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AKG K702 Reference Headphones

AKG K702

4.45 4.45 out of 5, based on 7 Reviews

Light, comfortable headphones that produce high-quality sound in a non-fatiguing way.


31st December 2011

AKG K702 by Arthur Stone

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
AKG K702 Reference Headphones

AKG K702 Reference Headphones-akg1.jpg

It's always a pleasure to put these headphones on - they create a comfortable space in which to listen to music. These really are non-fatiguing; OK for hours of use with no discomfort although the headband was a little uncomfortable for prolonged periods (hours of use) for the first few weeks. The phones are open-backed so will bleed a little if used for tracking, but they are very cool in comparison to other headphones I've used, even in hot Summer.
The K702's use a two-layer diaphragm which is designed to aid the pistonic action of the aluminium voice coil. There is a really long mechanical 'burn-in' period - like a fine wine the K702's improve with age but that wait is worth it.

The headphones have great dynamics and soundstage; there is a small gap between speaker and ear, this gives a sense of distance and spaciousness to the audio...never cramped or claustrophobic. The replaceable foam earpads are covered in a soft velvet material which is very comfortable.

AKG K702 Reference Headphones-akg3.jpg

The transition from my Focal CMS40 monitors to the K702's is smooth and there is a sense of continuity between the soundstage that both produce. I can't really compare the K702's to other headphones - only earbuds and AKG K44's...reviews and comments on Gearslutz suggest that they rank amongst the best although some users comment about their 'bass lightness' but personally I find them well-balanced and true to source - I've even had to check that the main sub wasn't on. My monitoring environment is very quiet at night - just the odd owl hoot and the rustling of wind in the trees; listeners in urban environments or producers of dance-specific music might prefer a more hyped bass.

Conclusion:
Stellar sound and comfort. Highly-recommended, but amplifier dependent. The K702's have a two-year warranty.

References:
AKG K702 Black - Full-Size Headphones | HeadRoom Audio
K 702

3rd January 2012

AKG K702 by AcoosticZoo

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 1 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
AKG K702 Reference Headphones

Grab a pair if you can. They are really that good.

Comfortable for night use. K702 are Quite heavy so be sure to adjust the head band properly.

I love the imaging on these. You can get that detailed full range sound.

Audition them with a higher quality headphone driver like the Apogee Duet2 (or whatever u fancy), you'll be really happy with the sound.

Great to compose with. Pleasure to use.

Positives: Superior Detail, Full range.

Regards
Josef Horhay
Mixing Engineer
www.acoosticzoo.com

23rd January 2012

AKG K702 by dwells

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
AKG K702 Reference Headphones

I love these headphones, these are my go to headphones for headphone mixing. I know mixing on headphones is a recipe for disaster, but I sometimes need to mix when I'm away from my studio. I work often on a laptop and these are lovely. I also love these as a reference, I often need to work in studios where I don't trust the control rooms, these are a nice portable reference. They allow me to be able to take the room out of the equation, and allow me to easily adjust to the room. they help me from being embarrassed when working in an unfamiliar environment.

I can listen for hours without my ears wanting to die, These are open ear, so it lack a little of the low end. actually in my opinion they dont boost the low end like closed ear designs.

I spent over a hundred ours burning these in. left a radio play in a different room. I never really listened to them before they were burnt in. I remember the low end was weak. after the burn in this was no longer an issue.

I hear things in these that my monitors and most monitors I have experience miss. So I always check my mixes with these, even if I'm at my trusted studio.

Dont listen to mp3 with these, you hear all the nastyness with them, even at 320.

because of their clarity they are at the mercy of the amplifier. your ipod isn't going to work.

I have the 600 ohm version and most devices dont have enough juice. I need an external headphone amp for my laptop. many usb powered devices wont have enough to power it, not to full effect

My only complaints are the burn in period, and the 600 ohms, but that not their fault thats the trade off, and most professional tools have enough juice to cover this have this covered.

Overall I would buy these headphones again. If something happens to my current pair, I would replace them quickly with the same model.

Also don't buy these MSRP, it's double the amount you can buy these. with a small search you can pick theses up for under $300, just look at the popular website for buying many things online (hint it's not ebay, it the other one)

21st January 2013

AKG K702 by mickbenjamins

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 3 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
AKG K702 Reference Headphones

I love my pair of K702's!

I always check my mixes with these, and I am able to hear things that I cant on other headphones or on some monitors.
I either drive them with my Duet2, but personally I like their sound even better when I uses my Fiio E17.

They are heavy, but they are comfortable enough to wear for a longer period of time, its just the band that might be a little uncomfortable at times.

3rd December 2013

AKG K702 by monkeyxx

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use N/A
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 3.75
AKG K702 Reference Headphones

OH MAN, I love K702~! with that bein' plainly said,

Mine are the "Made in Austria" version with 8 head band bumps (earlier had 7? later made in China?). The removable cable fits snugly in the mini-XLR socket. The strap starts to make your scalp scream "mercy!" after 2-3 hours in the same spot, but it happens suddenly after a long period of comfort, and that's a huge window of workable time. It's not an issue for me.

Going to have to "learn" them before attempting pro audio work, but, wow these are the best I've ever heard. Not in a mind-melting way, but more a calm, "wow! these are good."

Mine sound fairly relaxed and speaker-like. The high end is totally fine. The bass is not exaggerated, but I like that. Big-bass songs still sound big bass. Surprisingly so, actually, based on what I read before buying. Sounds like there's a hefty sub involved, comparing to a speaker system, but not a cranked one. Good, I don't mix like that.

I like the slightly distant, roomy sound, makes me feel less "phoney" with voices inside my head. The expansive sound stage suits my listening preferences.

The sound signature is smooth and somewhat midrange focused to my ear, very balanced, slightly crisp on top. The odd sound here and there "sticks out" but not nearly as bad as some of my cheaper closed back cans. These are also not broken in.

The amount of specific detail I can hear is incredible: bass lines as if solo'd, reverb tonality, stereo effects, little harmonized guitar overdubs, each part individually! I think I am going to learn a lot from these phones. I can see this being really useful for writing, tracking, mixing.

The one thing I don't love on these is Pummeling Rock n Roll Banshee With Massive Fuzz Guitar Wings, like the smashing pumpkins. Seems to tame the guitar a little much for my taste. Anything a little less raging sounds adequately energetic, though, just not the all the way to 11 balls through the wall stuff. OK Computer sounds just fine, Zep and Sabbath are "in tact."

My main purpose with these phones was to get quiet, comfortable, and not hate the sound compared to what I'm used to, which is good speakers in a good treated room. My DT770 and ATH-M50 failed this test with sound and comfort issues, respectively. The K702 pass with flags a'flying, well, flying metal support rails which also function as electrical conductors from the cord to the right side driver. The AKG are both comfortable, and pleasant sounding. I'm able to sit a while with these and enjoy music.

The iPhone 4S drives them just fine, in fact I might get addicted to portable sound that's this good. SM Pro M Patch 2 is also adequate. I'm investing in a better amp, next, and finally a high end DAC in a few months. Echo Audiofire 12, currently is what I'm using.

Pardon my enthusiasm, I just opened the box yesterday, and I've never owned any phones in this league before. They definitely solve a lot of problems for me.

I thought head phones could not be good, but they "can."

26th November 2014

AKG K702 by kodebode

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
AKG K702 Reference Headphones

I received these as a birthday present, which I was involved in choosing.

Mine were made in China.

These are my 1st pair of high end headphones. My previous listening references were Alesis monitors and Sennheiser MX470 headphones.

I've been listening for a few hours, and its been impossible to put the headphones down.

FIT

I find them comfortable, with only the very slightest pressure and weight. Yes movement of your head does produce some sound from the headphone material as it stretches, so you do have to kinda keep your head a bit still, to avoid this. I hope this improves.

Its nice to have a 3 meter Cable so I am not tied to close proximity to my earphone connector.

Nice to have a connector that is detachable, cos I can move away from my listening position, and still leave the headphones on my head by disconnecting the cord.

These headphones are so good, you do not take them off, and after listening for about 10 hours non stop, I did feel a bit of pressure around my ears, and for my good health was compelled to take them off, and give my ears a rest.

Listening to many of todays bass rich tracks for hours on end in itself can lead to a form of fatigue - bass overload, which this headphone delivers in spades, if the bass is in the track.

I discovered that because the headphones are large, for some ears, there's quite some leeway for adjusting the earcups forward and backwards around each ear, and this slightly modified the sound. The headband also needs to be positioned in the right place on the top of the head as there is leeway for moving this forward and backward somewhat.

SOUND QUALITY

These headphones show up supposedly good recordings for exactly what they are and not so good also. I started my listening session with SAM SMITHs in the lonely hour, went on to pop such as KATY PERRY, and was still underwhelmed. 1st impressions was that the bass was very present, voices came across very naturally, and vocal volume changes were a revelation.

The high frequencies were extremely comfortable, its almost impossible to feel or hear the sibilance I had been expecting considering that most reviews indicated that this headphone had an emphasised high end. In my opinion I found the opposite, I was yearning for a bit more high end. Guess its because the high end is so transparent, no hint of hype to emphasize anything.

I had listened to SAM SMITH on the MX470's and really likes it, but apart from his voice nothing else stood out on the AKG's

Then I fortuitously decided to listen to the seminal Michael Jackson album - THRILLER.

My audio world changed. These headphones depicted all the tracks on this album with such precision, I could hear exactly what each instrument sounded like, I could hear everything, I could hear why this album was so well received. My further comments are based on this impression.

Its like looking in a very clear still lake. The headphones seem to disappear. You "hear".:

1. The balance of volumes on instruments in a mix is like nothing I have heard before. This I have never heard so well on anything, including speakers.

2. If its there, you hear it. If its not there, you do not hear it. On THRILLER, every vocal - every instrument stood out in its own space, well blended together yet uniquely identified. I could literally point to each audio item in direction and distance from my ear. i.e the reverb cues made stuff that was distant absolutely believable. Very easy to discern the real sound of synthesizers and vocals, and real horns, guitars, the fingerprint of each instrument, and every one of Michaels adlibs and all various backing vocals. The variation in overall production from track to track was so vividly presented.

3. The lack of distortion tempts you to raise the volume but I resisted this, to avoid ear damage.

4. Stereo panning - Wow... as I said earlier you can place everything accurately in the listening plane, all distinct, all easily heard. The lead vocal was like something coming from a large virtual space in the middle of your head.

5. When there is bass on the track, you can hear this and appreciate the type of bass, deep, mid, synth bass, if it has upper frequencies in the bass tone, volume changes in the bass, you literally hear the strings, like the bassist was a few feet away from you, almost like you can see the bassist play and slap and twang his instrument. Uncanny, you feel like shaking hands with the musicians.. ! that intimate.

6. This headphone separates the boys from the men, good tracks that are well produced sound awesome, and plastic is revealed for exactly what it its.

I almost felt that the headphones were too smooth. In retrospect these headphones let me hear so easily the difference between the smooth predominantly analog based tape recordings and the harsh sounding digital music. While I wished it would be a bit more revealing, i.e a bit more mid range, I guess its a trade off between a natural non fatiguing sound, and a more hyped sound.

Yes the mid range is a bit scooped, i.e the lower mid range is more emphasized than it should be, as the mid range is lower than expected.

Nevertheless it does so well to give a very good impression of what's there. I would expect that these headphones would cause a mixing engineers who references on them to work very hard.

Only one minor fault. Some high frequency noise from my headphone interface which I could easily discern on the MX470, which may be hyped in the affected frequency, was impossible to detect on the AKG 702.

Now I understand why many others say they sound clinical, anything that is substandard, such as some of Michael's vocals that were a bit quiet on a remix of one of his songs(deluxe 25 years anniversary version of the album)

I could tell that the recent remixes unfortunately could not stand up to the same scrutiny as the original versions mixed by Bruce Swedien. These headphones showed any gaps in these new mixes - startlingly, the good bad and ugly of these newer tracks was plain to see. They lacked a certain depth and I was hearing instruments, but the emotive connection did not occur with the new tracks, and the instruments did not stand out in space or blend together like the older tracks. The new tracks were like linear 2Dimensional while the old tracks were like being there..... All the spacial cues were there.

You hear a lot, including distortion, from overloads on recordings of interviews with Quincy Jones.

Yes these headphones to me sound a bit dark, like the lows are over emphasized, and will take some time to learn how to use them properly, and references mixes on them, but now I know what world class sound on headphones sounds like.

You do not just hear reverb, you feel it. When its right, you hear it, it's perfect.

CONCLUSION

My final impressions, If is sounds amazing on these speakers, then it is truly amazing. For well recorded and mixed material, the separation between instruments and voices is so surreal.

These headphones challenge you to revisit the rest of your listening chain, could be the darkness is from my converters.

What sells these headphone to me is how voices come across - truly unhyped. Really natural.

I recall once reading about Harbeth speakers which were calibrated based on well known voices. These remind me of this as voices come across so natural yet you can discern variances between the vocal chain so easily with no effort at all, you literally hear into the variations in microphone, amp, recording medium, eq and other processing that has been applied.

I keep coming back to the stereo thing. Stuff that is recorded using stereo oriented methods such as Thriller, stand out as 3D in contrast to many other really good pieces of music which are revealed for what they are - 2D panned. Excellent music pieces but not quite in the same aural heaven as Thriller,

Non fatiguing, I could have these on all day. Listening to old Chic songs the difference from track to track in eq of vocals and reverb, and the variation in the sound of the bass, balance of instruments, clarity is unbelievably good, these headphones are very transparent.

I'll end by saying these headphones are like being a production assistant in the studio of each track you listen to. You hear exactly, the production values and direction of each track, the choices made by the mixing engineer.

How else can I describe it. Each track you hear leaves you not just with an imprint of its musical progression, chords, notes, words, but you are right there in the producers mind.

Let me compare with food. The musical production, notes, melodies etc, become the ingredients, you can taste the quality of the core ingredients, and moreso you can taste the quality of the cooking, was it cooked, boiled, frozen, fried, what spices were added, was it served hot, what manner of cutlery and crockery did it come with and did the waiter wear high heels. You hear so much more than the music.

I have never heard recorded music so transparently. The good, bad and the not so pretty.

If you want to enjoy all of the music - do not buy these headphones, but if you want the truth, it starts here.

Enough said

EDIT:

2nd thoughts.

These headphones are a bit too truthful just a bit too honest.

One has to be fully aware of the Fletcher Munchen curve and how ones appreciation of frequencies is affected by volume especially in the lowest and upper mid range/high frequencies, which sometimes need a bit of volume to hear them.

On many tracks its like listening to an old vinyl system, where you need to adjust the volume for every track, to hear them properly, especially if you are playing tracks in a playlist across different genres and different recordings.

The sound is so balanced that every minute change in volume on your monitoring equipment translates immediately to a change in how the frequencies are head by you. Be mindful - with these headphones (I almost called the speakers cos they almost are), the volume control is your best friend.

I listened to a number of jazz tracks by Hiromi, and George Bensons recent revisit of some of Nat King Coles songs, and was quite concerned, these sounded dark, like some upper frequencies were absent from the tracks. I almost wanted to doubt the quality of the phones, but the headphones were simply telling the truth. those frequencies were absent in the recordings, why:

Next up was Kind of Blue - Miles Davis, and with proper adjustment of the volume control as usual, it sounded almost perfect. I'm sure some minor downward eq adjustment of the lower frequencies, would have made the upper frequencies stand out a bit more. but in truth this recording proved that there was nothing wrong with the headphones, those trumpets sang and the saxophone sang, and nothing was missing, the punchy piercing phrasing came out very clear.

Back to listening to Wynton Marsalis trumpet on George Benson's version of Unforgettable confirmed that, in my opinion, this recording was not as balanced as it could be, as the trumpet did not come through as brightly as I would have preferred, and George's voice was definitely a bit bassy, velvety. It was so clear what the production values of this recording were - warn cosy, fluffy, not sharp and spiky. I could imagine lots of warm valves in the recording chain, and nothing stuck out, transients were somewhat veiled. and the darkness was the tone of the recording. Or the monitoring/mastering environment were this was produced overemphasized highs which were overcompensated for, leading to a vintage sounding album. I think overall it was the intention to create a vintage sounding album, although these headphones confirmed that the album had veered a bit too much towards the cosy, fuzzy, warm and woolly, in my opinion. Nevertheless on "Walking my Baby back home", those bass notes on the horns and strings were beautiful

The NAT King Cole remakes by George Benson, - sounded so vintage like watching an old film, and this intention was clearly exposed by the headphones, so vividly. Yet I have listened to these tracks on other headphones and this intention was never revealed. You can literally read the mind of the production team. - Smooth was the objective of these recordings. "When I fall in love" was just so velvety, even the guitar licks were not exposed. Shockingly the next track Route 66 which had more percussive elements - A piano that I could clearly hear must be a Steinway, and Georges voice and his guitar on this track had a bit more bite, in spite of the track keeping in general velvety mode with the other tracks. It was obvious that this track was mixed in such a way, or the instruments chosen which had more exposed transients. These headphones are truly analytical.

In my experience with other headphones - you set the volume and pretty much forget it, s there is an element os sameness and compression which makes tracks sound a bit similar, but on the K702, every track and every instrument, even when mastered on the same album, sounds so distinct in tone.

With the AKG K702, it draws your attention to the volume knob/lever, at the start or midway through each new track, to allow you optimise for that piece of music.

Returning to Frank and Back to Black by Amy Winehouse, fully exposed the vast separation between Amy's absolutely clear voice, and the dub deepness darkness of the bass, and the bass synth parts, which I had never hard on other headphones. These headphones are merciless - the overload of bass in some modern recordings is laid bare on "intro/Stonger than Me" Same thing was repeated on the next track - You sent me Flying/Cherry, where the percussive piano, and her voice were sharp and transients were not hidden, on a foundation of a woolly indistinct bass. You hear and feel everything, and the various textures between each voice and instrument so clearly. On one track -- Moody's mood for love - you clearly hear where the mixing engineer has spliced several takes to create a continuous vocal, When I heard the 1st splice, I did a double take, and on the second listen it was so obvious. Round about 1:22 seconds into the track. I could literally hear the variation in tone on each take, which was comped together. This headphone is not a mixing engineers friend. It exposes everything. You distinguish al manner of reverb on instruments and vocals. Further listen to Adeles 21 album reconfirms - bass is only heavy and exposed if it is present in that section of the track. The rolloff of the lower frequencies on Adeles voice is so evident, which creates an almost haunting sound. On Rolling in the deep - the illusion of distance, with the drums placed in the far ground is so clearly expressed.

I listened to Happy by Pharell - and you hear exactly what the mixing engineer had one to the bass, taking out the upper bass leaving only the lower bass on the kick, and you can hear its coming from a distance, similar to the kicks in some of Adele's music. You feel it and barely hear it but it is there creating a knocking effect like stick on wood.

Clown by Emeli Sande, Before these headphones, I thought the bass on Emeli's had been rolled off a bit too much, similar to the Adele vocal sound, while this headphone confirmed that impression, Emeli's voice sounded almost natural on these phones. - Crystal clear.

The Masterpiece - See Beneath you're beautiful, by Labrynth and Emeli Sande was revealed for what it is - a true work of art. I never heard his voice so clear - Boy that man can sing. In all other headphones, I had the impression that Labrynth did not have a good singing voice. Wow these headphones revealed the truth - he has a very wonderful voice. I recall a comment in Sound on Sound magazine where the reviewer stated something similar, and however much I listened on other headphones, I did not agree, until now.

Eventually I came again to the conclusion that what you hear is what is on the track, this headphone is not adding or subtracting anything. Oh my, the relative volume of each instrument comes out so clearly

I am satisfied that with these headphones, you can create masterpieces and hear all the tricks applied to audio tracks, if this is your intention.

I conclude again that you may need to spend several times the price of these headphones to approach a similar quality of studio monitors, and dare I say also in headphones.

Bravo, this is the very best audio equipment I have ever heard, the most accurate I have ever heard.

Update:

While I sometimes feel that the transients on the bass frequencies appears muted, extensive listening across music by a large variety of producers, genres, artists, leaves me with the conclusion that these headphones reveal a version of the truth that is very revealing and enables you compare audio with certainty: level, panning, frequencies are revealed - it will change your impression of all the music you have ever heard, as you'll be hearing them from a whole new perspective. The very best audio will be revealed for its outstanding values and when you hear something that does not sound so good, its not the headphones, its exactly how the track sounds. It has been my most significant learning tool ever on music production, extremely revealing. You will not like a lot of MP3 with these headphones.

I still sense a certain "veil" or feel some tracks could have more bite, but have to live with the truth that this is very close to how they will sound on the very best speakers, my search for an accurate monitor at the level of investment I can muster is over. If its there these headphones will say so, if your are not feeling the vibe or clarity in the track, that's how it was recorded, doesn't matter if the track won many Grammys, this headphone reveals that a lot of music we hear on other media are not as well produced or sound as good as we think.

This headphone has taught me that a lot of other listening environments are obviously compressing and distorting the audio, in ways that may be pleasing to the music, and the music source has been developed to anticipate this compensation in lesser quality listening environments.

Next lesson, while these approximate what music sounds like on a high end sound system, I will also need to have a set of headphones/speakers that emulates what most people are listening on, and probably three other monitoring environments one with heavy bass, heavy mid and emphasized highs, Typically these will be cheapie headphones costing less than 100 dollars in total for all three.

In addition to Thriller just hear Norah Jones - "Come away with me" album, sounds acoustic, but really good.

You can hear the subtle smoothing of transients and low bass filtering of or absence of upper frequencies, on a lot of acoustic music and deduce that the mix and the vintage style equipment has over contributed to this "dull" presentation. But nevertheless as I mentioned earlier, Miles Davis Kind of Blue still sounds really good.

When you hear something on these headphones, you are almost able to imagine the recording/mixing/mastering chain and the room in which it was recorded, or the ambience that was added.

These headphones deserve to be called REFERENCE headphones A very well deserved title, because they separate the men from the boys on everything you hear.

Highly recommended for critical listening.

I feel that if I can make music that sounds outstanding on these headphones, it will sound amazing everywhere else.

I had to add this, there's quality and there's quality, most of the Graceland album by Paul Simon, I listened to the 25th anniversary edition, is like being in another world, music heaven audio sonically, these headphones really separate the men from the boys, I wonder now is there any limit to how good music can sound. it just gets better, when a really well produced track is on, you hear just how good this headphones is - the track is perfect, just as if you are there in the room, literally, but this only happens, to the extent that the track is really well produced.

With these headphones, they have turned the entire music industry upside down for me, there's good, excellent music, and then there are some recordings that are simply life changing - Graceland needs to be heard on these headphones... It will redefine music and music listening, for a lifetime... WOW. you will hear things like you have never heard them.. The best produced music really shines through. Graceland sounds so transparent on these headphones like the veil that I find on many other recordings, just got lifted. everything on this obviously excellent album, was crystal clear - dark but clear and - its indescribable really.

One more comment: This headphone I repeat, separates boys from men. listen to two outstanding albums, Unforgettable with love - Natalie Cole, and Live in Paris - Diana Krall, with a third Graceland - Paul Simon, these albums demonstrate the ability of the headphones, to show each track for what was recorded, and the production choices - arrangement, instruments, frequencies, balance, panning, etc. are laid bare like nothing else I have ever heard. If anything sounds veiled, its the recording. If frequencies are emphasized its the recording, its like a window into the recording/mixing/mastering studio and concert halls. For typical pop it really does the same, just listen to PRINCE, Michael Jackson, or tracks produced by Quincy Jones, Really honest headphones. Unfortunately there will be a lot of music that you may no longer want to hear. that's the downside, the price of progress!

  • 1
1st July 2015

AKG K702 by kodebode

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
AKG K702 Reference Headphones

After 6 months (see my previous review) the AKG 702's are a revelation. Meriting the accolade - Reference. Enabling you compare different recordings with fidelity. For critical mixing, I would still recommend pairing these with a good set of monitors and an excellent listening environment.

The only limitation is the need to wear them on your head, and the requirement for cables to be attached. Listening to monitors frees you from these "ties".

They remain my critical listening companions, and for the price, from all that I have read and heard, they produce sound that belies their price. Clearly these are probably the most valuable reference quality headphones. Such a pleasure to listen to - hour after hour, after hour. And very comfortable too.

Any harshness I thought they had in higher frequencies, or impression of subdued bass, has mellowed over the months and while they sound "dry" compared to monitors, which I prefer to muffled and artificial bass on some headphones - by the Dr, now owned by Apple. What you hear is clearly dependant on the recording. If the recording is sharp, or mellow, you hear it as it is. What you hear is what you get from the recording, nothing added.

May I add that the accuracy of the sound stage, and frequency response gives you an amazing "front" to "back" impression and can compare recordings which vary in this respect so easily, when you listen to recordings that have excellent front to back elements.

Compare George Bensons recent Mona Lisa with English Man in New York by Sting. With these headphones, listening to music is an education, in the history of sound production techniques, over time and across continents. The difference in recordings - their approach is laid bare, almost becoming philosophical - making it easy to separate the boys from the men - 2D from 3D.

Especially where reverb cues and levels have been applied to establish the right front to back perspective between instruments/voices, you "hear" the soundscape so starkly presented. It elevates the really good recording to a whole new status, and anything less than awesome is so transparently revealed for what it is.

I guess the word analytical comes to mind, not so much in an introspective minutiae interpretation of microscopic view of audio, but rather the headphones impose very little colour of their own on the recording, allowing you to see into the recording so much more.

Analytical here meaning transparent. If anything sounds dull, its the original recording. If its sharp - its the original recording.

This has been my 1st true insight into significantly higher audio. An excellent reliable tool for comparing and enjoying music, and audio.

It also feels like a tool that will be there doing exactly the same thing, giving joy and satisfaction, and return on investment, for many many years.

 
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