Big shoutout to my boy MetalK371, *ahem* excuse me Metal571, for being nice enough to send me his K371 for a while!
Greetings bass head and Welcome aboard. Stuart Charles here, HomeStudioBasics.com helping YOU make sound decisions leading to a beautiful audio experience that will make you fall in love with music (NOT gear) all over again, so..
The AKG K371 is a highly-regarded pair of closed-back studio headphones that have garnered attention for their impressive sound quality and comfortable design.
One of the key questions that often arises when considering these headphones is whether their bass response is too elevated for your preferences.
Some users may be looking for a more balanced sound signature, while others might appreciate the emphasis on low-end frequencies.
The K371 is designed with the Harman Target response curve in mind, which aims to provide a more neutral and accurate sound reproduction, aligning with the preferences of many audiophiles and music professionals.
However, the ultimate question is whether these headphones deliver a good value and whether they are worthy of a purchase.
In our forthcoming review, we will delve into every aspect of the AKG K371, including its sound quality, comfort, build, amplification requirements, suitability for different music genres, and overall value proposition to help you make an informed decision.
At A Glance
In The Box
AKG K371 Over-Ear Oval Closed-Back Studio Headphones
9.8′ Detachable Coiled Cable
3.9′ Detachable Straight Cable
9.8′ Detachable Straight Cable
3.5mm to 1/4″ Adapter
Limited 1-Year Warranty
- Color: Matte Black.
- Frequency Response: 5Hz – 40kHz
- Driver Size: 50mm
- Type: Closed-back, Dynamic.
- Fit: Circumaural
- Plug: 1/8″ / 3.5mm TRS (1/4″ Adapter Included)
- Audio Connector to Earpiece: 1x Mini XLR 3-pin
- Cable Design: Single-Sided
- Weight: 8.9 Oz. / 252.3g
- Impedance: 32 Ohm. What is Headphone Impedance?
- Sensitivity: 114dB. What is Sensitivity in Headphones?
- Materials: ABS, Protein Leather.
- Cable Length: 9.8′ / 2.99 m, 3.9′ / 1.19 m, 9.8′ / 2.99 m
- Carry Bag: Yes
- Active Noise Cancellation: No
When it comes to the K371, there’s a lot to like in terms of comfort and design.
The oval-shaped ear cups provide a cozy and enveloping fit, while the protein leather cushioning feels pleasantly soft.
The headband doesn’t dig, but it also feels incredible to the touch.
The cups are deep enough to where your ears aren’t touching the drivers as well; a common issue in some headphones.
Overall, the K371 fits quite well on your head, and adjusting the headband is a breeze.
But there’s a tiny nitpick to keep in mind: after a while, you might find yourself making subtle adjustments because the cups can occasionally press against the back of your ears.
It’s not a major issue, but it’s worth knowing about for long listening sessions.
In terms of build quality, the sleek, understated, utilitarian AKG K371 is constructed primarily from a matte-black, non-fingerprint gathering ABS plastic, which contributes to its overall durability.
These headphones are relatively well-built, with a compact design that adds to their portability and convenience.
The top of the headband hearkens back and feels like the material used in Audeze’s Sine On-Ear, but it seems more appropriate here.
With the Sine, I didn’t like that they used that same material on the sides of the cups; something AKG has avoided doing here.
It’s worth noting that while some users have reported occasional issues with build quality, I personally have not encountered any such problems.
The K371’s sturdiness and compact form factor make them a reliable option for daily use, although individual experiences may vary, as is often the case with audio equipment.
- Amps & DACS Used: iFi Diablo, FiiO K5 Pro, AudioQuest DragonFly Red, FiiO BTR3K, Creative SoundBlasterX G6, iFi Zen CAN
- Source(s): 24/44, 24/48, 24/96, Tidal, Spotify, Masters.
- Official Playlist Here! Always keep in mind: I do not add every single song I hear to a playlist; only the ones I like. So in reality the amount of music I demo with any given product will always be way more than what’s shown.
The K371’s sound profile is characterized by a noteworthy bass response, with a particularly noticeable elevation in the low frequencies from 20Hz to 100Hz.
This elevated shelf can have a polarizing effect on your listening experience, and its impact largely depends on the way a particular song has been engineered.
On tracks that are well-produced and intended to have a punchy or pronounced bass, the K371’s bass emphasis can be a boon, adding a satisfying and energetic thump to the music.
However, this bass elevation can be a double-edged sword when you venture into tracks where the artist’s intent leans towards a more neutral or balanced sound.
In such cases, the K371’s bass emphasis may overshadow other frequencies and, at times, make the mix feel a bit boomy or unbalanced.
It’s a reminder that while the AKG K371 excels in many aspects, it’s essential to be mindful of the source material when enjoying these headphones, as the bass shelf can either be a delightful enhancement or a potential drawback depending on the intricacies of the music you’re listening to.
With the K371 they sound absolutely awful, but the songs sound incredible with other headphones that have a more rolled-off bass.
The mid-range of the AKG K371 offers a mostly clear and natural listening experience.
Vocals and instruments are presented with a good level of detail and accuracy, allowing you to appreciate the nuances in your music.
However, there’s a caveat to this clarity, and it stems from the boosted nature of the bass response.
In some instances, especially when the low frequencies are dominant in a track, the mid-range can feel slightly overshadowed or less prominent.
This means that while the mids generally maintain a natural and articulate character, the bass emphasis can occasionally encroach on this space and impact the overall balance of the sound.
It’s important to note that the interaction between the bass and mid-range largely depends on the specific tracks you’re listening to, as well as your personal preferences.
While the bass boost can add excitement to bass-heavy genres, it’s something to be mindful of if you value an unaltered mid-range presence, as it may not always align perfectly with the K371’s sonic signature.
With the K371, I’m finding that while at times the Timbre is amazing, there are still other times where there’s a bit too much sheen.
And no I’m not referring to Charlie.
I’M TALKIN’ ABOUT MARTIN!!
In other words, it can be too smooth, too glossed over – similar to the feeling of listening to a Sennheiser HD650.
- Related: What is Timbre?
The treble performance of the AKG K371 can be characterized as somewhat subdued but maintains a crisp and natural quality.
One notable aspect is the absence of any hint of sibilance, peakiness, or excessive brightness.
The treble frequencies are well-behaved and don’t exhibit any harsh or piercing qualities that can often plague headphones in this price range.
This restrained but controlled treble presentation is beneficial for extended listening sessions, as it ensures that high-frequency details are faithfully reproduced without causing listener fatigue.
The K371 strikes a balance by offering a treble range that feels comfortable and true to the source material, which can be particularly appreciated by those who value a more natural and non-fatiguing listening experience.
Does the AKG K371 need an amp?
In short, no; it’s easy to drive and doesn’t really need a lot of power.
You could theoretically run it out of a phone, but if you absolutely have to have something portable, I would go no farther than something like a FiiO BTR5.
Is The AKG K371 Good For Mixing?
The K371 is generally well-regarded for its audio quality and comfort, making it a tempting choice for various audio tasks, including mixing.
However, a notable drawback that can’t be ignored is the pronounced bass shelf.
This elevated bass response, while enjoyable for certain music genres, can be a significant hindrance when it comes to EQing.
The boosted bass significantly skews the balance of frequencies, making it challenging to achieve a genuinely balanced mix.
Is The AKG K371 Good For Gaming?
When it comes to gaming, the AKG K371 headphones, despite their overall quality, might not be the most suitable choice due to, again, their pronounced bass response.
The elevated bass can present a significant challenge when trying to immerse yourself in a gaming soundscape.
It tends to muddy the audio environment, turning what should be a nuanced and detailed auditory experience into a booming and boosted mess.
That said, I tried the K371 for gaming and was shocked to find how good the Soundstage is.
In gaming paired with iFi’s Diablo, I have to say I noticed Fallout 4’s in-game sounds, dialogue, music, gunshots, etc. all seemed lusher, crisper, and more natural.
To put it bluntly, the K371 sounds pretty satisfactory for gaming – something that again, I was not really expecting.
The Soundstage isn’t quite as good as it is in film, but it’s still slightly above average.
With all of that said, I still probably wouldn’t rely on it full-time for FPS shooters, but it can work decently well for single-player games.
- Recommended: The Best Headphones for Gaming [In Depth Guide]
In watching the film Serpico (one of Al Pacino’s best performances), I kept thinking something was going on inside my apartment.
It was more subtle than with a 9500 or 702, and I couldn’t quite put my finger on what exactly it was, but you can hear a lot going on in the film that you perhaps wouldn’t with other headphones; the ambiance and stuff going on outside of the immediate conversations or scenes in the movie really adds to the immersion and makes you sort of feel like you’re in the same space or environment with the actors.
It’s great for pretty much all genres of music but does excel with harder stuff and more bass-oriented tracks.
If you listen to a lot of modern electronic music, these are a dream.
The soundstage for music is not exemplary, but it’s also better than I was expecting.
Remember that this is a closed-back headphone and thus won’t sound like a K702/K712 in terms of an open, spacious stage with complete separation.
Still, for closed headphones, the Soundstage is definitely slightly above average, all things considered.
Don’t forget to leave me some love and subscribe! <3
The AKG K371 headphones offer a compelling package for audio enthusiasts, with a commendable price-to-performance ratio that makes them an enticing choice.
The inclusion of a well-rounded accessories package, combined with their excellent overall sound quality, ensures a satisfying listening experience.
Moreover, these headphones deliver on the fronts of comfort and build, making them a reliable companion for extended listening sessions.
However, it’s essential to be aware of the pronounced bass shelf, the primary caveat in an otherwise stellar performance.
While this bass boost can be a double-edged sword, impacting the balance on some tracks, it ultimately comes down to individual preferences and the type of content you’re consuming.
If you can accommodate or even appreciate the bass emphasis, the AKG K371 emerges as a solid purchase offering great value.
With its strengths outweighing this single caveat, these headphones manage to strike a harmonious balance between affordability, performance, and comfort, making them a worthwhile addition to your audio setup.
Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this AKG K371 Review & Discussion, and came away with some valuable insight.
If you love what I do here and want to support the blog and channel in a more personal way, check me out on Patreon and discover all the value I have to offer you.
Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!
Does the K371 sound like a headphone you’d enjoy? I would love to hear from you. Until next time…
All the best and God bless,
Can’t decide which headphones to purchase? Interested in a complete buyers guide outlining over 40 of the best options on the market? Click on over to the best audiophile headphones to learn more!!
More to come!