Home Before You Buy Series Before YOU Buy An AKG K702, READ THIS!!

Before YOU Buy An AKG K702, READ THIS!!

by Stuart Charles Black
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Part of the Before You Buy Series!!


Greetings mate 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, all over again, so…

The AKG K702 headphones, originally made in Austria but now manufactured in China, stand as a distinctive offering in the realm of mid-fi audio gear.

Their unique design and well-crafted build have garnered attention from a discerning audience of music nerds.

Having owned these headphones since 2019, my experience is vast. I’ve had the opportunity to explore every facet of their performance and features over a significant period of time.

In this review, I’m excited to share a comprehensive analysis of the K702, aiming to help you, the reader, make an informed decision on whether or not this could be the right choice for your audio needs.

We’ll delve into their design, comfort, versatility, and sound characteristics across various types of applications, providing a thorough understanding of what the K702 headphones have to offer.

So, if you’re considering adding the 702 to your audio setup, stay tuned for an in-depth assessment that will absolutely help guide your purchasing decision.

At A Glance

Great All Around Headphone
AKG Pro Audio K702 Over-Ear, Open-Back, Flat-Wire, Reference Studio Headphones,Black
AKG Pro Audio K702 Over-Ear, Open-Back, Flat-Wire, Reference Studio Headphones,Black
8.3 Oz. (235g)
Open Back
Plastic, Velour
3.5mm Jack with 1/4" Adapter
Headband Style
Hammock Style (Self Adjusting)
62 Ohms
105dB/V (Around 91dB/mW)
Frequency Response
10 Hz to 39.8 kHz
Primary Use
Mixing, Mastering, Reference, Gaming
Cable Length
9.8 ft.
Cable Detachable?
Amplification Required?
Amazon Prime
Great All Around Headphone
AKG Pro Audio K702 Over-Ear, Open-Back, Flat-Wire, Reference Studio Headphones,Black
AKG Pro Audio K702 Over-Ear, Open-Back, Flat-Wire, Reference Studio Headphones,Black
8.3 Oz. (235g)
Open Back
Plastic, Velour
3.5mm Jack with 1/4" Adapter
Headband Style
Hammock Style (Self Adjusting)
62 Ohms
105dB/V (Around 91dB/mW)
Frequency Response
10 Hz to 39.8 kHz
Primary Use
Mixing, Mastering, Reference, Gaming
Cable Length
9.8 ft.
Cable Detachable?
Amplification Required?
Amazon Prime

AKG K702

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In The Box

K702 Headphone

Detachable Mini-XLR cable

1/4″ Adapter

Warranty Card


Credit: Crinacle

  • Type: Open back.
  • Fit: Circumaural (Over-Ear).
  • Frequency response: 10Hz to 39,800 kHz.
  • Impedance: 62 Ohms.
  • Sensitivity: 91dB/mW.
  • Material: Leather headband, plastic, velour padding.
  • Color: Midnight Blue/Silver/Grey
  • Cable: Detachable Mini-XLR (9.8 ft.)

What Is It?

The AKG K702 is a premium-grade, open-back headphone renowned for its precision and fidelity in audio reproduction.

It boasts a distinctive over-ear design with large, cushioned ear cups, which provide comfort during extended listening sessions.

Known for its reference-class sound quality, the K702 is revered among audiophiles and music professionals for its ability to deliver a balanced and accurate sound signature.

These headphones feature large dynamic drivers and an open-back design, which typically results in a wide and immersive soundstage.

The 702 has gained a reputation for its analytical and detailed sound presentation, making it a popular choice for critical listening, mixing, and mastering tasks.

Build Quality

*Big Boss M1911 excited voice initiated///*

The build quality of the K702 has been quite excellent per my experience dating back to 2019.

They feature a lightweight but robust plastic frame, which keeps the headphones relatively feathery on the head while maintaining superb structural integrity.

The hammock-style headband is self-adjusting, which means it automatically conforms to your head’s shape, providing a snug fit without the need for manual adjustments.

This feature enhances comfort during extended listening sessions and minimizes pressure points.

The ear cups are generously padded with plush velour cushions, which contribute to a luxurious feel and help with long-term comfort.

The open-back design not only contributes to the sound quality but also aids in preventing heat buildup, which can be a common issue with closed-back headphones during extended use.

Lastly, the Mini-XLR detachable cable is a nice touch and a welcome upgrade from the K612’s non-detachable configuration.


Look how hip I am. I’m not even listening to music!

Due to its lightweight design, the comfort here is phenomenal.

It’s not quite as light as a K240, but the cups are deeper and you won’t have issues with the driver hitting your ears and causing pain.

When you put them on, you’ll immediately notice the lightweight and nimble feel. This not only makes them easy on your head and neck but also minimizes fatigue during extended listening sessions.

Another factor that enhances comfort is the 702’s excellent clamping force on the sides of your melon; it strikes a sweet spot, providing a secure fit without feeling overly tight.

This means you can wear the 702 for hours on end with minimal to no discomfort, and you won’t find yourself constantly adjusting them to relieve pressure.

The headband, while not padded, improved on the original Austrian-made bumps on the underside – a complaint amongst a plethora of different users.

This time around, there are no bumps and you won’t even notice it on your head most of the time.

The velour padding is a tad stiffer than a Beyerdynamic or even a K612 but still doesn’t need an adjustment of any kind.

Whether you’re engaged in an extended music-listening session or working on professional audio tasks, the K702’s got you covered.


The 702 is known for its balanced sound and near-perfect tuning, making it a favorite among audiophiles and professionals.


Starting with the bass, we’ve got an almost perfect flat-line response with minimal roll-off (around 2dB) and no unnecessary mid-bass bloat in the all-important 100-200Hz region.

This is of paramount importance as it essentially reproduces low frequencies faithfully without excessive emphasis or distortion.

This flat bass response is ideal for critical listening and audio work, as it ensures that you’re hearing the low-end as it truly is, without strange peaks and coloration.

It’s also great for casual listening as you’ll find yourself picking apart bass lines with a renewed sense of excitement and vigor. 


AKG K702 Review

The bass rolls perfectly into the lower and upper mid-range, culminating in a very necessary presence bump around 2kHz.

This provides a sense of clarity and articulation, making vocals and instruments stand out in the mix without being overly emphasized like a Grado.

Another aspect of paramount importance, the mid-range is essential to get right in both casual and professional applications as it’s responsible for pretty much every instrument you hear in a song.

Wonky mid-range fidelity can result in but is not limited to, a nasally and/or honky characteristic that ends up throwing everything off.

The K702 circumvents this issue by providing just the right amount of presence without becoming overdone like your mom’s meatloaf.


The treble manages to strike an almost perfect equilibrium between brightness and neutrality, providing crisp and detailed high-frequency reproduction without being overly sizzly, hot, and thus fatiguing.

There’s no bite, no harshness, and no essiness, but it’s also not dull or veiled.

This balance is particularly valuable for extended listening sessions as it ensures you’re not tempted to rip the headphones off for a much-needed break.

Imaging and Instrument Separation

AKG K702 Review

When it comes to imaging and instrument separation, the 702 excels.

They can precisely position instruments and sounds on the Soundstage, making it easy to pick out individual elements within a mix.

The separation is particularly useful for discerning subtle details, which is essential for mixing, mastering, or simply appreciating the intricacies of your favorite music.


The spacious soundstage of the K702 further enhances the appeal.

The open-back design, coupled with the well-tuned drivers, creates an expansive and immersive sound environment.

This sense of space allows you to experience music in a three-dimensional way, making your listening or mixing experience more captivating and detailed.

Speaking of,

Is the K702 Good For Mixing?

AKG K702 Review

The 702 has earned a well-deserved reputation for being an excellent tool for mixing and critical audio work, and this is primarily attributed to everything we just discussed.

The headphones offer remarkable resolution, meaning they can reveal fine details and nuances in your audio like few others in their class.

When you’re mixing, this level of precision can be invaluable, as it allows you to hear even the subtlest imperfections in your music.

Furthermore, the K702’s ability to create a spacious soundstage is a standout feature.

The open-back design, coupled with the large dynamic drivers, results in a wide and immersive sonic environment.

This spacious soundstage enables you to precisely place and separate individual elements in your audio mix, which is crucial for creating a well-balanced and professional sound.

The headphones’ soundstage gives you the feeling of working in a broader sonic canvas, making it easier to discern each element in your mix, whether it’s the vocals, instruments, or other effects.

In a mixing or mastering scenario, the K702’s resolution, separation, and spacious soundstage all come together to provide a valuable and accurate representation of your audio, making them an excellent choice for professionals and enthusiasts alike.

Is the K702 Good For Gaming?

AKG K702 ReviewBecause of what we just discussed, the K702 is also great for gaming.

Their balanced sound and precise tuning ensure that you hear in-game sounds with incredible clarity and accuracy.

Whether it’s footsteps, gunfire, or environmental cues, these headphones deliver audio that is true to the game’s intent, allowing you to respond swiftly and effectively in competitive gaming scenarios.

The presence rise around 2kHz enhances the clarity of in-game dialogue and character interactions, making it easier to follow the storyline and character nuances in a single-player environment.

The flat bass response keeps the game’s low-frequency effects in check, ensuring they are impactful without drowning out other audio elements.

The bright-neutral treble strikes a perfect balance between revealing high-frequency details and preventing ear fatigue during prolonged gaming sessions.

Additionally, the imaging and instrument separation capabilities prove invaluable for gaming, helping you pinpoint the location of in-game enemies, the direction of sounds, and subtle environmental cues accurately.

The spacious soundstage adds depth to your gaming experience, making you feel like you’re right in the middle of the action, which is particularly advantageous for judging distances and directions of sounds.

Out of all the headphones I’ve ever used, the K702 is the first I reach for when sitting down to play an FPS shooter or single-player game.

Is the K702 Good For Film?

All of these same characteristics translate very well to the big screen, as the 702 provides the most out-of-your-head experience and also works incredibly well for subtle details; something I was astonished by in watching an old favorite like Reservoir Dogs.

The background ambiance, detail, and subtlety previously unheard will start to come through with startling clarity, to the point of you ripping off the headphones in a panic wondering what the heck is going on.

The K702 does an incredible job at giving off the illusion that things are happening above and below, behind you, as well as to the right and left.

I can’t count how many times I thought a sound was coming from the gravel below on the first floor of my apartment, only to rewind and find out it came from the movie.

This helps to create an immersive experience with a DAC like the Creative SoundBlasterX G6 and Scout Mode; one of my favorite combos for really analyzing the ins and outs of sound design in gaming and film.

Creative SoundBlasterX G6Genre

Thanks to their balanced sound, precise tuning, spacious soundstage, and exceptional imaging capabilities, the 702 excels across all music genres and are equally well-suited for gaming and other audio applications.

Their versatility allows you to enjoy any type of content with a high level of accuracy and immersion, making them an ideal choice for audiophiles and professionals seeking a single pair of headphones that can handle a wide range of listening situations effectively.

I like them with all of the following genres:

  • Rap/Hip-Hop
  • Classical
  • Jazz
  • Ambient
  • Pop
  • Rock
  • Indie
  • EDM
  • Metal

and basically anything else you can think of.

If you’re a bass head, don’t expect these to rattle your brain.

Rather, expect to enjoy the subtlety of the instruments and appreciate the fact that the sub-bass doesn’t roll off super hard as it does with, say, a KSC75.

You’ll get a sense that you can actually hear individual notes and follow the bass line wherever it goes.

This was apparent to me in listening to Japanese House’s “You Seemed So Happy.”

I was able to concentrate fully on the bassline, but also hear it in its entirety – this is something I can’t say about many other headphones.


Does The K702 Sound As Good As A Planar?

This is something I’ve talked a lot about with many people over the last couple of years.

It’s eerily close to matching the tonal qualities of one, that’s for sure.

In comparing the 702’s Timbre to something like a DEVA, Sundara, 400i, 400se, etc. the difference is there, but it’s very very small.

If it were a race, it would definitely be a photo finish.

One of the main reasons I recommend it so much is because of its phenomenal sense of Timbre; the portrayal of vocals and instruments as they might sound in real life vs. the way they sound through a device.

The tonal quality of the sound itself, its sense of color and life, and the quality of a particular instrument or vocal inflection; are all characteristics of the 702 that tend to make it stand out from the crowd.

Given a song that was recorded, mixed, and mastered well, it can sound so realistic that you might think for a split second that it’s playing in front of you, behind you, or to your right or left.

The K702 is perhaps the best at replicating this rich, natural, true-to-life, and incredibly intimate aspect of the listening experience that most headphones sorely lack.

There’s no mistaking that distinction when you hear it.

The 702 highlights these amazing qualities in music by bringing them to the forefront and putting them on display, while also saturating them just right.

The analogy I would use is a raw photograph vs. one calibrated with just the right amount of brightness and contrast, giving it that crisp, professional look while at the same time not overdoing it.

The 702 is that.

It sometimes feels as though an artist like Sufjan Stevens is playing live rather than through a conversion process.

Technically speaking,

the K702 is one of the most capable headphones to ever hit the market and still remains relevant after many years despite a barrage of other products flooding the scene.

It’s a headphone that tends to mimic the effect of a speaker setup better than most other headphones, mid-fi or otherwise.


FiiO K7 Review

As far as amplification, you will need one as the K702 is woefully inefficient and needs a fair bit of power from an Amp to reach an acceptable volume level.

I would seek out Amp/DACS with a lot of overall power, to be sure.

I did a ton of research and first-hand experience with that, so definitely check it out if you’re unsure of what to buy!

A quick recommendation would be something like a FiiO K5 Pro: plenty of power and features for even the snobbiest of audiophile snobs.

Video Discussion

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Closing Thoughts

The AKG K702 has proven itself as a well-rounded audio solution that checks all the boxes.

We’ve delved into their exceptional attributes, from a balanced sound and precise tuning to their spacious soundstage, impeccable imaging, and versatility across various genres and applications.

Whether you’re a music enthusiast, a dedicated gamer, or a professional in need of reliable audio equipment, these headphones deliver an outstanding performance in every aspect we’ve explored.

With such a versatile and reliable package, the K702 emerges as a clear slam-dunk purchase.

These headphones offer a level of audio accuracy and immersion that’s hard to match, making them an excellent investment for anyone seeking high-quality sound across the board – without burning a hole in their wallet.

So, if you’re in the market for headphones that can elevate your audio experience, look no further than the K702. It’s a choice you won’t regret.

Learn More:



Don’t forget to also snag one of my kick back and relax homie t-shirts so you can listen to music with the 702 in style!

Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this AKG K702 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 K702 sound like a sound investment? 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!!

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

Album List and OSTs

This is just some of what I’ve listened to with the K702 dating back to 2019

Donkey Kong Country 2 OST (1995)

Fallout 1 OST – Mark Morgan

Fallout 2 OST – Mark Morgan

John Coltrane – Soultrane (1958)

The Legend of Zelda – Ocarina of Time (1998)

Death Cab for Cutie – Transatlanticism (2003)

The Shins – Oh, Inverted World (2001)

Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell (2015)

MF DOOM – Operation: Doomsday (1999)

MF DOOM – MM..FOOD? (2004)

MF DOOM & Madlib – Madvillainy (2002)

King Geedorah – Take Me To Your Leader (2003)

Viktor Vaughn – Vaudeville Villain (2003)

Skyzoo – The Salvation (2009)

Mac Miller – Swimming (2018)

John Coltrane – Coltrane Plays The Blues (1960)

John Coltrane – A Love Supreme (1964)

Ornette Coleman – Change of the Century (1960)

The Legend Of Zelda – A Link To The Past (1992)

Miles Davis – Kind Of Blue (1959)

J Dilla – The Shining (2006)

Pink Floyd – Piper At The Gates Of Dawn (1967)

Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin IV (1971)

J Dilla – Jay Love Japan (2007)

J Dilla – Ruff Draft (2007)

The Police – Synchronicity (1983)

Yes – The Yes Album (1971)

Yes – Fragile (1971)

Yes – Close To The Edge (1972)

Yes – Tales From Topographic Oceans (1973)

Led Zeppelin – Presence (1976)

Peter Frampton – Frampton Comes Alive! (1976)

Radiohead – OK Computer (1997)

Rush – Hemispheres (1978)

Sufjan Stevens – Michigan (2003)

Primal Fear (1996)


Inception (2010)

Blade Runner: The Final Cut (1982)

AKG K702










Imaging & Soundstage



  • Incredibly comfortable.
  • Effortless, natural sound with tastefully done coloring.
  • Built well despite being lightweight.
  • Perfect for gaming and film.
  • Great for reference and easy to mix with.


  • May be bass light for some.

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RockStar2005 February 22, 2021 - 9:46 pm

Excellent review!!!!!!!!!!! Everything covered, nothing missed!

Stuart Charles Black February 25, 2021 - 9:34 pm

Thank you man! Sometimes I feel like I miss stuff so glad to hear you got everything you needed 🙂 You gonna get a K5 Pro?

aeryu March 11, 2021 - 6:49 pm

115 mw will be enough for drive k702 full performance? 200 mw power amp can make difference in soundstage widens or more full etc.?

Stuart Charles Black March 12, 2021 - 5:47 pm

Hey man what amps are you referring to?

Pascal Betz April 27, 2021 - 6:45 am

I’m surpised that the K702 costs 200-250 freedom bucks. Here in Germany you get them for like 100-150 Euros. The K712 costs 200-250 here. So everything is like 100 moneys cheaper.

Stuart Charles Black May 3, 2021 - 5:24 pm

Yeah man! The K700 series have always been strange as far as prices go and can fluctuate wildly depending on the time. I really have no idea why. Most products that I write about and talk about generally stay the same for the most part.

Rui E July 20, 2021 - 9:16 pm

Great article! And I’m gonna buy the K702 after reading this!

Just one question: I have a little Cyrus SoundKey DAC/AMP.

Do you think it will be enough to power properly the K702, to bring the best of him, or should I look to something like the iFi ZEN DAC (the original DAC/amp one, not the V2). Would the iFi be a good match for the K702, in case my Cyrus isn’t up to the task?

Thanks and congrats for the great website and info you provide!

Stuart Charles Black July 20, 2021 - 9:45 pm

Hey man, thank you for stopping by and for the kind words! If these specs are correct,

Recommended Headphone Impedance: 16 Ohm – 300 Ohm

Maximum Headphone Output Power (Per Channel):
300 mW into 16 Ohm
220 mW into 32 Ohm
30 mW into 300 Ohm

You’ll be fine, but are you gaming on console or anything? If so you may opt for a Zen V2 or K5 Pro. If not, then yeah, I’d stick with what you have or try out a Zen regular. It is a good match and I listen often! Here’s the comparison if you were curious: https://homestudiobasics.com/ifi-zen-vs-zen-v2-upgraded/

Keep me posted with any questions!


Rui E July 25, 2021 - 11:57 pm

Hey Stu!

Thanks for the reply and all the great info (as usual)!

I’m buying them only to listen and enjoy music. No gaming, no movies, not recording/producing, and my set-up will be my computer (FLAC files) + Cyrus SoundKey DAC/AMP + AKG K702.

Just another question: I’m mainly a “metal guy”, and I’ll be listening to metal like 80-90% of the time. I know you recommend the Sennheiser HD 25 for this type of music, but how the AKG K702 behave for metal (mainly for Thrash/Death metal, think late 80s – early 90s, with that scooped guitar sound: Exodus, Forbidden, Anthrax, Death, Napalm Death…)?

Thanks again!

Stuart Charles Black July 29, 2021 - 9:41 pm

Hey man! I don’t listen to those types but my guess is that the K702 is going to struggle a bit to keep up. It will sound great, it just may not be enough to handle the fast-paced nature of the genre. However, I can do some demos and let you know for sure. What songs, in particular, would you like for me to test?

Rui E August 30, 2021 - 10:47 am

Hi Stu!

First of all, I want to apologize for the extreme delay replying back to you. I was on vacations, then on my return had some problems with the exchange of my Internet Service Provider, but finally I’m back again!

Second, I want to thank your kindness and sympathy for doing this, listening to some song on the K702’s.

So, below, there’s a list of some bands/songs/genres I listen to. I know, it’s a lot (I got carried away by the enthusiasm!) but feel free to choose whatever you want, I also don’t want you to “waste” too much time with this.

On a side note, of course (if you have some to time to do this) you will use what DAC/Amp you have at hand, but it would be possible to listen to these songs with the ZEN DAC + K702 combo, it would be awesome as point of reference (as I will use the K702’s the ZEN DAC).

I will truly appreciate your opinion and impressions of how the K702 handles these genres. I really appreciate your honest reviews and opinion and your Youtube channel and site are one of my primary sources of information. ?

(Not wanting to abuse the sympathy, but for comparing terms, could you also listen to some of these songs with the Sennheiser HD25’s, the headphone you say are perfect for metal? It’s night and day difference between these songs ob the HD25’s and the K702’s?)

Please let me know your findings,
Thank you so much in advance!

—Thrash Metal—

– Anthrax –
Among The Living

Caught In a Mosh


– Metallica –
One (after 4:37 min)


Leper Messiah

Damage Inc.

Sad But True

– Overkill –

Nice Day For a Funeral

Bare Bones

Time To Kill

Birth Of Tension

– Testament –
Practice What You Preach

Greenhouse Effect



Children Of The Next Level

More Than Meets The Eye

– Exodus –
The Toxic Waltz

Verbal Razors

Cajun Hell

Lunatic Parade

Within The Walls Of Chaos

– Kreator –
Civilization Collapse

– Evildead –
F.C.I./The Awakening

– Heathen –
Victims Of Deception (any part of the album)

Dying Season

Fade Away

– Demolition Hammer –
Epidemic Of Violence (any part of the album)

– Devastation –
Idolatry (any part of the album)

– Exhorder –
Slaugtherr In The Vatican (any part of the album)

—Death Metal—
– Death –
Flattening of Emotions

Lack of Comprehension

– Pestilence –

The Trauma

– Bolt Thrower –

Lest We Forget

– Cannibal Corpse –
Frantic Disembowelment

– Nile –
Cast Down the Heretic

– Bloobath –
The Arrow of Satan is Drawn (any part of the album)

– Carcass –
Reek of Putrefaction

Ruptured in Purulence

– Napalm Death –
On The Brink Of Extinction

Suffer The Children

I Abstain

– Terrorizer –
After World Obliteration

—Black Metal—
– Blut Aus Nord –

– Abyssal –
I Am the Alpha and the Omega

– Vessel of Iniquity –
The Doorway (any part of the album)

—Post-Metal/Sluge Metal—
– Amenra –
Ogentroost (sfter 4:20 min)

Plus Près De Toi

Reborn Thru Me

Stuart Charles Black August 30, 2021 - 9:50 pm

Absolutely man and thank you! No worries. I don’t have the HD25 on hand now, but I will listen to these with Zen + K702 and get back with you soon 🙂

Rui E August 30, 2021 - 10:00 pm

Hi again Stu!

I forgot to tell on my last (long) email.

As I said before, I have a Cyrus SoundKey, and I was planning to plug the K702’s to this little DAC/AMP.

But during my vacations, I visited a Hi-Fi store and they had a second hand iFi ZEN DAC for an amazing price (converting Euros to USD, about 75 USD)!

So I just couldn’t pass this up!

It doesn’t come with the iFi iPower power supply, just the regular USB cable as power supply (also, I don’t know if that makes a huge difference having the iPower power supply vs the USB one…?)

But for now I’m happy with my purchase and that’s why I told you I will be running the future K702’s with the ZEN DAC.

I’m shure the ZEN DAC will be a better match with the K702’s, with better sound quality and more power compared to the Cyrus SoundKey (not that the Cyrus sounds bad at all!) 🙂


Stuart Charles Black August 31, 2021 - 2:09 pm

Yeah man, I wouldn’t worry about that. I run the Zen off bus power and it sounds great. 🙂

Rui E August 30, 2021 - 10:08 pm

“Absolutely man and thank you! No worries. I don’t have the HD25 on hand now, but I will listen to these with Zen + K702 and get back with you soon ?”

Thanks A LOT Stu for the support! That’s great and really kind and nice from you!

I would love to hear your opinion that I have in high regard, so take you time. 🙂

Again, thank you so much!

Stuart Charles Black August 31, 2021 - 2:09 pm

My pleasure man! About to fire some up now 🙂

Stuart Charles Black August 31, 2021 - 5:01 pm

Hey man! Listened to a good chunk of the songs. Here are my thoughts.

-I would definitely not use YouTube for this combo. Spotify tracks sounded a bit better but I think you already know that and you linked them because they provide easy links/access.
-If you’re to go with this combo, I’d definitely plan to keep TrueBass on at all times. I think I actually did another demo for someone with this exact pairing a while back now that I think about it. May be on the official Zen review but I can’t quite remember. The same applies. Without TrueBass, it sounds a bit thin/tinny, but this is certainly more a byproduct of how Metal is recorded (mostly poorly to be honest).

Overall: K702 + Zen for metal can work if you keep truebass on. Without it, it’s kind of meh but again, more to do with the genre itself.

Rui E August 30, 2021 - 10:12 pm

Oh, and no problem about the Senn’s HD25, this was just curiosity how they would sound with these genres compared with the K702s (I know, they are completely different Headphones), my main interest is really the K702’s that I plan to buy soon 😉

Stuart Charles Black August 31, 2021 - 2:10 pm

Nice! 🙂 Kind of wish I had the HD25 lol.

Rui E September 8, 2021 - 11:21 pm

Hi Stu!

I wasn’t expecting this fast reply from you, as the list I sent you as massive and I imagine you had better/more important things to do as to listen to some extreme metal lol! 🙂

Anyway, many many thanks for your reply and for doing me this favor (specially as you listened the songs with K702 + ZEN DAC)! That was very kind of you and it shows the great support from you to your readers and, of course, great professionalism from you. 🙂

Now, commenting on your observations:

– yes, I just sent the Youtube links for convenience, as I don’t have Spotify or similar. I will listen to my music from my personal CD’s and FLAC files on my computer -> ZEN DAC -> K702.

– TrueBass should be a must, I was kinda expecting this. As the K702 is not very bass heavy (again, not personal experience, just reviews) the TrueBass engaged should give the K702 the extra “kick” to listen to this harder music.

Anyway, your conclusions confirm what I imagined the K702’s to be with metal. And that’s great! I guess they are perfect for classical, Jazz, softer acoustic stuff, but can work with metal as well (TrueBass a must, for that extra “kick”). They may be better headphones for this harder music, but the K702 + ZEN DAC (with TrueBass) I guess this combo will be no slouch either, and a pleasure to listen also. 🙂

Again, I really appreciate the effort you put to this. Many many many thanks! This kind of support, down to earth, and sympathy is priceless, and that’s with I’m following religiously your site and Youtube account, trusting you honest opinions and info, to make we fell in love with music, not gear, all over again! 🙂

PS: Just to let you know, after reading your conclusions on the list I sent you, I ordered the K702! Can’t wait to have them!!!

Stuart Charles Black September 9, 2021 - 1:47 pm

Hey man!

Lmao, I’m not going to lie. Yes, in a way. But, I did end up really enjoying it though! I expanded my pallet a bit and even though I don’t listen to metal as much as other genres, I do love me some every once in a while. I guess my tastes are a tad different (leaning towards Rage, Polyphia, Animals as leaders, prog fusion metal, etc.) although I still enjoy some heavy metal on occasion. There did come a point where I had to stop though, because the impressions started being the same on every track so there was really no reason to listen to every single one. That said, I like how you categorized them because I’d like to continue where I left off at some point and explore some of the other metal sub-genres. It was fun to research the history behind some of these bands as I was listening – for instance, the big 4 (Slayer,Anthrax, Megadeth, Metallica).

So great to hear man, and thank you for your support/kind words. Please let me know how you like the 702 and keep me posted!!

Rui E September 8, 2021 - 11:23 pm

PS2: On a side note, I could only imagine what the results would be listening to these genres with the Senn’s HD25. Probably “bombastic”, no? 😉

(the Senn’s HD25 are also no my wish-list, probably a Christmas gift for myself lol)

Stuart Charles Black September 9, 2021 - 1:48 pm

OMG, it’s like melt your face off fun haha. Check out this demo from one of my favorite prog/metal/jazz fusion bands. This was I think their very first work, so it’s a bit harder and thus you may like it more 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtFikiAEpl0

Stuart Charles Black September 9, 2021 - 2:01 pm

Also, look at this I just stumbled across it after listening to that link I sent: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftdDIBwIrPc I’m laughing out loud like a maniac at how ridiculously good they are at playing guitar. XD

Rui E September 25, 2021 - 1:00 am

Hi Stu!

First of all, terrible sorry again for the delay replying back to you, even more when you had the kindness to do me this favor. Major problems at work after my vacations, so much problems that I decided to quit… A few weeks to get a new temporary job and I didn’t had much time and I wasn’t in the mood to reach my computer as my head was on a very turboulent state. Oh well… everything is better now fortunately. 🙂

I’m really glad that this worked for both of us, a win-win situation: I got your valuable opinion on the 702s with these harder genres and you got more know-how of how the 702s sound with harder stuff and with bands you were not familiar with. 🙂

The categorization I made is a very broad one, as some bands can be Thrash Metal or Thrash-Death Metal for instance, or Death/Death-Grind, as some bands blend the styles. But it was a way to differentiate some things to be easier to you, and in general terms they fit on the styles I categorized them.

That’s great that you got some interest in discovering more about these styles and explore more in the future, there’s some really good stuff in more extreme metal, with very talented musicians. And of course the interest you had in discovering the history of some bands, the story of the Big 4 bands: Metallica and Megadeth history is very interesting because of the conflicts between Dave Mustaine from Megadeth and Lars and James from Metallica, as he was kicked from Metallica at the beginning of the band. Also, Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer, released on the mid 80s/early 90’s some of the most memorable Thrash Metal albums of all time.

But you mentioned some bands that I also like and listen frequently, like Rage (that I know from the 80s!!!) and Animals As Leaders (Tosin Abasin’s playing is out of this world!), so we also have some common tastes in metal ??

Really glad that you had fun with this and really glad that in some way this was also helpful to you to. If in the future you want to discover some more stuff (suggestions, etc.), please let me know!

Stuart Charles Black September 28, 2021 - 1:39 pm

Hey man no worries! I’ve been going through a time here myself. You’re welcome! Glad to do it.

And yeah, I was never an Anthrax or Slayer fan, but I found some of the songs rather interesting! One of my best friends from back in the day and one I used to skateboard with, loved Metallica lol. It was kind of over the top so we poked fun at him from time to time. Like, as in, he wore a Metallica shirt pretty much every single day. xD I’m exaggerating a bit but it’s still really funny.

But yeah, my tastes are definitely more in line with prog metal/math rock I guess.

And will do man! Hope to chat again soon 🙂

Subbu July 28, 2021 - 5:10 am

Hi Stu

Thanks for clearing my choice of HPs with your reply to my comment on Youtube video – AKG 702-SHP9500-DEVA. Yes, I am owning the vintage AKG K514. AKG K702 is my Shopping List on Amazon.

My search for HPs began when I found the Logi Headset given by my office for MS Teams use is only for that. Nokia’s headset with my Nok 8.3 is just anemic. Have a HTC Hi Res in-ear that came with HTC10 for use with phone. Excellent EP but mic does not work with PC well. This also made me mod some old EPs i have and take out the AKG K514 from the drawers and start fiddling with it for nighttime music jaunts instead of bring down the house with my Klipsch Heresy and tube amp combo.

AKG K702 can wait I think.

I snagged a KEF M500 for 1/3rd it’s original price – $100 brand new. Full metal frame, on ear. 40mm driver. comes with a beautiful case and two cables for music and phone / PC use with inline mic. Cables seem a little fragile. 4 pole 2.5mm on HP end and 3.5mm at other end with 6.35mm adaptor and airline adaptor.

FR on RAA website shows a near flat line up to 8kHz https://reference-audio-analyzer.pro/en/report/hp/kef-m500.php#gsc.tab=0

Allowed it to settle down a bit running it off a radio for few hours. Solid bass for an on-ear HP. Mids are clear with no meddling by Mr. Bass. Treble is so smooth. No EQ required for bring up the “air”. Maybe my 53 year old ear is not so sensitive that I cannot hear much difference pumping up the EQ on Foobar above 8k region. Lionel Richie seems to walk from right end of the room, cross me and ending at the left end of the room in the opening of “Dancing on the ceiling”. In head sound stage but very good separation of instruments. Vocals shine.

My two phones need the volume controls up to drive it – maybe the phone issue. On PC 20% volume can blast the ears. With the iFi iDSD Nano DAC/ AMP (connected to PC on USB) it is pure bliss.

If you get hold of one, try it and review it.

Stuart Charles Black July 29, 2021 - 9:40 pm

Hey man I checked it out. Looks good! And my pleasure 🙂 Keep me posted on everything and if you have questions!! Always ready to help ..

I am Dan December 24, 2021 - 10:10 am

As someone, who owns both the K712 and the K702 (which I got thanks to you, Stu), I can comment on how they compare with each-other:
– The K712’s have a much softer headband that’s so comfortable that you won’t even notice them on your head. The K702’s headband is rather stiff and it causes a very mild discomfort after an hour of wearing them, but it’s easily fixed by readjusting the headphones on your head.
– The default ear pads on both headphones were okay, but slightly better on the K712. I think I got my K702 with some faulty ear pads that were uneven. Anyway, I’d strongly recommend swapping both with Dekoni’s as they greatly improved both the comfort and the sound (I’m using fenestrated leather on my K702 and I can definitely tell that the bass packs a bit more punch now, to a point where I can safely say they got slightly more bass than K712).
– The K712 come with 2 cables, a long one and a short one, while the K702 come with only the long one, so point for K712 here.
– Sound: I hate to admit it, cause I love the K712 (they were my first mid-fi headphone), but the K702 outperform them. I dunno, the way the K702 present the sound feels much more natural to me. When I put on the K712 after listening to the K702, the sound from K712, there’s something wrong about it and damn it, I can tell what it is. It just sounds a bit off. Don’t get me wrong, there is still a wide soundstage and plenty of detail, nothing is lost, but the presentation is somehow weird. Have you guys noticed this as well?

Stuart Charles Black December 28, 2021 - 9:31 pm

Hey Dan!

Definitely agree with all points. My K702 has stiffer pads but I don’t really mind it.

I’m wondering if the Dekoni pads alter the sound of the rest of the perfect signature?

I do like the K712’s detachable options. I wish they’d come out with a 702 update for that.

Totally agree on sound, and you’re exactly right. Something is a bit off. For me it’s just too lush and gooey – bordering on sloppy almost while the 702 sounds crisp and snappy. Yes, the presentation is just too syrupy and it does tend to sound a bit off. Check this article as I echo all of your sentiments and explain my reasoning!

I think part of it may also have to do with that gradual rise of 5dB that basically covers 20-600Hz. It’s just too much and kind of makes everything seem like it’s melding together from what I remember.

Keep me posted!

I am Dan December 29, 2021 - 8:29 am

Howdy Stu!

Glad to hear that you agree with me on the sound presentation – I thought I was going crazy, cause none of my friends who tried both headphones noticed any difference and frankly, they preferred the K712 most of the time.

Now, on the earpads: I got 2 pairs from Dekoni – one velour and one fenestrated leather. I first tried the K702 with the velour ones and oh boy, talk about comfort! I could wear these headphones 24/7, even while taking a bath! They even increased the clamp force slightly (which is a plus for me as I prefer stronger clamp force and let’s face it – the K702 have decent clamp force, but nowhere near the one of the 6XX). When it comes to the sound, I can’t really comment as I didn’t find any drastic differences between the velour and the stock pads (Dekoni has posted some measurements that aren’t far off from the original – the velour pads are supposed to have slightly increased bass, but it’s probably such a slight increase that I can’t say I’ve noticed it). Maybe the high frequencies (above 7k) got a tiny boost (again, not sure), but it could also have been the headphones themselves, cause some stuff that I hadn’t previously heard before definitely grabbed my attention when I was listening to my favorite songs. And I’d say that this is a part of what hifi’s about.

But hifi is also about sound enjoyment and that’s where the fenestrated leather pads come in. I’m not really a fan of leather pads when it comes to comfort and when I swapped the velour ones with them, the comfort dropped slightly (still better when compared to the original, though, imo) and the clamp force was reduced a tiny bit. Nevertheless, the headphones were quite stable on the head – one can move freely without worrying they’ll fall off. As for the sound, I could definitely notice a difference here – the bass definitely received a mild boost that’s just the right amount. Don’t get me wrong, the bass is still present with the original pads and the velour ones, it just never intentionally attracted people’s attention – it was doing its job properly. The fenestrated leather pads, however, did the job even better, without the bass sounding bloated or forced. The highs maybe felt a tiny bit softer, but that could be due to the lows having just a bit more of an impact (still plenty of detail, nothing got lost). It’s like seasoning your meal with just enough spices – everything feels better.

Now, should you replace the stock pads? For me, definitely! Both the velour and the fenestrated leather are solid buy and I was pleasantly surprised with the product quality for sure. If you happen to see them on a sale, it’d say it’s worth the blind buy, like I did.

Stuart Charles Black January 4, 2022 - 1:50 pm

Hey Dan,

Rub a dub dub!! xD

I’ve always found the 702’s pads to be really good, but I kind of do prefer the softer variety present on the 712. I’ve tried Dekoni leathers on HIFIMAN headphones and just wasn’t a fan. Idk. They felt overly business-like (which is an absurd way to describe it) but all the intimacy and coziness was lost lol. I want to feel like I’m snuggling!!!

The K702 actually could benefit from a tiny boost in the mid-bass, so I can understand why you enjoyed that! I still mostly like it as is, but you can tell when comparing it to something like a 400se that it’s juuuuust a bit thin at times while the se has a smidgen more meat.

Are these the pads? https://dekoniaudio.com/product/elite-fenestrated-sheepskin-ear-pads-for-akg-k600-k700-headphones/

I am Dan January 5, 2022 - 8:38 pm

Yup, those are the ones I got. They are the first (and only so far) leather pads I’ve tried and I was previously accustomed to the velour ones, so yes, they did have kind of a different feel and I totally get what you mean. They don’t disappear as well as the velour ones on the ear, but they are still comfortable and definitely make up for this by having a slight bass boost.
So to sum it up: the velour pads are a bit more comfortable (for me personally at least, the way they embrace the ear just feels better), while the fenestrated leather ones have slightly improved lows, which I’d say makes the sound even more enjoyable.

Stuart Charles Black January 6, 2022 - 2:53 pm

Hey man!

I may have to try them heh. I wanted to get a brand new pair of 702’s and also buy a new set of pads for my old ones and then measure them both to see if burn-in is actually real. I think that would solidify it. But, down the road, I may try the leathers just for grins. 🙂

Thanks for reaching out!

Andy March 29, 2022 - 7:17 pm

Did you ever encounter the issue of the solder failing on the headphones? Seems to be a common issue.

Stuart Charles Black March 29, 2022 - 7:34 pm

Hey Andy!

Interesting question. So I’ve owned 2 pairs of the K240M (600 Ohm) and one K240S. One M version was bought from eBay and had a slight buzzing/static issue in the right or left cup (can’t remember) which drove me crazy. Guy “forgot” to mention that and though I let him know about it later, I ended up re-selling it making the next person fully aware.

Some months later my mom’s husband asked me if I wanted some old headphones he had lying around in the man cave that he never uses and lo and behold it was a pair of K240Ms and a K260 which I didn’t even know existed. I was really looking forward to reviewing it.

Long story short, the K260 had a driver malfunction (likely a solder issue) on one side but the K240M functions flawlessly. I have never had issues with a solder failing on a K240, but I’m sure it’s possible given the K260’s problem. That or maybe the K240s were manufactured better. Who knows!

You may be wondering if I tried to fix the K260. No, but I wish I had. Ended up trashing it but I kind of regret it now. It was in really bad shape though. I took it apart and we both said it probably wasn’t worth the trouble.

Here’s a video about the K260 if you’re interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cy4XTYTgJ3Q Kind of makes me want to buy another one second hand.

Tim April 23, 2022 - 12:44 am

Hi Stu,
Great review and I cannot wait to get my hands on these bad boys. One key question though. I intend to use with Android only and listen to Tidal Masters.
Any portable amp dac you can recommend that can drive these to full capability with some headroom left for additional volume? Thanks mate

Stuart Charles Black April 23, 2022 - 2:26 pm

Hey Tim,

Thank you and Welcome!

My top portable option is the BTR5. Listening now for you with my K702 and it’s perfect, good amount of headroom. Here’s my portable guide!

Please let me know if you have questions. I recently revised that to keep it really simple and hope it helps.


TK May 16, 2022 - 1:45 pm

Hi Stu could S9 pro by hidizs drive the Akg 702 comfortably and fully?

Stuart Charles Black May 17, 2022 - 5:03 pm

Hey TK! Should be getting that one in soon but I have not tested it with my 702 yet. From their official website, it looks like 90mW power unbalanced which should be plenty for the 702. I will update you when I receive the unit!

Mac May 27, 2022 - 8:55 pm

Hey Stu! Just got mine 702 and listening through the K5 Pro ESS. SOOOOOO Sweet! For me they really sound fantastic through the Dragonfly coming out pf my PC. Many thanks for the review!!

Stuart Charles Black May 28, 2022 - 2:20 pm

Hey Mac!

You’re welcome, I’m so glad you’re enjoying them. 🙂 I was actually thinking about the 702 the other day and how I may have to bump it up on the Top 5 Under $500 list because of how much I love them. Currently, it’s #3 but I think I’m starting to like it more than the HD600/6XX. There’s just something so special about it and to this day it’s still hard to put into words.

Mac August 18, 2022 - 6:12 am

(If the concept of burning in headphones makes anyone angry or sad inside or outside for that matter, please don’t read this.)
Hey Stu, i just finished my burn in of my replacement pair of K702. Unlike my K371 burn in experiment I DID NOT have a second identical pair to compare BUT i only listened to them at they key points listed below to try to keep my ears frosty. Also all my sound checks were done listening via the Dragonfly Red and K5 Pro ESS.

@300 hrs: Not much difference – slightly improved bass response maybe, of greater note was that the treble seemed a touch less bright. I noticed online that someone mentioned 500 hours, I said screw why not.

@500 there was a marked improvement, all they way around, again it was like someone took a piece of sandpaper and fined tuned things. What was already great about these headphones was simply better. At this point I think that treble was definitely improved, refined, I found it touch too forward out of the box but that’s me.

@600 I was so impressed at 500, I went for it. Also, it was exactly double what I did for the K371. When I put them on I was like, yes, that’s it. I can’t really put it into proper words. It was like putting on my favourite hat after I misplace it and can’t find it for weeks. Or tasting or smelling something that you haven’t in a long time and it hits you and memories flood back. I love these headphones and plan to keep them for the long hall. If the left side goes out again, I’ll just fix them.

At the end of the day, I was a complete skeptic when i started all this burning in stuff, now I’m a believer in burn in as an enhancer of the sound profile that your headphones are designed to produce. Like sandpaper refining a surface. If headphones suck, I don’t think burning them in will fix the problem.

Thanks for all your hard work Stu!!

Stuart Charles Black August 21, 2022 - 4:02 pm

Thanks Mac! Seems like your brain became more and more acclimated to the sound of the K702 as the hours went on rather than the K702 actually changing. I think I mentioned this to you, but I’m going to buy a brand new K702 and a set of brand new pads for my old K702 and then measure them side by side to see if there are any sonic differences in the frequency response. That’s about as objective as I can make it I think. I’ll keep you posted. An old friend has a rig so hopefully, I can borrow it again. I measured some headphones a few years ago but I’d like to fine-tune that process as well.

I appreciate your comment and experience!

Mac August 22, 2022 - 3:35 am

Hey Stu, Looking forward to hearing about your experience! 🙂
My methodology was such that I don’t think that i would have had the time to acclimate, There was literally weeks between the listens with me solely listening to only the K371’s in the interim, apologies I don’t think that I was really clear about that. My aim was to not give my ear a chance to adjust the K702’s during the process. I’m open to there being a little bit (somehow?) because to be fair I only had one pair of headphones. Currently, I’ve been listening for a week straight and nothing else. I think they sound even better, but I know that its 100% down to my ear adjusting to the sound. It’s all anecdotal anyway, such is life. Take care! 🙂

Stuart Charles Black August 24, 2022 - 1:49 pm

Cool man! I will keep you posted ?

Roberto October 24, 2022 - 9:26 am

Great review, for which I am most grateful . The problem is, I have tried to compare these cans to newer ones like your recommended Hifiman HE400SE and I always end back with the K702. For classical and Jazz is just fantastic at its ridiculous price point (even more if bought second hand) . I have had a few long sessions with them this weekend and they are just fantastic with large scale symphonic works like Bruckner symphonies. I use Audirvana Origin with my own 320 kbps and ALAC files from a MAC mini and a Topping PX3+Pro DAC. I will probably try to save for a good pair of used Sennheissers HD800 s and see if the king can be dethroned.

Stuart Charles Black October 24, 2022 - 2:11 pm

So funny you mention that because I’ve been thinking a lot about the K702 and shaking up the order again. In other words, I may actually move it to the top spot because of what you mention. So maybe K702, 6XX, 400se in that order or 702, 400se, 6XX.

I’ve always felt the same way in that I generally just go back to a 702 more often than not. It’s essentially a perfect-sounding headphone to me. The only small caveat is that it can sound a smidgen thin at times. Small price to pay for the incredible sound though. It just sounds “right” with most music and I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

Fabian December 5, 2022 - 11:39 am

Hey Stu, Great artical as always I have a question do you think it’s worth buying this headphone if I already own the Sundara and the 560s?

I like both of them but like you said in the reviews they can sound a bit boring but have good detail and a balanced sound signature. But reading this makes me wanna buy one because it sounds like a great pair to have because it’s comfortable and it does well with most genres. What do you think? Thanks

Stuart Charles Black December 7, 2022 - 9:58 pm


I’m never going to tell someone not to buy a K702. It’s the headphone I reach most for now (even over a 400se and HD600). I may have to shake up the rankings on my top 5 under $500. In any event, the 702 will be livelier with a better Soundstage than the Sundara. 560S’ Soundstage is about equal to 702 although probably not as wide. I know what you mean by boring. Because of that, I do think the 702 is worth a try to see if you like it better. If not you can always return it. It’s pretty much my daily driver now.

I will tell you exactly why I think it’s a bit better tuned:
1) Mid-range has no weird drop-offs/declines, etc. It’s snappy and the vocals/instruments sound completely correct.
2) The treble is a bit more lively without the sibilance of other headphones. Sundara’s treble is a bit on the dull/meh side as it’s a bit dark for my liking. 560S as you mention is just kind of dull even though it’s tuned incredibly well. That’s always something I’ve taken exception to with 500 series headphones.

The bass on the 702 isn’t as thumpy as a Sundara or 560S but I think it strikes a nice balance of not too rolled off but also not overly boosted. Don’t get me wrong; Sundara’s nor 560S’s bass is overly boosted in the slightest. I just wanted to clarify. There’s some slight roll off in the 702 but it still hits pretty nice without the mid-bass bloat you’ll find in cheap consumer products.

Hope that helps!

Let me know.


Fabian December 10, 2022 - 7:14 pm

Hey man Thanks for helping me out. i think iam gonna pull the trigger and buy the 702 now that you said this.
Greetings Fabian

Stuart Charles Black December 13, 2022 - 3:51 pm

Keep me posted on how you like it man!

Fabian January 12, 2023 - 7:22 pm

Hey Stu i finally have this headphone and this thing is amazing exactly what i was hoping it to be. Thank you very much for helping me out and for the suggestion. Greetings Fabian

Stuart Charles Black January 14, 2023 - 1:59 am


Wow! So great to hear. You’re quite welcome. Ecstatic I was able to help and that you’re enjoying them. My brother-in-law is getting interested in mid-fi gear because he needs good headphones for mixing, so I lent him the 400se, K702, and HD600 and told him to give me feedback on all of them without any input from me. I’m super curious to hear which he likes best and why 🙂 K702 is basically my daily driver now, but I do need to replace the pads on all of them to be quite honest.

Mary July 6, 2023 - 3:39 am

Hi, Stuart:
I have a question. If you listen to the 9th Symphony… No, not Beethoven’s, but the one Shostakovich wrote… Well, if you listen to it through the AKG K702, do you get all the bass that’s there, on the recording? Same thing with The Planets by Gustav Holst.
Thanks for your work. You keep a nice, helpful site.

Stuart Charles Black July 6, 2023 - 11:13 am

Hey Mary!

Thank you for the kind words! Send me a link to the Shostakovich one that you’re referring to. I will definitely take a listen to the Planets as it’s one of my all-time favorites. Which version specifically? I have a few different ones. Also, did you know that some of Koji Kondo’s music in Super Mario Bros. 3 is taken (and re-done of course) directly from the Planets?

Mary July 6, 2023 - 5:32 pm

Explora Shostakovich: Symphony No. 9 in E-Flat Major , Op. 70 – I. Allegro (Live) de Boston Symphony Orchestra en Amazon Music

Explora Holst: The Planets de Sir Simon Rattle/Philharmonia Orchestra en Amazon Music

I mean, these are examples of music where if the bass is not there you’re missing something important. How do the AKG K702 behave when they have to render things like these?

I didn’t know about the use Koji Kondo made of The Planets. I think I’ll pay more attention to the Super Mario Bros music from now on!

Stuart Charles Black July 10, 2023 - 1:40 pm


I will check those out and report back!! Thank you for the links. Do you enjoy amazon music more than Spotify or Tidal? I have Amazon music but don’t use it much.

Mary July 7, 2023 - 4:22 am

Sorry, the links are to the Amazon Spanish site. I don’t know if you’ll be redirected to Amazon.com. Shostakovich’s Symphony number 5 is maybe an even better example of important bass in orchestral music. I only have two headphones: one of them, the Sennheiser HD 600. The other is a Beyerdynamic DT 770 pro 80 ohm. I use the first more for classical music, but I find it doesn’t convey all the strength and power of Shostakovich’s symphonies, so I prefer to listen to them through the beyers. But then I’m thinking of getting something to achieve also more spaciousness, airyness, a wider soundstage… And here’s where the AKG could come handy… If only the bass doesn’t get lost. Here in Europe I can also get Austrian Audio HI-x65 for 369 €, which I’m also considering. But the K 702 I can buy for 139 at Thomann, 135 at Amazon.es. And that’s tempting…

Stuart Charles Black July 10, 2023 - 1:45 pm

No worries, Mary! I am able to listen. I will reply again after the demo with the 702. Well, you’re onto something. Someone once told me (or I had read somewhere) that Classical music needs more bass emphasis and after demoing a bunch of headphones with it I find it to be very true. Sometimes it just lacks that impact and headphones with a bit more low-end really help out. For instance, I don’t really like the SHP9600 but it works really well for Classical because of its sound signature.

Vicky October 28, 2023 - 2:53 pm

Hi Stu,

Really enjoying your detailed reviews style, could you please help me out with a dilemma of mine. Currently I have a dt880 running on a fiio k7 pro, all is good with the 880 except the soundstage, imaging is great but I feel there is hardly any soundstage given its an openback HP.

After going through your articles I feel the k702 would be a perfect fit, but I am worried about the qc issues, lots of complaints on soldering issues, hence a bit apprehensive on getting these.

I take care of my stuffs but people even complained that even with very careful usage, they had to resolder the wires.

Should I be worried about this ? Else could you please suggest another headphone with a similar soundstage and resolving capability.

Many thanks in advance.

Stuart Charles Black October 30, 2023 - 9:45 pm


Thank you for the kind words!

The K702 is indeed the perfect fit. I have one on my head right now!

Most things that people yammer on and on about, on the internet, having to do with audio, are things you should probably just ignore – QC issues? That’s definitely not one of them lol.

That said, I will give you my own experience in that I have had my pair since 2019 with no problems. Well one small quibble but it doesn’t really negatively impact anything. If you want me to explain, I will, but it’s fairly complicated haha.

I’ve had no core engineering issues (solder, etc.) with them and they are indeed a Chinese model.

Time will tell if i have to re-solder anything, but so far so good. As for if you should be worried? I can’t exactly tell you no since it wouldn’t be true lol. But I will say that there is always a risk of some sort in buying any headphone or audio product no matter what company it is.

If you do want something else and a true upgrade, I would look to the Edition XS. You could go with the 400se but the Soundstage isn’t as good and it’s more of a side-grade to the 880/K702. HIFIMAN seems to have rectified most of their own QC issues and I’ve been demoing their headphones since 2017 so I’m definitely not just saying that. I’ve experienced a few of them but haven’t had any issues for quite awhile.

I’m still tempted to tell you to just go for the 702 as it’s really an almost perfect all-around headphone.

So this is where I awkwardly end it because I’m at a loss lol. My final answer is take a risk on 702 slightly edging out buy an Edition XS.


Dimitri March 19, 2024 - 6:11 am

Hello Stu,

Thank you for your amazing work on explaining all aspects of headphone audio and the detailed reviews.

I have always been listening to music with speakers. But last year my son took over my listening space, so I decided to buy my first pair of headphones. After having read a lot of your articles and headphone reviews, I went for the AKG-K702. The most important reason was the soundstage, which is what I enjoy the most when listening to music with speakers. I really like their sound and the soundstage is wide. But, I am missing the front depth. All music comes from right and left but all center musical content is inside my head. Occasionally, I hear sounds coming from far away that make me check if someone in the house made that noise, as you mention. Even with binaural recordings I hear sound from the back of head, but hardly ever in front of me.

I have tried several hardware and software solutions (hardware and software crossfeed, canopener plugin, OOYH plugin, etc), without much success. Now I am in the search for another pair of headphones. But before I go buying something else, only to find it is the same or worse than the AKGs, please, give me your advise. Is it possible that, if I hear the front part of the soundstage inside my head with the AKGs, I will be the same with other headphones, too? Is it possible to hear front soundstage depth with headphones, at all? Is this a limitation with the AKGs? What is your experience on that?

Thank you your time,

Stuart Charles Black March 21, 2024 - 12:20 pm


Thank you for such a nice comment!

Ah, yeah that is a complaint among some. I should probably add it to the article. I mostly chalk that up to the recording, but yes, I’d be lying if I said I’ve never experienced it at least a little bit in some form or fashion.

As for your question, yes it is possible, but kind of rare. The only time I ever experienced feeling like someone was singing in front of me was with a Dan Clark Aeon Flow + Chord Mojo. And, interestingly enough, I experienced something kind of similar with the K702 listening to Sufjan Stevens. It kind of felt like he was close-ish to me; as if for a split second he was sharing the same space. Keep in mind this was very subtle, but for the Aeon example, it felt very real; as if I could reach out and touch her face 😛

And I can’t really think of any other headphones that you could just run out and buy right away that may improve the predicament, though I will say a good step up from the K702 is something like an Ananda or Edition XS. Have you considered either of those? Soundstage isn’t quite as good, but it’s still above average and you may prefer how it images better than a 702.

Hope that helps! Let me know and keep me posted.


Dimitri March 22, 2024 - 6:13 am

Hello Stu,
thank you so much for taking the time to reply.

You see, I had tried using headphones in the past, but left the idea almost right away, because of the “inside my head” sound. Now, that it has become a necessity to use headphones, I am trying to figure out a way to enjoy my music out of my head (if that is even possible). The Dan Clark headphone is out of my budget, unfortunately, But, it’s funny that you mention the Ananda, because I was looking at it. Someone is selling a slightly used one in my area, which I could try. Which Ananda do you suggest, the stealth or non-stealth version?

I also researched a bit for the ultrasone headphones that place the driver off-center, downward in an angle. They describe the effect like listening to speakers. However, I didn’t find any user comments on the front projection of the sound. I contacted them twice and never responded.

Still, though, it seems really strange to me, how is it possible to hear both height and depth behind my head. I am talking about amazing depth, for example with this mix: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRrvRtnlqvM, I feel the sound coming from 2 meters away from the back of my head. When sound starts to come to the front, it doesn’t extend past my head. I have tested this audio with different dacs, amps and a dap and the effect stays the same. Also, I tried it with Final Audio A5000 iem which has a large soundstage and still the same. I forgot to mention that I mainly listen to Classical and Jazz music.

I will try to audition the Ananda and see what happens. I will let you know what I think.

Thank you very much for your help,

Stuart Charles Black March 25, 2024 - 12:57 pm


Apologies for the delayed response! I’m in the process of switching hosts and it’s been quite a headache.

In any event, go for the stealth! You’ll get slightly better resolution with it.

I’m listening to that track now with the K702; what I’m finding is that it just seems like they automated the panning left to right and vice versa. I will say there’s some nice depth to it, but yeah, I’m not hearing much in front of my head. A little bit, but not as much as the sides and back. Switched to the SHP9500 and the effect in the front is a bit better. My problem is that I don’t like it continuously panning. That should be saved for effects and secondary sounds only imo. But, I get the idea of why they did it.

I will also say that with headphones in general, in my opinion, it’s much harder to replicate the “in front of you feeling” vs. studio monitors. For instance, my Yamaha HS7s do a much better job of portraying the entire image left right and center.

Do keep me posted on the Ananda and any other questions you may have.




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