Home Closed Back Headphone Reviews AKG K371 Review: Does The Harman Target Deliver Worthwhile Sound?

AKG K371 Review: Does The Harman Target Deliver Worthwhile Sound?

by Stuart Charles Black
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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

Preview
Great All Around Headphone
AKG Pro Audio K371 Over-Ear, Closed-Back, Foldable Studio Headphones, Black
Title
AKG Pro Audio K371 Over-Ear, Closed-Back, Foldable Studio Headphones, Black
Color
Matte Black
Weight
8.9 Oz. / 252.3g
Fit
Circumaural (Around-Ear)
Type
Closed-back, Dynamic.
Materials
ABS
Connector
3-pin Mini XLR
Headband Style
Traditional
Impedance
32 Ohm
Sensitivity
114dB/mW
Frequency Response
5Hz - 40kHz
Primary Use
Everything
Cable Length
9.8' / 2.99 m, 3.9' / 1.19 m, 9.8' / 2.99 m
Cable Detachable?
Folding?
Amplification Required?
Prime
Amazon Prime
Price
$175.00
Details
Great All Around Headphone
Preview
AKG Pro Audio K371 Over-Ear, Closed-Back, Foldable Studio Headphones, Black
Title
AKG Pro Audio K371 Over-Ear, Closed-Back, Foldable Studio Headphones, Black
Color
Matte Black
Weight
8.9 Oz. / 252.3g
Fit
Circumaural (Around-Ear)
Type
Closed-back, Dynamic.
Materials
ABS
Connector
3-pin Mini XLR
Headband Style
Traditional
Impedance
32 Ohm
Sensitivity
114dB/mW
Frequency Response
5Hz - 40kHz
Primary Use
Everything
Cable Length
9.8' / 2.99 m, 3.9' / 1.19 m, 9.8' / 2.99 m
Cable Detachable?
Folding?
Amplification Required?
Prime
Amazon Prime
Price
$175.00
Details

AKG K371

Price: Check Amazon! | Check Sweetwater! | Check B&H!

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

Carrying Bag

Limited 1-Year Warranty

AKG K371 Review

Note that not everything included is seen here.

Specs/Graph

Credit: Crinacle

  • 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

Comfort

AKG K371 Review

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.

Build

AKG K371 Review

AKG K371 ReviewIn 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.

Sound

AKG K371 Review

Bass

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.

It’s a real treat for genres like electronic, hip-hop, and pop, where the bass is an integral part of the sonic palette, providing a rich and engaging experience.

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.

Two examples from the playlist are Toonorth’s Wish You Would Call and Last Chance.

With the K371 they sound absolutely awful, but the songs sound incredible with other headphones that have a more rolled-off bass.

Mid-Range

AKG K371 Review

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!!

AKG K371 Review

In other words, it can be too smooth, too glossed over – similar to the feeling of listening to a Sennheiser HD650.

Treble

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.

Amplification

FiiO K7 Review

Does the AKG K371 need an amp?

In short, no; it’s easy to drive and doesn’t really need a lot of power.

At 32 Ohm Impedance and 114dB Sensitivity, the 371 won’t resist power and is extremely efficient.

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.

For desktop, I recommend the FiiO K5 Pro or ATOM for most people starting out.

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?

AKG K371 Review

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.

It’s definitely not quite on the same level as a K702/K712, but the amount of “out of my head” moments I experienced was staggering considering it’s a closed-back headphone.

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.

Film

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.

Genre

AKG K371 Review

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.

Video Discussion

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Closing Thoughts

AKG K371 Review

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.

Learn More:

 

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,

 

 

-Stu

[Xtr@Ba$eHitZ]

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!!

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

Media

More to come!

Group Home – Livin’ Proof (1995)

Jay Dee – Welcome 2 Detroit (2001) – 20th Anniversary Edition

DRAMA – Dance Without Me (2020)

DRAMA – Gallows (2016)

Gangstarr – Moment Of Truth (1998)

Caribou – Suddenly (Remixes, 2021)

Two Another – Another Tape (2018)

Plini – Impulse Voices (2020)

Apollo Brown – As God Intended (2020)

Apollo Brown – Clouds (2011)

Toonorth – Long Story Short (2019)

Toonorth – Ambedo (2019)

Serpico (1973)

AKG K371 Review

Fallout 4 (2015)

Photos

Gallery

 

AKG K371

4.75

Sound Quality

4.6/5

Build

5.0/5

Comfort

5.0/5

Soundstage

4.5/5

Imaging

4.8/5

Pros

  • Perfect Build
  • Perfect Comfort
  • Plenty of cable options
  • Great for Gaming & Film
  • Great Soundstage even despite it being closed

Cons

  • Bass shelf can be a bit too much at times

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10 comments

Geralt August 29, 2021 - 6:54 pm

hey man i’ve recently read your great guides & reviews. I know k361 has more accurate bass, based on frequency response curve. could you compare these two models, k371 vs k361.
i need a budget friendly headphone for listening to heavy metal songs from 80s. i prefer something durable which every parts could be replaceable like pads & cable. i can’t decide between k240 studio & k361. i know k240 has great soundstage but lacks bass due to semi open design but if i go with k361 i will lose wide soundstage in favor of better base. i can’t find shp9500 and mdr7506 in my region. please guide me to choose a reliable heavy duty headphone for heavy metal and gaming purpose between k240 studio and k361.

Reply
Stuart Charles Black August 30, 2021 - 7:35 pm

Hey man! I’d honestly bypass both of those and go straight for an HD25. Here’s why: https://homestudiobasics.com/the-sennheiser-hd25-will-change-your-life/

Reply
Mac July 25, 2022 - 2:04 am

Hey Stu,
Another great one thanks very much, out of the box I agree with review. (PLEASE LOOK AWAY IF YOU HATE ANYTHING RELATING TO HEADPHONE BURN IN :D) On a wim, I decided to try buring these headphones in. My wife and I both have a pair of these I decided to preform and the experiment. Long story short I burned them in for 300 hrs straight using a 12hr burn in track on youtube. The results were were really obvious and even more so via my K5 and Dragonfly Red. I even ran three blind listening tests and the burned in headset won every time.

How did the sound change? I haven’t put in for my audiofile badge yet, so my word salad skills are lacking but I’d describe the change as an overall refinement. Those $100 moments you mentioned are gone. I’ve tested gone from Stan Getz to Yppah, Bach to Yes, Soundgarden to Eno, just to name a few and covered every genre I listen to, I have yet to have anymore of those “WTF is this” moments. The bass in particular is notably more refined. The overall quality of the sound is much more pleasant and enjoyable. Basically It sounds as though the burn in acted like sand paper and smoothed out the rough spots. Its toned down the things that were problemtic and enhanced things that I already like.

Finally, after reading various threads on I decided to try the Dekoni Choice Suede pads specifically for the 371 and 361’s again these have even further enhanced the sound and seemed to have gently improved the sound stage.

I’ve gone from thinking that this was a good pair of headphones that I bought to use all day at work and when I was out and about to really loving them. They are the best closed backs I’ve owned and I’d highly recomend them. BUT i thnk they really need to be burned in and adding the Dekoni pads was worth ordering them from the US.

Not matter what, these are still heaphones designed to the Harman Curve, they are what they are. The burn in gave me refinements not major changes.

Reply
Stuart Charles Black July 26, 2022 - 3:30 pm

Glad you had such a great experience man! I want to do a completely objective test of this and report my findings. It involves using a brand new pair of AKG K702 vs. a K702 that I’ve had for almost 3 years, only I will replace the pads and put brand new ones on them. Then I will use a measuring rig to measure both and see if anything changed within the sound signature itself.

Reply
Mac July 26, 2022 - 8:12 pm

Funny that you should mention that. The left side of my 702 went out and I had to return them. I got the new ones just as I was finishing my experiment. I have had my new 702 on the same regime for the last week and a half. Sadly. I’ll be comparing from memory, I did spend a couple of hours with them one the day they came after not hearing them for at least 3 weeks, also having had them for a few months before. I will be finished by the end of the weekend. I’ll let you know what I think then.

Reply
Stuart Charles Black July 27, 2022 - 4:10 pm

Yeah man, keep me posted! Sorry to hear about that. I’ve had mine since 2019 with no issues.

Reply
Phil May 2, 2023 - 1:46 am

I am a long time Sennheiser HD600 user, but recently bought some K371s for something cheaper and more efficient to travel with. What I didn’t know is that AKG does not sell replacement OEM style earpads and one of mine is torn. I spent $25 for replacement pads from Brainwaivz, only to find they are at least 50% thicker and use firmer foam. This positions the ear so far away from the drivers that they are useless for critical listening. Does anyone know where I can purchase OEM thickness replacement pads?

Reply
Stuart Charles Black May 6, 2023 - 4:10 pm

Hey Phil!

Brainwavz can definitely be hit and miss.

Dekoni is generally where I’d look though they can get expensive. They do have a Suede replacement that looks to mimic the originals quite well. https://dekoniaudio.com/product/dekoni-audio-choice-suede-replacement-ear-pads-for-akg-k371-headphones/

Reply
Alex June 21, 2023 - 3:40 pm

Hi Stu, great reviews!
After reviewing the K371 do you still prefer the HD25 for metal? I listen mostly metal and electronic music but cant decide.

Reply
Stuart Charles Black June 28, 2023 - 2:11 pm

Hey Alex! Yeah, HD25 is absolutely the best headphone for metal that I’ve tried and it’s not that close. You’ll find the 371 to be a bit too bass happy with that shelf in certain instances. Go for the HD25 and don’t hesitate!

Reply

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