5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 7 April 2013
Used for a month now. Open headphones, so expect noise leakage and not so great isolation!
I listen to: everything. from classical, metal, chiptune, wub wub, swing, 80s', rock and roll, jazz, acapella, name the genre, and I have it in my library somewhere.... except country specific stuff that is.
+: There's no difference in my opinion sonically between this and the more expensive K702. Only difference is the color and detachable cable.
+: Good build quality. Cables are solid and are relatively low memory compared to others. Headphones are well built and sturdy.
+: Great reference sound. Not for bass junkies or treble lovers. Even with Eq you get nice clean reference sound with slight variation. Want a bassy sound go for the
+: You don't realise how great the reproduction in sound is until you start thinking normal people are talking in the room or singing along when its actually in the track.
+: While some people complain about the sound, I find that using the Equaliser helps a LOT. Use it to get the sound you want people, especially if you're jumping genres.
-: I have a relatively pointy head, and AKG has not done anything with the ridiculous foam pads that don't break in. I had to cut the pads out. Could only wear it for 1-2 hours max before excruciating head pain, now its good for as long as I want.
a rough guide: [...]
-: If you wear glasses, circumaural (round ears) like these will press on your glasses. This may bother you. For me my supra-aural Grados hurt more because I have a pointy tragus (ear bit)
-: Theres a difference with an amplifier. You would want one otherwise this headphone will be wasted.
Overall a great pair of cans, except the comfort issues. Pity AKG is charging more for green or gimmicky extras for the same sound quality in newer versions.
Those who want to spoil yourself. Its worth it. I believe this is the sweet spot. Beyond this price range its all exponential diminishing returns.
Home usage. You don't wanna be lugging this thing around.
67 of 73 people found the following review helpful
on 23 October 2008
Yet again, here I am droning on about Headphones but I felt compelled to write about the 701's as I really am qualified to do so as I've owed them twice, but this time for keeps...read on.
I bought a set of 701's about 18 months ago as they were reviewed everywhere as the dogs do dah's for reference quality listening. I wanted them to go with a fantastic ''PPA'' dedicated headphone amp I had made for me (thanks Ken) and wanted the best I could get. After an initial burn in period of about 150 hours they really openned up in every way. More detail, more bass, wider soundstage and I really started to enjoy them. They were well suited to my amp and the combination made me quite emotional on many an occasion.
Unfortunately I'm a budding Audiophile and I'm on a slippery slope always striving for something just that sounds just that little bit better and whilst lurking on one or two Audiophile forums I found the Denon AHD2000 headphones more and more frequently listed as the ''ones to have''. I even contacted a guy on another internet site beggining with ''e'' because he was selling his 701's and I wanted to know what he was trading his in for, again up cropped the Denon AHD2000's and I was sold....
The 701's went to the guy who built my PPA and I was left without a decent set of phones until the Denons arrived from Japan a few weeks later. The Denons are brilliant, don't get me wrong and have bass in spades which I find is a tad light on the 701's. They are also a closed type so do have an advantage over the 701's in that I can still listen to music when the wife or kids are in the same room. As I hadn't compared the 701's and Denons in a direct side by side test I wasn't convinced I had made the right decision in getting the Denons, but they are good and are definately one of my ''Keepers''. After months of wondering if I had done the right thing (compounded by the guy who built my PPA telling me how much he loved my old 701's and how they had matured into the most astounding phones) I cracked and ordered another set......
I was fortunate enough to get mine for £170 delivered. They arrived and I tried them straight away with the PPA and I was right, I had been missing something. Even whilst tight and new there was just something magical about them, something the Denons or my Grado 325i's didn't have or did differently. They have been ''Cooking'' constantly for about 100 hours now and are already a world away from when they 1st arrived, cleaner deeper, wider.
This is my advice:
If you are contemplating buying these? do it unless you can afford the extra £150 for the 702's (sexy dark blue with detatchable/upgradable mini xlr cable).
If you want (closed) reference phones with a bit more bass? I would audition the Denon AHD2000's.
If you want something ultra detailed with a signature unlike any other phone (although slightly less comfortable than the above)? I would audition the Grado SR325i's.
I own and will keep all the above as they are all superb phones. Although they all offer something different the throne definately belongs to the AKG K701's no contest.
44 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on 29 April 2010
So much has been said about these headphones that you probably know what you're looking for, before you even searched for them here. This is what you get: clarity and extreme accuracy in a funky, slighly retro-space-age-looking package that's huge, but comfortable. Everything you read is true - these are remarkable headphones, but the extreme clarity and wide soundstage may not be to everyone's liking.
People often say that these phones are hard to drive, and I have read tons of nonsense about this as well. The truth is this: no, you do not need the most expensive tube amplifier and the craziest headphone amp to go with it to get sound from these babies. Your iPod Nano will drive them just fine, but at a low volume. Your crappy soundcard wiill drive them at a decent volume. Your old, rickety Aiwa stereo will drive them. They will not drive them into the world-class performance that they're capable of, but they will work JUST FINE with almost ANY equipment, unless you're a serious hi-fi-buff.
Here's the beauty of this. Buy these cans for your crappy equipment - they will outperform any standard headphones. Then as you decide to get better equipment, or as entry-level gear simply improves, they will grow with it. They will handle eveything you throw at them, and their unique signature sound will follow.
The only downside to this, if you're anything like me, is that after hearing those old mp3s of yours on these things, you'll want to upgrade your files. When you've done that, you'll want to upgrade your soundcard, get a USB DAC to handle the processing, switch your amp, get a headphone amp and so on. With every upgrade you get, the phones will just sound better and better. It is very addictive, let me tell you, and very expensive. But when you're finally playing the music on a proper CD player or as high-quality files from a good source and run it though a proper amp, you will be amazed. My music will never be the same - these phones have revealed so many nuances that I've never heard before - even running straight off my iPod with crappy mp3s.
Worth absolutely every last penny.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 15 November 2014
I aquired a pair of these headphones out of curiosity as they are widely regarded as some of the flatest and most revealing headphones available but was expecting a thin sound which was lacking in bass. I had also heard some reviewers describe them as plasticky and artificial sounding. They couldn't have been more wrong, which has led me to writing this review. Firstly the soundstage of these cans is superb giving an airy and spacious representation of the music being listened to. The detail retrieval at the top end is second to none with every sound captured and rendered un natural detail. The mids and vocals came across well although were not forward sounding. Finally the bass, was more than adequatly present especially on bass heavy tracks. It's just not artificially boosted on tracks where the original recording didn't intend it. I think that as a result, tgey are ideal for professional studio usage but also would make a nice set of home headphones for someone whose priority us accurate sound reproduction. Excellent classical recordings really shine on these headphones. They are also extremely lightweight and comfortable to wear. The only minus I can see is no removeable cable.
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on 15 March 2008
I have owned a pair of AKG k701s for several months. They've had >400hrs play and I now feel qualified to comment on them. I use them to listen to my iPod classic 5G, with the aid of a Ray Samuels Hornet (portable, battery-powered headphone amp) and AudioOnline supercotton dock.
- Gorgeous looking headphone, solid construction, very comfortable overall (except for downward pressure from leather strap at times)
- Distinctly underwhelming initially. This is partly because they are renowned to take >300hrs to burn in. I was very disappointed with the lack of bass. As time goes on, sound becomes more and more detailed, soundstage enlarges (such that some sounds almost seem to come from behind), hiss disappears and bass becomes warmer and more apparent.
- Beginning with a negative, these headphones are actually quite lousy at certain types of rock music e.g. oasis, spiritualised. Most notably tracks where there is a unidirectional wall of sound. In these situations, the bass is under-represented. It does depend on how the track is mastered - similar music where the bassline comes from both sides rather than centre soundstage give far better bass with the k701. Anyway, prepare to be disappointed with some rock. I bought a pair of Grado SR80s to plug this gap (which they have, very nicely).
- Now on to the positives. The detail is phenomemal with these headphones. This shines when listening to well-miked acoustic instruments and vocals. For me, these headphones have caused me to greatly enjoy music I never previously liked! If it's well recorded, then it's a joy to listen to. For example, double-bass solos in jazz CDs used to bore me to tears. But when you hear the soft thud of fingers on the strings, the occasional buzz, slide and even the breathing of the musician, it's just electric! Listen to Kate Rusby sing a solo and you hear those tiny saliva noises as she opens/shuts her mouth. Listen to Rodrigo y Gabriela (folk/flamenco guitar) and you really feel like you're in the same room.
- These headphones are very non-fatiguing. Loud or quiet, they just don't give you a headache, even after many hours. I think it's because the sound (rather than being drummed into your skull as with some other headphones) feels natural - as though you're in the same room as the musician rather than having a speaker attached to your lug-hole!
- Although bass is disappointing in some contexts, it's actually very good overall. I had never heard really low frequency bass until I got these headphones. Crisp, clear, but in your boots! In electronically generated (dance, trance etc.)tracks the bass is nicely proportioned. As I've said, it's only when the music is 'crowded' that the bass recedes into the background at times.
- These cans hate EQs. Any EQ setting in my experience makes the music very unpleasant and unbalanced.
In summary, I LOVE the k701. Every night I look forward to going to bed and lying in the dark listening to whatever track comes up next on the iPod (shuffle playlist). Sections of my music collection I'd grown bored of I've fallen back in love with. Some music I previously detested I now enjoy because, regardless of the tune, the sounds are so rich and lovely. You can listen to the same track 10 times, appreciating a different instrument each time. Personally, I think these headphones shine with good orchestral recordings, well-miked acoustic/vocals, jazz and metal.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 October 2013
I wanted to upgrade my Audio-Technica ATH-M50's, good enough in their own right, but maybe I could do better. Having read all the reviews I selected Sennheiser HD 650's, because of their general positive endorsement and acclaim. Very disconcerted to find I didn't like them very much, though I tried to accommodate them and played them as much as I could, after all I had paid enough for them! But I couldn't stomach the low-mid colouration, which didn't get any better with usage, so I eventually had to sell them. I replaced them with AKG 701's, bought used to offset the money loss through the sale of the Senns - which gave me one advantage in not having to run the new phones in! I was completely satisfied on first trial: they are uncannily accurate, with extraordinary focus and definition, taking you right into the music as though you were part of it. An enormous increase in the pleasure of music. I see no point in listing all the treble-mid-bass characteristics, because if they are noticeable, the sound is not balanced, and it forces you to listen to the equipment rather than to the music. Good equipment offers you the music for you to enjoy and refrains from drawing attention to itself, and this is what the AKG's do, let you sit back and uncritically enjoy the music. (Provided, that is, they are linked with other decent equipment. You need an adequate DAC and amp, and if you have a high-impedence switch, use it: these phones need hard driving, otherwise they will sound restrained, however much you turn up the volume.) With all the right back-up equipment, the sound from these phones is as good as it gets. I don't feel that I need any better.
on 7 January 2015
I bought it from a German website which was much cheaper than amazon at that time.
Made in China version, but not different from made in Austria version after many people compaired.
To be honest, it is not looks like a 200 pounds headphone because it looks quite light and plastic.
You can get a juat okey sound but not a bad soundwhen you just push it directly by you phone or computer, same like 20 pounds one.
This headphone does not have a high impedance but need a quite large current to push. I am using hud-mx1(but changed original op) right now, far more good than with out amp.
Very comfortable even wear it for half day.
Good in high and mid parts of (pop) music, but because of it is a open headphone, not so much base actually but okey for me.
By the way, the cable is just tooooooooooo long for me, it can become a "wireless" headphone in my little room if you know what I mean.
Good headphone for using at home, just don't directly plug into your phone or ipod.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 5 June 2007
I bought these headphones as reference headphones for my recording studio and for listening to music late at night. I haven't had a chance to let them really play in yet (6-7hours only) but already I am in love.
Sound becomes completely exposed, if the source is poor (how bad is the audio on TV!?) they really show you how poor the sound is. If the sound is well recorded then it is heard magnificently. Tracks that I've heard a thousand times are just coming alive, with parts that I never new existed.
I've always wondered why people spend thousands on mics to record acoustic music... and know I now. The dynamics in recordings by artists like Nick Drake and Guy Maile become almost addictive. To me they sound tonally very even across the frequency range with perhaps a roll off in bass right at the bottom end.
These headphones are very expensive but if you love music then you won't be sorry you bought them.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 29 March 2010
Excellent headphones in every way, but be careful if you have a larger than usual head! In order to make mine comfortable I have had to do a bit of surgery on the headband. However, I think it's worth hacking them about to avoid having your earlobes pulled off. Lovely, utterly clear sound.
Six months on and I just thought I'd do a quick update to say that I still love these 'phones. They seem to be improving with age. The bass really is just like being in the concert hall. It's very naturally extended with no overblown or artificial effects at all. I often forget I am listening to recorded music.
Update 05/01/2015 - Still using these and still loving them :-)
39 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on 27 November 2010
I wanted to try these out for a long time. Since I started thinking about upgrading my headphone system the idea of buying K701 was always in my mind.
After 3 years of testing different gear and purchasing other headphones I have decided to purchase them. The price in the UK is not very good so I bought it elsewhere with shipping to Britain. To give these headphones good amplification (which they need) I purchased Heed CanAMP, which should pair very nicely with these headphones as reported by many happy users. I have also used my old dynalo that was great for Grados and should be very good match for low impedence K701 drivers. And as reported by oher users this AMP should have good sinergy with the K701 as well though majority of people say Heed is better match.
The first impression was very good. The headphones have not been yet burnt-in but I could see why people love them for the soundstage and detail they give. I since then left them for burn-in period. I have been buring these headphones for at least 500 hours before attempting to judge their sound in any way. In the first 100h the differences were pretty clear but after that period I wasn't really sure whether any further changes are just a placebo effect or my ears are adjusting to the sound siganture. The reason for so long burn-in was that many people say it is vital to give these headphones as much burn-in as possible. So I did it.
In general the sound of the K701 is.... extremely unnatural. Yes, it has the impressive soundstage that everyone raves about. But it is stretch from far left to far right and there is alsmost no depth to it at all. My Grados SR80i have better depth of the soundstage than these headphones! Still there are some good things about the soundstage. The air between the instruments on classical recordings gives the spacious feeling. The sound is 'big' and spectacular. Each of the sources has its own place and could be easily located. It has very unnatural feeling though. People often describe the soundstage of the K701 as artificial. This is because the headphones put you exactly on the performing stage with the artists and you feel close to them. Yet the sounds extend to the far left and right side of the scene giving the feeling of almost no depth to the soundstage. Another reason is that the female voices are more forward while the male ones are more laid back. On the recordings with both female and male voices we can hear the female performer standing right next to us where the male voice is further away though they shold be in the same line.
Now the detail... The detail od the headphones can be only decribed in relation to the others. The good thing is that during last few years of spending money in hifi hobby I have bought HD600 and HD650 as well. These are often put as the main competitors when it comes to decide whether to buy one of these pairs. This is where the K701 fails really badly. People often describe the sound of the K701 as very revealing and detailed more so than the HD650. I can't agree with that. The level detail of the K701 might be on par with the HD600 but not the HD650. The main problem with the HD650 is that it is often underamplified. People think it's almost just as 'easy' to drive as HD600. From my experience I can tell HD650 is harder to drve than K701. Much harder. But when give a proper amplification it has easily more detail than the K701 and still remains very smooth and pleasing without no fatigue which is not always the case with the K701. The HD6x0 headphones also have no problems with depth of the soundstage though the sound is not as open nor it has the width of the K701 soundstage. The K701 also exhibits the details more. While they are all in the sound of the HD600 they are more hidden and not given straight into your ear. The natural and live-like sound of the K701 also isn't very strong point in my experience simply because even cheaper headphones offer more of the natural presentation. I personally found the K601 to be better in this aspect and they are cheaper.
So arethe K701 really that good? No... and yes. No, because there are better headphones that could be a choice for the people looking for the detail, soundstage depth or naturality in the sound. Yes, because they can give you very unque sound and while it is far from natural it is the style of presentation that many will like. They are also very flexible when it comes to the AMP matching. You really don't need to spend a lot of cash to get it amplified 'properly'. All dynalo based constructions will give more than enough power. Same the Heed CanAMP which I actually found to be a very good match indeed. Also - unlike in sennheisers or beyers - these headphones are not so picky when it comes to the general design of the amplifiers. While for beyers and senns people would recommend tube AMPs the K701 can be equaly good from many solid-state designs. This is very personal though. The most important factor for me would be the fact that the soundstage of the K701 can be very big even from cheaper amplifiers such as Heed CanAMP. To get to this 'impressive' or spectacular soundstage impression you would need to spend twice more than that with the HD650. Don't get me wrong. The K701 scales very well and there is sense in buying the better and better amplification. However, in my experience the HD650 scales far better and if you have a lot of money for the AMP I would go for the senns.
The amplification used to test K701:
Dynalo based DIY amp, Heed CanAMP, Lehmann Black Cube Linear,
CA DacMagic, Arcam Solo CDP, Lavry Da10
Please remember that these are just my findings and people opinions may vary.