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AKG K701 Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Updated Dec 22, 2017 at 05:51 pm
AKG K701 Picture
5.1
Mixed Usage
7.8
Neutral Sound
3.9
Commute/Travel
5.0
Sports/Fitness
4.7
Office
4.5
Wireless Gaming
6.5
Wired Gaming
1.6
Phone Calls
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Open-Back
Wireless No
Noise Cancelling No
Mic No
Transducer Dynamic

The AKG K701 are comfortable and breathable critical listening headphones with a great sound quality. Unfortunately, they do not have a detachable or spare cable like the K702 or the K712 Pro. They're also not meant for outdoor use so they have poor isolation and no control options for mobile devices. On the upside, they're surprisingly lightweight for their size and they deliver in the sound department.

Our Verdict

5.1 Mixed Usage

Poor for mixed usage. The AKG K701 are best used for critical listening. They're a bit too big and bulky for casual use and their open designed means they won't be suitable for outdoors. This makes them poor for office, sports and commuting but they deliver a great and spacious sound quality that's suitable for critical listening.

Pros
  • Excellent audio reproduction.
  • Comfortable design.
Cons
  • Very sensitive to ambient noise, by design.
  • Open-back design, so they leak a lot.
  • Big and bulky headphones.
7.8 Neutral Sound

Great sound quality for neutral listening. The K701 are super comfortable and have a great audio reproduction. Bass mids and treble are well balanced, and the large and open ear cups give these headphones a spacious and immersive soundstage. They're treble can be somewhat inconsistent a bit sharp but overall they have a good sound that will please most neutral listeners.

3.9 Commute/Travel

Poor for commuting. The open-back design purposely doesn't block any ambient noise, so even at high volumes, you will still be able to hear the hustle and bustle of a busy commute.

5.0 Sports/Fitness

Not made for sports. They're bug bulky, and unstable. They will quickly fall off your ears if used for exercising or working out.

4.7 Office

Poor for office use. They're open headphones that purposely leak a lot which will be distracting to those around you, and they do not block any noise. You will be able to hear most of the noise in your office environment.

4.5 Wireless Gaming

Mediocre-at-best for gaming. They do not have a microphone and have no active features or customization options that would make them more suitable for gaming. On the upside, they're comfortable, breathable and have a good sound. Also, since they're wired they have no latency which would make them a decent choice if you do not care about having a mic.

6.5 Wired Gaming
1.6 Phone Calls
  • 5.1 Mixed Usage
  • 7.8 Neutral Sound
  • 3.9 Commute/Travel
  • 5.0 Sports/Fitness
  • 4.7 Office
  • 4.5 Wireless Gaming
  • 6.5 Wired Gaming
  • 1.6 Phone Calls
  1. Update 3/24/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.4.
  2. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  3. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.
  4. Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  5. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1.
  6. Update 3/1/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.0.

Test Results

Design
Design
Style

The AKG K701 look almost identical to the K702 and K712 PRO. They have the same retro design with large circular ear cups and a headband with a self-adjusting strap. The open-back ear cups are well padded and covered in a suede-like fabric that gives the headphones a more premium appeal. However, like the other models in this series, they're bulky and little too big, to casually wear outside.

8.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.65 lbs
Clamping Force
0.96 lbs

The K701 are very comfortable headphones. They're surprisingly lightweight for their size and the well-padded ear cups fit well around most ears. They don't cause any fatigue during extended listening sessions.

0
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
No Controls
Ease Of Use No Controls
Feedback No Controls
Call/Music Control No
Volume Control No
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls No
7.1
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 4 C
5.2
Design
Portability
L 8.27 "
W 7.09 "
H 4.33 "
Volume 253.7 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required No

These headphones like the K702 and the K712 Pro are big, bulky not really portable. The retro headband makes them quite large and since they don't fold into a more compact format, they will be too cumbersome to carry around on your person if you do not have a bag. They also don't come with a case or pouch, which is slightly disappointing.

0
Design
Case
Type No case
L N/A
W N/A
H N/A
Volume N/A
7.0
Design
Build Quality

The build quality of the AkG K701 is decent but has a lot of moving parts. They have dense ear cups, and the headband design is flexible enough to handle an above-average amount of physical stress. Unfortunately, the headband has a lot of moving parts for the adjustable padding. These are potential weak points where the headphones could get damaged by wear and tear.

5.5
Design
Stability

These headphones are not designed for sports or intended for outdoor use. The ear cups will sway and slip off your ears during physical activity, and the non-detachable cable will yank the headphones off your head if it's hooked on something.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • AKG 701 Headphones
  • 1/4" to 1/8" Adapter

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-4.76 db
Treble Amount
1.18 db
8.1
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.38 dB

Great frequency response consistency. Like most other open-back headphones, the AKG K701 has very good consistency in delivering its bass. The maximum deviation we recorded was 3dB at 20Hz, on only one of our human subjects. The treble range consistency is also great with the K701, however, at higher frequencies they are prone to larger deviations because of their large ear cups.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
6.8
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
4.04 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
92.43 Hz
Low-Bass
-7.49 dB
Mid-Bass
-3.5 dB
High-Bass
0.18 dB

Decent bass range performance. LFE is at 79Hz, which is below average. Low-bass, which is responsible for low-end thump and rumble, is lacking by more than 5dB. Mid-bass, which is responsible for kick and punch, is also lacking by more than 2dB, resulting in an overall bass that is lacking a little in thump and punch.

9.0
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.37 dB
Low-Mid
0.02 dB
Mid-Mid
-1.67 dB
High-Mid
0.95 dB

Excellent mid-range performance. Low-mid and mid-mid are nearly flawless and within 1dB of our target. High-mid shows a bit of boost around 2KHz, making the overall sound of these headphones a bit forward.

6.9
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
4.07 dB
Low-Treble
2.1 dB
Mid-Treble
4.26 dB
High-Treble
-4.1 dB

Above-average treble range performance. Low-treble is overemphasized by about 3dB, adding a bit of excess brightness and detail to vocals/leads. They also show more than 4dB of overemphasis in mid-treble, increasing the presence and sibilance of vocals and lead instruments.

7.5
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.74 db
Dips
0.94 db
8.8
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.16
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.48
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.67
Weighted Phase Mismatch
4.66
7.7
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
1.53 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
3.86 dB
PRTF Distance
6.75 dB
Openness
9.4
Acoustic Space Excitation
8.3
0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No App
8.5
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.065
WHD @ 100
0.144
Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
No Firmware
Power
Passive
Connection
Wired
Codec
PCM, 24-bit, 48kHz
EQ
No EQ
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Default
Microphone
No Microphone
Isolation
1.6
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-3.81 dB
Bass
-0.04 dB
Mid
0.31 dB
Treble
-11.46 dB

Poor isolation. Due to the open-back design, the AKG K701 doesn't isolate below 1KHz. Above that, they achieve about 12dB of isolation, which is sub-par.

2.1
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
61.64 dB

Poor leakage performance. The significant portion of the leakage is spread from 200Hz to 20KHz which is quite a broad range. The overall level of the leakage is also quite loud, making the leakage of the K701 audible to those around you.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
No
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No
0
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
N/A
LFE
N/A
FR Std. Dev.
N/A
HFE
N/A
Weighted THD
N/A
Gain
N/A
0
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise N/A
Speech + Subway Noise N/A
SpNR
N/A
Active Features
0
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
No Battery
Continuous Battery Life
N/A
Additional Charges
N/A
Total Battery Life
N/A
Charge Time
N/A
Power-Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
Passive Headphone
Charging Port None
0
Active Features
App Support
App Name No App
iOS No
Android No
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
No
ANC Control
No
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
No

No compatible app.

Connectivity
0
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
No Bluetooth
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
N/A
PC Latency (SBC)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
N/A
Android Latency
N/A
0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
9.0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
No
Detachable No
Length 9.77 ft
Connection 1/4" TRS
Analog/USB Audio Latency
0 ms
Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC/PS4 Analog
Audio Only
PC/PS4 Wired USB
No
PC/PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio Only
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No
0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
No Base/Dock
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
No
Power Supply
No Base/Dock

Compared To Other Headphones

See our recommendations for the best wired headphones, the best headphone brands, and the best audiophile headphones.

AKG K702

The AKG K702 are slightly better headphones than the AKG K701, but overall are very similar. The K702 have a detachable cable that is easily replaceable if damaged, which makes them a bit more durable and better-built, but that’s about it. Most people won’t hear a difference between those two models.

AKG Q701

The AKG Q701 are AKG’s collaboration with record producer Quincey Jones (of the AKG K701 model). This means they are practically identical, but with slight improvements like a detachable cable to make them more durable. Their frequency response are practically the same, so most people shouldn’t hear a difference between these two models. The Q701 have a lime green color scheme that is a bit flashier, but that’s about it.

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