AKG K701 Studio Headphones

  1. svyr
    K702 - soft of flagship/value for money?
    Written by svyr
    Published Nov 16, 2010
    Pros - AKG Flagship for $2-300. Nice for classical music. Not sibilant. Replaceable cable (both stock and user made with mini xlr).
    Cons - 'Fake' sound stage feel, strange tonality. bass light-ish (impact). Cheap feel (it really is). Uncomfortable headband. Difficult to amp right.
    I had one in 2008 and subsequently sold it because of comfort issues.

    Personally, I didn't like the design/thought it looked cheap (the blue plastic)The ones I had were difficult to drive (not for Musiland 02 US type HP amps or un-amped portable :D )

    Recently had a chance to listen to a re-cabled one from joe007 .He attached some soft pleather to the headband and put an expensive looking custom cable on them (my custom cable was about $35). The headband 'mod' fixed the comfort issue. Maybe added some bass. (I remember my custom cable seems to have calmed down the highs a bit when I had my pair)

    The strange tonality and fake sound-stage feel were still there though. Give them a go at meet, when you have other headphones around. Chances are after that you wouldn't want to buy them.
  2. homeros8000
    AKG K701 Is Back!
    Written by homeros8000
    Published Nov 15, 2010
    Pros - Relaxed smooth presentation, wide sound stage, detail, comfort
    Cons - Picky with amplifiers, superficial sounstage, needs long burn in hours
    The K701 is not the most perfect headphone, but at this price range it can surely compete with headphones double the price. They certainly need a powerful amplifier to drive them properly. I never appreciated them truly till I used them with the Beta 22 amp and then I found out what I was missing on the lesser amps I used. The best K701 I heard where used around 1000 hours. They sounded very smooth, relaxed and a joy to listen to. They can pick up any weakness in your rig: Source, Cables, Amps. They need careful matching to sound correct. Compared to the K400 which I also own. The K501 has a beautiful midrange which gives a very intimate and special experience, its more enjoyable and more musical, but the K701/2 is more accurate, more detailed with more extension in the highs and lows but sometimes can sound sterile and boring. The K501 lacks the detail and extension of the analytical K701/2 (although they are not lacking in either) but listening to the K501 brings the music to life with a rich tonality which is missing from the K701 with some tracks.  
  3. justone
    AKG K701
    Written by justone
    Published Oct 22, 2010
    Pros - Wide soundstage and neutrality
    Cons - Bass shy
    Definitely not a fun headphone compared to AT W1000x or Denon D-series.Sounded completely cold and analytical fresh out of the box. Bass was almost non-existant. Burn in using pink noise seemed more effective compared to normal music playback. More instrument seperation after reaching 400 hours pink noise burning. Any hours beyond 600 will not benefit as I did not feel any improvement starting hour 601.
  4. Adu
    a ticket to High-End headphones
    Written by Adu
    Published Oct 14, 2010
    Pros - analytical sound, superb vocals, good mids, very good soundstage
    Cons - bass impact, design, need a lot of power
    [​IMG]Akg K701 was the best headphones that I have own until I listen Sennheiser HD650. K701 impressed me with superb presentation of vocals and mids and a very good soundstage. These headphones have analytical sound -maybe to analytical for some taste- and also they deserve a very good headphones with a lot of power to drive them.
  5. red-classic
    Great muscial, comfortable, highly cost-effective
    Written by red-classic
    Published Oct 7, 2010
    Pros - Excellent performance, explain sound music very well
    Cons - Need well front-equipment, AMP or DAC or both
    K701 has good performance on sound music, vocal, light music, slow rhythm,  sound track for example. And at the same time, it's easy to broadcast good sound but harder to drive it very well(needs proper equipment--front/AMP/...). But overall, K701 is an excellent Hi-Fi headphone.
    Good equipment, good pay back
  6. igres
    Superb headphones
    Written by igres
    Published Oct 2, 2010
    Pros - Detailed and well balanced sound, good price.
    Cons - I would change the color from white to black.
    I own the AKG K240 DF Studio monitor headphones, and I have been using them for more than 10 years. 
    Assuming that, after so long period of time, the headphones sound quality should have improved, I decided to make a research on the market in order to find a substitute of my old headphones. 
    I took into account technical specifications, reviews and prices, as well as the availability of some brands in the city where I live. 
    Discarding other brands, I considered choosing between Sennheiser and AKG. Sennheiser was generally more available than AKG in all the shops I visited. But I have always used the AKG and I have been very happy with them, so, eventually I decided to keep on buying AKG headphones. 
    The present AKG top model is K701 one, but the average price I found in the shops was about 350 €, which was too expensive for my budget. 
    Fortunately I found a person who was selling his second hand headphones of this type at an affordable price for me. 
    I was impressed by the incredible sound quality of the K701. The music is so detailed, so clear, so balanced and the frequency response is so extended that I doubt anybody can find anything better, at least in this price range. I have heard that there are headphones that cost even five times the price of AKG’s, but this is another world and, anyway, I have neither the chance to listen to them nor I could afford them by no means. 
    I have never heard the instruments so separated and exactly situated in the sound space as I have heard with this headphones. I realised that it was time to move away my old headphones. Moreover, I have read that the sound quality of the headphones improves after 300 hours of working, so I expect a better performance after some months, if possible. 
    If I had to change something of the headphones, I would come back to the leather pads of my old K240 DF, instead of the velour ones. But this is due to a personal problem that I suffer, being allergic to some kind of fabric. This is not AKG’s fault. 
    I use a Cambridge Audio 340 SE amplifier to drive them. The CD player is a Sony CDP-X8920 Q series. Although I am aware that this is not the best equipment that an audiophile would desire, I think it is enough to appreciate the great sound delivered by the headphones. 
    I have clearly noticed the great differences of record quality among the CD’s I own. 
  7. drez
    Austrian accuracy/objectivity
    Written by drez
    Published Oct 1, 2010
    Pros - fast and detailed sound, comfortable, good package
    Cons - analytical, dry, picky, power hungry, esoteric
    This really is a personal, subjective review, but hopefully you can learn something from it.
    I really shouldn't have bought these headphones, as it is well publicised that these are analytical, and possibly dry; however the problem is to understand how you will subjectively respond to something dry and analytical (or what to expect musically.)
    What do these headphones do for music?  They bring out subtle details in the texture of the sound (as opposed to the tonality) as well as highlighting the timing/rhythmic variations with great detail.  
    Now this may sound good, but what does it do subjectively?  At times it makes music sound "awkward" by exposing small timing flaws which human musicians make. 
    At the same time the tonality of the music is dealt with in a rather critical/objective fashion, no romance at all, making things sound dry at times compared with other headphones.
    Thirdly, the detail of these headphones reveals some lovely aspects of the musicianship, how the musicians hands move over the strings etc.  
    However, it also reveals flaws in the recording/production, such as musicians moving around on their seats, changing pages, people in the audience coughing etc.
    Ask yourself are these the aspects of your music you want to hear, along with tonal indifference?  I will let you answer that question.
    I found these headphones to be suited more to classical music, but then people coughing or moving around gets annoying.  well produced rock music also occasionally sounds good.
    Lastly these are definitely a headphone that is best to find second hand, as their sound is very divisive, a love/hate affair
    NOTE: I didn't try these with a tube amp - I used a Burson HA 160
  8. Sinkfish
    Written by Sinkfish
    Published Sep 30, 2010
    Nice so far.
  9. poikkeus
    A classic for classical/chamber
    Written by poikkeus
    Published Sep 21, 2010
    Pros - Maybe the best phone for classical, lean, clear sound
    Cons - Not ideal for rock
    Although I also own a HD800, I'm keeping my AKG K701 for its combination of comfort and performance with classical music - in which it excels. Aside from the Beyer DT-880, the most comfortable headphone currently made, the K701 has plush velour pads (though users with bigger heads may prefer a larger phone). And the illusion of head space is equal to that of the DT880 and Senn HD800, making this phone easy to wear for extended periods of time. 
    The bass (or rather, the relative absence) is the sticking point for many. I believe that the sound is nicely balanced, but there's no question that it struggles to manage music with a more assertive bass presence. The phones have a ribbed top, and automatically adjusts to one's head size; however, many users will need to change their orientation so the phones fit perfectly all the time. Not a problem for me, but others have even tried to fix matter themselves.
    However, I believe that this has been my best stereo investment. And if you look at the sell lists, you'll always find discounted phones for as little as $210 - a steal, in my opinion - and sometimes even less.
      inji likes this.
  10. TheMiddleSky
    AKG K701 Studio Headphones
    Written by TheMiddleSky
    Published Sep 20, 2010
    Pros - Natural, clean and spacious sound
    Cons - A little bit lack of "fun" factor, so revealing, amp dependent
    My conclusion for this K701 is: If you want to search the sound that natural, clean, spacious with great imaging, then you will not wrong to go with K701, just make sure you have decent amp to powering K701.