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AKG Q701 Quincy Jones Signature Line Reference-Class Premium Headphones - Green
AKG Q701 Quincy Jones Signature Line Reference-Class Premium Headphones - Green
Offered by Always Open Always

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing, 13 Jun. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I own many pairs of headphones including around nine Sennheisers ranging from the basic HD201s to the HD598 and RS220s. While appreciating the laid-back sound of the Senns I am also a huge fan of Grados and love their exciting, forward sounding nature, with my SR325is taking pride of place as my favourites. Wanting to expand my collection, I decided it was time to get some AKGs and went for the well-received Q701s.

Straight out of the box, they blew me away. Listening through the headphone output on my Audiolab M-DAC (which incidentally stomps all over my Asus Xonar STX and Fiio E17) they seem to me to be the most balanced of all the headphones in my collection, with a lovely soundstage and incredible detail. They are renowned for being "bass light" but as someone who doesn't particularly love bone-shaking bass that drowns out the rest of the music I find it more than adequate in terms of power, as well as taut. The treble is crisp and clear and vocals come through with great clarity and "body". Instrument separation is far superior to any of my other cans and is a joy to behold - of all the headphones in my collection, these let me hear and easily focus on things I've never heard or particularly noticed before in highly familiar tracks. They also seem to handle any type of music I throw at them with ease, though you may find them unforgiving with poor recordings.

AKG headphones (especially the K and Q series) are often cited as being exceedingly analytical and emotionless. While they perhaps don't excite with metal or electronica *quite* as much as my Grados do, I absolutely love the analytical qualities of these headphones and for me personally they certainly don't fail to transfer emotion. I found that I just want to keep listening and often lose track of time re-experiencing my collection. They are also anecdotally quoted as requiring 2-300 hours of "break-in" to really settle in to their best sound (whether mechanical or psychological)... well if they're going to get even better then it's all good.

As for comfort levels - fantastic. They grip my head nicely and the headband auto adjusts to my head with no hassle. The velvet ear pads feel lovely. Some people do report the bumps on the underside of the band to be uncomfortable but I had no issues. I could wear these for hours and almost forget they were there - unlike my Grados which, after 30 minutes, feel as though they've commited GBH on my earlobes.

All in all, the AKG Q701s complement the Grado SR325is nicely I feel and also sit alongside them as my two favourite cans.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 19, 2014 1:41 PM GMT


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, 15 May 2012
I have owned a pair of Grado SR80s (no 'i') for 2-3 years and enjoyed them immensely. I have a wide range of tastes ranging from Mozart to Metallica and have always appreciated the exciting, forward sounding Grados (if a little bright and fatiguing) with metal and electronica/trance. I also own around eight pairs of Sennheisers of various kinds and have also always enjoyed the more laid-back sound you get from them (as well as the greater level of comfort). I listen to my headphones through either an Asus Xonar STX or a Fiio E17, depending on mood/circumstance.

I recently bought a pair of Sennheiser HD598s which immediately replaced the SR80s as my favourite headphones. I am not an audio expert, but in my experience the HD598s have a fantastic soundstage and great detail. The sound is well balanced with a lovely "sparkling" top end which is far more comfortable to listen to for long periods than the SR80s. I've heard the criticism that the bass on the HD598s is lacking, listening to club music I find the bass to be more than sufficient (even ample) and very tight (which I far prefer) rather than "booming". Many have said the HD598s sound "boring", but I did not find them boring at all, and they have the ability to transfer emotions that send shivers down my spine. They are perhaps not as exciting as the Grados with metal, but for classical I found them to be far more involving and just as (if not more) enjoyable with club tunes. They are are incredibly comfortable.

I was fortunate enough to receive the SR325is as a birthday present barely two weeks later; these immediately leapfrogged the Sennheisers in my list of favourites. They seem to be a level above the HD598 (though to be fair they cost a fair bit more). Soundstage not quite as wide as the Senns but just as detailed and with even more of an exciting energy to them - not quite as smooth and with a richer bottom end. They are supposedly very bright according to many but I find them to be quite balanced. I was expecting plenty of sibilance as with the SR80s but I didn't find any with the lossless files I was listening to - though they seem to be a lot less forgiving than the Senns; feed them a low quality mp3 and the flaws will come through painfully. There's also a bigger difference between listening to the SR325is through the STX and the E17 - the former providing better soundstage and imaging/separation. This difference seems less pronounced with the Senns.

The only downside to the SR325is is that they are painful to wear for more than 30 minutes at a time. I still love the Sennheisers which are ideal for laid-back listening all day in comfort, but for sheer excitement, energy and musicality the SR325is are worth the pain.
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 31, 2013 9:17 AM BST


Sennheiser HD 598 Over-Ear Headphones - Cream
Sennheiser HD 598 Over-Ear Headphones - Cream
Price: £145.20

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In love with these headphones, 12 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having owned the Grado SR80s for 2-3 years and enjoyed them immensely, I decided to get a pair of these having read a few reviews and generally being appreciative of the Sennheiser sound signature as much as the Grado. I have a wide range of tastes ranging from Mozart to Metallica and have always appreciated the exciting, forward sounding Grados (if a little bright and fatiguing) with metal and electronica/trance and was wary of the smoother and reportedly less exciting HD598s. However, being the owner of other pairs of Sennheisers and having always enjoyed their sound I wanted to move up the Sennheiser ladder to see what they offered me. I use them with either an Asus Xonar STX or a Fiio E17, depending on mood/circumstance.

I am not an audio expert, but in my experience the HD598s have a fantastic soundstage and great detail. The sound is well balanced with a lovely "sparkling" top end which is far more comfortable to listen to for long periods than the SR80s. I've heard the criticism that the bass on the HD598s is lacking, listening to club music I find the bass to be more than sufficient (even ample) and very tight (which I far prefer) rather than "booming". Many have said the HD598s sound "boring", but I did not find them boring at all, and they have the ability to transfer emotions that send shivers down my spine. They are perhaps not as exciting as the Grados with metal, but for classical I found them to be far more involving and just as (if not more) enjoyable with club tunes. While there are debates about the actual (rather than perceptual) reality of break-in, like most people I also noticed that they improved in clarity and detail after a few hours use, whatever the underlying cause.

These cans are incredibly comfortable; I can confirm as others have said that it's easy to forget you are wearing them. But then I've experienced this with my other pairs of Senns too. The Grados are in comparison a bit painful on the ears. As for the looks - it's really a matter of taste, but I absolutely love the way they look.

In short, I absolutely love these headphones; they have superseded my SR80s as my favourite cans. I will be getting a pair of Grado SR325is shortly and will be interested to see how they compare.

Edit: I think we have a new champion. The SR325is seem to be a level above the HD598 (though to be fair they cost a fair bit more). Soundstage not quite as wide as the Senns but just as detailed and with even more of an exciting energy to them - not quite as smooth and with a richer bottom end. They are supposedly very bright according to many but I find them to be quite balanced. I was expecting plenty of sibilance as with the SR80s but I didn't find any with the lossless files I was listening to - though they seem to be a lot less forgiving than the Senns; feed them a low quality mp3 and the flaws will come through painfully. There's also a bigger difference between listening to the SR325is through the STX and the E17 - the former providing better soundstage and imaging. This difference seems less pronounced with the Senns.


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