AKG K 701 high-end reference headphones - revolutionary flat wire voice coil technology, dynamic, open back, impedance 62 Ohms, SPL 105dB, frequency range 10Hz-39.8kHz, max. input power 200mW, hard gold plated 1/4" jack plug, 3m cable. Weight 371g with, 296g without cable
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Uncomfortable for baldies, sound great
These headphones sound excellent when driven by a good amp and look quite stylish in a retro kind of way. They are only 62 ohm impedance but have a low sensitivity of 93dB/mW so whilst not needing a very high voltage they need plenty of current. A decent solid state amp with low output impedance is ideal (I use the open source O2 from Epiphany Acoustics) - a tube amp with high output impedance could interact with the low impedance of these headphones and cause anomalies.
The only criticism I have concerns the headband as many have commented on before. The underside has eight hard bumps which start to dig into my bald head after a while and become uncomfortable. I corrected this by sticking some light foam over the central few bumps which contact the head and they are fine now. Comfort rating is 2 stars vanilla and 5 stars after my low tech mod. Non baldies probably won't notice anyway.
The sound signature is very different from my Sennheiser HD650 - the K701 is much "clearer" to me. They have a reputation for being bass shy but if properly driven (see above) there is plenty of deep bass when needed. Both headphones sound great, just very different. I like the K701 particularly with smooth jazz, acoustic guitars and vocals. They are also good for games as the transients have great "punch" for gunfire and explosions. Sonically the K701 is the same as the K702 and Q701 just different aesthetically and with a fixed cable.
Hope this helps
AKG K701 White
Powerful amp required to make these come alive. No EQ / colouration - Pure flat-line reference phones ; what you hear is what's on the CD / music.
Very capable of giving high impact bass, sub-bass, and treble. Mids and vocals are excellent too. Separation of instruments is amazing, you can sense the space between the different instruments / sounds.
Due to no colouration they may seem dull compared to other non-reference, more coloured phones as these are reference in the truest sense of the word.
Due to their precision and lack of colouration other genres may sound more clinical, harder to enjoy, I put this down to the mastering process of music simply mismatched for these headphones. Suits ALL genres provided they are well produced, with jazz, classical and vocals it is supreme.
Music has a crystalline sparkling clearness and power that engages and enthralls, and is the closest headphone I have ever heard that makes me feel actually there with the artist/s. Just for perspective I have tried the Sennheiser HD800's and they are given a run for their money by the K701's. Considerably less expensive at about ? of the Sennheisers.
I have trouble finding an adjective to sum them up, the closest I can get to a description is spacious, crisp, punchy, phenomenally articulate / lively and an absolute pleasure to listen to.
I think they are from an advanced alien civilization, absolutely awesome!
Broke down just after guarantee time
Alas, they broke down again, now there is no sound in left speaker. And it happened two month after the guarantee time was over. Period. Not very pleased with the product or Thomann's way to dead with the issue. I'm the person who they can call "ex-customer".
Great for mixing, not so great for listening
They give a faithful and slightly unforgiving (which is what you need) sound and a precise soundstage for panning and getting levels right in a mix. Because of their unforgiving nature they can almost sound a little sterile sometimes, but this is not a bad thing. If you can get a mix sounding good in these headphones then they invariably sound great on monitor speakers / hifi / other headphones.
You could of course use these for listening to music and some would probably like their response in that respect. Personally I prefer LISTENING on my Audio Technica ATH-M50 which are far more forgiving and engaging.
Wearability-wise (I'm sure that's a word) they're nice and comfortable for long stints of headphone wearing as the cups go around your ears and not squash them like smaller cans can.
Extremely comfortable. The usual complain is the little pads under the headband but it never bothered me once. The transparent clips/tabs broke off for me but till this day I'm still not entirely sure what is it for. Aside from the cosmetic flaw I don't think you can improve too much especially at this price point. Perhaps add a removable cable connector and call it the K702
£ price - guideline price only
You save: €110 (%36.79)
|sales unit||1 piece|
|available since||December 2005|
|in this category||13|