AKG Q701 Premium Class Reference Headphones, Quincy Jones Signature Line

General Information

Music has never sounded better or closer than with the Quincy Jones Signature Series Q701 Reference Class Headphones. Sparkling harmonics,incredible low distortion and unequalled realism in the lower frequencies - it's the huge, airy, three dimensional sound that's been only available in the finest high end speaker systems and microphones. Now, we've engineered it into the most accurate and responsive reference headphones we've ever produced, the Q701. Hear music exactly as the artist intended.

Latest reviews

Pros: good soundstage and tone, punches above weight, fairly light
Cons: rattle in right driver, schiit headband
Q701 is not really a headphone that merits a long review. It was my entree into the high-fi world, and a good entree at that. If you listen primarily to classical/jazz/acoustic music and/or are using the headphone for mixing purposes, it is a stupendous value for ~$200. Piano especially is airy and wonderful, but all orchestral stuff is ably done. Other than that, probably just recommended for clinical things like mastering. It can be driven by an iPhone, though amplification is worth considering for a better sound. 
Headband has bumps. I think they feel like schiit. (K1000 on temples is far worse, however). Worse than this though is the rattle in the right driver. Not dissimilar to the rattle in my K1000, it comes and goes, but affects certain piano tracks in particular at unpredictable frequencies (I should do a lab test of this).
All in all, at anything under $200 a great value. Amazon fluctuates a lot, and they're only over $200 right now, so I'd say don't buy over a cheaper K701/02/12. For ~$100, which it's regularly listed at used on HF, an utter steal. Even if you're not a fan of the sound signature, it would be a good neutral (though on the brighter side of neutral) can for critical listening, and a small investment next to the HD800. AKG's 700 series is incredible, and as used cans continue to plummet in resale value, the community collectively reaps that reward. Get one!
Pros: Linear audio, can reach down to 10hz, amazing spatialization
Cons: Headband can be uncomfortable, requires good amplification
Bought from Memory Express in Canada for about $220 CAD.  Don't overpay, these can be found for around $250 if you search around.
Sound impressions:
Measured with a UMIK1 and the response is very linear with a smooth increase up to 1khz then a smooth decrease back down to 20khz.  Can reach as low as 10hz with a tone generator (can't hear it but can definitely feel it on the skull!).  The sound is incredibly spatial!  Live music (concerts, orchestra) sounds amazing!  Songs with reverb sound awesome.  Can hear a lot of detail.  Very linear audio and if you're into equalization (or tube rolling) these things have a lot of diversity available due to the linear response.  Can make them sound like anything.
I've grown to love the sound.  I listened to an assortment of grado & beyerdynamics headphones at a local shop on various amps and preferred these to headphones over $2000.
Amplifier Requirements:
These are not efficient headphones.  Needs 150mw at 64 ohms and headphone/phone jacks can't do that.  Don't buy these headphones unless you plan on getting a half decent headphone amp.  Not even my fiio X1 can drive these things.  I get good amplification from the following items I own:
  1. NAD 326BEE integrated receiver headphone jack
  2. Audioquest Dragonfly 1.4 Black (connecting this to android makes it my most portable amplification solution)
  3. Little Dot I+ Hybrid Tube/SS headphone amp (amazing combination!)
I highly recommend the Little Dot I+ Hybrid tube amp if you're looking for a headphone amp and don't want to spend a lot.  Get it with the 6CQ6 tubes which pair well with the headphone's audio signature.
Large ear cups are comfortable even with glasses.  Headband feels "hard" and tight and can become painful after an hour of use.  Spring is a little too tight.
I haven't done it yet but supposedly these can be easily modified to have a balanced audio jack for balanced outputs.  The 3 conductor mini-xlr jack is replaced with a 4 conductor, soldering separate negative/ground terminals on two separate conductors.  Then order a 4 conductor balanced cord with mini-xlr for the headphones and whichever balanced connector on your headphone amp.  That's a nice feature in case I move to a very high end headphone amplifier.
Supposedly can open up the side covers & slip in some cloth for a little more bass and a little less spatialization.  Haven't tried that yet.
Sonic Defender
Sonic Defender
AKG is one of the few brands I haven't tried yet. Thanks for the review, it sounds like the Q701 is interesting and the price seems right. Cheers.
Nice review. Great headphones for the $$$.

Side note...if you're thinking about getting a new smartphone, these work very well with the LG V10. The have a high enough impedance to trigger the high-gain setting on the phone's amp. The sound is very good straight out of the headphone jack.
Pros: good sounstage, nice clean bass and very engaging mids
Cons: headband bump, sometimes upper mid might be too bright for some songs
overall this is a good headphone, and i love it very much.lucky for me i got the Austria version, as i happen to know they are now manufactured at china 
the sound is just what i am looking for in most of the headphones, where i prefer a more emphasized mids and trebles. a lot of people complained about the lack of bass but for me the bass is just a clean bass, not bassy type that u can find in other headphones. bass are punchy and u can feel every "thump" of it instead of muddy bass, which is very nice as this does not affect the mids and vocal.
soundstage are amazing, music and songs played by it feels like being played by a speaker instead (not literally but you get what i mean). i dont feel like the song is being pressured into my ear, like forcing me to listen, instead it were presented at a very comfortable level. although some claimed to be able to differentiate which instrument is played at which row in an orchestra, i personally cant really differentiate that, maybe its because the lack of really high quality files (the highest quality i had is just lossless 24-bit files).
vocals are very nice, although sometimes might be too bright for long listening sessions, but tone the volume down a little bit on my Centrance hifi m8 DAC amp and its just nice. Amber Rubarth's sessions from the 17th ward sounds amazing with this cans. it gets better with every listen.
love the detachable mini xlr, as it gives option to change to a balanced cable or other brand instead of modding. And green cable looks just fine after awhile.
the headbump sure can cause some pain though on my head after some time, but a slight adjustment to the front or back of my head can solve this problem
overall very happy with this headphone, and its my first AKG, the other cans are Grado SR325is and Audio Technica M50
Sonic Defender
Sonic Defender
Nice review, not sure this could go balanced, it would depend on whether or not the headphone inside is wired for balanced. That I believe is just a standard 3 pin mini XLR, but I haven't seen one in a while. Suppose I could go to the AKG site, but I'm lazy. I would like to hear this headphone again as I don't really remember it well. Stuff made in China is as good and often better than stuff made in the West. The quality gap used to be big, but not anymore, for so much of the audio gear there really is no gap at all that is why so much top-tier gear is made in the Far East now. Top of line factories, skilled labour force so China made gear is just fine IMO.
nice review and alos agree with Sonic Defender statement .



There are no comments to display.