Part of the “Before You Buy” Series
- 2/18/21. Article posted.
- 7/3/21. Added video.
- More images.
Is the K612 Worth A Purchase? What about its sound is noteworthy? Should you bypass it in favor of something else?
Let’s dive in and find out…
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At A Glance
In The Box
Non-Detachable Cable (9.8 ft.)
Shoutout to Crinacle for the wonderful graph! This is Crinacle’s graph. There are many like it, but this one is his. ?
- Price: Check Amazon! | Check Sweetwater! | Check B&H!
- Type: Open back.
- Fit: Circumaural (Over-Ear).
- Frequency response: 10Hz to 39,800 kHz.
- Impedance: 62 Ohms. What is Headphone Impedance?
- Sensitivity: 91dB/mW.
- Material: Leather headband, plastic, velour padding.
- Color: Grey/Black/Silver
- Cable: Non-detachable
Is the K612 worth a purchase?
If you asked me that question a few months ago, I probably would have told you yes. But the more time I spend with it, the more I prefer the K702.
Allow me to explain.
It seems like every time I go back to this headphone, I almost immediately take it off and want to listen to something else. I’ve had both the K612 and K702 for over a year now, and I find the K612 is starting to collect dust; a sure-fire sign that I need to either sell it or give it away. Related: AKG K612 vs. K702 | Is There A Difference?
My reasoning is that the sound signature, while incredibly flat, is also incredibly dull and boring. There’s little excitement to the music; it sounds dry. I really like that word that Lachlan used in his review of the 612 way back when. It is dry like laundry day.
Credit to Lachlan!
Laundry day is a very dangerous day.///
It’s not that it sounds bad. It’s just.. hard to even explain.
I think Crinacle’s graphs of both the 612 and 702 illustrate exactly the point I’m trying to make. The 702, in my opinion, is a perfect headphone. It has just the right amount of emphasis on the mid-range, and the treble is not sharp or essy, regardless of what some audiophile internet snob tells you. Oh crap. I’m an internet snob, too.
It’s almost like the 612 doesn’t know exactly what it wants to be, which results in the frequency kind of getting lost and sounding directionless. Everything above 1k and going into the treble sort of weirdly melds together like fondue but doesn’t hit with purpose. It’s too warm and gooey and blankety and wooly and clammy and hazy for its own good.
You like that word salad? You want another one?
The 702 by contrast is exactly sure of itself, regardless of if you think the mids are too forward (they’re not). Too forward would be something like a Grado.
I think the 612 works incredibly well when you’re just kicking back and relaxing on the couch.
Speaking of, check out this shameless plug – my kick back and relax homie t-shirt. Listen to music in style and in a variety of colors. Act now while supplies last!
Seriously though, when I first purchased a 612 and 702 and started listening, before looking at any graphs, I found myself consistently reaching for a 612 when I sat down to watch a movie.
This completely goes hand in hand with how it sounds; it’s laid back, relaxed, and warm – something I likely subconsciously crave when I’m winding down after a long day.
By contrast, I’m reaching for a 702 when I’m gaming because it’s much snappier, much livelier, and more open and revealing.
It’s a headphone for high alert situations and engaging music. Something you prefer most of the time when you’re digging through the crates or browsing Spotify and Tidal. It almost perfectly encapsulates the entire genre spectrum; I can listen to pretty much any type of music with it and be completely enamored.
Looking at a graph of the 612 reveals pretty much exactly what it sounds like – borderline too flat.
I find that when I’m listening to music with a 612, I sort of just shrug my shoulders most of the time. There’s nothing about the experience that gets me excited or keeps me engaged all that much.
The great thing about the 612 is that everything sounds right. The not-so-great thing about the 612 is that everything sounds right. Lol. An analogy would be like eating white rice for lunch with nothing else. No butter, no salt and pepper, no chicken, no sauces, nothing. Just white rice. It may satiate you, but you’re not going to really enjoy it that much. Unless of course, you’re a f’ing weirdo. Like me. I ? white rice. Nah I’m just messin’.
It’s like that girl who’s everything you want on paper, but actually spending time with her ends up being incredibly drab and dull. Lifeless. She has no personality, no color. No character.
Hanging out with her is a tedious endeavor and thus a waste of your time. Your heart’s not in it. You like her, but you’re not in love with her. I think if more people treated their headphone relationships like their love life, there would be fewer divorces and breakups.
Cutting ties with the 612 is incredibly easy for me. Cutting ties with a girl I’m not fully invested in also happens to be as well. I’d rather not waste my time or hers. It’s a sign of respect, both for yourself and for her.
The 612 is also a bit harder to drive at 120 Ohm and 88dB/mW Sensitivity, vs. 62 Ohm and around 91 for the 702.
You’ll find yourself turning the dial on the amp a little more to get them pumping. This could also be an issue depending on the amp. I’d go with a FiiO K5 Pro for sure. Plenty of power, lot of features, sounds great.
DON’T OVERTHINK IT!
I do not and have not ever referred to the 702 as power-hungry – a ridiculous notion that started in forums years back and parroted by everyone and their Grandma until the present day. The 612 however is leaning towards that sort of moniker, although at the end of the day it’s still not that hard to drive if we’re being realistic.
I know I already did an official comparison on the K612 vs. 702, but this is my updated and somewhat final review of the 612.
Not something I’d recommend for most people. To me, it’s an incredibly niche and specialized headphone good for a couple of things, but average with most everything else. The comfort on both is very good, so no worries there. Build on each is light but robust. I’ve dropped both countless times and they really take the abuse better than I anticipated.
I prefer the K702 over the 612 for sure and recommend most people invest in one. After over a year of listening, it’s getting closer and closer to being my deserted island pick at this point.
Speaking of the K702, let’s check it out and learn why it’s so valuable:
Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this AKG K612 Review & Discussion, and came away with some valuable insight.
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What do YOU think about the 612? I would love to hear from you. Until next time…
All the best and God bless,
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- Incredibly comfortable.
- Natural Sounding.
- Built well despite being lightweight.
- Good for gaming and film.
- Good for reference and easy to mix with.
- Dull, and boring. A bit too flat. No life.
- Sound can sometimes come across as wooly, clammy, etc.
- Non-Detachable Cable.