The K702’s are very honest and analytical. They 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. They do however have more bass than the K701’s. 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.
Bass is 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.
Bass lacks a bit of impact.
Can be cold to some. Be weary of your sound source, as these are very revealing.
Bumpy, somewhat uncomfortable head band. This is now neutral because it didn’t bother some people, and the newer models resolved the issue.
Even at low impedance, these will need to be driven by some sort of amp. The Woo Audio A5 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:
Rock/Alternative (from a good source)
Just keep in mind, they lack a certain bass presence, and may not do as well with hip-hop, reggae, etc.
Check out the 702 video review!
Again, the sound clarity is amazing, but the head band issue leaves the comfort factor with a bit to be desired. However, with 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!
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! 😀
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 Soundstage 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 reviewersaid 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”.
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 chap even said that his online gaming community attempted to ban him because he could actually hear the enemy from such a great distance, that it gave him a distinct advantage over his opponents. Everything became so crystal clear that the game seemed easy!
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.
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
Both have the exact same specifications.
Both are open back headphones that leak sound, and thrive in a studio environment.
Both are very similar in build quality/construction.
Both have an almost identical aesthetic/look.
Both do well with a similar range of genres.
Both are very revealing. Consider your source material.
Both have detachable mini XLR cables as their connection.
Both come with coiled and straight options.
Color. The K702 is black/blue while the K712 is black/orange.
Sound. The K712 is more musical and fun, while the K702 is cold and analytical. While both are perfect for mixing, the 712 is not overly critical and does function nicely in a casual setting. It’s also more engaging, with a slightly fuller mid-range, and an overall more extended and slightly less harsh treble range.
Soundstage. The K712’s is much improved over the 702. No longer too wide, it feels more realistic.
Ear padding. The K712’s are memory foam vs. the velour of the 702’s.
The obvious choice is the K712’s, hands down. Neither are without their shortcomings, but the 712’s improve on all of the 702’s flaws, and come packaged with bass that has impact! One of the biggest gripes in the 701 and 702 was lack of bass. The 701’s had virtually none, while the 702’s improved upon it a little bit. The 712’s have more than all of their siblings, but it still manages to be tight and controlled. Ultimately this isn’t a bass-heads can by any stretch, but an exciting headphone nonetheless.
Are you looking for the absolute best mixing/reference headphone in it’s class or otherwise? The Sennheiser HD 600 gets my top recommendation. While the 712 is a great headphone in it’s own right, the 600 is as close to a perfect set as it gets.
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.