AKG K701

The K701 was introduced just after the K601, as the new open-back flagship of the Austrian manufacturer. It was the higher-end AKG until the release of the K712 and K812, in 2014. AKG has changed a lot since then, and now all K701s are made in China, while they were produced in Austria at the time. The Q701 / K702 are variants of the K701, apparently close in sound though I did not hear them.
Relatively comfortable. Absolutely needs an amp to deliver 100% of its capacities.

○ Release : 2007
○ Current status : In production
○ Type : Over-ear / Open-back
○ Measured weight : 295g
○ Impedance : 62 Ohms
○ Sensitivity : ~88-90 dB/mW
○ Average used price : $90-130

Sound Impression
The K701 was often compared to the DT880 and HD600/HD650 some years ago, before the HD800 and all >1k flagships came to market. I have compared all these 4 headphones in the same time, and the K701 is my least favorite.

My issue with the sound is the cold presentation, with weird midrange timbre and harshness in the lower-treble. Bass is quite decent, still lacking midbass impact for my tastes, but with honest extension, better than the HD600.

Midrange is where something is wrong ; upper-mids do sound a bit boosted to my ears, because of a 2 khz peak that should ideally not be there. It’s a bit nasal sounding. Treble is way too forward around 6-7 khz, my sensitive area. Past that, it’s quite good, with better than average extension.

The K701 has an exceptionally wide sound, but lacks centered midrange body. Sense of clarity and openness is excellent, with satisfying detail and resolution. If only the tonal balance was better.

I prefer the older AKGs to the K701 because they have better midrange tonality, same applies for the HD600 and DT880.

 

Measurements & Resources

Bass doesnt have great extension but isn’t that horrible. Funky weird midrange with bumps around 1 and 2 khz. Harsh low-treble peak around 6-7khz, that is more annoying (to me) than the 8-10khz peak.

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