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KRK KNS8400 Studio Headphones

KRK Systems KNS 8400

4.65 4.65 out of 5, based on 9 Reviews

Very accurate, refined, flat monitoring for studio use on a budget, with only very minor complaints.


16th January 2012

KRK Systems KNS 8400 by j.wal

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
KRK KNS8400 Studio Headphones

For pretext, I'm only an amateur hip hop producer. So take what you will from this review.

I came to the 8400's via a broken pair of Sony 7506's. I liked my Sony's a lot, was always amazed at their detail and accuracy (at the time), but didn't want to go through the cost and trouble of repairing them. Enter KRK. At first my 8400's sounded slightly underwhelming with sub-par bass response. I burned them in for 50+ hours and they sound significantly better. The bass is still not powerful, but it IS there and it is accurate. If you want something a little more colored (and bassy) but still monitoring-capable, Audio Technica or Beyerdynamic may have what you're looking for, from what I've read. My impression of the KRKs is that they are no-frill, professional monitors at an affordable cost (not paying for any gimmicks). Along with the accurate bass, all other levels (mids, highs) are very well and evenly represented too. One thing I've noticed with KRK's is less fatiguing mids/highs at higher volumes, something the 7506's plagued me with at times. The KRK's are more balanced. The KRK's are also slightly more detailed than my 7506's as well, particularly in that I'm noticing more flaws in recordings than I did before.

Finally, comfort. This is the one category I have to give to the 7506's, I could wear those headphones for hours on end and forget I was wearing them. However, the 8400's are very close. My ONLY complaint is the headband, I wish the padding was more evenly distributed (to distribute the weight of the headphones) rather than designed to where it creates two distinct pressure points. It does cause very mild discomfort to where I find myself adjusting the position of the headband occasionally during longer periods of use. With that said, though, I consider comfort to be of profound importance to me and still decided the 8400's are desirable enough to keep and enjoy. The ear pads and clamping force of the headphones are very nice and relaxed, very comfortable. I have normal ears and a slightly larger head and have no complaints in either of those areas, the ear pads encompass my ears completely and isolate relatively well.

I would give a 5/5 on sound relative to price. 4/5 on comfort (but 5/5 if the headband padding was designed differently). Finally, if you don't like straight cords like the cheap-ish quality one that comes with the 8400's, KRK's official website has a link to purchase an optional coiled cord for $15-$20. Worth it in my opinion, but would've much rathered the headphones came with one in the box instead. Good luck!

Product image source: Home Recording Weekly (fair use)

24th March 2012

KRK Systems KNS 8400 by MmBuddha

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
KRK KNS8400 Studio Headphones

Along with their little brother the KNS 6400, the KNS 8400 are KRK's first foray into the headphone market. Designed as a durable, adaptable pair of studio headphones, the KNS 8400 can be used in a whole range of studio situations. Though built with transparency and honest reproduction in mind, the closed back design and upgradable cable lengths make them well suited to tracking and editing, or any situation where isolation is important.

I've owned an expensive pair of Grado headphones for a while now, but as wonderful as they sound, their hi-fi credentials make them poorly suited to mixing, and as such I've only used them as as a last resort when monitoring wasn't possible. I bought the KNS 8400 to fulfil that role with a little more accuracy. While no match for a good pair of monitors, having a pair of headphones you can trust as a reference is invaluable, and the 8400's have so far proven excellent in that regard. Below I will outline some of the considerations I certainly know I had when looking for studio headphones, and see how the 8400's match up.


Build:

My initial impression of the KNS 8400 was that they looked and felt like mid-priced headphones, which I suppose they are. Those hoping to receive headphones that give off the aura of high-end studio equipment might be disappointed, but in months of use there's not a scratch on them, and they certainly seem sturdy and durable. In fact they've held up better than most studio equipment I've owned, so perhaps once again I'm reminded of the old adage, appearances can be deceptive. It does no harm that the 8400's have been excellently designed by KRK - I've wasted plenty of valuable mixing time fondling the 'memory foam' (it's so soft!) and polishing the shiny plastic logos, since it comes with a cleaning cloth for OCD characters like me.

Comfort:

Some reviews of the KNS 8400 are so effusive in their praise of the headphone's comfort level that it might lead you to believe that you'll want to sleep wearing them. Allow me to assure you that these are headphones, and as such they come with a certain degree of weight/irritation. With that said, the KNS 8400 are incredibly comfortable, by far the most comfortable headphones I've tried. The memory foam is coated in super-soft leatherette, which along with the low-tension headband and 'around the ear' design make mixing with the 8400's a very pain-free experience, even after long sessions.

Sound:

This is what we're here for right? By far the most important quality in a pair of mixing headphones is the sound, or more specifically it's accuracy. Let me say straight away that in this respect, at least to my ears, the KNS 8400's perform brilliantly. Listening through iTunes to all kinds of music, it was immediately evident that the 8400's show no bias towards any genre, instrument or area of the frequency spectrum. They allow you to judge things in an objective, unbiased manner to an extent that I wouldn't previously have expected from a pair of headphones. This makes them a surprisingly viable mixing tool in situations where monitors are not available.

Perhaps most impressive is the range of sound the 8400's can reproduce. The website states 5Hz to 23 kHz, but it's not until you hear them that you can fully appreciate that span of frequencies. It's in the bass that this is most evident. Listening to golden age hip-hop production was a surprising experience, I noticed deep 808 kicks placed beneath the drums that I hadn't clearly discerned before. All without ever becoming boomy or over-hyped. In fact the bass, like all aspects of 8400's sound, is restrained but powerful and well detailed. With the highs it's a similar story, but here they show a small sign of weakness. As accurate as the 8400's are, their closed-back design inevitably leads to a slight boxiness and constrained quality in certain high-end sounds. This would likely never be a problem when mixing, since the accuracy is maintained, but it can detract from the headphone listening experience.

Overall:

As you can hopefully tell, I'm very happy with my purchase of the KNS 8400's. They've provided me with an accurate, balanced mixing reference that I can use in all conditions - not just to mix, but also to edit, arrange and record my music. KRK have managed to make their first headphones applicable to all studio situations without ever compromising on quality or the overall reliability of the product. While they can't complete in terms refinement or natural sound in comparison to expensive hi-fi headphones, this is surely beside the point. What they do provide is a trustworthy studio tool that you can always come back to check your mixes in a familiar and reliable audio environment, wherever you are. In this respect and others they come highly recommended.

22nd August 2013

KRK Systems KNS 8400 by trillyourself

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
KRK KNS8400 Studio Headphones

When I bought my 8400's, I did not have a headphone monitoring solution and instead relied on my Ultrasone HFI-780's if I needed cans. Don't get me wrong, I love my 780's for any sort of entertainment, but the response is far from flat and it can do more harm than help when trying to mix bass-heavy electronic music. On top of that, I live in an old apartment building with thin walls, and I didn't want to have to worry about bothering neighbors in the middle of the night. I was looking for a solid pair of headphones that would give me accurate response, while still leaving me with enough money to go broke on a synth later

Immediately after putting on the 8400's, I was amazed at how comfortable they were. The cups are very soft, and I have no issue wearing these for any length of time (which is great for those late night mixing sessions). Then I plugged them in, and I was blown away. As a ramen-seven-times-a-week college student I don't have much first-hand experience with super high-end headphones, so perhaps my opinion is biased. However, the sound from these cans is definitely worth more than the price tag! The imaging is crystal clear, and the frequency response defines flat. I found many reviewers on Amazon complaining of the lack of bass, but I think it's a very accurate and color-free sound that they they weren't used to. I'm sure there are better sounding cans out there, but none of them will beat this price.

Besides comfort and sound quality, I like the general functional design of these headphones. They have a locking mechanism for the jacks at both the base of the cans and at the volume adjuster halfway down the cable which works nicely. Like the other reviewer noted, I would've preferred a coiled cable by default (the provided cable has sufficient length, but because of that it is easily tangled). Given the price of these, I wouldn't feel bad picking up the additional cable, but it comes down to a matter of ease. I haven't found the coiled cable anywhere besides on KRK's website, and I don't feel like going through a whole order just for a $15 addon.

All in all, I'm extremely pleased with my purchase. I'd highly recommend these headphones to anyone else that's looking for an affordable headphone monitoring solution. Probably one of the best bang/buck ratios there is.

15th June 2015

KRK Systems KNS 8400 by headcrush

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
KRK KNS8400 Studio Headphones

Hey!

I'm an amateur eletronic music producer and I highly recommend these!

Sound: Good highs, very good mids and very nice bass sound for a headphone. They sound flat and are really good to use while recording vocals.

Comfort: Very good.

Build: Well made.

For me, are the best headphones for the price / quality, for sure.
Don't spend more money too, it will fit your needs.
Don't hesitate on buying these!

ps: Sorry for the short review, but I think most people like a short one ahah

22nd March 2016

KRK Systems KNS 8400 by amir30213

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
KRK KNS8400 Studio Headphones

I just bought the KRK KNS 8400 from a youtube friend of mine. I needed a more neutral sounding headphone for tracking and this definitely fits the bill. Some will not agree but I even venture as far to say that this headphone is a good one for mixing as long as you use some reference tracks to guide you.

This headphone has pretty solid build quality. It has a metal headband with cushion that is both sturdy and comfortable. Sony 7506 headphones are way better in portability but the KRK KNS 8400 really aren't too bad in that department. You can't fold them up but they aren't particularly heavy or too large to carry around.

These headphones have really cool features. On the wire, you have a volume control switch which is cool. On top of that, the cables are detachable. I love detachable cables because that means if a cable breaks, your whole headphone isn't messed up. Just the cable is and the cable can be replaced. I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't appreciate that feature.

Alright, now on to the sound. These things aren't going to blow your mind. They're not meant to. They are meant to give you a precise sound image overall and they do that pretty well. The bass on these is the worse part. It isn't bad. It just doesn't have any sub bass "oomph" to it like the 7506 or the DT770 does for instance. So you hear the bass but you don't FEEL the bass. They're certain frequencies that can be FELT more than heard and those frequencies are the ones I am referring to that need a bit of a boost to me. Again though...these headphones were not made for portable out on the train kind of use. These are professional headphones that are meant to give you a precise sound image overall. So don't expect AMAZING sound. The mids are forward and have a little grain but not nearly as bad of grain as the 7506 headphones. This headphone has more sound stage and more depth to the sound than the 7506 headphone does as well. The treble is excellent on these headphones. Pretty neutral sounding treble and not piercing at all. No complaints there.

This headphone has maybe just a slight bit more isolation than the 7506 does and that slight bit DOES COUNT.

You may not like the cable that comes with it at first and the other cable options aren't cheap. The cables are proprietary which stinks. The good news is only ONE side of the cable is proprietary and that is the side that goes into the headphone. The other side can easily be extended with a $10 cord extension cable you can get from Ebay or somewhere else. So extending the headphone wire is easy peasy.

Overall, for what these headphones are and were meant to be, I would say that it deserves all of it's stars for what it is versus what it was meant to be. I think KRK hit this one right on the mark.

- Amir

25th December 2016

KRK Systems KNS 8400 by creakle

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
KRK KNS8400 Studio Headphones

Had to buy new cans; I'd lost my ATH-50s Audio Technicas during a holiday in Cambodia, and the foam pads for my Bose Around-Ears had wasted away. I simply needed any kind of headphones.

My first choice was the Sony 7506's, but the store didn't have them. It would take a week to order, and since I was going home for Christmas, I couldn't wait. So I explored the models they had there...

They had all the famous budget-friendly good quality headphones like the AKG's and Shure's [can't remember model numbers; you know the ones I'm talking about], but the KRK brand name stood out for me. I already have decent monitor speakers [M-Audio Deluxe 5a], but the KRK monitors always looked really cool, and I heard them at a friends house and they sounded fantastic. I'd never heard of KRK making headphones, so they really stood out for me, with the yellow KRK logo and the promise of good sound at a low price [150 Canadian on sale; that's 110 USD].

I bought them and they are about as good as the ATH-50's were, except less the headband is indeed uncomfortable, but the pads are moreso than the 50's. In terms of sound, they are mostly equal to the 50's, i.e. the best you can get for this price, which is to say, very near perfection, but you can tell there's some dulling of sound due to the weaker hardware components.

However, this is good enough for me. Studio phones at 150 dollars are about the equivalent of studio speakers at 300 dollars, I would say. That is, equal to my M-Audio's. I am satisfied with my first trial of a KRK product and will more than likely buy my next pair of monitor speakers made by KRK.

Cheers. Have a good life!

 
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