Hi friend and Welcome!

Today I’m about to bring you a sweet post on 2 very well respected headphones. Specifically, I will be smacking you in the melon with the AKG K701 vs. AKG K702 comparison review! Below I have the older versions (pictured 1st), and the newer models (pictured second).

Before we get started: I have also written an informative article on the AKG Q701 vs. K701, if you were looking for that comparison, but clicked on this out of curiosity. If you were looking for the AKG K702 vs. K712, I have that one too!

I also give my recommendation for the Q701’s at the end of this review overall. Read on to find out why!

AKG K701 vs. AKG K702

AKG K701 vs. AKG K702


AKG K701 vs. K702 (Newer models)

AKG K701 vs. K702 (Newer models)

Whew! Now that that’s out of the way.. Sit back, relax, and grab a bowl of popcorn because..

You’ve come to the right place!!

What I will bring you in this review

  1. Introduction
  2. Specifications
  3. Summary
  4. Pros
  5. Cons
  6. Amp/DAC requirements
  7. Who these headphones benefit?
  8. Consensus/Conclusion
  9. Similarities & Differences
  10. Final Word


Both of these models have been around for awhile and both have sparkling reviews. As of late however, the AKG brand is now being designed in Austria and assembled in China, much to the dismay of many audiophiles and enthusiasts. Please keep this in mind before purchase. Both sets still get very good reviews to this day, but there are some people who have noticed a marked difference in quality since they made the switch to China.

AKG K701

AKG K701 Chinese model

AKG K701 Chinese model


  1. best price: check amazon! | check eBay!
  2. type: open back
  3. color: grey & maroon
  4. fit: Circumaural
  5. frequency response: 10 to 39800 Hz
  6. impedance: 62 Ohms
  7. material: leather head band, plastic, velour padding


These babies accomplish what they were set out to do, and that is provide you with a flat, close to neutral reference sound conducive to mixing in studio. The bass is somewhat lacking, but the mid range is really it’s strong suit. Some bullet points:

  • The sound-stage on them is exceptionally wide, but some say so wide that they may start to sound a bit unnatural.
  • They are very even sounding across the spectrum, with no frequencies overpowering each-other.
  • They will require a good amp, and are really power hungry.
  • They aren’t really plug and play type headphones, even at a modest 62 Ohm impedance.
  • They also won’t sound too good playing back low quality audio, being that they are so honest.
  • Finally, being open back, these will leak quite a bit of sound.

Closed back vs. Open back headphones

The sound is pleasant from your mobile devices, albeit a bit on the weak side. One thing to note is that there are two different models of the K701: The Austrian made, and now the Chinese made. A lot of people are saying that the overall quality has suffered, but some including Metal571 on you-tube said he didn’t see much difference. Still some things to keep in mind:

The early 2008 Austrian model (as seen in Metal571’s review)

AKG K701 Austrian model (original)

AKG K701 Austrian model (original, with headband bumps)

  • The cable terminates into a 1/4″ adapter rather than the standard 3.5mm
  • Has a 7 bump headband. The later models had 8 bumps. The newer models don’t have any bumps, which I found interesting.


  • Very comfortable. You may forget you’re wearing them. The ear cups are also very large and fit all sizes.
  • Voices sound true to life. The treble range is rendered beautifully.
  • Headband is made of leather, and self adjust to the size of any melon, big or small 😛
  • Very even sounding across the spectrum.
  • Particularly great mid range. There is a 5db bump at 2khz (just a spike if you will), but it gives the 701’s a certain energy that makes the music sound really enjoyable to an otherwise very flat headphone.
  • Good body, airiness, and clarity.
  • Does a good job of handling sibilant sound.

What does sibilant mean?

  • Solid construction.
  • Great for mixing down tracks.
  • Extremely wide sound stage. Gives a very nice 3-d image. Sound can be heard all around you, which can be very exciting and enjoyable!

What is Soundstage?

  • Great for gaming, as you can hear sound all around you, and can therefore make quicker snap decisions.
  • Comes with a headphone stand.


  • Bass is very light and lean. Lacks impact. The quality and extension is there, but there just isn’t a lot of it.
  • Slight pressure from the head band after many hours of wear.
  • Sound may have “tinny” quality until they are burned in for a certain amount of hours (upwards of 100). There is a spike in the treble range which can be off putting to some. Others say this makes it sound more detailed, extended, and quite gorgeous.
  • Somewhat bulky
  • Sound may be a bit cold, dry, and TOO analytical for some

Check out the video review!

Amp/DAC requirements

Even at low impedance, these will need to be driven by some sort of amp. The Woo Audio A5 will do the trick, and is highly recommended. If you are looking for a more affordable solution:

  • Fiio E10K (can be paired with the E17 or used as stand alone)
  • JDS Labs o2 (a very highly regarded amp for a variety of headphones)

This amp has been known to pair well with the 701’s.

One of the best options overall for the 701 and 702:

  • Vioelectric V200

Who these headphones benefit?

If you’re looking for a wide, expansive sound-stage, these will do very well. They are also pretty darn good for mixing, and will give you a flat, even response. The mid-range on these is particularly good as well, as they render acoustic instrumentation with a startling realism. They are also great for FPS gaming as they have that 3-d sound-stage.


The K701 excels in flat, even sound conducive to mixing, but some may find that they will have to overcompensate due to lack of bass impact. Has a wide sound-stage, great mid-range, as well as good clarity and instrument separation. The Austrian model does lack comfort as far as the bumpy quality of the headband. The newer Chinese models don’t have any bumps on them. These also may be a bit awkward sounding, since they will expose tiny human flaws in musicianship that other headphones gloss over. In a nutshell, they are about as cold and clinical sounding as it gets.


AKG K702

AKG K702

AKG K702

  • best price: Check amazon! | check eBay!
  • type: Open back
  • color:  Black & Silver
  • fit: Circumaural
  • frequency response: 10 to 39,800 Hz
  • impedance: 62 Ohms
  • material: Leather headband, plastic, velour padding



It seems as though the K702’s are overall a better buy, for less money. The bass is more pronounced while still remaining tight and controlled, and these seem to be more comfortable than the 701’s. The ear cups are a bit thicker as well. Keep in mind that like the 701’s, these benefit heavily from a good headphone amp. It has been said that these cans are really difficult to drive. One amp that stands out as the best option however is the Woo Audio 5 again.


  • Tight, controlled, and not overpowering. Very natural sounding.
  • Transparent mid-range, and crisp highs.
  • Clean, neutral and honest, flat.
  • Nice sound-stage, very wide.
  • Light and comfortable.
  • Perfect for mixing, translates to speakers/monitors very well.
  • Great for classical music/opera.


  • The plastic feels a bit cheap, prone to breaking.
  • Cable is really long.
  • Bumpy, somewhat uncomfortable head band.
  • No case.
  • Bass lacks a bit of impact.
  • Can be cold to some. Be weary of your sound source, as these are very revealing.

Check out the 702 video review!

Amp/DAC requirements

Even at low impedance, these will need to be driven by some sort of amp. The Woo Audio A5 (yet again, lol) will do the trick, but if you are looking for a more affordable solution:

  • Fiio E10K (can be paired with the E17 or used as stand alone)

Who these headphones benefit?

If you’re looking for a wide, expansive sound-stage, these will do very well. They are also good for mixing (like the 701’s), and will give you a flat, even response. The mid-range on these is particularly good as well, as they render acoustic instruments to great effect.

They do well with:

  • Jazz
  • Classical
  • Vocals
  • Opera
  • Rock/Alternative (from a good source)
  • Electronica
  • Folk

Just keep in mind, they lack a certain bass presence, and may not do as well with hip-hop, reggae, etc.


Again, the sound clarity is amazing, but the head band issue leaves the comfort factor with a bit to be desired. Again, like the newer model Chinese K701’s, the new version of the K702’s also do not have headband bumps. As far as the ear pads, they are very comfortable. Be prepared for an honest representation of your music regardless!


  • Both are open back, and people will be able to hear what you’re listening to. This also means that your mixes will be better, because the music has room to breathe. It doesn’t get trapped inside your head. This is a big reason why mixing on closed back cans can get very tiring in a hurry.
  • Both benefit greatly from a good headphone amp
  • Both have the bumpy head band issue that a lot of reviewers have complained about. However, the newer Chinese model does not have any headband bumps.
  • Both are good for mixing, and have that neutral and flat sound
  • Both need adequate time to break in
  • Neither headphone sounds particularly “fun”


  • The pads on the K702’s are thicker, which supposedly allows more of an “around the head” speaker like experience.
  • Price. The 702’s are more affordable than the K701’s.
  • The 702’s have a detachable cable, the 701’s do not
  • The 702’s do not come with a stand, the 701’s do
  • The 702’s bass response gets generally more favorable reviews over the 701’s.

One reviewer noted a vast improvement in comfort and sound when he replaced the 701’s with the 702’s. The bass was stronger, and the mid range was closer.

Final Word

These two pairs of headphones have been the hardest to concisely review here at Home studio basics. There are many different subtleties in each that reviewers constantly go back and forth on. As for which gets my vote?

Neither. If you dig this particular sound signature though, I would go with the Q701’s over both the K701 and K702. Why?

They have more bass impact, but retain all of the qualities of the 701 and 702. Like the K702, they have a detachable cable, but happen to be more affordable, and come in 3 different colors. The sound-stage has been improved over both predecessors, and is no longer abnormally large and unnatural. The bass has also been greatly improved, but still not at the expense of clarity and control which is a huge plus. Overall, the Q701 is a just a better set. There is really no reason to buy the other two, unless you really wanted to seek out an Austrian model.




Don’t like the sound signature of the AKG models? Looking for a the absolute best mixing/reference headphone on the planet in it’s class or otherwise? Check out my review of the Gold Standard:



Well that’s about it for today my friend! Hope you enjoyed my comparison review of the AKG K701 vs. AKG K702, an came away with a better idea of the similarities and differences between the two.

Are you convinced that the Q701 is the better option? What do you think about the HD600? Let me know!!

If you have any other specific questions, please leave them in the box below or Contact me! I very much look forward to speaking with you. As always…

All the best and God Bless,

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Be sure to check out my Reviews and Resources page for more helpful and informative articles!!




  1. Hi Stu,
    Thank you for pointing out the differences between to 701 and 702. It is interesting that the 702 clearly comes out in front and yet, it is cheaper. I wonder why that is?
    They both look like really good options but I would go with the cheaper 702’s.
    Nice post

    • That is a good question Kerry! I don’t really know the answer other than I know in the past it was more expensive than the K 701. Both are great options, but buyers should be weary of the fact that they are now designed in Austria but assembled in China.

      Thanks for your comment!


  2. Hello Stu,

    I have to agree with those that say the quality suffers when things get made in China. I have seen it time and time again.
    On the 701’s I can see where they would dig into your head a bit, I have a large head 7 7/8 to be exact and it is hard to find good headphones, do these expand to this size?
    On the 702’s what are the ear cups made of, I have had a few that just made me sweat while they were on my head I do not like the leather or vinyl type?
    Great review of both headphones I am not sure which one is better value, I will have to try them to find out.


    • Hey San! Thanks for stopping by.. The pads on the 702 are made of velour as well. And yeah man anytime. Glad to help

      As far as expanding in size, I’m sure both models do, but you may want to look at the Audio Technica ATH M50’s. I’ve had them for 2 years and they are the best purchase I’ve ever made. They are the most comfortable by far of anything I’ve tried, and fit snugly around my melon. I can wear them for hours! I just took them off in fact to see how far they stretch. You won’t be disappointed! Lol.


  3. Hi there,

    These look like 2 decent headphones, thanks for giving the pros and cons to give us some ideas of what we need 🙂
    They lack a bit in quality since they moved the manufacturing to China, where were they made before? And where is the lack of quality to be found? In use of material or the actual sound?
    Also I like to wear them for a long time.. Which one would you consider more comfy?


    • Hey man!

      They used to be designed AND built in Austria, but for some reason they outsourced to China, which has many folks disappointed.. The lack of quality is mostly in the construction of them. They tend to fall apart and break a bit easier. All of the Austrian models had near flawless reviews.. Overall the headphones still get great reviews, but you will find some people complaining about lack of quality in this area.

      However, the sound is still stellar by most accounts..

      I would say the K702’s are more comfy.. They have updated pads which contour to your ears better. Both are made of velour though so you can’t go wrong on the ears.. The complaints mostly stem from the headband.

      Thanks for stopping by!! Hope you decide to purchase! By the way, if you want another great recommendation, and a pair that I’ve had for 2 years, check out the Audio Technica ATH M50! They just may be the best headphones you can buy for about $150!


  4. Hi Stu,

    I really like your review, there are great comparisons, which make it easier to choose .
    To be honest with you, I don’t know nothing about headphones, this is not my branch, but I would love to buy one because of the capacity to enjoy high sounds without bothering anyone!
    I would have chosen the more expensive one, because I am almost sure it’s the best quality.
    I personally don’t like stuff made in chine, it does not last long!

    Thank you for this great article

    • No problem Daniella!

      If you need any affordable recommendations, let me know!

      Thanks for stopping by,


  5. Hey Stu, thanks for the post. I was especially interested in your article because I review gadgets, namely wireless headphones and speakers. Your article is laid out really well and the comparison between AKG K701 and AKG K702 was easy to understand by your use of pros and cons. So have you got a pair of either of the headphones that have been manufactured in China?

    • Hey Jay!

      No I don’t. My next purchase is either going to be The Sennheiser HD 600’s, the Beyerdynamic DT880’s, or The AKG K701 or 702. It’s a tough call for sure…

      Thanks for stopping by!! Come back anytime


  6. Sup Stu,

    I really like this positively produced article comparing the AKG K701 to the AKG K702 headphones.

    Just a minor note though, Your vertical social media icon on the left side covers content as you scroll up and down which is annoying and could lead to less traffic engagement.

    I’m looking into a new set of headphones so I might click that awesome link you designed and check em out.



    • Hey Benji!

      I had the same problem. Just zoom out a bit on your monitor (Cntrl -) and it should fix the problem..

      Hope you purchase an awesome set of cans!!

      Thanks for stopping by,


  7. Hey Stu!
    I loved your reviews so I checked this post too. My best recently was talking about buying one of these but I am not sure which one. I think he was considering buying the cheaper one.
    I didn’t know what the difference between those is. I will show this article to him even though I m sure he is familiar with both products.
    Thank you for sharing! Your reviews are thorough and very helpful!

    • Hey Katerina!

      Thanks for stopping by!! Let me know if you have any questions about these, or if your friend does! Definitely link him to my article!!


  8. Your review on the AKG-K701 vs AKG-K702 is very informative. Based on what you’re saying it sounds like the K702 is the better value – and the better overall choice. Do you see a specific instance where someone would want the K701 over the K702? I mean there must be a reason why the company offers both models?

    • Hey Jeff!

      As far as that goes, I would say that people may choose the 701’s because of familiarity, and the fact that they are more prevalent in searches, and have been around for awhile. That signature grey and magenta really stood out to me when I was searching.. the 702’s fly a little more under the radar.. As the saying goes “Outta sight, outta mind” When you actually search for these in google, the grey ones ALWAYS pop up..

      Let me know if you have any more questions and thanks for dropping by!


  9. Hey Stu, what a cool looking headphones. It has the classic look but at the same time still look great despite the fact that these two models has been around for awhile. I understand that the bass for this may not be that great, which is a bit dissapointing I guess, especially at their price point. Nevertheless, since this AKG series has now been manufactured in China, has the prices gone down or still about the same? You said that quality may not be as good as before as well. In your opinion, why is that so? Thanks in advance Stu!

    • Hey Dominic!

      The bass is a tad light on the 702’s, but people scouting this model will buy it for it’s mixing prowess, and not so much for that boom factor. The 702’s do have a tighter, more controlled, and punchier sound. But it’s still very natural. Hardly disappointing no?

      As far as price, I believe they have been at or around the price of $300 for quite some time. I just finished reading a review from 2006 on amazon, and he mentions that price.

      As far as quality, the gripe seems to be of false advertising, and people generally complaining about a lack of build quality comparatively vs. the model that was originally made in Austria.

      People are put off by the fact that the newer models still say “Made In Austria”, when clearly they aren’t anymore.

      Hope that helps! Any other questions let me know..


  10. I thoroughly enjoyed your site :). It has very helpful and informative information. You targeted your audience well too.
    I will be back to see this page again for sure.

    If you could go to my website and leave a comment that would be greatly appreciated as well. If not then thanks again for the information.

    • Hey man, one comment was fine, but a duplicate comment asking me to go to your website without a link provided is a bit spammy..


  11. I was reading your review and I was thinking that the AKG K702’s definitely sounded like the better option for exactly the same reasons that you ended up using in your conclusion! Bass, reviews and cost. And they look way cooler too (to me at least). Really great review you’ve done here. Plenty of great info just in case someone focuses on something that the 701 has that the 702 doesn’t (but really, do you NEED a stand…?) Also, you gave the long cable of the 702’s as a negative. Not if you dance about the house like I do!! 🙂 You clearly know what you’re talking about. Refreshing. Great review 🙂

    • Hey Jyl!

      Thanks for dropping by. When I do decide to take the plunge and upgrade, this headphone will definitely be near the top of my list!

      It gets quite a bit of praise from the community as being incredibly neutral as well as having one of the best sound-stages in it’s price range.

      As for the stand? Yeah. Who needs it 😛

      Hope to hear from you again!


  12. Thanks for the article. I was really interested in seeing these two side by side.
    They both sound a bit light on the bass, but the 702 sounds like it has everything you need from a good set of phones for mixing, and that would;d explain the lack of low end.
    The price works for me.
    Have you spent any length of time using the 702?


    • Hey Shawn!

      Thanks for stopping by, and no I have not but have done quite a bit of research on the 702. It’s a great option for mixing. The biggest complaint these days with the AKG models is that they are now made in China.


  13. Hi Stu, awesome review! The 702 seems to be better but unfortunately it doesn’t have a case. By the way, you were saying that 702 is great for classical or opera music, but does it perform well as a DJ device? I don’t know much about Khz. Will the bass be adequate enough for a DJ? The price looks to be very good.

    • Hey Gesit! The K702’s are great as a precision and critical listening device. They do really well in mixing and mastering environments. DJ’s may appreciate these qualities in the headphone. They are also conducive to long listening sessions, as they are very comfortable and lightweight. While the bass is tight, it isn’t overly boomy, and allows you to hear other elements in the mix very clearly. I would say yes, they are a great option for a DJ!

      If you have any other questions just ask!


  14. Both of these headphones look great and it would be a tough choice. I would lean towards the AKG K701 mainly because I like the gray color, it looks nice. It’s also great that these can fit anyone as many people I know have a big head lol. But to be serious, these headphones are great and I would be interested in purchasing either one. Thanks

    • Sup Marc!

      I’m partial to the 702, I really do like that black design. The only thing that would steer me in the other direction would be the comfort factor. Many have complained of that bumpy head band issue. Sound wise? These are some of the best mixing/reference cans you can buy. They have a remarkable sound-stage as well.

      Thanks for stopping by!


  15. Whoa, it’s pretty wild how you can point out all the single details about the 701 and 702! You really know your headphones. Which one would be better for my guitar amp? I need a heaphone set for my new amp for my electric guitar. Well even my acoustic guitar for that matter. It would be nice to have a real nice set. Would I be able to use one for my apple mac? I feel like the quality of spotify would be pretty nice!

  16. Great review on the k701 and k702! I own a much cheaper AKG model, the k44, and I think it is a very good benefit for the money. Now, I see all the time the discussion between objective and subjective audio measurements. Do you believe the preamp makes a significant difference in the headphone listening experience?

    • Hey Daniel!

      Sweet! I’m gonna have to research your headphones. I always love discovering new gear and potentially doing reviews on it. As for an Amp/DAC making a difference, it really depends on the impedance of the headphone. Now for the K701’s and 702’s this can be a bit tricky. At 62 Ohm, you wouldn’t think they need an amp, but they do! Add to that they are also a bit amp picky. The Vioelectric V200 does extremely well, but is a bit pricey. One amp that I’ve found consistently does well with nearly every headphone is the JDS Labs 02.

      So to answer your question, if a headphone requires an amp, then yes the sound will most certainly benefit in sometimes extraordinary ways. Generally speaking, 250 Ohm and up absolute need an amp, but there are always exceptions. Sometimes you may be able to get away with not having one, it just depends. Check out my article How to choose a headphone amp for more information! Any other questions just ask..

      Thanks for stopping by brother,


  17. Wow, these headphones are remarkably advanced. I didn’t watch the videos, so forgive me if this question was answered in the videos: What is the physical weight of each product? When you say these need to be driven by an amp, is an amp absolutely required, or highly recommended?
    These headphones are definitely for serious sound enthusiasts. I really enjoy study the physics behind sound and the processes that are used to construct these fascinating products.
    Thanks for the very interesting review.

    • Hey there,

      No problem at all. The weight of both of these headphones is 235 grams.

      Also, I would say that an amp is never required, mostly because 1) any headphone will still power out of a standard jack and 2) Some people will not buy one regardless, until they hear the headphone for themselves to determine if in fact it does need one. It’s a valid stance. You can always add one later if need be.

      As far as the K701 and 702. Yes. An amp is HIGHLY recommended to get the most out of these models. At 62 Ohm, they are very deceptive in that you wouldn’t think you need one. They are also pretty picky as well. The Vioelectric V200 and SPL auditor both do remarkably well, but are a bit pricey.

      The JDS Labs 02 has been getting a lot of positive buzz, and works wonders for a variety of different headphone set ups as well.

      Any other questions just ask!


  18. Wow that was a lot to take in, but loved it. I’m not much on headphones, but my kids are. They love to listen to music. You really made the decision clear for me on which one to choose. I enjoyed your post and I can not wait to see what is next. Thank you for the information. Much appreciated.

  19. My husband and I have started up a little home recording studio to capture us playing, writing and recording. These headphones seem pretty awesome for a set up like that… However, I’m afraid that it’s a bit expensive for us with such a small set up. We use a nice pair of speakers to play our recordings through right now. Would you recommend a less expensive model that these? Say in the 100-150 dollar range??

    • Hey Brenna!

      Honestly if you’re just starting out, I would go with either the Sony MDR 7506 or MDR V6. For tracking I wouldn’t recommend an open back model, which is what the K701 is. Sony MDR V6 vs. MDR 7506. Both of these are standards in the industry, and will serve your purposes quite well. Both also happen to be below your price range (less than $100) too. If you have any other questions let me know!!



  20. “They are very even sounding across the spectrum, with no frequencies overpowering each-other.”
    Not really, at least when it comes to 701, which has a raised treble and laid-back rolling off bas. The result is that S and T sound more than usual and this can quickly lead to listener-fatigue.

    • I agree about the bass but not really on the treble. They are pretty good with handling sibilance. Also most headphones place emphasis on treble.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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