The Best AKG Headphones

Hey there friend, and Welcome aboard!!

Before we get into The Best AKG Headphones, grab a snack, sit back and relax because…

You’ve come to the right place!!

What I will bring you in this article

  1. Introduction
  2. The Goal
  3. The Players
  4. Final Word

Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!!

Introduction

I’ve written about, and done quite a bit of research on AKG headphones over the last few years, and I have an extremely good idea of which models are the most worthy of your dollar.

My experience coupled with my insatiable desire for knowledge has led me here, to share the headphones that absolutely deserve mention, and leaving out the ones that don’t.

The Goal

The Goal is to only list the headphones that I would buy. Too many times online I see Best Of articles that provide laundry lists of cans with no real rhyme or reason to why they’re listed.

I read a lot, and often times I’ll come across articles that seem to echo other articles, i.e. it seems like little thought went into it. I’m not saying this happens all the time, but you can tell when one website copied the others list and gave it slight modifications to make it seem a bit different.

Fortunately for you, I’m here to clear out all the Riff Raff and get down to brass tacks! Choosing an AKG headphone doesn’t have to be difficult. There’s some things to know about the company and it’s offerings, and I’ll do my best to convey the information in a straight forward and easy to understand way.

So let’s get into it, shall we?!

The Players


Entry Level


AKG K240 Studio

Specifications

Summary

The K240 Studio is a legendary headphone based around the original “Sextett”, which housed 6 passive drivers under and surrounding the main driver. These aided in some extra bass, but AKG thought better of it and eventually scrapped the idea altogether in future models. There were a few other iterations of the 240 including the K240DF and K240M, The former of which had a 600 Ohm impedance! Learn more: AKG K240 Studio Headphones Review!

The K240 Studio’s only have a 55 Ohm impedance, but have an extremely low sensitivity thus needing an Amp/DAC of some sort. Don’t expect to plug these into your phone or laptop and be satisfied. They’ll sound much too quiet for any type of real enjoyment.

That said, these perform wonderfully with a basic amp, like the Schiit Magni/Modi stack, or something like an Oppo HA-2. How to choose a Headphone Amp!

Learn more:

The sound of the 240 is very mid-range oriented, with excellent clarity, detail retrieval, instrument separation, and Timbre. What is Timbre?

Out of all the headphones I’ve tried, I believe the K240 to have the least amount of bass. So if you’re a bass head, avoid these like the plague!! Now for me, I happen to enjoy what these have to offer and don’t really miss the bass too much. There is considerable roll off however, but there’s a lot of texture and nuance to the low end. It’s a very articulate bass. You’re going to be able to hear more of what’s going on rather than simply feeling it. So for a genre like Jazz or Classical, these are going to be a real treat.

Learn more:

Things to keep in mind

  • Bass. NOT for bass heads.
  • The headphones feel like something you’d pick up in your local Walmart’s toy section. They are incredibly lightweight. This is phenomenal for comfort, but not so much for durability. That said, I didn’t have any issues with the pair that I previously owned.
  • You will need an amp of some sort. Buying these solo isn’t going to cut it. The best headphone amp for the money!

Video Review

Credit to @Metal571. Check him out on Twitter!


Mid-Tier


AKG K550/K553

Specifications

  • Price: Check amazon! | check eBay!
  • Type: Closed back.
  • Fit: Circumaural.
  • Impedance: 32 Ohm. What is Headphone Impedance?
  • Sensitivity: 114dB.
  • Frequency response: 12Hz to 28kHz.
  • Material: Mostly metal, some plastic.
  • Headband: Padded.
  • Color: Matte black with black metal accents.

Summary

The K553 has a bit of an upgraded sound, but these two bad boys are some of the absolute best headphones for reference in this category or otherwise. In fact, both have a sound that resembles an open back affair despite being closed. The sound is extremely spacious and airy, and everything has a ton of room to breathe. Closed back vs. Open back headphones.

Soundstage is particularly good for a closed back, and overall these remind me a lot of a Philips SHP9500. What is Soundstage? The bass response is fairly lean, but does hit a bit harder than a 9500 due to less roll off and being closed back as well. Learn more: Philips SHP9500 Review!

One of the best qualities about the 550/553 is instrument Timbre. Everything sounds so incredibly natural and crisp, making you realize how unnatural music actually sounds through most headphones!

Things to keep in mind

  • You won’t need an amp. I found them to be excellent out of my phone due to their high sensitivity and low impedance. That said, an amp/DAC never hurts, as there’s the capacity for a sound quality increase.
  • It takes a bit of elbow grease to get a good fit, as the headphones don’t particularly excel at clamping. They kind of remind me again of an SHP9500 in that they have a tendency of sliding around on your dome piece if you’re not careful. That said, once you get a nice fit, it’s smooth sailing.
  • The K553 is a slightly upgraded version with most of the same specifications. Learn more: AKG K553 Review!

Video Review!

All credit to @Metal571. Check him out on Twitta!


AKG K612

Specifications

  • Price: Check amazon! | Check eBay!
  • type: Open back.
  • Color: Black.
  • Fit: Circumaural.
  • Frequency response: 12Hz to 39,500 kHz.
  • Impedance: 120 Ohms. What is Headphone Impedance?
  • Material: Leather headband, plastic, velour padding.

Summary

The K612 flies mostly under the radar, but is a phenomenal headphone with superb comfort and nice tonal balance. The bass here is tight and controlled, and in comparison to a K701 there is more to speak of.

Like most AKG headphones, these also make for an excellent reference can, and do extremely well for lighter genres like Jazz and Classical. Instrument separation, imaging, and Soundstage are all top notch, and the treble is just right. Not too bright, not too dark. There are definitely no sibilant qualities to speak of as well. What does Sibilant mean?

The mid-range is of course the highlight, as the K612 will do well with a variety of genres, and specifically are sought after heavily for gaming and movies. Learn more: The Best Headphones for Gaming!

Things to keep in mind

  • The cable feels a bit cheap, but it’s nothing to really fret over.
  • The clamp force is a bit tight at first, but opens up over time.
  • There are two different models of this headphone around. The Austrian and the Chinese. Read this review to find out the differences!

Video Review

Credit to LLAT!


AKG K701

Specifications

  1. Price: Check amazon! | check ebay!
  2. Type: Open back.
  3. Color: Grey & Maroon.
  4. Fit: Circumaural.
  5. Frequency response: 10 to 39800 Hz.
  6. Impedance: 62 Ohms.
  7. Sensitivity: 105dB.
  8. Material:Leather head band, plastic, velour padding.

Summary

The K701 has a fairly lean bass, with a fantastic mid-range and a somewhat darker treble. They’re arguably most famous for their extremely wide and spacious Soundstage, with some claiming that because it’s so wide, it comes across as unnatural. Again, your mileage may vary. You’re likely to really enjoy the K701 because of it’s balanced sound signature and ability to handle most genres with ease.

Things to keep in mind

  • Bass. For most people, these are going to be bass light, and bordering on not enough. The Q701 does add some more, so if you like your headphones with added low end emphasis, you may consider them instead.
  • Soundstage. May be unnatural to you, or you may really enjoy it. Just know that it’s a common concern for people.
  • Amplification. In my research over the last few years, many people claim that the K701 needs some pretty beefy amplification to shine properly. We’re talking something like a Violelectric V200. Others like Metal571 drive them from a Schiit Stack like me. The takeaway is that amplification can be overrated at times, but there is certainly some truth to finding a good pairing for hte headphone in question. An example is the Focal Utopia, a $4000 headphone. You may think at first glance that it needs the best amp. I ran it on my Magni 2 and it sounded unbelievable. I have yet to demo it on higher end gear. Will it make them sound better? Perhaps, but the difference is likely to be smaller than you would imagine.

Video Review

It’s a Metal571 love fest in here! I don’t always agree with him on everything but he will always give you a thorough review and I really appreciate that.


AKG K702

Specifications

  • Price: Check amazon! | Check eBay!
  • Type: Open back.
  • Color: Black/Blue & Silver.
  • Fit: Circumaural.
  • Frequency response: 10Hz to 39,800 kHz.
  • Impedance: 62 Ohms. What is Headphone Impedance?
  • Material: Leather headband, plastic, velour padding.

Summary

The K702 is very similar to the K701, with some minor changes. Let’s take a look.

Things to keep in mind (Differences)

  • The pads on the K702’s are thicker, which supposedly allows more of an “around the head” speaker like experience.
  • The 702’s have a detachable cable, the 701’s do not.
  • The 702’s do not come with a stand, the 701’s do.
  • The 702’s bass response gets generally more favorable reviews over the 701’s.
  • Treble. The K702’s have a bit brighter of a treble around 8-9k, which gives them a little more energy. The Q701’s share this added emphasis in the treble as well. Out of the three, the K701 is probably the most neutral.

Video Review


AKG Q701

Specifications

  • Price: Check amazon! | check ebay!
  • Type: Open back.
  • Fit: Circumaural (Over-ear).
  • Impedance: 62 Ohm.
  • Frequency response: 10hz – 39.8khz.
  • Material: Plastic, velour padding.
  • Headband: Self-adjusting.
  • Color: Choice of White, Black, & Neon Green.

Summary

The Q701 is also very similar to both the K701 and K702. It does have some differences to speak of however.

Things to keep in mind

  • Bass. There’s more of it here.
  • Mid-range. The mid-range on the K701’s tend to roll off a bit more between 1-3k, while the Q701’s are more forward, with a slight bump around 2k.

Video Review


Top Shelf


AKG K712

Specifications

  • Price: Check amazon! | Check eBay!
  • Type: Open back.
  • Color:  Black & Orange.
  • Fit: Circumaural.
  • Frequency response: 10Hz to 39,800 kHz.
  • Impedance: 62 Ohms.
  • Material: Leather headband, plastic, memory foam.

Summary

The K712 has a similar bump around 2k, but is probably the flattest out of this entire line. It’s got a darker treble, and some fairly significant roll off after that 2k rise, similar to a Q701.

Things to keep in mind

  • The differences between these 4 headphones, The K701, 702, Q701, and K712 are very subtle. Though the slight changes in frequency response are present, they will only become apparent after many hours of listening time.

Video Review

Credit to LLAT!


Final Word

Which of these you go with depends on your budget at the end of the day, and whether or not you would prefer an absolutely as close to neutral sound vs. something a little more “fun.”

That said, I’ll try my best to sum it up:

Flattest and likely the best for reference:

SEE THE K701 FOR YOURSELF ON AMAZON!!

Most fun:

SEE THE AKG K712 FOR YOURSELF ON AMAZON!!

Best all around:

SEE THE AKG Q701 FOR YOURSELF ON AMAZON!!

Best Budget:

I would say the Philips SHP9500 outshines the K240 in all aspects. Interested in learning all about my favorite open back headphone?

CHECK OUT MY OFFICIAL PHILIPS SHP9500 REVIEW!!


Well that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve come away with some valuable information in this article on the best AKG headphones.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I leave something out or get something wrong? Please reach out in the box below or Contact me! I would love to hear from you.

Which of these are you more likely to go with? Let me know as well!

Until then, all the best and God bless..

 

 

-Stu

[Xtr@Ba$eHitZ]

Can’t decide which headphones to purchase? Interested in a complete buyers guide outlining over 40 of the best options on the market? Click on over to the best audiophile headphones to learn more!!

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

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