorzef
    Published Feb 9, 2011
    Pros - controlled bass, detail, clarity
    Cons - a bit expensive, design is a matter of preference
    Admittedly, I may be a bit overawed by these; they reproduce sound so much better than what I had been using; seems I can hear more with these than with the other headphones I had. I must further admit that I enjoy listening critically and the music is only sometimes incidental to me. Very pleased, of course, with my purchase; wouldn't have bought them otherwise.