The AKG K712 Pro Support and Impressions Thread
Jul 20, 2021 at 5:29 AM Post #6,151 of 6,171

kman1211

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I kind of understand what you're saying.
I don't have HD560S but I do have HD600 and HD58X. The Sennheisers have the more strictly correct midrange, vocals are more properly rounded and tonally correct - particularly with female vocal, less so on male vocal. I hear the same thing if comparing the K712 to my ATC speakers. Curiously I don't find this bothersome with the K712.
The HD600 and K712 have similar sensitivity and I have done lots of swapping between these two headphones. Without comparing directly to the HD600, vocals sound quite good on the K712. The K712 has superior articulation of instrumental detail - hearing instrumental lines, playing techniques, separation of instruments and just generally whats going on in the mix - to me this makes music more interesting and engaging.
With the K712 I want to listen to it for longer. The HD600 sounds a bit staid by comparison. Though I respect the HD600 as a fine headphone for the money, I seldom listen to it for long sessions. I end up wanting to switch to something else.
Part of this may be that I find the perspective and presentation of the K712 more speaker like, less forward and confined in the head than the HD600.
Both are fine headphones for not a lot of money but, for enjoyment and involvement listening to music of all genres, I would choose the K712 over the HD600 in a heartbeat. Maybe it's an acquired taste?

I honestly kept letting go of the HD 600/650 numerous times because they fail to engage me and I rarely reached out to listen to them. But they have fantastic tuning in their midrange and I respect what they do well. Honestly the musical engagement of the K712 is much higher to me than the HD 560 S, HD 600, and HD 650. I did get a lot of engagement out of the HD 660 S though. But the HD 660 S fatigued me some reason, which upset me as it was what I wanted the HD 600/650 to be in terms of engagement and sound.

The K712 does have some midrange coloration going on and it’s cheaper sibling the K612 is less colored, more neutral, and honestly clearer sounding but it lacks some of the technicalities and finesse of the K712. Despite the K612 being more neutral I prefer the K712. On the HD 560 S I had a love/hate relationship with them, they fixed some of the roughness the HD 600/650 have in their upper midrange and they had nice bass extension and their tuning was good if a bit bright; but they lack body, depth, and detail in to their sound in comparison, they don’t scale as well, and their soundstage is quite narrow to my ears (which I don’t mind but it felt a bit artificially constrained some reason). It felt like the HD 560 S was a headphone that had potential but was held back somehow.
 
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Jul 20, 2021 at 6:24 AM Post #6,152 of 6,171

buson160man

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I kind of understand what you're saying.
I don't have HD560S but I do have HD600 and HD58X. The Sennheisers have the more strictly correct midrange, vocals are more properly rounded and tonally correct - particularly with female vocal, less so on male vocal. I hear the same thing if comparing the K712 to my ATC speakers. Curiously I don't find this bothersome with the K712.
The HD600 and K712 have similar sensitivity and I have done lots of swapping between these two headphones. Without comparing directly to the HD600, vocals sound quite good on the K712. The K712 has superior articulation of instrumental detail - hearing instrumental lines, playing techniques, separation of instruments and just generally whats going on in the mix - to me this makes music more interesting and engaging.
With the K712 I want to listen to it for longer. The HD600 sounds a bit staid by comparison. Though I respect the HD600 as a fine headphone for the money, I seldom listen to it for long sessions. I end up wanting to switch to something else.
Part of this may be that I find the perspective and presentation of the K712 more speaker like, less forward and confined in the head than the HD600.
Both are fine headphones for not a lot of money but, for enjoyment and involvement listening to music of all genres, I would choose the K712 over the HD600 in a heartbeat. Maybe it's an acquired taste?
I have been an akg fan for a long long time. I have k712s. I actually wore out a pair of k701s the headphone fell apart after many years of use. Literally thousands of hours of use. Over 10 years actually. The akgs are a very neutrally balanced headphone though a bit tough to drive compared to other headphones The akgs need a pretty healthy headphone amp to gets the best of them. The 712s are a bit easier to drive than the k701s. But they still like a healthy capable headphone amp to get the best of them. I have an old audeze lcd 2 and I find the akgs to be more neutrally balanced and more revealing than the audeze headphones which sound colored by comparison. Plus the audezes are just not a very comfortable headphone for long term listening. The akgs are great for that being light and comfortable. I totally agree with your comment about the akgs presentation being more speaker like and open than most headphones. The ATC comparison is right on. The akgs can be analytical sounding especially when driven by amplifiers that just do not have the necessary horsepower to get the best out of the akgs. The akgs are my preferred headphone for listening. The Akgs sound a lot like the ATC speakers.
 
Jul 20, 2021 at 6:38 AM Post #6,153 of 6,171

buson160man

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I assume since this is an old post you worked out how to replace the bands?

There are numerous videos you can google showing how to disassemble the AKG 701/702/712 headphones - to repair broken wires or replace the rubber suspension loops.
The loops are available online as an AKG replacement part eg: https://www.fullcompass.com/prod/256912-akg-2458a17010-rubber-loop-for-k702-and-q701

I wanted to fix up my old Q701 hp's and couldn't find the rubber loops locally, so I used some of my wife's hairbands. You can buy a whole container of these bands for a few dollars
20210701_141613_resized.jpg

Note I didn't disassemble the HP headband strap to insert the new loop - that looks like a PITA and can lead to damage of the clip on plastic stud.
I simply unclipped the headband strap from the guide hoops, cut the old suspension loop and pulled it out, then looped the hair band around the end and re-clipped onto the guide hoops:
20210626_135012_resized.jpg
20210701_161554_resized.jpg
20210701_161714_resized.jpg
The other end of the band is inserted into the earcup assembly like the original 'rubber loop' and fits easily.
The replaced suspension works perfectly and tension seems the same as my recently purchased pair of K712's.
This is a very simple and quick process - about 5min per cup - and costs next to nothing.

FWIW I much prefer the K712 to the Q701.
20210701_162017_resized.jpg
The Q701 sounds lightweight in the bass, less body and bright compared to the K712.
FWIW, swapping the K712 pads to the Q701 did not make it sound the same as the former (as has been suggested).
The Q701 did become more bassy with the K712 pads but the imaging precision and presence suffered. It doesn't sound bad, but not as good as the K712 with its own pads.
Likewise the K712 lost bass with the Q701 pads - or more likely tilted the balance towards the highs to sound less bassy - and just sounded less engaging.
I like these hp's best when used with their own pads, YMMV.
Regarding cables. I need a long cable because I listen on the couch about 4m from my HP amp. I was using the 6m cable that came bundled with the Q701, but decided to make a DIY cable with some Canare L4E6S star quad I had lying around. The DIY cable is much less 'shouty' in the upper mids. Only downside is that the 6mm Canare cable is significantly bulkier and more microphonic, not an issue for how I listen.
Regarding cables I am using the moon audio silver dragon headphone cables with the carbon fiber 1/4 inch phone plug and it definitely ramped up the sound on the k712 to another level. I bought fifteen foot cables. The silver cable is more neutral sounding and it sounds great with my Rogue RH-5 headphone amp .
 
Jul 20, 2021 at 6:52 AM Post #6,154 of 6,171

buson160man

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As mentioned before, I bought these headphones about one year and half ago and I was a bit disappointed on day one. I kept them because I thought my brain would become used to the sound.
But every time I put another headphones or even AirPods Pro, they reminded me that I felt them lacking.

I bought recently a Sennheiser HD560S and I never thought that it would blow the 712 Pro outta water.

So I am not here to ruin these headphones, but I do not understand how the difference can be so huge. AKG 712 Pro sounds a bit hollow/distorted/divergent and voices seem to be « devoured » by the rest of the spectrum. The soundstage is also weird, I mean it is large but it sounds… « artificial » compared to the HD560S.

Is the high-mid dip responsible for this ? I tried to equalize this part but this changes nothing. I have a plenty powerful amp but it does not change the core flaw.
Someone mentioned it before but he has been attacked by many. To me, the music does not sound right or neutral with these and I am just curious to understand the cause of this. Is this just these headphones signature ? They are supposed to be « studio reference » headphones…
I would not call the Sennheiser (save for the hd 800 ) a neutrally balanced headphone . The akgs are way more speaker like in their presentation than the HD560. The AKGS are used by studio people for a reason. They do not color the sound like some other headphones . They are Just telling the truth of what is north of them. A lot of headphones sound like the sound is coming from inside your head the akgs sound more open and not like the sound is coming from inside of your head.
 
Jul 20, 2021 at 4:56 PM Post #6,155 of 6,171

cel4145

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As mentioned before, I bought these headphones about one year and half ago and I was a bit disappointed on day one. I kept them because I thought my brain would become used to the sound.
But every time I put another headphones or even AirPods Pro, they reminded me that I felt them lacking.

I bought recently a Sennheiser HD560S and I never thought that it would blow the 712 Pro outta water.

So I am not here to ruin these headphones, but I do not understand how the difference can be so huge. AKG 712 Pro sounds a bit hollow/distorted/divergent and voices seem to be « devoured » by the rest of the spectrum. The soundstage is also weird, I mean it is large but it sounds… « artificial » compared to the HD560S.

Is the high-mid dip responsible for this ? I tried to equalize this part but this changes nothing. I have a plenty powerful amp but it does not change the core flaw.
Someone mentioned it before but he has been attacked by many. To me, the music does not sound right or neutral with these and I am just curious to understand the cause of this. Is this just these headphones signature ? They are supposed to be « studio reference » headphones…

In addition to more general frequency response preference, people have different sized and shaped ears. And so the differences in pinnae affect soundstage and imaging perception.

So no headphone suits everyone.

As far as the size of the soundstage, I like the K712 Pro for certain types of music. Whereas I find some music does better with my HD660S because of its more intimate soundstage. But to a certain extent some of that has to do with the mix of the music. It's not just the headphones. And no headphone would be perfect for me in that regard for all music.
 
Jul 21, 2021 at 2:34 AM Post #6,156 of 6,171

Tobes

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In addition to more general frequency response preference, people have different sized and shaped ears. And so the differences in pinnae affect soundstage and imaging perception.

So no headphone suits everyone.

As far as the size of the soundstage, I like the K712 Pro for certain types of music. Whereas I find some music does better with my HD660S because of its more intimate soundstage. But to a certain extent some of that has to do with the mix of the music. It's not just the headphones. And no headphone would be perfect for me in that regard for all music.
Yes I'd agree with this.

Been listening some more to the HD600 and K712 and thought I'd add this little comparo condensing my thoughts a bit more clearly.
I find these headphones interesting to compare as sensitivities/driving requirements are close and the price I payed (new) was within $5 of each other.

From a design perspective the HD600 appears more pure and cleverly thought out - the K712 is a bit more fussy and the headband adjustment loops will lose their elasticity eventually and require replacing. But overall build quality is fine on both.
Comfort wise they are close - both light and comfortable headphones. I might give the nod to the HD600 because with the K712 my ears can touch the driver covers inside the ear cups which can be annoying. The ovoid shape of the HD600 ear cups makes them more compact too and less likely to interfere with high backed seating/headrests.

For sound I’d characterise them as follows:

HD600 - more relaxed and midrange centric, more tonally correct with more natural vocal sound, somewhat more homogenised less focussed and explicit imagery but still detailed, less clean/accurate bass, close to the head less spacious presentation.

K712: more stimulating and exciting, nicely balanced overall but less tonally correct mids, explicitly focussed and detailed imagery, easier to hear into and concentrate on elements and details/textures of the mix, less forward perspective and wide panoramic presentation.

I should mention that sometimes when I switch from K712 to the HD600 the latter just sounds more ‘right’ - in a tonally balanced sense - even though the K712 was previously quite satisfactory on its own terms. Likewise I might switch from the HD600 to the K712 and the mix opens up, with much more space and explicitly detailed imagery, revealing more of the music.

Personally I prefer the more stimulating presentation and listening perspective of the K712 which creates a more immersive experience. I think the K712 works better across mixed genres of music too, though the balanced nature of the HD600 makes it good for general purpose listening as well.

Regardless of my preference for the K712 I still recommend both. Owning both is worthwhile.
 
Jul 28, 2021 at 6:41 AM Post #6,157 of 6,171

9611838416m

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I've been looking into the balanced mod for these.. Does anyone know if AKG or any other vendor sells the part of the headphone that houses the mini xlr jack as a spare?
 

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Jul 28, 2021 at 7:27 AM Post #6,158 of 6,171

Pinkfloyd0

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Yes, it is possible to buy this as a spare part.
But the 3 pin mini xlr is allready fixed inside. And it was difficult for me to get it out. I damaged the plastic surrounding of the mini xlr connector.
 
Jul 28, 2021 at 7:56 AM Post #6,160 of 6,171

Pinkfloyd0

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Ha, je bent een Nederlander!
Dat komt goed uit want ik heb het onderdeel of in NL, of in BE besteld.
Ik kijk vanavond voor je!
 
Jul 28, 2021 at 10:44 AM Post #6,162 of 6,171

Pinkfloyd0

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Let's continue in english.
I ordered this part from DSA-AVL.

This is the contact information:

DSA-AVL
APELDOORN
0031555333102
Info@dsa-avl.nl

I ordered this part in the beginning of 2018.
I presume nothing changed and you can still order it there. Be specific about the part you need, because they send me the part for the K612 model first.

My personal feeling about making the K712 balanced is that it didn't do much in my setup with Violectric hpa v281. I ended up reversing the mod. so I could use the headphones with my other Antelope amp. which is non balanced out only. Other people talk about improvements! Good Luck with modding your AKG's. And when you are finished, let us know how it works out for you!
 
Jul 28, 2021 at 11:03 AM Post #6,163 of 6,171

9611838416m

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Thank you for the contact info. I'll definitely get in touch with them. The only reason I want to balance the K712 is because my new amp (IHA-6) doesn't have good single-ended outputs because of their impedance. And it has a 4pin balanced out that sounds amazing so I want to make sure I can use the k712 to my gear's best..
 
Aug 4, 2021 at 8:40 PM Post #6,164 of 6,171

buson160man

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I've been looking into the balanced mod for these.. Does anyone know if AKG or any other vendor sells the part of the headphone that houses the mini xlr jack as a spare?
You might try Moon Audio they make balanced xlr cables for the 712 pros. I just ordered for mine a balanced XLR cable the silver dragon which is their best cable. I had a single ended cable from them a silver dragon with the furutech carbon fiber 1/4 inch jack and it sounded excellent. They are in North Carolina in the US.
 
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Aug 8, 2021 at 3:42 PM Post #6,165 of 6,171

Foulcher

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Thanks for all answers about HD560S and AKG712 Pro, I took time to answer as I was partly not at home and moved my AKG 712 Pro elsewhere and I really wanted to quick AB them before coming to definitive conclusions even if the final ones are close to wha I originally thought. I agree however that is is mostly a matter of tastes.
I personnaly like mostly songs with vocals (and honestly mostly pop music) and the key difference lies there. AKG 712 Pro is very great in putting instruments in perspective with - I agree - a somewhat speaker-like (far from it in my opinion but the soundstage is there) presentation. But in the process, the vocals seem a bit "devoured" while I prefer the opposite effect : having vocals proeminent with the rest of the music as a supportive role. The difference can be very small of quite big (when there are lot of instruments) between both heaphones but nothing enough to say that any of them is truly far from neutrality. I am just a bit frustrated with AKG 712 Pro sometimes I miss the natural impact of voices in a track. Plus the 560S seems a bit more "dry" (in a positive way) and/or "bright" to my ears (I do not know how to phrase it), which I always like from speakers and headphones.

Tobes answers perfectly complete my message in a more detailed and clear sentences. In my case, I think that I will mostly use HD560S, especially because it works really really good with my headphone amp (HA-1A Mk2 with 65-150 Ohm setting adds a bit of bass impact) and because it fits my music better. On pure orchestral soundtracks (like Nier Replicant/Automata orchestral cds), AKG seems however to have the lead to my ears due to the instrumental "space" and details offered by it (HD560S seems a bit messier/fuzzier on these tracks). I use headphones on several places, so I will use it anyway.
 
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