The K612 is a superb entry in the AKG line and flies under the radar like the 712. It has great tonal balance, with a crisp, clear, well defined sound. The bass is tight and controlled without being overly boomy. These along with the 712’s both have significantly more bass than the K701’s.
Overall the 612’s are a very neutral set of headphones but still sound quite musical. Some describe the sound as clinical, and these would make a great entry into your mixing/reference cabinet. The sound-stage is also quite expansive, with the instrument separation and imaging being stand outs as well. The treble on these puppies is not too bright or sibilant either. What does Sibilant mean?
As for the mid-range, it’s smooth and slightly warm, with vocals coming across very nicely. This is a headphone that does very well with a multitude of genres, much like the K712. It’s also heavily endorsed for gaming and movies. They give a dimension to your music that will have you really smiling as you go back and listen to all of your old albums. There is a detail and clarity here that is remarkably impressive.
Crisp, clear, natural sound. Neutral, yet still fun and musical sounding.
Expansive and well imaged sound-stage.
Sounds good with an array of genres.
Very comfortable and lightweight. This stood out a lot in my research. Many people could not get over the comfort factor!
Tight and controlled bass, without being boomy.
Good tonal balance.
Auto adjusting headband.
No detachable cable.
Cable is a bit cheap.
Headband may hurt your dome piece after a couple of hours. Clamping force is tight at first, but opens up eventually.
Be aware that there are two different models of this headphone floating around. The Austrian made and the Chinese made. Read thisreviewto find out the differences!
Check out the video review!
Hands down, you will want to purchase separate amplification to power these. The JDS Labs 02 does well here. To be quite honest, If you’re looking for a headphone that will sound good plugged into your laptop or mobile device, I would steer clear of these. The 612 definitely needs amplification to shine. Both the 612 and 712 do well with similar amp setups. I go into a bit more detail in the K712 review!
Who these headphones benefit?
Gamers! I’ve seen so many people endorse both the 612 and 712 for gaming. Due to the remarkable sound-stage, you will be able to hear things coming from all directions. Perfect for 1st person shooters, and games like Fallout and Borderlands where there is such a heavy emphasis on sound. The detail you get with these is astonishing. Being that they are so directional, you’ll be able to hear exactly where the enemy is about to come from before it happens. If you’re looking to improve your K/D ratio, the 612 fits the bill quite nicely.
Multi-Genre. They also do well with all kinds of music. Very similar to the 712 in that regard.
The AKG K612 is an impressive headphone for gaming and movies, and also excels with most genres. The cable isn’t detachable which bothers some, but the overall comfort and sound to these is nothing short of phenomenal. Do be cognizant of the 2 different models before purchase.
These headphones are pretty highly regarded, although they kind of fly under the radar. The bass response is full, accurate, and tight. The K712 has more bass than all of it’s predecessors and siblings, The K701, K702, and Q701. It’s still not exaggerated though, and remains focused. Like the Rock. FOCUS! 😀 Know that both the 612 and 712 are open back headphones that will leak sound.
Far and away these are open back headphones meant for mixing and reference. They are clinical and revealing, but not COLD. The K702 (and the 701 for that matter) have both been accused of being a bit cold and heartless at times. The K712 is not. It haz a nice warm heart 🙂 It thrives in an isolated studio and home environment, away from distractions. You won’t really want to wear these out in public, as they leak sound and people will be able to hear what you’re listening to.
They also have a great sound-stage. It’s realistic, but not abnormally large like that of the K702. What is Soundstage? Some say the mid-range is it’s strong suit, a couple people pointed out that they may be a bit recessed, grainy, or muddled.
Overall these are very very accurate headphones, with great balance, smoothness, and a natural Timbre. What is Timbre?
Great Sound-stage with a phenomenal sense of space. It’s improved upon and no longer abnormally wide like the earlier K7xx models.
Extremely accurate, balanced, and smooth.
Full, accurate, and tight bass response. I came across something really neat when reading about this. If you take the M50x’s bass and compare it with the 712, you may hear the same subtle sounds, but the 712’s have this way of really jumping out at you, while the M50’s are more subdued. The 712’s have this really nice texture and nuance to them. They may make the hair on the back of your neck stand up!
Natural Timbre. Very similar to the Sennheiser HD 650 in this regard.
Auto adjusting leather headband.
Lightweight and extremely comfortable. Great for long listening sessions.
Comes with 2 cables, coiled and straight.
Detachable, replaceable cable.
Replaceable ear pads.
May be some issues with the treble being more “upfront”, and bright in certain songs. Some say it needs to be EQ’d down a bit.
Quality control issue? Only saw this once in about 13-14 pages on amazon, but it’s noteworthy nonetheless. A particular reviewer said that his left headphone driver kept going out. He sent it back and received a new pair only to suffer the same issue.What is a headphone driver?
The velour carrying bag is nice, but given that the headphones are very lightweight and somewhat fragile, a hard case would have been ideal.
Mid-range. As mentioned earlier, a lot of people said the mid-range was the highlight of this headphone. Some didn’t, and called it recessed/muddled. Still, it’s been compared favorably to the HD 600’s fantastic mids.
Easy to drive? I will get into this more in a jiffy, but some said the 712’s are a pain to amplify. Still as I read each and every review on amazon, I came across a plethora of different amp set ups that people were using to fine effect.
They aren’t very forgiving in the upper mid-range and treble. Be aware of your source files, and try to use lossless, .wav files as well as high quality Mp3’s (320 Kbps).
Not actually manufactured in Austria, but rather Slovakia. Most didn’t see an issue as the sound quality is still top notch. Others found it deceptive to deliberately put the wrong location inside of amazon.
Good build quality despite it’s lightweight construction, but some have noted that they do feel a bit fragile and dare I say “cheap”.
Check out the video review!
The K712 almost requires amplification, even at a modest 62 Ohm impedance. Some say it’s quite picky, but I’ve read of people using all of the following:
JDS Labs 02
Schiit Vali + Modi
FiiO E17/E9 combo
FiiO E10k + Little Dot 1+
Aune T1 MKII
FiiO E07k Andes USB DAC
If I had to narrow that down, I would go with either:
These do remarkably well with most genres. They are perfect for mixing/reference in an isolated studio environment, and have been endorsed for gaming quite a bit. In fact, they just may be the best gaming headphone out there, which is pretty amazing if you ask me considering they weren’t really built for that specifically.
One person even said that his online gaming community tried to have him banned because he could hear the enemy from so far away, giving him a distinct advantage over his opponents.
So yeah, top marks as a gaming headset, but it doesn’t stop there. Good with all of the following:
Timpani (Yes someone said they were good with tuned timpani. Sounds like some sort of fish fry lol).
Bass-heads. Yes it’s bass is quite impressive, but I wouldn’t get this headphone solely for Rap/Hip-hop (or anything bass heavy).
Hard Rock. May have a bit too much bite and up-front sounding mid-range. This will diminish over time however.
The K712 is a great all around headphone if I had to sum it up quickly. It does well with most genres, and it’s bass has more impact than the K702. It’s sound-stage is also improved over the 702s in that it’s not quite as unnaturally wide. Overall, it’s a remarkably musical headphone that has that “fun” factor. Some have said it needs a burn in period to open up, and ultimately does need amplification to power correctly.
Similarities & Differences
between the K612 & K712
They both have a similar look and feel.
Both have self-adjusting headbands.
Both are very comfortable
Both are open back and leak sound.
Both are great for gaming and movies, and excel with many genres of music.
Both need an amp for optimal sound, and do well with similar set-ups.
Both are said to require some amount of burn in time before they reach peak performance.
Impedance. The K712’s have a 62 Ohm impedance vs. the 120 Ohm of the K612. I wouldn’t be too overly concerned about the difference here. Know that you should invest in an amp with either. AKG headphones in general can be a little deceiving because of the low impedance ratings in a lot of their studio entries. The K701 for example also comes in at 62 Ohm, and also heavily relies on amplification.
Chord. The K612’s do not have a detachable cable while the 712’s do.
Color. The 612 is mostly black while the 712 has hints of orange.
The K712 is good for classical and jazz, but the 612 may not be as good. This is a very subtle difference, and both are great for a wide variety of genre as discussed previously.
Origin. The K712 is made in Slovakia, while the K612 either comes from China or Austria. There are basically 2 models of the 612 that you should be aware of.
Sound. The K712 may have a smidgen more bass and treble detail than the K612. The sound is very similar overall however.
Padding. The 712 has memory foam vs. the velour of the 612.
Well, this is a tough call. If you aren’t too concerned about the non-detachable cable, I would say go for the K612, as it’s a lot more affordable and you can use that extra money on proper amplification. It’s also an extremely similar headphone to the 712, but some say it’s outclassed.
On the flip side, if you do require a detachable cable, the K712 may be a better option. Outside of that glaring difference, there isn’t much that’s so significantly improved on the 712 that warrants such a huge price difference. Some say it’s outclassed, but what does that even mean? You also may get a little more bass and treble detail in the 712.
Not satisfied? Looking for the absolute best in terms of mixing/reference? Look no further than the Sennheiser HD 600. It’s been called the Gold Standard, and serves as the benchmark to which all other headphones should be compared.
Stu is determined to provide the truth about all things audio, and strives to deliver excellent content to you the reader! In his spare time, he likes to fish, paint, play guitar, attend church, take photos, record videos, graphic design, and more. His attention to detail and perfectionist attitude are what allow him to excel, but it can be both a blessing and a hindrance at times.