Just bought AKG K171's - need help w/amplification
Apr 10, 2007 at 9:22 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6

psyllium

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First of all I'd like to say hi to everyone as I am new to this forum. I totally didn't expect such an avid headphone based community to be around - cool
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Anyway, the primary application for my headphones are for DJing. My 14 month old Pioneer HDJ-1000's snapped at the plastic hinge, as so many of them do. I was feeling obscenely 'naked' without actually having a decent pair of headphones at my disposal, so I went off to my local music store and tried some of the AKG range they had on display there. I was quite impressed by the comfort and sound out of the K171's and after a little bit of research I purchased these 'phones. In my research I found that the SPL for them is was less compared to my old Pioneers, but I figured the HDJ-1000's probably went louder than was necessary anyway, so I thought the K171's would probably be loud enough, especially taking into account the very good isolation that comes with the foam pads.

Now that I have them at home, I am definitely more than happy with the quality of the sound coming out of them, but I am not too sure about the loudness. When I have them plugged into my DJ mixer they are probably about half as loud as the Pioneers I had previously. I'm worried I might not be able to block out the sound coming from a large sound system with these headphones.

I find it a little bit misleading on the part of AKG to be marketing these as a 'DJ' pair of headphones without the required sensitivity from them :|. But hey, that's a marketing department for you.

Now, to cut to the chase:
. Would a headphone amp help in this respect at all?
. Would burning them in help?
. Should I wait till I am in front of a really loud PA to try them out properly (risking maybe not being able to hear them properly and screwing a performance)?
. Or alternatively, should I try and swap these for another model?

Thanks heaps for reading... and perhaps some responses
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Apr 16, 2007 at 10:11 AM Post #2 of 6

psyllium

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To give you guys an update, I did try these headphones in front of a loud PA and they were not loud enough. Thankfully I was able to borrow some headphones off someone else for the time I needed them.

My retailer has been nice though and (after some persuasion) taken back the K171 and will now be getting me a set of K81DJ instead (with the difference in price refunded). So all good... I hope
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Apr 20, 2007 at 10:34 AM Post #3 of 6

psyllium

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Update:

Got the K81DJ's today - they sound good for the price. Maybe still not quite loud enough for use in front of a massive PA but time will tell. Upshot is that these will go well for use at work, not so dorky looking like the K171's. A definite improvement over the Sony foldback ones.
 
Apr 22, 2007 at 11:54 AM Post #5 of 6

psyllium

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In terms of sound quality and isolation and general frequency response, I'd say the K171 Studio phones win - you'd expect them to for double the price
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. The K81's still isolate OK but not as much as the K171's. The K81's frequency response is a bit more uneven, especially in the bass, even though there is more of it. If you are looking for large bass response, go the K81's. If you are looking for a better bass response in the upper bass regions which seems to taper off gradually towards the bottom, go the K171's.

The K81's are definitely more portable and easier to drive which makes them well suited to an iPod or other portable player. If you are thinking of just sitting back from a nice powered source and being immersed in the sound, the K171's win.

One very strange thing I have found with both of these phones though, is there are certain mid frequencies that I can't seem to hear properly especially when the bass is coming through at the same time. The upper end of some kick-drums in psychedelic trance seem to just get swallowed up, which can make beat-matching difficult when DJing. Either that or I don't have a nice 'flat' source to compare it all to - *shrug*
 
Nov 26, 2007 at 10:07 AM Post #6 of 6

jplacson

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I too found it weird that the K171's have the "DJ" tag in their description... but I think I found the problem. It lies in the K171's heritage for broadcast "radio" DJs... not the electronica type that the K181/81/518DJ cans are for. Hehehehe... it's a generation gap. :p
 

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