AKG K712 Pro

General Information

The K712 PROs are reference, open, over-ear headphones for precise listening, mixing and mastering. The over-ear design guarantees maximum wearing comfort for fatigue-free mixing and mastering, while providing spacious and airy sound without any compromise. Their precise powerful sound results from improved low-end performance by 3dB. Being hand-crafted in Austria, the K712 PROs represent the high quality and legendary design AKG is known for.

These headphones have a genuine soft leather headband for a lightweight and comfortable fit. Their carefully selected transducers provide consistency and accurate localization. The K712 PROs come with a professional mini XLR connector for quick replacement of the cable. Also included is an additional coiled cable and a premium carrying bag.

GENERAL
Headphone type: open
Audio Frequency bandwidth: 10 to 39,8 Hz
Sensitivity headphones: 105 dB SPL/V
Max. Input Power: 200 mW
Rated Impedance: 62 Ohms
Earpads: velour
Detachable cable: yes
Cable Length: 3 m

AUDIO INTERFACE
Type: Screw-on Jack Combo (1/4" and 1/8")
Gender: Male
Contacts: 2-pin
Interface Finish: Gold
DIMENSIONS / WEIGHT:
Net Weight: 235 g

Latest reviews

Hark01

Head-Fier
Pros: -soundstage
-comfort
-detail/clarity (after EQ)
Cons: -tonality
-local price can be steep
Build: Solid.
Comfort: Excellent. Very light. Leather strap can pull hair, though.
Isolation: Open.

Bass: Roll off under 50Hz. Bloated midbass. 1.25/3
Midrange: Lower mids emphasis with upper mids fall decreases clarity of the mids. 1.5/3
Treble: 6k peak gives sharpness to the sound. 1.25/3
Tonality: Above average. 2.50/5
EQ: Needed. For my preferences, mandatory. Try Serious SBAF or Optimum HiFi +4dB.

Detail: Good. 2/3
Imaging: Fantastic soundstage, probably second only to HD800. 2.5/3
Dynamics: Below average. 1/3
Tech: MidFi soundstage king. 3.25/5

Bias: 3/3
Interestingly, this is probably my most used headphone. Why? 1) Comfort. Light, open and breathable. 2) Soundstage. Loving the openness of the sound, it is high on my enjoyment list. 3) It is clear and detailed headphone when EQd. With EQ fixing tonality issues, it really shines.

Score: 2.5/5

Value: Worth the price. In Europe you can now get it for about 200 EUR, which is great price for what it offers. In my local shops, price is more like 350 EUR, which is a different proposition. Of course, you have to value soundstage and comfort and be prepared to use EQ.
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Project A3

New Head-Fier
Pros: An exceptionally wide soundstage, right up there among the widest staging headphones.
- A dynamic, energetic and exciting sound signature that never gets dull.
- Very clean drivers with low THD+N means this headphone responds marvelously to EQ.
- Some of the best stock pads on a headphone of this price bracket.
Cons: Upper midrange has an awkward peak which might induce fatigue after some time.
- Build quality is predominantly plastic, which is a let down at this price point.
- Earcups are oversized, might cause seal issues for many people.
- Needs a considerably powerful amp to sound right and also is amp picky.
Sound Review by machinegod

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Introduction:
AKG, formed in 1947 has its strong dominance in the professional audio industry since decades. From a vast catalog of studio microphones and studio monitoring headphones, we are going to take a look at the revered K712 Pro which is second in line only to their flagship K- Series headphones, the K812.

The K712 Pro retails for 499$ and is frequently available for 350$.


Specification:
  • DRIVER TYPE- DYNAMIC.
  • DESIGN- OVER EAR.
  • EARCUP STYLE- OPEN BACK.
  • FREQUENCY RESPONSE- 10 HZ TO 39.8 KHZ.
  • SENSITIVITY- 105 DB.
  • IMPEDANCE- 62 OHMS.
  • MAXIMUM POWER HANDLING- 200 MW.
  • CONNECTOR- 3 PIN XLR (UNBALANCED) TO 3.5 MM WITH 1/4'' ADAPTER.

Gear Used & Tracklist:
Denon DCM500AE as CD Transport | Schiit Modi 3 | Schiit Loki | Schiit Magni 3 | Aune X1S | iBasso DX160.

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Unboxing:
The headphones come in a black carboard box with a velcro lid. Inside which we find the headphones, a high quality black velvet carry pouch, two cables - a black coiled cable and an orange 3 m straight cables, both having the screw on capability for the included 1/4'' adapter.

The unit which we are reviewing today is the one made in Slovakia.


Scalability:
Scalability for this headphone is very high. . On Magni 3 high gain, the knob needs to be kept at around 11-12 o' clock almost all the time. In quiet recordings, the knob needs to be turned all the way to 2 o' clock. The headphones have been tested on the Aune X1S Headphone Amplifier (on high gain) and iBasso DX160 DAP and neither of the two have enough power to drive it properly. When under powered, the K712 Pro sounds thin and harsh with almost non existent low end.

A considerably powerful desktop amp is absolutely necessary for the K712 Pro to drive it properly even though the sensitivity and impedance are not indicative of such power demands.

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Fit:
The suspension headband has no issues and helps in distributing the weight evenly. The pads are massive in size and no part of the ear touches the sides of the pads. I suspect the same for everyone's ears. The pads are plush velour filled with memory foam, they do not cause hot spots or get sweaty for me and conform as expected. The gripe being that the pads are not as deep as I'd like. I have small ears and they always touch the insides. It does not touch the driver directly as it is damped. Thankfully AKG has the pads netted inside to make the experience just a bit more comfortable.

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Reference Tracks / Remarks:
Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch- Flight to LAPD
Radiohead- Pull/Pulk Revolving Doors
Queen- Another One Bites the Dust​


The intro of Flight To LAPD sounds very satisfying on the K712 Pro with enough presence, in stock form. Most open back headphones sound thin and downright skip frequencies that low.

The deep rumble is brought out better when subbass is EQ'd. The stuffy and stabbing electronica in the background of Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors throughout are enveloping and have clean and strong attack. The bass notes in Another One Bites The Dust are absolutely clean and tight, tastefully done. Separation from the vocals is stupendous and yet it manages to be omnipresent.


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Reference Tracks / Remarks:
The Rolling Stones- Rock And a Hard Place​

Listening to this song on this headphone is not a pleasant experience due to its shouty upper midrange. The guitars have a ear ringing glare which is deeply unpleasant after a minute.


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Reference Tracks / Remarks:
Dire Straits- Money For Nothing
Lindsey Striling- Artemis/Crystallize/Underground​

Money For Nothing having a "clinical" sounding master is not an ideal pair with this headphone. The experience sounds too digital, lacking life. I would describe the experience of listening to the Lindsey Stirling tracks as a system shock. The violin sounds lush, soulful and full of energy. Detail retrieval and texture in this region is very good. Its intimacy almost tricks the listener into being on the stage. The thumping bass cutting in from the background makes for a complete and beautiful experience.

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Reference Tracks / Remarks:
Yosi Horikawa- Letter
Dire Straits- Ride Across The River​

The writing on the board in Letter is accurate throughout but the fuzziness diagonally front is easily noticeable. The intro of Across The River depicts the depth in stage when the instruments are introduced in the mix at different distances from the listener. The Magni 3, although doing a good job, a higher quality amp will bring about the layering as more three dimensional.


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Reference Tracks / Remarks:
Dire Straits- Once Upon A Time In The West
Eric Clapton & BB King- Three O'Clock Blues​

All the instruments in the mix of Once Upon A Time In The West are laid bare left-right across the soundstage with crisp and well defined edges. The separation along the center image is reproduced clearly giving a vivid sense of space. The separation along the center image in Three O'Clock Blues is also made clear in this song at around the 2:50 mark. The cymbals crashing (very) slightly to the left and right alternately are heard clear with admirable well defined edges.


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Reference Tracks / Remarks:
Franz Ferdinand- Right Action
Eric Clapton & BB King- Marry You​

The song Right Action comes out a bit too eager and "in your face" because of it's mastering. When heard through the K712, the experience can get a bit overwhelming sometimes. Snare hits sometimes sound aggressive and electric guitars too crunchy. The experience of hearing Marry You through the K712 is nothing short of majestic. It is lively, dynamic and feels like being in the front row seats. The snare hits and cymbal crashes never sound sibilant or sharp in any way. Eric Clapton and BB King are outlined clearly in the mix. The stage is wide and the "oomph" factor seems to be amplified.

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Reference Tracks / Remarks:
The Persuasions- Ain't No Sunshine
Meiko- Zombie​

Both great songs to test vocal performance, texture in the vocals are brought about immaculately, including the breath of the vocalists on the mic. The hoarseness, strain and breathlessness in the voices are lifelike and intimate. Absolutely no complaints.


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Reference Tracks / Remarks:
Richard Eliott- Jumping Off
Dave Brubeck Quartet- Take Five
Radiohead- Burn The Witch
Sax, Pianos, Violins, Hammond Organs have a soulful rendition full of life and body, sounding lush. They never appear to be distant with respect to vocals or the sax. Decay of snares and tom drums are not cut off in the track Take Five and are replicated accurately, giving a sense of realism and recording space.

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Conclusion:
The K712 Pro is a technically sound headphone. Its drivers are very capable, fast and clean.

The review has been conducted in stock form but all the sonic gripes can be fixed and even enhanced by EQ. The subbass can be cranked up and the upper midrange can be toned down and the headphone responds remarkably well, making the headphone near about perfect from an enjoyment standpoint.

People looking for a headphone that is fun and exciting to listen to should really shortlist the K712 Pro, provided they have a beefy and capable amp to drive these cans to their full potential.

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*All ratings are accurate as of date of publication. Changes in price, newer models may affect Project A3's views on the performance and value of the reviewed product.

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jdowne04

New Head-Fier
Pros: Sound Stage
Comfort
Accurate treble
Tight Bass
Cons: You probably should grab a AMP with these.
AKG K7XX vs AKG K712 Pro

I’ve been listening to music on speakers and headphones since I was in the 1st grade. I always loved music and always had pretty good ears! I remember I could always hear the bus streets away when others couldn’t and I could always tell when and who was in the driveway based on the car sound and we didn’t have loud cars and I'm not a car person.

I’m a person who likes to have a pretty natural sound where nothing is over emphasized. I’ve been enjoying AKG headphones since my first pair as a kid that i saved for months and it was just the K44’s that i got to listen to in the store which were night and day compared to the cheapo headphones that i heard from the dollar store and Walmart.

Now i’m 28 and had quite a few pairs of cans nothing like others here but more than anyone i know of. AKG K44, DT 770’s 80ohm, AKG K553, AKG K7XX, Polk Audio UltraFocus 8000’s(Not bad BTW). When it comes to the type of music that i listen to well, I pretty much listen to everything besides metal and what some would call “Hard Rock”. I do however love oldies and music like Elvis and the Beatles and pretty much everything from the 60’s and 70’s. I also love Pop and Rap and Country. I game as well and love having a 3D style sound stage as i have to wear headphones now instead of having 5.1 speakers(Due to life) which is my preferred way of listening to everything. The speakers i used to own are the Polk Monitor 70’s as my fronts and Polk Monitor 40’s for rears and a CS2 center with a BIC 12 inch sub but again can’t do that anymore lol.

Brings me back to these headphones which i will only be comparing to the K7XX’s as i found almost no one who really did this at least very few. These now cost $330 on Amazon compared to $200 on massdrop for the K7XX. I’ll compare the things that i noticed first and to me it was pretty apparent as soon as i put them on my head and listened to them, i owned the K7XX for 2 years BTW and the K712 Pro’s for only a few hours.

First thing that I immediately noticed was the sound stage! Which was way more 3D sounding. With the K7XX it seriously sounded like i had a left and right speaker on my ear and a center up front with NOTHING in the back and not a lot of space in the front. All the sound was left-right-center and nothing else. Still miles better than most headphones under the $300 range from what I heard from my friend’s place who collects over 20 pairs of headphones(I will one day slowly getting there). However with these K712’s i barely even hear sound coming from the driver itself its instead just in a separate environment all together. Absolutely amazing with no complaints at all it's basically like I got my surround sound back!

Second thing that I noticed was just how much more comfortable they were. The K7XX just always moved around on my head with any movement at all. Oh and lets not forget the plastic creaking sound that always came out of my right ear cup every time you barely make the slightest movement. Had these on now for 4 hours and they don’t even feel like anything and I wear glasses too.

Third thing that I noticed was a superior treble response. The K7XX’s always sounded too warm to me like the tweeter in the speaker was paper with very little precision. I feel this is why the sound stage was so weak in comparison to these. Adele’s voice sounds way more authentic with these compared to the K7XX’s for example and the violin in Lindsey Stirling’s music actually sounds like a violin who would have guessed? I even thought Pandora was the worst audio I ever heard with the K7XX as everything sounded to mufflied turned out it was the K7XX the whole time, sure we all know Pandora isn’t the best or anything but it seriously sounded bad to me. Now i’m listening to “Stand by me” by Ben E. King and it just sounds so beautiful as I type this.



I guess the one other thing that I noticed was smoother and tighter bass. I find it to be extremely fast and quite accurate and it doesn’t distract you from the other pieces in the music like the DT 770’s that I have. The K7XX’s were pretty decent too but the mid bass kind of sounded too thick and not realistic at all.

Leaving me to volume, with these i have to turn up the volume on my Objective 2+Odac combo more than I did with the K7XX’s still have plenty of power left and i still only use the low gain on the unit but i might be upgrading to the ATOM AMP+ATOM Dac which is coming out very soon.

I want to say something about this industry and why I respect JDS labs and NwAvGuy who to me was basically a hero in the industry, google his name and read his blog he is the reason why we even have such great AMP’s and DAC’s in this price range.

I got out of audio for quite some time as i got sick of all the snakeoil. I’m a very logical person and to me a AMP or DAC shouldn’t alter the sound in any way and you should be hearing the sound the way the engineers made it. There’s a lot of snakeoil in this industry from people who think a 2000$ dac sounds better than a great engineered 100$ dac when measurements say otherwise. Audiophiles in general I feel seriously hurt this industry and that is why many never get attached to it. I feel that many audiophiles have no clue what diminishing returns means and fall for crazy things like $2000 cables and 1000$ power strips(not even making this up google it they exist and yes people on this site buy them).

Things like “synergy” are nothing but BS. If you buy a bright pair of headphones and pair it with a tube amp to warm the sound you will not only be trying to change the very pair of headphones that you bought but you will be introducing distorition into your music which is very measureable over the tubes. How does that make any sense if you don’t like bright headphones then don’t buy them? We have like 100’s of pairs to choose from for under $500 pick one that you enjoy. Bright-Bassay-Neutral, big and small sound stages everything why pick a pair to just use a tube amp to change the sound or a EQ(unless you need a EQ for the flattest response).

To others here I will give a decent guideline in terms of pricing before diminishing returns heavily kicks into action and I will list the components that make the biggest difference to sound in order.

Source yes this is the most important part to any quality music or sound if you are only listening to free online services with low bit rates like Pandora and Youtube or worse you are never going to improve that sound much go find high quality sources like MP3 320kb’s or FLAC files.

Headphones - After the $350 range diminishing returns kicks in super fast and you have to start spending 5X that amount to get a big difference in sound. Even then my friends HD800’s aren’t even a complete upgrade from these somethings aren’t even that noitcable and that is on his crazy DAC/AMP combo which cost over a grand alone(I know shaking my head too).

AMP- $100 right now the ATOM amp from JDS labs and the magi 3 Hersey from Schiit is more than enough power for even 600ohm low sensitive headphones. Both these amps have a flat frequency response with extremely low distortion levels(can never get rid of distortion 100%) that you can find online with measurements at AudioScienceReview.

DAC- $100 is really it you can find the MAGI 3 not the multibit(measures terribly) but the standard one for just $100 it doesn’t alter the sound but it does recreate the 1’s and 0’s into what the sound engineers created, and does so with crazy good measurable performance too, Atom DAC might be worth looking at too once it comes out. Other good options are the Topping E30-D30-D10.


Don’t let anyone talk you into spending more on a dac or AMP if anything the above equipment is overkill and thankfully you can get this quality of sound for much cheaper than anything you can on speakers. External DAC/AMP isn’t even necessary in all cases if you have sound from a PC then yes i do recommend both as a computer is a terrible place for audio to be in and NO sound cards are not any good and terrible for performance per dollar(check out AudioScience reviews for this) and if your a PC guy you know what performance per dollar means! If you need a AMP you will probably notice it quite quickly due to not having enough volume even in sources where the media is quiet it should still get loud enough for you due to the AMP if not you should think about getting one and I highly recommend getting that first before buying a DAC.

Also avoid buying too cheap as some dac’s and amps aren’t even worth it like anything there is a happy medium and what i listed above are great choices.

Lastly, do i recommend these headphones? They are superior to the AKG K7XX’s in every way but price. Don’t let my comparisons scare you, the K7XX’s or even the sennheiser 6xx are amazing products for the $200 range but i feel the K712’s Pro’s are worth the extra cost to me, superior comfort, soundstage, sound frequency. In fact for a while they will be my last pair of headphones for probably anouther 5 years or so and I'll probably stay out of this industry once again after I get my new DAC/AMP from JDS labs. I’m thankful for sites that are starting to pop up and finally put an end to this snakeoil in this industry but still too many here fall for it and have no idea what ABX comparisons are. Best thing about PC hardware is it's not really subjective and it's all measurable down to every component. Truth is i can’t tell you what sounds good to you only you can answer that!

Good places to go for research include AudioScieinceReviews+NwAvGuy you will think me later after you save $$$.
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D
DigitalSilencer
Though was an awesome review I had a hard time finding comparison I only ended up getting the k712 by chance bc locally someone sold them new in box for 250. But thanks for all the info
jdowne04
jdowne04
Need any other info please don't hesitate to ask!
Hammerburst
Hammerburst
Great review. I appreciate the concise rundown of the sound quality, and fit of these AKG's. I also agree with you, on the "snakeoil" aspect, of this audio hobby. With audio products, there is alot of "Smoke and Mirrors". There are also many Charlatans, in the industry, who try to take advantage of people. I too am a big fan of NwAvGuy. He was not a Charlatan, lol. He's a Legend, a passionate, direct, Electrical Engineer, exactly what audio fans need. I too own an Objective 2, portable Headphone Amp, as my only amp, (which powers all of my headphones and earphones, very well, thank you very much!)

Comments

roghelt

New Head-Fier
A little late to this party, but to my ears -- weaned on Sennheiser 600s and later AKG 701/702 and Q701, I bought the 712s twice and both times I found them to sound thinner in the mid/upper-mid region, lacking the body of the aforementioned cans. Maybe a bit more bass, but I can't for the life of me find the same bright yet smoother sound signature of the other AKGs. I was really anxious to get them in search of -- as one reviewer wrote: 'The Fairest K7 Variant of Them All.' Not to these ears, unfortunately -- the lack of 'bloom' was such a disappointment.

I currently use a Marantz HD-DAC1 dac/amp that just replaced a Peachtree DAC-iTx/NuForce HA200 amp. Both setups gave me the same ungainly sound quality from the 712s. And as I said, I was really hyped to get them as the 'ultimate' AKG solution after auditioning the 812s and finding them annoyingly shrill. I listen exclusively to classical and some bop (hi-res lossless flac & DSD) for hours on end and can't tolerate shrillness for more than 20 minutes.

Perhaps for gamers and other music genres the 712 does the trick...but not for me.
 

Outaphase

Head-Fier
After many years of living and basically having my head totally tuned to the K240s, I stepped up with apprehension to the K712 - today. Obvious differences, one major one being that the 240 tends to kill the leading edges of cymbals, triangles, whilst leaving the rest of the instrument to "ring" and be heard. Kind of trippy, but I suppose useful for actual *making* music.

I'm having no problems driving it with a Schiit Magni3 Heresy.

Strangely enough, for the first few hours, treble seemed just on the knife-edge of going over, so I'm super sensitive to that and actually looking for it because of the 240's. I can hear the leading-edge impulses of drumsticks, triangle strikes, etc with the 712. Lovely, but I was a bit paranoid.

Either I totally adjusted to the voice of a new friend, or in just a few hours, maybe the drivers in the box since 2013 just needed some playtime. :)

Still, this old progressive-rocker found a nice King Crimson "20th Century Schizoid Man" modern performance with 3 drum-kits:



Amazingly, the 712's hung in there, and I'm not fatigued. I'm still a bit wary, but so far so good. Then again, the 60-year old cans I was born with can't hear past 13k anyway, but still. Depite AKG's little bit of entertaining treble-spice, it seems to be under control. Close to going over, but just stops short. Maybe I got lucky with my model.

Any headphone purchase is always kind of a cross-your-fingers kind of thing, no matter how many impressions or reviews, but in my case, I fell in love with them.
 

machinegod

New Head-Fier
What a coincidence! I upgraded from my m220 pro too (which is the drop rebrand for k240 studio) and yes. The spicy treble is still under control. The drivers do indeed need some time to burn in, until then it does sound harsh and tinny a bit.
 

Outaphase

Head-Fier
I hate to say it, but I noticed it too, all it took was a few hours, not days with either model. In the case of the K240 (or true similar models), some may be trying to burn-OUT something built-in - negative impulse reactions that make the top end a bit trippy. And I think that's totally on purpose.

I go into that in much more detail in the K240 impressions thread where I actually compare it to the flagship K812, which tended to confuse audiophiles:

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/akg-k240-studio-owners-please-share-your-experience.630058/page-18

I think I'm getting closer to understanding the AKG house-sound if you will. Some models intended for studio or professionals (like the 240 or the 812 at different ends of the spectrum) have that negative going impulse right away. The 712 doesn't, so now I truly hear the sticks.

And on an even wilder GUESS, some of the grain may be an additional form of ear-protection if heard. I mean slight imperfections here may be an attempt at long-term consumer ear protection. I mean, they gotta know what they are doing right?

I mean how do you market a negative-connotation like that? Or is it just a case of "It's not a bug, but a feature!" Wow, really have to tread carefully here, otherwise one could use that as an excuse for poor engineering / QC etc etc. I don't think that's the case.

Anyway, it's been a few days with the 712's, and I had an 18 hour stretch with them until I just got bored with music overall and had to do something else. No pain, no strain, and a smile on my face.
 

Outaphase

Head-Fier
K712 impulse response:

Forgot - right on the box, we have the statement:

"Revolutionary flat wire voice coil for incredible impulse and treble response"

Kind of NOT what I wanted to see being a fan of the K240's quirks. But oh baby, do I ever hear the leading edges on the 712's. Ok, that's cool, I just won't be editing things like gunshots in movies with it.

But it is what follows the leading edge - damping, that I think takes me into my imaginary theory world (I'm not an audio engineer), where getting the damping and FR to audiophile levels pushes us into the stratosphere cost vs performance wise. Ie, to make the 712's perfect, it would now be a $3K set of cans, and not $300.

At any rate, I can handle small imperfections, maybe add a slight touch of EQ to the porridge just right for my groove. Most imporantly, I can listen past my cans and totally enjoy the artists and forget all this stuff. :)
 
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