K271 II was stolen. Replacement ideas?
Jul 8, 2011 at 10:10 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 4


New Head-Fier
Jul 8, 2011
Hi all,

I'm new to head-fi, though I've been reading through forums for a couple of years. The advice has been most helpful.
As the thread title suggests, my AKG K271 Mk IIs were stolen a couple of months ago, and I'm in need of replacing them. I thoroughly enjoyed the K271s, for the following reasons:
  1. Reasonably flat frequency response (uncoloured sound)
  2. Good build quality
  3. Excellent isolation
  4. Works well with variety of sources, e.g. iPhone, professional audio desks, etc
  5. Detachable cord
I use these cans in a variety of situations. They are used for commuting (trains, buses, walking), connected directly to my iPhone, for listening to music at home when others are around (cconnected to my Presonus StudioLive 24.4.2 headphone output), for listening to backing tracks while playing drums or piano (the excellent isolation without excessive clamping force was good here), for use in a live sound production environment ('acoustic' acts and bands), and for mixing (not professionally, but obviously I do enjoy a good final result).
I didn't find the bass in these phones to be too light-on, as many have suggested, as it was tight and controlled. It was, however, a little hard to hear when in a noisy environment. Headphones with a little more low end, but still with tighness and control would be desirable.

So, the bottom line: Should I buy another pair of K271 Mk IIs (I originally paid $AU315, but I can now get them for $AU170 [I understand they are now made in China, not Austria like my last pair]), or something else? I am strongly considering the Shure SRH940, though I don't like its aesthetic properites as much as the AKG. The SRH940s are presently around $300 here, which is around what I paid last time, but a lot more than what I could pay for a replacement set of K271s.
Does anyone have any comment on these two models, regarding sound quality (and tonal response), noise isolation, build quality and durability, and source fussiness?

Also, any other suggestions in a similar price range? Must be full-size, closed back, and preferable have a flat and accurate tonal response. I listen to a very wide range of music (rock, electronic, jazz, classical, acoustic, etc).
Ive been turned off the ATH-M50 and some of the Beyer models (DT-150, 250, 770) by a few posts I've seen here, but you're more than welcome to convince me otherwise. 

Thanks in advance :)
Jul 8, 2011 at 10:16 AM Post #2 of 4


Reviewer at Headphone.Guru
Jan 25, 2010
i own the SRH840, and even that headphone bests the K271.
so, trying not to assume too much here, the newly introduced SRH940 may be a nice upgrade indeed.
I can't wait to hear one myself.
good luck with your search, and happy listening!
Jul 22, 2011 at 11:46 AM Post #3 of 4


100+ Head-Fier
Dec 24, 2009
I love graphs, so I'll give you a couple recommendations based on headroom graphs - 
AKG k271, pretty rolled off, not flat in the least, what you had, 170 - 
Sennheiser hd280 pro, popular with the musicians I know, very flat, about 100 bucks - http://www.headphone.com/headphones/sennheiser-hd-280-pro.php
Sony MDR 7506, not as flat as the 280s, but still flatter than your k271, 120 bucks, fairly well used in the recording and studio environments - 
Audio Technica ATH A700, not flat, slightly better than the akgs where flatness goes, 170 - 
Denon AH-D2000, the "flattest", very little harmonic distortion, personally, I absolutely love the way this can looks, both spec wise and looks wise. 300 dollars - 
There's a start, if you want, just browse around the headroom site and check out the graphs. Audiophiles on the site will tell you that a graph doesn't give you any idea as to how a can sounds, but thats a load of bull. If there is an aspect of the sound that can not be measured, it has yet to be found. I read on a site somewhere that there are four factors which determine the sound quality of a system, timing, frequency response, noise, and distortion. Noise is practically a non issue in headphones, so it comes down to timing, FR, and distortion. Headroom accurately measures both FR and distortion with their THD graphs and their frequency response graphs. no, the graphs aren't 100% accurate, as there will be variations based on the shape of the head of the user, but if it measures well in both of those categories, expect good sound. "timing" is missing here, but the biggest timing issue with headphones is transients, I can't help you there with any of the above headphones, but the concept as a whole sounds like hogwash to me. Just find some headphones that measure well, google them, and then read the reviews by the professionals.
Jul 22, 2011 at 11:54 AM Post #4 of 4


100+ Head-Fier
May 23, 2011
Perhaps if you can wait a little while longer, you should see what the AKG K550 is like when it's released. I believe the first impressions will be coming out over the next couple of weeks. They'll be a closed headphone, designed for play from portable devices (though they appear to be a full sized headphone).
Here's a link to the head-fi hype thread, for want of a better word: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/553944/akg-k550-new

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